Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CeraVe vs. Cetaphil

A few months ago, I had to visit my doctor for one of my many annual cases of eczema. My arms, legs, torso and face were so itchy, I just felt like clawing through my skin. Usually, she prescribes a round of steroids, I take them, the rash clears and then my face breaks out horribly for a week straight. The same thing happens every single time and I completely loathe the process. This time, however, was different. She recommended that I go out and purchase a tub of CeraVe moisturizing cream. I was intrigued because she's NEVER recommended a skin care product to me before. I was so itchy and desperate that I thought, "Hey, why not?". It honestly could not have gotten any worse. I forked over $15 for a large jar of the cream and followed her directions precisely. I washed, waited 20 minutes to avoid the risk of irritation and slathered the cream from head to toe. To my delight, I experienced immediate relief from the intense itch I'd been suffering from and my skin felt soothed and calm. I didn't even have to take the steroids this time, which was amazing! The CeraVe sorted everything out within 3 days! Fabulous!

After my rash completely cleared, I continued to use the CeraVe cream on my face. After I apply it, it makes my face turn a bit red for a few minutes, but then subsides. For a while, my skin was completely smooth and clear, but then my skin started protesting a bit with clogged pores. Not wanting to give up the product that saved my skin from the horrible eczema rash I had, I went out and purchased a cleanser form CeraVe called Foaming Facial Cleanser to accompany the moisturizer. The product has good reviews on several sites, but it just didn't work for me. It was drying and a bit irritating. Many of the CeraVe products contain an ingredient called Niacinamide, which is supposedly wonderful for improving the skin's natural skin barrier, but many people react negatively to it.  Unfortunately, I'm one of those people, so the moisturizing cream seems to be the only CeraVe product my skin can tolerate.

Then I started reading excellent reviews on Cetaphil cleansers and moisturizers and about how similar they were to CeraVe, so I decided to go out and buy the Gentle Skin Cleanser and Moisturizing Cream. I had used the Moisturizing Lotion from the line in the past and hated it, so I opted for the cream because I thought it would be similar in texture to the CeraVe cream. I started out by using the Gentle Skin Cleanser with my CeraVe cream. I didn't want to switch all of my products at the same time and risk my skin freaking out, so I started slowly. I loved the way the cleanser felt, milky, lotiony... It feels so good as a morning cleanser. Unfortunately, it doesn't remove makeup well at all, so I have to use something as a pre-cleanse at night, which I hate doing. The cleanser didn't seem to upset my skin at all, so I added in the Moisturizing cream. I found the cream very emollient and thick and I had to thin it out a bit with water before applying so it would spread more easily. My skin really seemed to appreciate the fact that I wasn't using any harsh products. It calmed down considerably and the tone evened out a lot. I still wasn't satisfied with the way my skin was, though. Even though all of these products are great and gentle, they still don't seem to lessen my mild adult acne. They don't claim to either, even though a lot of people state that these gentle products alone completely cleared their acne. My skin seems to need more. 

I've been using the Cetaphil duo for about 2 months now and I'm wanting to try something different. My skin doesn't feel that clean after I use the cleanser, especially now that the weather's getting warmer, and the cream feels a bit too heavy. Even though I appreciate the fact that all of these products are extremely gentle and I think they would be incredible for someone who ONLY has skin sensitivities, allergies or rosacea, they're not enough for someone like me who also has to deal with acne. 

So, who's the winner? I would honestly choose Cetaphil over the CeraVe for everyday, gentle care and reserve the CeraVe for emergencies such as my ordeal with the eczema rash. If you suffer from sensitive skin, I would definitely look into these. They're readily available at most retailers and you get a lot for your money.


  1. Hi! I was actually poking around reading up on comparisons of CeraVe v Cetaphil to decide if I should switch or give CeraVe a try (I've decided against it). However, the last part of your post, about the cleanser not being enough for you made me want to chime in. I have mild adult acne, and struggled to find something that worked for me. About 2 years ago I bought a clarisonic, which I use with Cetaphil. I almost never break out now, and if I get a zit, its small and goes away in a day. The Clarisonic may be just what you need to take Cetaphil to the next level...

  2. Hello, thanks for sharing guide. Nice to read about yourself.Cerave Moisturizing Cream for Face