Cerave vs Vanicream: Which Moisturizing Cream Is Best for You?

When you talk about Cerave vs Vanicream, you can be assured that there are always loyal adherents on either side of the divide.

And that is because both of these moisturizing lotions have people who swear by their efficacy.

The journey to finding the perfect moisturizer has had many people try out scores of products in a bid to find one that does all they wish for.

While there is no such do-all cream, both products have some advantages over the other which appeal to consumers, depending on what their needs are.

In this article, I’ll be reviewing the Cerave Moisturizing Cream and Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream. These are two of the most important and best-selling cream from both brands.

And there are a lot of reasons I’ve chosen to compare both of them. Just like you, there are a lot of other people who want to decide which brand is best for them since they both have very similar uses.

While they’re similar in price, it may still be difficult to choose one over the other since Cerave and Vanicream and very good brands. If you find yourself in this situation, then this article should be of help to you.

In order to make it easy to compare, we’ll look at different uses and which one is better in each category.

These are examined below:

Cerave vs Vanicream: Quick Comparison

If you’re looking for a cruelty-free and vegan cream, I’ll recommend Vanicream. It’s also slightly cheaper if you’re buying on Amazon. Vanicream is also suitable for sensitive skin and contains fewer ingredients.

Cerave, on the other hand, is easily absorbed by the skin but has lesser advantages compared to Vanicream. 

Similar Articles I Picked for You:

Cerave vs Vanicream: Itching

This much-valued property from CeraVe cream has bagged an endorsement from the National Eczema Association.

The concentration of 1% pramoxine hydrochloride works to relieve itchy skin which is caused by dryness. This relief is felt in as little as a few minutes and without the addition of steroids.

The pramoxine hydrochloride, which is a calming ingredient and which relieves itches is formulated to specifically help with providing relief.

Consumers have said they prefer CeraVe because they can use it liberally without the risk of a dependency developing.

Vanicream, on the other hand, has an over-the-counter (OTC) strength cream that is anti-itch. However, it is a 1% hydrocortisone cream that may have consumers favoring CeraVe over it.

Cerave vs Vanicream: Moisturizing Properties

While CeraVe does have the advantage of being thick and containing ceramides as well as hyaluronic acid, Vanicream has been reported by consumers to be way more moisturizing.

The reason for this is that it is occlusive and emollient, making sure that moisture is sealed in the skin for considerable periods of time.

For many with dry skin, it is simply not enough to have lotion with moisturizing properties, they also need the cream to get locked on, and stay on their skin to achieve its long-lasting effect.

Cerave vs Vanicream: Ease of Use

Another important factor that may affect your decision is how easy it is to use your body cream. Both are easy to use both differ a bit in how easily they spread and absorbs into the body. Vanicream is creamy and thick.

This means it can be a little tacky to spread on the body, which means you’ll end up doing more work to get it to all the areas of your body. And since it’s tick, it may take some time to sink into your body.

Cerave, on the other hand, is lighter and spreads easily.

Because of that, it’s possible your body is going to absorb it faster. Moreover, you don’t get to do more work when applying it to your body. So, if you’re looking for consistency, go for Cerave.

However, Vanicream is better in terms of being gentle on sensitive skin. It doesn’t sting, which can be a little uncomfortable for people who are allergic.

Which One Is More Gentle for Allergic People?

I mentioned in another section that these two products are very similar, in name, label, and even in the color of the bottle.

However, a quick glance over the ingredient list of both will reveal glaring differences. One is filled with lots of ingredients while the other comes with just a few ingredients.

Here are the ingredient for both:

Vanicream Ingredient List

Purified water, petrolatum, sorbitol, cetearyl alcohol, propylene glycol, ceteareth-20, simethicone, glyceryl stearate, PEG-30 stearate, sorbic acid, BHT.


Cerave Ingredient List

Purified Water, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20 and Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Phytosphingosine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.



As you can see, Cerave has quite a few ingredients.

The first thing you’ll notice is that if you have sensitive skin, the more ingredients on cream, the higher the chance you’ll be allergic to one. And the more ingredients there are, the higher the number you could be allergic to.

One user commented that he/she is highly allergic to several of the ingredients found in Cerave and other cheaper skincare products. Fortunately, they choose Vanicream just because it has fewer ingredients than Cerave.

So, if you have used other lotion and found out it irritates you because of the ingredients, you can try out Vanicream. You may get better results with it.

Some Terms: 

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance used in lotions for smooth, flawless, and hydrated skin. It helps to retain the skin’s natural moisture. This moisture-binding function helps in giving skin brightness and coolness, especially for older people.

Ceramides work similar to Hyaluronic acid, it also helps the skin retain moisture. This ingredient has other benefits such as protecting the skin against pollution and irritants in the environment.

These things are usually responsible for itching and dryness especially if you’re sensitive. While the skin normally produces, it comes in the Cerave skincare cream so it can moisturize and keep your body hydrated.

Persons In Need of Ceramide

While opposing factions readily admit that both CeraVe and Vanicream function as good moisturizers, CeraVe is widely known to contain ceramide.

It is a repair cream that is rich in ceramide, providing skin barrier apart from the moisturizing properties. Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease sometimes do not have enough ceramide, which helps to retain skin moisture.

This means that the beauty and superficial factor apart, there are people who actually need to have ceramide, as their body does not have enough.

This may just be the last factor that will tilt them in the direction of buying one product instead of the other.

Cerave vs Vanicream: Makeup Interference

CeraVe’s thickness is an advantage on several fronts. The thick cream glides on smoothly without leaving you feeling greasy or sticky because there is full absorption.

It is an excellent choice for normal to dry skin and is even safe to use on sensitive skin, skin with eczema, and babies’ skin which is obviously very delicate.

However, if applied too thickly, it can be hard to layer foundation makeup. This is where Vanicream might have an edge as its consistency does not interfere with makeup.

Slathers of Vanicream can be used liberally with no fear that foundation makeup would not layer well.

Which One Is Cruelty-free?

When I’m writing reviews like this, I always ensure I check on this. My previous comparison contains two popular products that are not cruelty-free nor are they vegan.

Fortunately, one of these is cruelty-free and vegan. And that is Vanicream. If you don’t know, this means that the company doesn’t test its products on animals.

So you animal lovers can go with Vanicream. Cerave, on the other hand, doesn’t have this quality. Their parent company is L’Oreal and this company test on animals.

Cerave vs Vanicream: Skin Sensitivity

This probably is just as important as all the others, if not more. Users of CeraVe with sensitive skin have reported harsh reactions to their skin after using the cream.

One user reported having large patches of what seemed like he had burned his skin with scalding water.

Because Vanicream is free of fragrances, parabens, formaldehyde, and other irritating ingredients, many have had it recommended for them, especially when they have reactive skin.

This is because skin experts say it does not contain most of the common allergens that can make your eczema worse than it already is.

Leave a Comment