Cerave Vs Neutrogena: Which Is the Best Cleanser? Check My Breakdowns

by Shopify API on Jul 06, 2024


When it comes to skin cleansing, the number of options out there seems infinite. Choosing a product can be difficult, from face washes to lotions and specialty cleansers, with Cerave Vs Neutrogena brands having their long-standing reputations for quality; what sets them apart?

How do you know which brand's products will make your skin feel great without paying an arm and a leg for them?

To know which one of these brands is better, I tried using them as part of my skincare routine. I compared the products when it comes to formulation, effectiveness, benefits and pricing.

Check out this article to learn more about the differences between two famous skincare lines.

About Cerave

neutrogena vs cerave moisturizer About Cerave

CeraVe was founded in the United States in 2005 and is a partnership between American dermatologists and CeraVe. It offers both daily skincare products for the body and face and a range that can be used for babies.

The brand's simple, accessible skincare products are endorsed by American dermatologists and perfectly complement the Division's product line.

About Neutrogena

cerave moisturizing cream vs neutrogena hydro boost About Neutrogena

Neutrogena, an American brand that sells various skincare, makeup, and hair care products, is a Neutrogena moisturizer. It was established in 1930 by Emmanuel Stolaroff, who used to be known as Natone. It has grown to be a major corporation in beauty and skincare, also owned by Johnson & Johnson.

Neutrogena vs Cerave Cleanser

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser Review

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser Review

You're most likely living under a rock if you haven't heard of Cerave Cleansers. This brand is the epitome of all things drugstore skincare.

It is affordable, accessible, and cheap. Their skincare products can be used on all skin types and are fragrance-free. It is hard not to like at least one Cerave product.

Honestly, I have used Cerave products before because of course, it is a well-known product and I want to have healthy skin. But I am not using the products before just to review them so I am not focused on what it does on my skin.

Now, to help differentiate it to Neutrogena, I checked how it felt on my skin and if it works well on me.

Three Cerave products are currently in my daily use. They include Cerave SA Smoothing cream, Cerave Healing Ointment, and Cerave Moisturizing Creme. I have yet to try the Cerave Smoothing Cleanser.


I don't know if you're aware, but I am very particular about the active ingredients I use to moisturize my dry skin. All skincare products I use to hydrate my skin are tested for Hyaluronic acid, Ceramides, and Glycerin. Cleansers are no exception.

This cleanser contains Glycerin and three essential Ceramides. It also has Sodium Hyaluronate, which is a form of Hyaluronic acid.

It does not contain any irritating or fragrance ingredients. It is as simple as it gets. This product is excellent for dry skin. This product may not be for you like me and can tell the difference between moisturizing and hydrating cleansers.

Texture and Consistency

It is creamy in texture and has a light consistency. It comes in a perfect pump bottle that doesn't feel heavy. You should only be generous in your application.

It slowly absorbs into your skin, even at this rate. It doesn't foam at all because it isn't a foaming cleanser. It gently cleans your skin without stripping away any of its moisture.

How to Use

This product works best as an AM cleanser, in my opinion. It was perfect every time I used it in the mornings. It did not do too much or too little.

It was just right. The essential Ceramides leave my skin feeling moisturized. However, it is not enough to remove dirt, grime, sunscreen, or makeup from the day.

Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Double cleansing is a great option. First, use a cleansing oil or balm to cleanse your skin. Then use the Cerave Hydrating Washer to clean it up.

This cleanser should not be used at night alone. To get rid of dirt and other impurities that can clog pores, you need to cleanse your skin correctly.

Availability, Price & Size.

Because it is a top-rated product, it may be challenging to find it in your local pharmacy. It was challenging to get me. It's better to order online, where stock is guaranteed. They are pretty affordable for a drugstore brand in terms of price and size. Be sure to buy the right size for your needs.

Why is CeraVe so popular right now?

Cerave products have been around for a while. Still, they've recently blown up in popularity due to social media platforms like TikTok. The products contain ceramides, lipids that help protect the skin barrier. 

This is helpful for people with sensitive skin or irritated from using retinoids or breaking out from hormones. The products are also affordable and accessible, which makes them even more appealing to people.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser Review

Cerave was flying off shelves. I was relaxing because people hadn't noticed my Neutrogena hydro boost water gel and gel cream, which has been with me for two years. I have probably gone through four bottles at the moment and always have one. It's because I love it so much.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser Review


The Neutrogena Hydroboost's fragrance is quite different from the Cerave Hydrating Wash. My skin isn't sensitive skin, so the scent doesn't affect me.

This cleanser contains Glycerin, actual Hyaluronic Acid, and not Sodium Hyaluronate. This is probably why the cleaner is more hydrating than its Cerave counterpart.

Texture and Consistency

The cleanser is light and has a gel texture. I usually only need one to two pumps to clean my entire face. It is light and lathers well, but it also doesn't strip my skin.

It will not strip your skin of its natural oils, but it will deep cleanse and gently exfoliate your skin while leaving it soft and moisturized. After cleansing, my skin almost always feels Osgood.

cerave foaming cleanser vs neutrogena How to Use

How to Use

This cleanser works every time. The Cerave cleaner is best used in the AM, but the Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser can be used in AM and PM routines.

The Neutrogena cleanser can be used for a quick and easy clean or combined with your cleansing oil to do a deep cleanse.

Availability, Price & Size

Contrary to Cerave, the Neutrogena cleanser is almost always available in major drugstores. It lasts me about six months, so the 200ml bottle is worth it.

Are Neutrogena products worth it?

We think that the acne product line from Neutrogena is good, but other drugstore brands are just as effective. In general, we find that Neutrogena is an affordable skincare brand. 

However, there are definitely more luxurious options out there that provide better results. Some Neutrogena products are stronger than others, so we recommend avoiding products with synthetic fragrance ingredients and parabens.

Neutrogena vs Cerave: Product Comparisons

Product Comparisons

Cerave vs Neutrogena Cleanser

Best Hydrating Cleanser

CeraVe's Hydrating Facial Cleanser is designed for normal to dry skin. It effectively but gently removes makeup, dirt, and oil without irritating or tightening the skin.

This is because of the CeraVe technology, which provides all-day hydration by combining ceramides for the skin's natural barrier and hyaluronic acid for moisture retention.

The cleanser is approved by the National Eczema Association and was developed for sensitive skin by dermatologists. The cleanser is also fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.

Neutrogena introduces an innovative cleansing technology designed specifically for dry skin types with their Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser.

When mixed with water, the cleanser activates to increase hydration and leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed. This cleanser relies heavily on hyaluronic acid. It is also dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin.

The CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser and the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser are designed for normal-to-dry skin that requires extra hydration throughout the day.

Each of these cleansers contains hyaluronic acid, which works to alleviate dry skin conditions by assisting the skin in retaining water.

While both have excellent consumer ratings and very similar claims and efficacy, we believe the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser comes out on top.

The addition of essential ceramides helps restore a weakened moisture barrier and maintains a healthy one, thereby significantly contributing to our goals of naturally clear and beautiful skin.

Best Foaming Cleanser

If you're looking for a product that will deeply cleanse your skin of excess oil or makeup while also removing any trace of dirt, the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser might be for you! Ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid are three unusual ingredients that will not disrupt the delicate balance of the skin's natural barrier.

When mixed with water, a gel-based foaming cleanser is suitable for normal to oily skin and provides a foaming action on the application.

Niacinamide is a Vitamin B3 derivative that soothes the skin, reduces redness, treats hyperpigmentation, and regulates oil production, it is a good product for oily skin.

Neutrogena's Ultra Gentle Cleanser is a hypoallergenic cleanser that will not harm the skin's natural moisture barrier. The cleanser removes oil, dirt, bacteria, and makeup gently without using harsh ingredients like parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.

The good news is that this cleanser does not contain soap. Soap can cause more harm than good for sensitive skin, and the ingredients are too harsh for dry skin.

The Ultra Gentle Cleanser has been clinically proven suitable for sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, atopic dermatitis, eczema, and rosacea skin.

Overall, this is another close race, and our choice is based on a couple of minor details. The presence of Niacinamide in CeraVe's foaming cleanser is almost enough to sway us, but it's the fact that Neutrogena's Ultra Gentle Cleanser contains fragrance that seals the deal.

As a result, CeraVe's Foaming Facial Cleanser is much more likely to be tolerable on your skin, making it the better overall option.

Neutrogena vs Cerave Moisturizer

Cerave Versus Neutrogena Moisturizer

Best Body Moisturizer

It can be difficult and frustrating to treat a damaged skin barrier. A weakened skin barrier frequently results in itchy, dry, hypersensitive skin to harsh ingredients.

The Cerave daily moisturizer Cream targets these problematic skin conditions by strengthening the skin barrier and providing intense hydration.

This body lotion is designed to quickly absorb the skin using the patented MVE Delivery Technology, keeping skin hydrated throughout the day.

The cream is suitable for both the face and the body and can be applied as needed in the morning and night. This cream is also fragrance-free!

The Hydro Boost Water Gel, a best-seller and award-winning product, are one of Neutrogena's holy grail products. It instantly hydrates the skin and can be used as a primer under makeup or on its own for healthy-looking skin.

The gel is designed for dry skin and should be applied after cleansing the face and neck. This product is for dry skin and is part of the famous Hydro Boost skincare line.

There is also a Hydro Boost Gel for dehydrated skin. While the dry skin option is alcohol-free, the ingredient list does include fragrance. On the other hand, the very dry option is both alcohol and fragrance-free.

The fragrance is not advised for dry skin because it can cause irritation and further damage the skin barrier. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, fragrance is the leading cause of cosmetic contact dermatitis.

As a result, we've decided to go with CeraVe's Moisturizing Cream.

Best Daily Moisturizer

When working with a damaged skin barrier, protecting sensitive skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays is critical. Clogged or blocked pores are a significant source of concern for sunscreen and sun protection.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 is non-comedogenic, which means that CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion will not clog pores or cause acne flare-ups.

The CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion contains a broad-spectrum sunscreen with InVisibleZinc Technology (zinc oxide), making it suitable for all skin types. In addition to SPF 30, it contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides to keep the skin moisturized daily.

This lightweight facial moisturizer with SPF 35 is part of the Neutrogena Oil-Free line. The CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion provides adequate sun protection with a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protector free of alcohol and fragrance. This hypoallergenic facial moisturizer is suitable for sensitive skin types and can be used alone or under makeup.

It's worth noting that this product contains 6% oxybenzone as an active ingredient. According to new research, oxybenzone may be an endocrine disruptor.

As a result, the European Commission proposes a 2.2 percent concentration limit on sunscreen. In the United States, manufacturers are permitted to add up to 6% oxybenzone to products such as sunscreen.

Additionally, oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions, and it has been linked to an increased risk of endometriosis.

As a result, continuing CeraVe's total hegemony, we prefer CeraVe's AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. We would highly recommend Neutrogena's Oil-Free Moisturizers without SPF, as they are excellent facial moisturizers (without the egregious inclusion of oxybenzone).

Best Overnight Moisturizer

The PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, like the AM facial moisturizer, hydrates dry and sensitive skin types. A night cream is the best way to hydrate your skin type before going to bed to wake up with a radiant, healthy glow.

This formula contains the same impressive trio of ingredients found throughout the CeraVe line: HA, ceramides, and niacinamide.

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Sleeping Cream is up next for comparison. A night cream specifically designed to improve resistance to dehydration while sleeping and increase hydration levels.

It contains HA, but it also contains botanical trehalose. Trehalose is a type of sugar that can protect the skin barrier when used in skincare. Apply this cream to the face and neck for intense hydration in the evening.

Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Sleeping Cream is far superior, in our opinion. Not just because there have been a few negative customer reviews for CeraVe's (though that certainly helps), but because the lightweight texture of Neutrogena's is so much more comfortable for overnight use. Because your skin drinks it up, it doesn't end up all over your pillows while you sleep.

Cerave or Neutrogena for Acne

CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser is an effective product for clearing acne, backed by well-established skincare knowledge and expertise. 

CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

Their formulation features 4% benzoyl peroxide to thoroughly dissolve dirt and excess oil while also including hyaluronic acid to help retain your skin's natural moisture and niacinamide to provide you with soothing benefits.

The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash with Salicylic Acid takes care of breakouts with its powerful acne cleanser and treatment. 

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash with Salicylic Acid

The oil-free formula cleanses deep into pores and contains Salicylic Acid to help get rid of acne and prevent future breakouts. Plus, the special skin soothers leave the skin not feeling dry.

This acne-fighting facial cleanser is recommended by dermatologists. It rinses clean without overdrying or irritating skin. The oil-free, non-comedogenic formula won't clog pores.

Which is better for acne Neutrogena or CeraVe?

CeraVe acne wash is much more gentle and provides multiple benefits in comparison to Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne wash. 

CeraVe's formula contains better ingredients that are combined more effectively to provide superior results for the skin. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne wash should not be used under any circumstances.

Cerave or Neutrogena Face Wash

The CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser and the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser are formulated with normal-to-dry skin in mind. They work to provide extra hydration throughout the day. They are packed with hyaluronic acid, which is known for its ability to help the skin hold on to water. 

If you're struggling with dry skin, these cleansers could be a game-changer for you.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser

In conclusion, both products boast excellent consumer ratings and have very similar claims and efficacy. However, we believe CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser just about pulls ahead. 

The inclusion of essential ceramides not only helps to restore a weakened moisture barrier but also helps maintain a healthy one. This heavily contributes to our goal of achieving naturally clear and beautiful skin.

Is Neutrogena or CeraVe better?

When it comes to cleansers, the Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser can be used in both your AM & PM routines, unlike the Cerave cleanser, which is better used in your AM routine. 

Whether you want a quick, easy cleanse or you want to combine it with your cleansing oil for a deep cleanse, the Neutrogena cleanser is perfect.

For sleeping creams, I much prefer Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Sleeping Cream to CeraVe's for a few reasons. 

Firstly, I was concerned about a few customer reviews for CeraVe. Secondly, the lightweight texture of Neutrogena is much more comfortable for overnight use. My skin literally drinks it up, meaning that it doesn't just end up all over your pillows in your sleep.

Both brands also have acne face wash, and in my opinion, the CeraVe acne wash is a much better choice compared to the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne wash. 

CeraVe's formula is more gentle and has more benefits for the skin. I think that the combination of ingredients in CeraVe's product is superior to that of Neutrogena's, and I would not recommend the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne wash under any circumstances.

The best brand of skincare will depend on you. First, you need to know your skin type, so you'll be able to decide which brand will work best on your skin.

Of course, you also need to be familiar with the ingredients so you know which will be bad for you.

These brands are well-known and reputable, but it doesn't mean they will work well for you.

Since these two brands have various skin care products, one would be better in a specific skincare product, and one could be better in another.

Do dermatologists actually recommend CeraVe?

If you're looking for a skincare brand that is recommended by dermatologists time and time again, then look no further than CeraVe. 

Regardless of your skin type, you'll find products that heal and help - I know this from personal experience. 

I had never tried CeraVe Skincare products, but after my dermatologist recommended them to me a few years ago, I decided to give them a go, and I'm so glad that I did. 

Now, I can see why she always recommends CeraVe. The products have really helped with my dry skin problems. 

As mentioned, I've been using CeraVe products before, but for the sake of my review, I want to focus on what it does to my skin.

Do dermatologists recommend Neutrogena?

Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Moisturizer is one of the most popular and top-rated beauty products on the market. It is recommended by many dermatologists and has been a drugstore staple for decades. 

This water-based gel is oil-free and non-comedogenic, making it a great choice for people with oily or acne-prone skin. It provides long-lasting hydration without making skin feel greasy or heavy and is gentle enough for everyday use.

Which is Better Neutrogena or Cerave?

Neutrogena Vs Cerave is both facial cleansers designed to cleanse the skin and remove makeup and other impurities. Both products are available over the counter and are relatively affordable. So, which one is the best?

Cerave is known for its gentle, non-irritating formula, while Neutrogena is known for its deep-cleansing properties. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. resTORbio hopes that our article has helped you learn more about these popular brands. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.