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Vanicream vs. CeraVe

Vanicream vs. CeraVe

It’s no secret that the skincare industry is a booming one. Companies are constantly releasing new products and updating existing ones to always be on top of their game. With all these options, how do you know what will work for you? 

This post compares two popular moisturizers: CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion and Vanicream Gentle Facial Moisturizer. The reviews include the ingredients, cost, pros, and cons of each product.

After reading this article, you should have enough information to decide which one is right for you between CeraVe and Vanicream!

What Is Vanicream and What Does It Do?

Vanicream is a hypoallergenic and truly non-comedogenic moisturizer. It was created to effectively treat the symptoms of eczema and dermatitis in people with sensitive skin.

It also is an excellent choice for those who have experienced reactions to other brands of facial moisturizers in the past. 

It contains no fragrance, lanolin, colorants, dyes, or perfumes. It is also free of paraben preservatives, phthalates (a plastic softener), formaldehyde donors, and the most common allergens. 

Vanicream vs. CeraVe

Lasting Hydration

Vanicream’s primary function is to moisturize the skin. This product contains non-greasy, ultra-hydrating lotion that will quickly absorb into the skin and provide long-lasting hydration. It is clinically proven to moisturize the skin better than traditional dermatitis products on the market.

The formula also helps strengthen and improve your skin’s barrier function. Since it doesn’t have a heavy or greasy feel and absorbs into the skin, you can apply it throughout the day without feeling greasy. 

Caring Ingredients

In addition to being hypoallergenic, Vanicream also contains a host of other beneficial and caring ingredients. It is water-soluble, meaning it will not clog pores or cause breakouts like some other moisturizers. It has no fragrances or preservatives for those with sensitive skin. 

Vanicream also includes three different emollients (glycerin, lanolin, and dimethicone), which will soften and smooth the skin’s surface. Other ingredients like Purified Water, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetearyl Alcohol, and Propylene Glycol will help moisturize, soften and soothe the skin. 

What About Vanicream’s Texture?

It is a white cream that has an unusual gel-like (almost jello) consistency. You might have to play with it first when applying, but here are some tips to help. 

First, you need to rub it between your palms a few times to warm it up (this step is crucial). The texture will change from jello-like to a more whipped consistency, and it will be easier to apply. 

What About the Cost?

This product sells for approximately $12-$18. You can find it easily online, at Target, Walmart, and other local drugstores. 

What About the Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion?

Like Vanicream, CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is a hypoallergenic moisturizer that provides daily hydration for dry skin. It contains MVE technology which will help provide advanced multi-vitamin and mineral support to the skin.

Vanicream vs. CeraVe

Why Does It Only Come In a Jar?

It comes in only one form (jar) because its primary function is to moisturize your face, not as a cleanser or makeup remover. It also contains no water, making it not to be packaged as a liquid.

What about the scent? Does CeraVe have a smell like some other moisturizers? As with most cleansers (even those containing aloe vera), it does have a slight medical smell. This is normal, and the scent will quickly fade after application.

What About the Ingredients?

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion contains no harsh chemicals that may irritate the skin. It includes three different paraben preservatives and has a high concentration of panthenol, which strengthens your skin’s natural barrier function. 

What About CeraVe’s Texture? 

CeraVe goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly (it won’t leave your face feeling greasy or oily like some other moisturizers might). Its texture gets absorbed into the skin and leaves little residue, making it a great option if you are looking for an oil-free moisturizer.

What about the cost?

It sells for approximately $15-$18 (you can find it at Target and Walmart,) but it is a bargain for the quality of this product.

Are There Other Options Available?

Yes. Many skincare products are available that will help moisturize your face and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier function. The key is finding the right one for you and making sure it fits your lifestyle and budget.

Is There Any Way to Find Out How Well These Products Will Work for Me Before I Buy Them?

Yes. Always look for products with research backing their claims (e.g., published clinical studies, etc.). If you do your homework upfront and keep track of any reactions or side effects you may have from using the product, it will be nice to know whether a particular formula works for your skin.

It is also wise to try products that have free samples available with every purchase. This way, you can try out different types of creams and moisturizers before you make a final decision. Also, look for a money-back guarantee if the product doesn’t work or you aren’t satisfied.

Vanicream vs. CeraVe: How Do I Know Which One to Choose for My Skin Type?

CeraVe’s products have been designed to work for all skin types. For instance, people with dry skin can use the CeraVe Hydrating Cream, and those with oily skin can try the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. 

If your skin is combination or sensitive, you will need a moisturizer with unique ingredients to help soothe your skin and improve its appearance.

If you wish to know more, check out this video by Abbey Yung.

Why Is Vanicream Better Than Cerave Moisturizers?

It is a common question, and there are many different answers. There are five reasons why Vanicream moisturizers are better than CeraVe products, including:

  1. Vanicream formulations contain no fragrances, and they can be used by people who have sensitive skin or those who suffer from allergies. 
  2. CeraVe’s products contain fragrances. 
  3. Vanicream products have natural preservatives with mixed tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate antioxidants. They help extend their shelf life and make them more resistant to bacteria growth than CeraVe’s formulas, which are only preserved with paraben preservatives.
  4. They both work well for moisturizing your skin.
  5. CeraVe uses petrolatum, lanolin, and mineral oil in its moisturizers. At the same time, Vanicream only includes ingredients that are 100% natural (i.e., they originate from nature, such as vegetable oils, coconut, and cocoa butter).


While both CeraVe and Vanicream products work well for moisturizing your skin, their formulation is different. For people with sensitive skin or allergies to common ingredients like fragrances, preservatives, and petrolatum/mineral oil, it is prudent to use a formula containing no unsavory elements. If you want simple, affordable, and effective facial moisturizers containing no unwanted ingredients or chemicals, you should try Vanicream.