Vanicream Vs Cerave: What to Choose for Your Dry Skin

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When you speak of dry and dehydrated skin, you automatically think of two brands- Cerave and Vanicream. Both brands are ultra-moisturizing. And many clients have sworn by how effective they are in terms of nourishing and hydrating your skin.

Vanicream vs Cerave, which one is better than the other? And what brand is the best for you?

Today, we’re going to dive deep into what makes one brand better than the other. And we’ll also expose their cons so that you can best decide for yourself.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream


Vanicream Moisturizing Cream


You would want a cream that lathers softly and smoothly on your skin. As for me, I want it to feel like butter on warm toast or maple syrup on pancakes. It’s one of the things most people look for in a moisturizing cream.

So how do these two moisturizers fare?

Cerave is quite spreadable. The consistency of this cream has just the right amount of thickness. So it’s easy to blend in the skin. The skin pretty much absorbs it quickly too. But there is a stinging and tingling sensation. Especially if you accidentally rubbed it on broken skin or the sensitive areas of your face such as the skins around the mouth, it can be painful

As for Vanicream, I am not really a fan of its consistency, it feels rugged and similar to the consistency of cheap moisturizers. It doesn’t feel luxurious at all. It also takes time for your skin to absorb the product. But the good side is, it doesn’t cause any stinging sensation. 

How Moisturizing is Each Cream?

Cerave is infused with hyaluronic acid and plant ceramides. So in a sense, Cerave can moisturize your skin effectively. But when your skin is dehydrated and in dire need of moisture, Cerave performs inferior compared to Vanicream. How?

When you have dehydrated skin, ceramides and other moisturizing agents won’t suffice. What you need is a compound that will seal in the moisture of these hydrating agents. And emollients are best at sealing in moisture in your skin. Vanicream has emollients. That’s why in terms of moisturization prowess, this brand won this round.

And a lot of Vanicream reviews swear by the brand’s moisturizing prowess. And especially if you need a cream for the colder months for your dry skin, emollients are the solution.

Cerave has more complex ingredients

There are pros and cons to a brand with a ton of ingredients. One, it can offer a myriad of benefits to your skin. Cerave has a load of botanical ingredients, far more than Vanicream. 

But the downside is, if you seem to be allergic to almost everything, you have to use a product that uses fewer ingredients. The lesser ingredients, the better for your sensitive skin. And Vanicream contains fewer ingredients than Cerave.

But Cerave may have more anti-aging ingredients. The Cerave Skin Renewing Cream Serum, for instance, has retinol that can help remove fine lines and wrinkles. Vanicream is lacking in anti-aging benefits.

Are Both Cruelty-Free?

Animal advocates will certainly buy Vanicream over Cerave. Vanicream is 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. Whereas Cerave isn’t. 

The Battle of the Price Tags

Vanicream is indeed cheaper than Cerave. Since Cerave contains more ingredients, and it has a sophisticated list of natural botanicals, it has a higher price tag than Vanicream.

Tough both moisturizers aren’t really drugstore labels. They are considered premium or high-end brands. But you can buy Vanicream at a lesser cost.

Vanicream vs Cerave

Can Both Be Used Under Your Makeup?

Though Cerave’s consistency feels like a dream on the skin, it won’t be that dreamy when worn under your makeup. It’s a rich thick cream. Though it’s easily absorbed by the skin, it may be hard to apply an even foundation if you have too much Cerave on your face. 

Vanicream moisturizing skin cream, on the other hand, does not affect the spreadability of your foundation. 

So Which One is the Best?

And that is a very personal question. You’ll be the one to decide that. But allow us to break down what each brand is most suitable for.

Who Should Use Cerave?

  • Cerave is suitable for those with normal or dry skin.
  • If you’re looking for a moisturizer that feels like a dream on your face, this is a better option.
  • The main ingredients of Cerave are hyaluronic acid and plant ceramides. These are highly moisturizing against that can soften the skin and prevent premature aging. Thus, Cerave has more sophisticated ingredients than Vanicream.

Who Should Use Vanicream?

  • Since Vanicream doesn’t sting like Cerave, it’s best for those with sensitive skin. Vanicream moisturizing cream is non-comedogenic and doesn’t contain any plant botanicals like Cerave. So you wouldn’t be allergic to any of its ingredients. 
  • Vegans and animal advocates will favor this brand over Cerave.
  • If your skin is dehydrated, it needs emollients that can seal in moisture on your skin. Vanicream has this. 
  • If you want to wear a moisturizing cream under your makeup, Vanicream is a better option than Cerave
  • If you’re looking for a cheaper price tag, Vanicream is.


Where can I buy Cerave?

Cerave is available at major retail outlets such as Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and Target.

Where can I buy Vanicream?

Vanicream is available in a lot of drugstores. But not all retailers carry the brand. So it’s best to give a call ahead of time.

Do both creams come in a tub?

Cerave comes in a tub while Vanicream comes in a more hygienic dispenser with a pump. 

Cerave vs Vanicream- in the battle between these two moisturizing creams, both creams have their winning streak. And both brands are recommended for eczema too. So you just have to consider both pros and cons of each product. And which one best applies to your needs.

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