Home Beautygab Vanicream Vs CeraVe

Vanicream Vs CeraVe

by Gabbi

Skincare routines become complicated and overwhelming quickly. If you’re using too many products at once or mixing multiple ingredients, it can result in an adverse reaction. But, sometimes, sticking to just the necessities will keep your skin happy!

A common misconception regarding skincare is that it must cost a fortune to achieve your desired results. However, many drugstore skincare brands are recommended by dermatologists nationwide. Some of those brands include Vanicream and CeraVe. 

Vanicream and Cerave offer simple solutions for your skin with ingredients that make a difference. In addition, they are both affordable and accessible brands that suit a wide range of skin types. They offer the nourishment and support that healthy skin needs. 

However, what is the difference between Vanicream and CeraVe? While they are both beloved drugstore skincare brands, they have a few characteristics that set them apart. Their ingredients, product range, packaging, and prices all vary. 

So next time you’re out shopping for staple skincare products, how do you know which brand is right for you? Thankfully, we’re here to break down the similarities and differences between Vanicream and CeraVe so you can get the most out of your skincare routine.


Vanicream has geared its whole brand towards healing sensitive skin. So whether your skin is generally sensitive or it’s temporarily compromised, Vanicream offers irritant-free formulas that heal the skin. Their formulas are simple but effective.

Vanicream prides itself on producing consistent, high-quality products. Their website states that they “are regularly inspected by the FDA and licensed by the Minnesota State Board of Pharmacy as a pharmaceutical manufacturer.”

Overall, Vanicream offers staple products that sensitive skin will love. It’s an affordable and accessible skincare brand that dermatologists often recommend.

Product Range

Vanicream’s most successful products are the Gentle Facial Cleanser and the Moisturizing Cream. Both of these products have gained traction thanks to numerous recommendations from dermatologists, and they’ve even gone viral on social media.

However, Vanicream’s product range contains a lot more than just a facial cleanser and moisturizer. For example, you’ll find that Vanicream has products for the face, body, hair, sun exposure, and even baby skin. All of which are suitable for sensitive skin. 

This sensitive skincare brand will allow you to create a reliable and effective routine that will soothe your skin. You can rest assured knowing their ingredients are generally well-tolerated and irritant-free. 


Vanicream states their products are “free of common chemical irritants found in ordinary skin and hair care products such as dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens, and formaldehyde releasers.”

Vanicream uses a wide range of beneficial skincare ingredients to formulate their products that you can find on this list. CeraVe prides itself on infusing ceramides in all their products, but Vanicream uses a little bit of everything.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of Vanicream’s Moisturizing Cream because it is most often compared to CeraVe’s version. Surprisingly enough, the creams share common ingredients like cetearyl alcohol and petroleum.

What makes the Vanicream version different is its sorbitol, which acts as a humectant. Vanicreams’ Moisturizing Cream has fewer ingredients and a more straightforward formula.

Is Vanicream Cruelty-Free?

One massive advantage that Vanicream has to draw consumers their way is their cruelty-free products. 

Nowadays, with clean beauty growing larger every day, consumers want to know that their products are ethical, sustainable, clean, along with other factors.

Vanicream states that “Pharmaceutical Specialties Inc. does not test out products on animals.” So, if this is a crucial factor on your skincare checklist, you can rest assured that Vanicream is a cruelty-free brand. 

For some consumers, this is a make-or-break factor in purchasing cosmetics.


Another reason why Vanicream is so popular is its price point. On average, Vanicream’s products range from $5-25 depending on where you shop. Regardless this is a comfortable price range that will fit various budgets.

We know that Vanicream offers basic formulas with minimal ingredients, affecting their price points. But, remember the saying, “you get what you pay for?”

While Vanicream offers effective products for sensitive skin, sometimes the formula can be too simple or lack that extra oomph. However, for others, this won’t be a problem. It entirely depends on your skin and preferences.


Most of Vanicream’s packaging also reflects its formulas. Simple, but it gets the job done. Their branding is also minimal, and all of their product lines use their iconic blue and white color scheme that represents the company.

Most Vanicream products will also have a pump to easily dispense their creams or cleansers. This ensures your skincare routine will be mess-free, and the application process will be a breeze.


If there is one thing to know about CeraVe, they are all about the ceramides. CeraVe is also a brand that has gone viral thanks to social media, and just like Vanicream, it’s loved by dermatologists. So what else do you need to know about CeraVe?

CeraVe formulates its products with three essential ceramides. According to CeraVe, “Ceramides are lipids that make up to 50% of the skin composition to form the natural skin barrier.” We need a healthy skin barrier to keep our skin hydrated and plump. 

CeraVe is great for sensitive skin, but they also target a wide range of skin concerns. You may find that CeraVe offers extensive products and lines that cater to acne, anti-aging, eczema, and more. Their formulas are also more complex than Vanicream. 

Product Range 

How does CeraVe’s product range differ from Vanicream? CeraVe also offers multiple product lines for the face, body, babies, and sunscreens. However, their products are also organized by skin type, concern, and key ingredient.

CeraVe’s product range goes much more in-depth and caters to a wide range of skin types besides sensitive skin. So no matter if you are dry, oily, acne-prone, you can find a CeraVe product that works for you.

CeraVe has a “shop by key ingredient” tab that allows you to search for products by formulation. So, for example, if you love niacinamide, click the niacinamide tab to shop their product range containing it.


As mentioned earlier, CeraVe formulates all its products with ceramides. Ceramides are beneficial for all skin types and concerns and are the most effective for healing your skin barrier. This is especially helpful for sensitive or compromised skin types.

However, CeraVe’s ingredients go much deeper than just ceramides. Unlike Vanicream, CeraVe has a more complex and lengthy ingredient list for their products because they offer more sophisticated ingredients in one formula. 

We looked at the Vanicream Moisturizing Cream; now it’s time to look at CeraVe’s Moisturizing Cream. We saw earlier that they both contain petroleum and cetearyl alcohol.

However, CeraVe also formulated their Moisturizing Cream with ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. These components are generally well-tolerated by the skin and offer the nourishment it needs.

Is CeraVe Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of controversy regarding whether CeraVe is truly cruelty-free. 

On CeraVe’s website, the FAQ section states, “No, CeraVe products are not tested on animals.” However, most consumers beg to differ for one main reason.

CeraVe is owned by the L’Oreal Group, which has gone under fire for its own unethical behaviors. L’Oreal also sells products in China, where the law requires all cosmetic products to be tested on animals.

So, many gray areas make it difficult to tell whether CeraVe is truly cruelty-free.


CeraVe is also a famous drugstore brand known for offering affordable skincare. On average, their products range from $9-25, depending on where you shop. However, compared to Vanicream, CeraVe may cost a few dollars extra for similar products.

One reason for this is that CeraVe formulates their products with more ingredients and some consumers claim they have a more substantial formulation. Vanicream will offer you the basics, and CeraVe will provide a little bit more.

Other factors contributing to price differences can be based on where you shop, loyalty programs, coupons, etc.


CeraVe also has simple but effective packaging. However, one feature that differs from Vanicream is their color coordination. CeraVe’s product line is represented by a specific color, even though their primary colors are blue and white.

For example, their first aid line has red packaging, their sunscreen line is yellow, the salicylic acid line is light blue, and their hydrating line is green. Of course, CeraVe offers various other lines besides the ones listed above. 

CeraVe & Vanicream Similarities

CeraVe and Vanicream do share similarities besides being drugstore brands. For example, they are both known for their products efficiently healing sensitive or compromised skin without emptying your wallet. 

So, what other similarities do they share?

The National Eczema Association

Both CeraVe and Vanicream have a unique stamp on their products that may seem familiar to you. The National Eczema Association offers this stamp, which shows skincare products are safe for eczema and sensitive skin.

According to the National Eczema Association, “NEA Seal of Acceptance criteria includes a list of ingredients that should be avoided because they contain known irritants.” 

So, if you have various skin conditions, this seal will help indicate which products don’t contain irritating components. 

Fragrance-Free Skincare 

You’ll notice that Vanicream and CeraVe have fragrance-free products. 

This is because fragrance has a bad rap, and it will be beneficial to avoid it if you have sensitive skin. Surprisingly enough, fragrance can be irritating to the skin and cause flare-ups.

Why is fragrance looked down upon in skincare? Fragrance, parfum, and essential oils are irritating, but they can contain many harmful components that make up that fragrance.

Brands don’t always disclose what ingredients make up their fragrance or parfum. So, it’s better to avoid it at all costs, which is precisely what CeraVe and Vanicream have done. As a result, their products don’t contain harmful fragrances. 

Which Brand Is Right For You?

Let’s say you’re ready to upgrade your skincare routine. Which brand should you purchase? CeraVe or Vanicream? It will depend on your skin concerns, what you are looking to get from your skincare, skin type, and other factors.

Thankfully, it won’t be as overwhelming as it sounds. Your skin will tell you everything it needs! 


Vanicream offers an extensive product range that includes hair, face, body, baby items, and more. 

It’s relatively affordable and can be found both in-store and online. Finally, Vanicream offers flexibility so you can try one product or build a whole routine.

Overall, this brand is ideal for sensitive skin that doesn’t want fancy formulas. Their products will get the job done with minimal ingredients.

Ideal For Sensitive Skin

Vanicream has been formulating skincare for sensitive skin since 1975. 

Their formulas may be basic, but they give vulnerable skin precisely what they need to achieve a healthy complexion. Vanicream is also often recommended by dermatologists.

Their Gentle Face Wash and Moisturizing Cream are easy to use and will make a great first purchase if you want to try Vanicream. 

Simple Formulas

Vanicream is ideal if you want a product with a few ingredients but still caters to your skin’s needs. As mentioned earlier, Vanicream’s formulas are not as sophisticated as CeraVe, but they offer a staple product that will fit anywhere in your regimen.

They don’t formulate their products with irritating components like dyes, parabens, formaldehyde, fragrance, and more.


CeraVe will ensure your skin barrier is never damaged again thanks to their iconic 3-essential ceramides that are infused into their products. A healthy skin barrier is crucial to block impurities and keep your skin hydrated and plump. 

CeraVe also has a wide product range with numerous skin concerns, and its formulas are a little more developed and refined.

Ideal For Complex Skin Concerns

CeraVe is ideal if you want to target more than sensitive skin. 

It’s guaranteed sensitive skin will be soothed with CeraVe, but what if you have other skin concerns? Thankfully, CeraVe offers a solution by curating specific product lines for all skin issues.

For example, the salicylic acid line will help acne-prone skin, the hydrating line will aid dry or dehydrated skin, and the first aid line will heal skin that needs extra relief. In this case, CeraVe is more complex and has more variety than Vanicream. 

Effective Ingredients 

Because CeraVe offers numerous product lines that cater to various skin concerns, they also use a wide variety of ingredients. CeraVe also curates its products with skin-loving ingredients that are more extensive than Vanicream.

CeraVe formulates with ceramides, niacinamide, lactic acid, benzoyl peroxide, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, zinc oxide, and more. Their website allows you to shop by ingredient, which is especially helpful for anyone building a skincare routine.

The Takeaway 

Overall, both Vanicream and CeraVe are iconic drugstore brands. They offer real solutions for your skin at an affordable price point. You know you’ll get skincare that won’t irritate your skin, and that is recommended by derms nationwide. 

They both offer similar products, so it can be confusing to see what sets these brands apart. Vanicream is ideal for sensitive skin that needs the basics, while CeraVe goes in-depth to target other skincare concerns, including sensitivity.

Both brands are worth trying or adding to your skincare regimen. You may find that you prefer one brand over the other, or that you love them both equally. 

Regardless, skincare can be a relaxing part of anyone’s daily routine especially when you find products that suit your needs. What brand are you most excited to try? Vanicream or CeraVe?

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