CeraVe Moisturizing Cream vs Lotion: Which Is Best For You?

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cerave moisturizing cream or lotion for face

Cerave Moisturizing Cream vs Lotion: Which Is Best For You?

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream and CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion are fan favorites among skincare enthusiasts, Reddit boards and dermatologists. Although they may seem very similar at first glance, these two cult-favorite moisturizers are pretty different. If you’re wondering what’s the difference between Cerave Moisturizing Lotion Vs Cream, this post will help you understand what the differences and similarities are and how to pick the right one for your skin.

About CeraVe

CeraVe is a drugstore skincare brand that is known for its well-formulated products with ingredients that are backed by science – meaning effective formulas at a low cost. The brand is most often recommended by dermatologists, especially for those with dry skin. 

CeraVe has since expanded their lines and now offer products for baby, acne, eczema and more. 

Cream Vs Lotion

Before looking at the differences between the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream and Daily Moisturizing Lotion, let’s take a look at what the differences are between a cream and a lotion.

In general, lotions have a higher water content, which means they are lighter in texture and formulated more for normal, combination or oily skin types. Lotions can have heavier ingredients like butters or oils, but still have more water content, making them lightweight and hydrating.

Creams tend to have more heavier ingredients like oils and butters and less water content, so they’re thicker and more nourishing. In general, creams are better suited for dry to extremely dry skin types, but this can vary depending on the specific formula!

Bottom line: the biggest difference between cream and lotion is the texture! Creams are heavier and lotions are lightweight.

What Is CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

The moisturizing cream, also known as CeraVe in the tub, is a cult-favorite and top rated moisturizer. It’s rich and feels silky but is a powerful moisturizer that can repair even the driest skin. It can also help to repair and strengthen the skin barrier to prevent dryness and dehydration. Packed with Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid and many other skin-loving ingredients, this is one of the best moisturizers on the market. 

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is a barrier-strengthening and hydrating moisturizing cream that can be used on the face or body. It’s fragrance free, non-comedogenic and probably one of the most dermatologist-recommended moisturizers on the market. 

Most of CeraVe’s moisturizers use their patented MVE Technology which is a special delivery system that releases moisturizing ingredients in the cream over a 24 hour period.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Ingredients

Here’s the full breakdown of ingredients in the moisturizing cream:


While many of these ingredients are stabilizers, formula enhancers or other ingredients used to make a nice feeling product, there are a ton of great ingredients for the skin. Let’s take a look: 

  • Glycerin – One of the best humectants, which means it helps our skin hold onto water, which keeps the skin hydrated and plump and the skin barrier strong. Glycerin is also known to have soothing and barrier strengthening properties and is one of the best ingredients for treating dry skin
  • Hyaluronic Acid – Hyaluronic acid is another humectant that can help skin hold on to its water content. In fact, hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000x its weight in water! Hyaluronic acid instantly plumps the skin and can fill in lines and wrinkles and minimize pores 
  • Ceramides – Ceramides are another key component in the skin’s structure. They help to repair and strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier and keep hydration locked in to prevent dehydration and dryness
  • Petroleum – Petroleum jelly, or Vaseline, is one of the most popular occlusives in the skincare industry – it’s effective, safe and doesn’t clog pores. Occlusives help to lock in moisture and keep it from escaping and leaving the skin dehydrated and dry
  • Cholesterol – Cholesterol is an extremely important component of our skin. It’s naturally found in the outer layers and is designed to help keep the skin barrier strong and healthy while keeping moisture locked in
  • Tocopherol – Also known as Vitamin E, Tocopherol is an antioxidant that can help protect the skin from free radical damage. It also has soothing and moisturizing properties to help soften the skin, reduce redness and calm irritation
  • Phytosphingosine – Is a type of lipid, or fat, that is naturally found in our skin. It’s a part of the skin barrier, so when used in skincare products, it can help keep your protective barrier strong and healthy. It’s been shown that Phytosphingosine can help increase moisture levels in the skin and also has anti-inflammatory properties

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Review

The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is my all time favorite moisturizer. Although it’s a thicker moisturizer, it feels so lightweight on the skin and sinks in within a few seconds. 

It truly has a unique texture – it’s very velvety and glides across the skin easily. It leaves a matte finish, which is unusual for moisturizers with these types of ingredients. 

I also really like that the cream is really versatile and can be used on face and body. I also love to use it as a hand cream. Not only does it work extremely well, but it’s also non-greasy like most hand creams. 

Since adding it into my routine, my skin barrier has significantly improved and so has my perioral dermatitis. My skin feels smoother, softer and looks healthier than ever before. 

What Is CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion?

The CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion is formulated for normal to dry skin types. It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it’s also a great moisturizer for oily skin types. 

Like the Moisturizing Cream, the Lotion also has hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help hydrated and moisturize the skin and strengthen the skin barrier. 

The Lotion also features the same MVE Technology that releases the actives overtime for skin that’s continually hydrated. 

The CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion is a great lightweight, daily lotion that can be used on the face, body or hands. 

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion Ingredients


The Moisturizing Lotion has pretty much the same ingredients, minus the petroleum and cholesterol, which make the formula lighter and less moisturizing. But it still has all the same key ingredients as the cream like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin. 

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion Review

The CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion is one of my favorite daytime moisturizers for summer. It’s lightweight and sinks in super fast and leaves skin feeling hydrated but not heavy whatsoever. 

The lotion is much lighter in texture than the cream, so if you have more oily skin, you will like the lotion better. 

The Lotion has many of the same active ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid and glycerin which are all lightweight and provides hydration without being greasy. Just because it doesn’t have some of the other ingredients, doesn’t mean it’s a bad product. 

I find that the lotion is not moisturizing enough for me at night or during the winter, which is why the cream is my favorite. 

However, it’s still a great product, but is more suited for those with more normal or oilier skin types. I do like to use the lotion on my body after I get out of the shower. It doesn’t feel greasy at all, which is a huge plus!

Related post: Why Doe CeraVe Lotion Burn My Skin?

Cerave Moisturizing Cream Vs Lotion: Similarities


One of the biggest similarities between the Cerave Moisturizing Cream Vs Lotion is the ingredients. While most of the ingredients are exactly the same, there’s only a few that are found in the cream but not in the lotion. 


Luckily, both products are non-comedogenic and are formulated for sensitive and acne-prone skin types.

Cerave Moisturizing Cream vs Lotion: Differences


Typically, the Moisturizing Cream is slightly more expensive than the Moisturizing Lotion, although usually just a couple dollars.


should I use cerave moisturizing cream or lotion
TOP: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream BOTTOM: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

Another big difference between Cerave Moisturizing Cream vs Lotion is the texture. The Cream is thicker and richer and feels much more velvety. The Lotion is lighter and smoother, but still feels quite silky. In the pictures, the Cream is on the top and Lotion is on the bottom.

cerave moisturizing cream vs lotion

They look pretty similar when you first glance, but after spreading them around, you can tell that the Cream is much thicker and more nourishing. The lotion really is very lightweight and will work for oily and acne-prone skin just fine.

what's the difference between cerave moisturizing lotion and cerave moisturizing cream

The main difference between cerave lotion and cream is the texture! Many of the ingredients are the same (like ceramides and hyaluronic acid) but the lotion is made with lighter ingredients.


The Cerave Moisturizing Lotion comes in a bottle with a pump only. It does come in a variety of sizes, depending on your needs.

The Cerave Moisturizing Cream, however, comes in a tube, jar or jar with a pump lid. The Cream also comes in several different sizes, although I prefer the jar with the pump lip to keep things more sanitary and fresh!

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

  • Thicker Texture
  • Nourishing
  • Skin-repairing
  • Dry to Very Dry Skin
  • Not Oil-Free
  • Slightly More Expensive

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

  • Thinner texture
  • Lightweight hydration
  • Skin-repairing
  • Normal To Dry Skin
  • Oil-Free
  • Slightly Cheaper

Cerave Moisturizing Cream vs Lotion For Acne-Prone Skin

Both the Cerave Lotion or Moisturizing Cream are great products for acne-prone skin. Both moisturizers are non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores and can be used by those with acne-prone skin. 

If your skin is on the drier side, go with the Cream.

If your skin is more oily, go with the Lotion. 

Is CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Or Lotion Better?

While they are both great products, one will be better than the other, depending on your skin type. So if you’re trying to decide between the Cerave cream vs lotion, here’s an easy guide to follow.

If you have drier skin or a damaged moisture barrier, the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream will be the best option. 

If your skin is normal to dry, or even oily, the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion will be the right pick for you. 

Related post: Does CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Cause Acne?

Should I Use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Or Lotion?

When it comes to choosing between Cerave Moisturizing Cream Vs Lotion, it can be a little confusing because they seem so similar. 

If you have dry skin, a damaged skin barrier or are looking for a heavier night cream, go with the Moisturizing Cream. 

If you have normal, dry, combination or oily skin or are looking for a lightweight daytime moisturizer, go with the Lotion. 

Is CeraVe Moisturizing Cream And Lotion The Same?

No, the lotion and cream are not the same, although they seem to be similar. The Moisturizing Cream has more repairing and moisturizing ingredients like cholesterol, tocopherol and petroleum. It also has a slightly thicker texture than the Lotion. 

Can I Use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream On Face?

Yes! The moisturizing cream can be used on the face as it’s non-comedogenic, which means it won’t cause clogged pores. It can also be used all over the body for a nourishing body moisturizer. 

Cerave Moisturizing Cream Or Lotion: Bottom Line

Still wondering which one is best? This general guide will help you decide which one would be best based on your skin type.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

  • Acne-prone skin
  • Oily skin
  • Combination Skin
  • Normal Skin
  • Lightweight Or Daytime Moisturizer

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion

  • Dry Skin
  • Very Dry Skin
  • Normal Skin
  • Sensitive Skin
  • Heavy Or Nourishing Moisturizer

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Overview

Why We Love It

A moisturizing and repairing cream designed to strengthen the skin barrier and keep hydration locked in for skin. Formulated for dry to very dry skin.

Ingredients We Love

  • Ceramides
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Cholesterol
  • Phytosphingosine

Certified: Fragrance-free, Dermatologist-tested

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion Overview

Why We Love It

A lightweight, hydrating moisturizer designed to keep the skin barrier healthy and provide nutrients and moisture to combination to normal skin types.

Ingredients We Love

  • Ceramides
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Glycerin
  • Phytosphingosine

Certified: Fragrance-free, Dermatologist-tested

What Is The Difference Between CeraVe Moisturizing Cream And Lotion?: Wrap Up

Both the Cerave Moisturizing Cream and CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion are incredible products that are not only well-formulated, but affordable and easily accessible. When deciding between CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Vs Lotion, make sure you consider your skin type and what you are looking for in the product. If you have dry skin or are looking for a heavier night cream, the Cream is the best way to go. If you have more oily or acne prone skin or are looking for a lighter moisturizer for day time use, the Lotion is a great option.

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