Skincare Routine for Acne Prone Skin with Cerave Acne

Creating a perfect skincare routine needs you to mix and match ingredients from different brands to find the ideal formula for your skin’s needs. Although this approach can be very efficient, it can also be very time-consuming and costly. What is the good news? Look at your drugstore for CeraVe Acne range and find what you need to address any skin problem, according to Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine.

The brand has recently gained popularity thanks to TikTok tutorials, but dermatologists have long praised it. It has cleansers, treatments, and moisturizers for every skin concern, and none of them will set you back more than $25. We asked Dr. Garshick to create CeraVe-exclusive routines for and skin type to save you time mixing and matching on your own. Scroll down to find out what you are looking for.

cerave acne


  1. CeraVe Foaming Cream Cleanser for Acne

If you have acne-prone skin, you can use acne-fighting ingredients in every step of your routine. Dr. Garshick suggests starting with CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser, which contains zit-suppressing benzoyl peroxide and ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and Niacinamide to strengthen the skin barrier and maintain hydration, so it will not dry out or irritate the skin.

“You can use it once or twice daily depending on your skin type, but if you’re just starting, I suggest using it once daily and gradually increasing the frequency to twice daily as required,” she says. Dr. Garshick recommends replacing the cleanser with CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser, which “uses salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and help unclog pores without causing discomfort or dryness,” she says.

  1. CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum (CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum)

The gold standard for treating acne is retinol, and this $20 alternative is a simple and inexpensive way to incorporate it into your routine. It increases cell turnover, which, according to Dr. Garshick, would “not only aid with pores, but also with blemishes and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that occurs as a result of acne, enhancing both skin tone and texture.”

  1. CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 CeraVe AM Facial Moi

Dr. Garshick says, “I still remind my patients of the importance of using a moisturizer, even though they have acne-prone skin.” This non-comedogenic lotion is ideal for daily use because it efficiently moisturizes the skin without clogging pores or leaving it feeling greasy. It also contains SPF 30, which is an essential component of any acne-fighting regimen. “Those who suffer from acne should always remember to use sunscreen regularly since certain acne treatments can make the skin more susceptible to the sun, and it is well recognized that blemishes and dark spots left behind by acne can darken with sun exposure,” says Dr. Garshick.


  1. CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser (number one)

If you have dry skin, you will want to find a cleanser that effectively cleans your face without drying it out, and this hydrating option does just that. Dr. Garshick explains, “This cleanser uses an amino acid-based surfactant that gently transforms the cream into a delicate foam to help remove oil, dirt, and buildup.” “It also contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which aid in the restoration of the skin barrier and moisture retention.” The product can be used in the morning and at night, and it is the only thing you will need to remove sunscreen, make-up, and any other dirt and grime from your face.

  • CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum

Hyaluronic acid is a hydrating savior that most dermatologists would tell you is a must-have for dry skin. “It’s known to attract 1000 times its weight in water, helping to restore moisture and keep the skin feeling and looking hydrated and safe,” Dr. Garshick says. “It may be used in conjunction with a moisturizer or added only before the moisturizer for those with dry skin.” This product will serve as a sponge, allowing the hydrating ingredients you add on top to penetrate your skin more effectively.

  • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

“CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is my go-to for dry skin,” says Dr. Garshick. “It contains ceramides to help reinforce and protect the skin barrier, as well as hyaluronic acid to help hydrate the skin.” The heavy cream provides optimum hydration and is formulated with time-release technology to moisturizes your skin for up to 24 hours after application.


  1. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

This soft foaming cleanser foams up into a glorious, foamy lather that lifts dirt and oil from the skin. It is non-stripping, so it will not break down your skin barrier or leave you feeling dry or irritated, and it is also non-comedogenic, so it will not clog your pores. It would help if you used it twice a day as part of your morning and evening cleansing rituals because it is so gentle.

  • CeraVe Foaming Cleansing Bar b. CeraVe Foaming Cleansing Bar c.

If you like cleansing bars, this one is a good one to try for oily skin. “It’s soap-free and non-comedogenic, and it efficiently removes dirt and oil while keeping the skin moist and smooth,” Dr. Garshick says. “It’s particularly beneficial for those with oily skin because it contains kaolin clay, which can help absorb excess oil without drying out the skin.”

  • CeraVe PM Moisturizing Lotion is the third product in the CeraVe PM Moisturizing Lotion line.

“In general, even those with oily skin can use moisturizers regularly to help keep the skin balanced,” says Dr. Garshick, “because stripping the skin of too much of its natural oils will potentially dry the skin out and activate the development of more oil.” She recommends a light lotion like this one (rather than a thicker cream) because it will not leave any residue on your hands. “This lotion moisturizes and protects the skin barrier,” she says, adding that it absorbs quickly and is simple to apply.


  1. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is the first product on the list.

When it comes to sensitive skin, “The name of the game is ‘gentle’. ‘This cleanser is soft on the skin and efficiently cleanses, but it also contains hyaluronic acid to attract moisture and ceramides to help protect and maintain the skin barrier,’ says the author “Dr. Garshick agrees. The result is a new, dewy complexion that is not dry or stripped.

  • CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion is number two on the list.

“Those with sensitive skin should remember to moisturize frequently and preserve the skin barrier to avoid discomfort caused by external factors,” Dr. Garshick says. “This oil-free, lightweight moisturizer uses hyaluronic acid to draw moisture to the skin, and ceramides to help preserve moisture and restore the natural skin barrier.” You will be able to slather it on at all hours of the day and night for just $10 a bottle, so you will not be breaking the bank.


  1. CeraVe Vitamin C Skin Renewing Serum

Vitamin C has long been the go-to ingredient for discoloration, and this is one of the most affordable drugstore choices available. “It contains 10% pure vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, which acts as an antioxidant to help combat free radical damage while also brightening and evening skin tone,” Dr. Garshick explains. Use it in the morning after washing your face (any cleanser will suffice), then proceed with a moisturizer and sunscreen.

  • CeraVe Retinol Skin Renewing Serum

Retinol, in addition to its acne-fighting abilities, can even help to balance out your skin tone. Dr. Garshick says, “This serum is perfect for discoloration since it also contains licorice root extract to help brighten the skin.” “This serum also contains an encapsulated retinol, as well as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, both of which are gentle on the skin.” For best results, apply before going to bed.

  • CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion with SPF 50 CeraVe acne Hydrating Sunscreen Face Lotion with SPF 50 CeraVe Hydrating

Sun damage is the kiss of death for skin discoloration, which is why you should protect your skin all year long. This hydrating mineral sunscreen has an SPF of 50. It is formulated with hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated, ceramides to restore the skin barrier, and Niacinamide to relax and soothing effect.


cerave acne

The titans of performance cleansers and moisturizers for dry or sensitive skin are CeraVe and Cetaphil. They appear to offer nearly identical goods, but are they equal? We wanted to investigate it a bit further and put the two brands to the test to see which had the best cleansers and moisturizers for dry and sensitive skin. CeraVe won out over Cetaphil in the end. Continue reading to learn why.

Why Did We Pick CeraVe and Cetaphil?

Choosing the cleansers and moisturizers to use, on the other hand, is more difficult due to many brands available, each with its own set of ingredients and price range. We know it’s challenging to find irritant-free, over the counter, neutral moisturizers, cleansers, and lotions that don’t break the bank, so we compared CeraVe and Cetaphil, two of the most common (and affordable) brands that make irritant-free, over the counter, neutral moisturizers, cleansers, and lotions.

Both labels are often interchanged. In supermarkets and grocery stores worldwide, both companies offer fragrance-free cleansers, moisturizers, and lotions. They are well-known and reasonably priced, with most items costing between $10 and $20. Customers praise their ability to moisturizes or cleanse without scratching the skin, and they usually receive four-to-five-star ratings. These cleansers and moisturizers have a reputation for removing excess oil and moisturizing skin without causing irritation or allergic reactions.

  • HYALURONIC ACID MOISTURIZER: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – Body and Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin (19 Ounce). 24-hour hydration with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and MVE technology. It has a creamy, velvety texture that feels smooth on the skin and absorbs quickly for softened skin without becoming greasy or sticky.
  • EXTREMELY IMPORTANT CERAMIDS: Ceramides are lipids that make-up half of the lipids in the skin barrier and are present naturally in the skin. Ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) are present in all CeraVe products to help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier.
  • DRY SKIN SOLUTION: A lack of ceramides in the skin is often associated with dry skin that is itchy and flaky. After four weeks, CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is found to raise the number of ceramides in the skin.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – Hydrating Face & Body Wash (20 FL OZ) 

The product is Ideal for Sensitive and Dry Skin. It is non-Irritating, and it will not clog pores. Moreover, it is not fragrance-free and soap-free, but also dermatologist recommended.

  • AMERICA’S FIRST BEST SELLING FACIAL CLEANSER: Gentle face wash for all skin types; perfect for sensitive, dry skin.
  • CETAPHIL GENTLE SKIN CLEANSER: For everyday use to gently clean, hydrate, and soothe sensitive skin.
  • DEVELOPED FOR EVEN THE MOST SENSITIVE SKIN: This fragrance-free, pH-balanced formula is hypoallergenic.

We used a series of blind experiments to compare CeraVe and Cetaphil. To determine which brand has the best cleanser and moisturizer for people with dry skin, we looked at the scent, feel/texture, application, and durability. We also compared the ingredients of the items we tested.

Moisturizers for the Face

CeraVe has a pleasant odorless/light lotion scent, which we prefer to Cetaphil, which smells like chemical sunscreen and has a lower SPF level than the CeraVe facial moisturizing lotion. CeraVe has a dense consistency, while Cetaphil has a much thinner consistency that feels more moisturizing right away.

However, the pump at the end of the bottle had difficulty dispensing because of the thicker texture. With the Cetaphil bottle, there were no such problems. Cetaphil also appeared to provide slightly more moisturizer per pump than CeraVe.

Both moisturizers worked well, leaving our skin feeling hydrated both instantly and for hours after application. CeraVe, with its thicker consistency, held our skin moisturizes d for longer than Cetaphil, putting it ahead of the latter.

Winner: CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM (CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM)

  • SPF 30 Wide SPECTRUM: UVA/UVB protection from a micro-fine zinc oxide sunscreen.
  • OIL FREE DAY CREAM: This CeraVe moisturizer with SPF is a hydrating facial lotion that spreads quickly, absorbs rapidly, and leaves a non-greasy finish. As the final move in your morning skincare routine, apply this regular face sunscreen. Apply CeraVe AM facial lotion after other products have been wholly absorbed if layering with an eye cream, moisturizer, or facial serum.
  • NIACINAMIDE SUNSCREENING: Hyaluronic Acid helps preserve moisture in the skin, while Niacinamide helps to relax it. MVE Technology keeps you hydrated all day long.

Cetaphil Facial Moisturizer (Daily Facial Moisturizer)

  • Improves skin’s ability to maintain essential moisture
  • Broad spectrum SPF 15 provides moderate defense against harmful UVA/UVB rays that can cause premature lines and wrinkles

The trick to finding an excellent moisturizer that will provide immediate relief and long-term hydration is to look at the ingredients list. Since they use lengthy, scientific names that most of us would have trouble pronouncing, these lists may seem to be a waste of time. However, if you know what to look for in the ingredients, you will tell which moisturizers do the heavy lifting in terms of keeping your skin hydrated and which ones do not.

A good moisturizer, for example, typically contains three main ingredients: hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and cholesterol, which help to reinforce your skin’s natural moisture barrier and enable it to retain water and elasticity. Hyaluronic acid is produced by your body to control cell renewal and lubricate connective tissue. Ceramides are lipids that hold moisture in and irritants out, making them one of your skin’s most robust natural defenses against dryness, eczema, psoriasis, and the harmful epidermal effects of aging. Cholesterol, which is also present in hyaluronic acid, is an essential “barrier repair moisturizer” when applied topically.

We compared the ingredient lists of Cetaphil and CeraVe moisturizers and discovered that one was superior with this information. CeraVe’s solution includes hyaluronic acid, three forms of ceramides, and cholesterol, while Cetaphil does not. Although Cetaphil can provide immediate relief, only CeraVe’s ingredients work to lock in moisture, maintain elasticity, and protect your skin from the adverse effects of aging. Short-term relief is the focus of Cetaphil moisturization, while CeraVe uses ingredients that facilitate long-term hydration.

Winner: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion Cream.

Lotions, like moisturizers, should be made to hydrate the skin. On the other hand, Lotions are designed for full-body coverage and have a lighter consistency that makes them easier to apply all over the body. In contrast, moisturizers are designed to soak the face in a thicker layer of hydration.

CeraVe and Cetaphil also have a light scent, but Cetaphil’s is a little stronger. CeraVe’s lotion has a fluffy, gel-like texture, while Cetaphil’s lotion has a smooth, thicker consistency. CeraVe is a lot easier to apply all over the body, and a little goes a long way. Cetaphil, on the other hand, takes a little more product in your hands to moisturizes effectively.

Both lotions leave the skin moist and smooth in the end, but CeraVe is a little easier to apply than Cetaphil, giving it a small advantage.

Winner: CeraVe Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
  • Clinically proven to provide rapid, long-lasting hydration that soothes dry, itchy skin
  • Unique formula draws water to the skin and helps prevent moisture loss — perfect for eczema-prone and dehydrated skin

Cetaphil’s lotion, like the moisturizers, lacks the essential lipids that ensure moisture preservation, while CeraVe contains hyaluronic acid, three forms of ceramides, and cholesterol. Cetearyl alcohol, a fatty acid extracted from coconuts that emulsify and thickens items like moisturizers and conditioners, emollients the skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth, is often used in CeraVe’s moisturizers and lotions.

Winner: CeraVe Cleansers

Cleansers are an essential part of every skincare routine because they remove excess oil, make-up, sweat, dirt, and dead skin cells. Dr. Diane Madfes, a Garnier consulting dermatologist, says, “Cleansers are items we use to eliminate the natural accumulation of dirt and oils, cosmetics, sunscreen, pollution residue, and dead skin cells.” “They help to unclog pores and exfoliate the top layer of skin cells. Their primary function is to cleanse our skin without removing the top layer.”

It is easier said than done to find the best cleanser for your face. Because everyone’s skin is different, it is crucial to choose a cleaner that you can regularly use without disrupting your skin’s natural balance. Both Cetaphil and CeraVe make facial cleansers that claim to prevent breakouts without drying out the skin, but we put them to the test to see which one wins.

Cetaphil has a light, neutral scent, while CeraVe has a more pungent odor that reminds me of chemicals. CeraVe’s cleanser is a liquid with a slippery feel, while Cetaphil’s is a foaming paste that is smooth to the touch when applied.

Since Cetaphil’s foam dispenser only dispenses a small amount of product with each pump, two pumps may be needed to lather your entire face. CeraVe is easy to apply, and you need half a pump to cover your face thoroughly. Cetaphil has a lighter texture than CeraVe, and since the foam is not as thick as the slick liquid, it is easier to wash off your hands.

Following application, both cleansers leave the skin feeling soft and clean. Neither cleaner left my skin feeling dry, which is unusual for a cleanser formula. CeraVe left the skin feeling moisturizes d and clean after an hour, while Cetaphil left it feeling clean and soft but without the hydrating effect.

  • FOAMING CLEANSER: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
  • WINNER: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser When you lather, the cleanser turns from a liquid gel to foam.
  • ESSENTIAL CERAMIDES: Cleanses without leaving skin feeling tight, dry, or stripped. Ceramides are lipids that make-up half of the lipids in the skin barrier and are present naturally in the skin.
  • DERMATOLOGIST RECOMMENDED: CeraVe products are formulated with three basic ceramides (1, 3, 6-II) to help preserve and retain the skin’s natural barrier. CeraVe Skincare is created in collaboration with dermatologists and included products for various skin types, including dry skin, oily skin, acne-prone skin, and more.

Many people like foaming cleansers because they bubble up when they wash, making it possible to use them as a make-up remover. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent used in some formulations, is used in many cosmetics. Still, this surfactant is so harsh that it is often used in detergents, floor cleaners, vehicle degreasers, and car wash soaps, so it is not something you want in your facial cleansers.

CeraVe and Cetaphil also make foaming facial cleansers without the harsh SLS. CeraVe, on the other hand, continues to use the moisturizing properties of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and cholesterol. If you are using a Cetaphil facial cleanser, consider switching to CeraVe for a gentler alternative that will keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

Winner: CeraVe

Dermatologists recommend Cetaphil and CeraVe. They are also two of the most dermatologist-recommended drugstore products on the market. CeraVe, on the other hand, has a hyaluronic formula that dermatologists love.

Dr. Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS, recommends, “Keep your skin hydrated and look for items that contain hyaluronic acid, which can carry up to 1000 times its weight in water” (Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery). “Products that support your skin’s surface barrier are also perfect because they keep your skin hydrated while keeping bacteria at bay.”

Ceramides and cholesterol, which are found in CeraVe but not Cetaphil, are significant, according to Shari Marchbein, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at NYU School of Medicine. “Dry skin is caused by a compromised skin barrier and a lack of the requisite healthy fats in the top layer of the skin — cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides — that are needed for normal skin function.” CeraVe’s moisturizers, lotions, and cleansers are backed by research to be effective skincare products. The CeraVe formula works with your body’s natural lipids and fatty acids to improve your skin’s chemistry and moisture barrier.


You cannot go wrong with any of these brands because they’ve both proved to be reliable. However, if we had to pick, we would go with CeraVe Acne because of the superior ingredients, scent, and application feel. As a result, make sure to pick up some CeraVe cleansers and moisturizers to keep your skin looking youthful and new during the day!

Also Read: CLINIQUE Acne Solutions Bonus Time