Avène vs CeraVe | Which Is Best for Sensitive Skin?

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: January 21, 2024

As a skincare editor, I've tested numerous products from French pharmacy brand Avene and drugstore favorite CeraVe. Both brands formulate for sensitive skin, but have some key differences in ingredients, […]

As a skincare editor, I've tested numerous products from French pharmacy brand Avene and drugstore favorite CeraVe. Both brands formulate for sensitive skin, but have some key differences in ingredients, texture, and pricing.

One similarity is that neither Avene nor CeraVe use common irritants like fragrances and parabens in their products to minimize risk of adverse skin reactions. However, Avene highlights their signature Thermal Spring Water while CeraVe focuses on ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

For cleansing, Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion relies on their soothing spring water to remove impurities without stripping moisture from dry skin. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin to cleanse while moisturizing.

For moisturizing body, Avene XeraCalm Lipid-Replenishing Cream has a richer feel with plant oils like soybean and Minimal Avene Thermal Spring Water. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin feels lighter, absorbing quickly with three essential ceramides.

To hydrate the face, Avene Skin Recovery Cream has a luxurious balm-like texture with shea butter. CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is lighter yet still intensely hydrating overnight thanks to niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.

In terms of texture, Avene moisturizers feel more indulgently creamy and rich. CeraVe has lighter gel-cream textures that absorb more quickly into skin. Both brands have gentle gel cleansers.

Based on reviews, fans love Avene for soothing irritated complexions and providing intense moisture for very dry skin, albeit at a premium price. CeraVe earns praise for repairing the skin barrier affordably using ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Speaking of price, Avene products cost nearly twice as much as CeraVe for the same product sizes. While Avene does offer lush textures with thermal spring water, the formulas aren't dramatically different from the much more affordable CeraVe options.

In summary, those willing to splurge on rich moisturizers may prefer Avene, but CeraVe offers similar moisturization and protection for sensitive skin at a much more accessible price point. Both are excellent, but CeraVe is the better value.

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Article written by Tom Qiao
Tom is the founder and editor of TheDermDetective.com where he applies his decades of personal experience with skincare problems like acne and acne scarring to provide readers with practical advice and product recommendations.

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