Olay vs CeraVe | Which Face Cream Should You Use?

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: January 22, 2024

As a skincare editor who regularly tests face moisturizers, Olay and CeraVe are two popular drugstore brands that take different approaches to hydration. While both effectively moisturize, there are key […]

As a skincare editor who regularly tests face moisturizers, Olay and CeraVe are two popular drugstore brands that take different approaches to hydration. While both effectively moisturize, there are key differences in formulas, textures and skin types they best suit.

One similarity is that both Olay and CeraVe make fragrance-free moisturizers ideal for sensitive skin and conditions like eczema or rosacea. However, Olay tends to use more anti-aging ingredients while CeraVe focuses on skin-repairing ceramides.

For example, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream hydrates while softening the look of fine lines and wrinkles thanks to amino peptides and niacinamide. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to strengthen the skin barrier.

Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Night Firming Cream hydrates intensely overnight with vitamins and antioxidants. CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream has a lighter gel-cream texture but also replenishes ceramides at night.

For dry skin, Olay Ultimate Eye Cream treats crow's feet with hydrating glycerin and shea butter. CeraVe Eye Repair Cream soothes dry under eyes with ceramides but has a thinner texture.

Ingredients-wise, Olay leans more into anti-aging peptides, vitamins and antioxidants. CeraVe highlights three essential ceramides to repair and reinforce the skin barrier. Both avoid fragrances and use non-comedogenic moisturizers suitable for acne-prone skin.

Based on reviews, fans love Olay for affordably softening wrinkles and dryness without clogging pores or irritating sensitive skin. CeraVe is preferred by those wanting to restore the skin's protective barrier with dermatologist-recommended ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Pricewise, Olay facial moisturizers retail for a few dollars less on average than CeraVe for the same bottle sizes and target similar skin concerns. However, the CeraVe formulas contain more specialized barrier-repairing ingredients.

Overall, those looking for budget-friendly anti-aging moisturization will love Olay. People focused on repairing a compromised skin barrier are better suited to CeraVe. Both provide quality hydration that won't clog pores or irritate sensitive skin.

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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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