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CeraVe Healing Ointment vs Moisturizing Cream

So, you've decided you want to try one of CeraVe's cult-favorite, best-selling dry skin remedies, but you can't quite figure out what the differences are? We've all been there, don't worry!

Come with us as we compare the CeraVe Healing Ointment vs CeraVe Moisturizing Cream side-by-side to help you decide which is right for you. Enjoy!

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CeraVe Healing Ointment vs CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Although both the CeraVe Healing Ointment and the Moisturizing Cream are used to combat dry skin and share some of the same skincare properties, there are also a slew of differences between these two cult products.

Firstly, both are formulated with three essential ceramides used to retain the skin’s moisture and form a protective barrier. The skin’s delicate natural barrier can become damaged by harsh products, excessive cleansing and environmental factors, so it’s important to treat your skin with the proper moisturizing formula.

Thicker than a lotion but lighter than an ointment, the Cerave Moisturizing Cream is ideal for use anywhere on the face and body. It’s developed with hyaluronic acid as well as ceramides, so the formula is effective at keeping the skin hydrated while also plumping the natural barrier. Furthermore, this cream boasts CeraVe’s patented Multivesicular Emulsion Technology; MVE for short. It’s designed to give the cream a slow-release effect that lasts for hours after the first application, to keep your skin feeling healthy and soft all day.

The ingredients list is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free and gentle on the skin, which makes it particularly popular for those with sensitive skin. The product is marketed mainly to dry and very dry skin types, but is also well-loved for combination or oily skin in the colder winter months as it’s reliably non-greasy. Use CeraVe’s cream as often as needed for instant and lasting hydration.

CeraVe’s moisturizing cream is great for everyday use, but for those who suffer with extremely dry skin, the healing ointment is perfect for topical treatment on flaky, chapped areas.

Ointments are generally thicker than creams and lotions and formulated as an occlusive - this means they’re meant to form a layer on top of the skin, rather than be absorbed straightaway. Its primary ingredient petrolatum (yes, the same one found in trusty Vaseline products) is combined with ceramides and hyaluronic acid are a recipe for dry-skin success.

While CeraVe says the ointment is safe for all skin types, as it’s non-comedogenic and non-greasy, we suggest against frequent usage on acne-prone skin. Many also find it too heavy for the face, preferring to use it on the body and affected areas only.

The ointment has also been accredited by the National Eczema Association, making it recommended even for fragile, cracked, and severely dehydrated skin. The protective barrier it forms can speed up the healing process and shield the skin from further damage.

When it comes to price, the Moisturizing Cream generally comes out cheaper than the Healing Ointment.

While we love the ointment for its powerful protective properties, the cream is far more versatile for everyday use, as well as being better value for money. If you’re still stuck between the two, CeraVe recommends trying both; the cream for daily use and the ointment on problem areas.

Looking for a rich moisturizer?
Try the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Looking for a protectant to relieve dry/damaged skin?
Try the CeraVe Healing Ointment

Healing Ointment by CeraVe, a non-greasy skin protectant.

Healing Ointment by CeraVe

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A non-greasy skin protectant.

What makes it special? CeraVe Healing Ointment is formulated to temporarily protect, soothe and hydrate skin as it recovers from cracking, chafing and extreme dryness. It is lightweight yet intensely hydrating and features three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid in a moisturizing base. It is also non-comedogenic, suitable for all skin types, and free of fragrance, dyes and lanolin to minimize the risk of irritation from these ingredients.

Which skin types? For cracked, chafed & extremely dry skin.

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Moisturizing Cream by CeraVe, barrier-restoring moisturizing cream.

Moisturizing Cream by CeraVe

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Barrier-restoring moisturizing cream.

What makes it special? CeraVe Moisturizing Cream includes 3 essential ceramides that work together to lock in skin's moisture and help restore your skin’s protective barrier. MVE technology encapsulates ceramides to ensure efficient delivery within the skin’s barrier and slow release over time, supporting your protective skin barrier long after you’ve finish applying.

Which skin types? For normal to dry, sensitive skin.

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This article was originally published on November 22nd 2022, but it has been reviewed and updated with the latest available information on February 19th 2024 by Sara Mckay, MA.

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