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So, you've decided you want to try one of CeraVe's cult-favorite, best-selling cleansers, 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 Hydrating Facial Cleanser vs CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser side-by-side to help you decide which is right for you. Enjoy!

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CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser vs CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

With both cleansers appearing practically identical on the shelf with their signature blue/green CeraVe branding, we're going to have to dive straight into their formulas to find any differences of note.

Comparison

First and foremost, it's worth highlighting the fact that the Hydrating Facial Cleanser and the Renewing SA Cleanser are formulated for completely different purposes.

Though both cleansers boast the same nourishing base of essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid, the Renewing SA Cleanser also contains:

  • Salicylic Acid: exfoliates dead skin, keeps pores clean and unclogged, reduces sebum production, and its anti-inflammatory properties make it a prime ingredient for those with acne.
  • Niacinamide: a water-soluble vitamin that works with the natural substances in your skin to help visibly minimise enlarged pores, tighten lax pores, improve uneven skin tone, soften fine lines and wrinkles, diminish dullness, and strengthen a weakened surface.
  • Polyhydroxy Acid: works by exfoliating dead skin cells on the surface, resulting in a more even skin tone and texture, and also help skin-care ingredients penetrate deeper into the layers of your skin, thus boosting their efficacy.

Whereas the Hydrating Facial Cleanser contains:

  • A higher concentration of Hyaluronic Acid: concentrations up to 2%* of HA help the skin improve and maintain moisture levels as well as helping the tissue regeneration process involved in healing wounds.
  • Vitamin E: a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant, helping protect cells from damage as well as stopping skin from losing moisture.

*Higher than 2% concentrations of HA introduce unintended drying effects. It is unclear what the concentration the Hydrating Facial Cleanser contains, only that it is higher than that of the Renewing SA Cleanser (though it is incredibly unlikely to be higher than 2%).

This lends some clarity regarding the names given to the products. The Hydrating Facial Cleanser is clearly formulated for, well, hydration (and otherwise just generally respecting and supporting the skin's natural moisture barrier). The Renewing SA Cleanser on the other hand renews the skin through gentle exfoliation, yielding smoother, less bumpy/rough, more even-toned skin with every wash.

Looking for a hydrating cleanser for normal-to-dry skin?
Try the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Looking for a gentle cleanser for rough/bumpy skin?
Try the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

Other points of note include: price, in which they are practically the same per fluid ounce; texture, with the Renewing SA Cleanser being a gel and the Hydrating Facial Cleanser being creamy; and both are indeed free from fragrance and nasties.

Hydrating Facial Cleanser by CeraVe, hydrating cleanser for normal-to-dry skin.

Hydrating Facial Cleanser by CeraVe

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Hydrating cleanser for normal-to-dry skin.

What makes it special? A cleanser can remove dirt, makeup and other debris, but a hydrating cleanser, like CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, can do all that without disrupting the skin’s natural protective barrier or stripping the skin of its natural moisture. Created with dermatologists, CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is a gentle face wash with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid that work to restore the skin’s natural barrier to help the skin lock in moisture.

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

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Renewing SA Cleanser by CeraVe, salicylic acid foaming gel cleanser for smooth skin.

Renewing SA Cleanser by CeraVe

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Salicylic acid foaming gel cleanser for smooth skin.

What makes it special? CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser provides gentle, non-irritating exfoliation without harsh microbeads that can scratch your skin. Suitable for use on your face and body as well as acne-prone skin. It not only exfoliates the skin, but with three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, it also helps soften and smooth the skin without disrupting its protective barrier. This formula is also non-comedogenic, fragrance-free and enriched with antioxidant vitamin D.

Which skin types? For normal skin types; suitable for oily/acne-prone skin.

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