FEMMENORDIC .COM

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

This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser vs CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser

With both cleansers appearing practically identical on the shelf with their signature off-white color, we're going to have to dive straight into their formulas to find any differences of note.

Similarities

Firstly, as is evident without even having to delve insofar as the names of the products, both the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser and the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser contain salicylic acid (SA) as their primary active ingredient.

Perfect for oily skin, salicylic acid is best known for its ability to deep clean excess oil out of pores and reduce oil production moving forward. Because salicylic acid keeps pores clean and unclogged, it prevents future whiteheads and blackheads from developing. Salicylic acid also exfoliates dead skin, and its anti-inflammatory properties make it a prime ingredient for those with psoriasis.

Brief inspection of the ingredients lists reveals that both cleansers also contain niacinamide and polyhydroxy acids.

Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinamide, niacinamide is 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.

Similar to alpha hydroxy acids, polyhydroxy acids work 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.

As with all CeraVe products, both cleansers contain a complex of skin-nourishing ceramides, and they are alcohol-, silicone-, fragrance-, sulfate-, paraben-, and allergen-free.

Differences

You may now be wondering what the difference between the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser and the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser is.

The CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser is simply just the American version of the SA Smoothing Cleanser, whereas the SA Smoothing Cleanser is the European version.

We've seen a number of online reviews/comparisons stating that "they are completely different", but this is simply not true. Of the 29 ingredients in the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser relative to the 26 ingredients in the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser, there are only three notable differences:

  1. Differing Ceramides: the Renewing SA Cleanser contains Ceramide AP instead of Ceramide Ng, whereas the SA Smoothing Cleanser contains Ceramide Ng instead of Ceramide AP. The difference is negligible.
  2. Inclusion of Zea Mays Oil: the Renewing SA Cleanser contains Zea Mays Oil - an emollient - whereas the SA Smoothing Cleanser doesn't. The difference is negligible.
  3. Differing types of Hyaluronic Acid: the Renewing SA Cleanser contains Hydrolized Soy + Hyaluronic Acid, whereas the SA Smoothing Cleanser contains Hydrolized Hyaluronic Acid. The difference is negligible.

All in all, it is fairly safe to conclude the differences between the two are negligible/non-existent other than availability.

From the USA and looking for a gentle, smoothing cleanser?
Try the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

From the UK/EU and looking for a gentle, smoothing cleanser?
Try the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser

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. (USA)

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.

Find the best price on Amazon

SA Smoothing Cleanser by CeraVe, salicylic acid foaming gel cleanser for smooth skin. (UK/EU)

SA Smoothing Cleanser by CeraVe

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Salicylic acid foaming gel cleanser for smooth skin. (UK/EU)

What makes it special? Developed with dermatologists, the gel formula of the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser gently exfoliates the skin with Salicylic Acid, to smooth dry rough & bumpy skin. Free of physical exfoliants, fragrance free & non-comedogenic, as well as containing 3 essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II), it respects and protects the skin's natural moisture barrier.

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

Find the best price on Amazon

Stay up to date with our posts

We are on a mission to help you discover the secrets to achieving the ultimate, healthy, glowing radiance that French women are envied the world over for.

With over 10+ years of experience in skincare, you can rest assured that our curation is accurate, fact-checked and most importantly: we will only ever recommend products that truly work.

Click here to subscribe

Related articles

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser vs Renewing SA Cleanser (The Definitive Guide)

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser vs Renewing SA Cleanser (The Definitive Guide)

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser vs Foaming Facial Cleanser (The Definitive Guide)

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream vs CeraVe PM (The Definitive Guide)

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream vs Lotion (The Definitive Guide)

CeraVe Retinol Resurfacing vs Renewing (The Definitive Guide)

Read more

The Inkey List Brighten-i Eye Cream vs Caffeine (The Definitive Guide)

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser vs Renewing SA Cleanser (The Definitive Guide)