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Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream vs Lotion (The Definitive Guide)

So, you've decided you want to try one of Cetaphil's cult-favorite, best-selling moisturizers, 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 Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream vs Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion side-by-side to help you decide which is right for you. Enjoy!

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Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream vs Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

2024 update: Cetaphil has had a packaging update since we originally published this article! The formulas appear unchanged, though. Just be wary that packaging may vary from retailer to retailer.

Unsurprisingly, these sister moisturizers have a *lot* in common. They both boast the same nourishing base of niacinamide, panthenol and glycerin, they are both intended for those with dry skin, and they both claim to moisturize & help restore the protective skin barrier. These similarities make even more sense when you realize that their ingredients lists share 10 key ingredients.

That said, it's the subtle differences that ultimately set them apart (and might make you reach for one over the other). The Moisturizing Cream notably contains Petrolatum (aka Petroleum Jelly), which is fantastic for relieving and healing dry, damaged skin, but it's also what makes the cream itself thick and rich in texture. It also features nutrient-rich Sweet Almond and Sunflower oil, which help to soothe and hydrate skin.

The Moisturizing Lotion instead contains Avocado oil, and notably only additionally contains emulsifiers that serve to improve the feel of the lotion (resulting in a relatively minimal formula). This makes for a very lightweight, non-greasy, fast-absorbing texture

Knowing this, the contrast immediately becomes obvious. The Moisturizing Lotion is intended for normal to dry skin (which makes sense given its lightweight feel), whereas the Moisturizing Cream is something clearly geared more towards "skin in need" such as very dry, damaged skin. It doesn't take long to confirm this assumption, either, given that Cetaphil also explicitly states this on their product pages and labels.

Looking for a daily moisturizer?
Try the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

Looking for a moisturizer to relieve dry/damaged skin?
Try the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Other points of note include: price, in which they are identical per fluid ounce, and both are indeed free from fragrance and nasties (such as parabens).

Moisturizing Cream by Cetaphil, intensively moisturises & rehydrates dry skin.

Moisturizing Cream by Cetaphil

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Intensively moisturises & rehydrates dry skin.

What makes it special? A nourishing blend of moisturisers including Glycerin, Sunflower seed oil, Sweet almond oil and Vitamin E help to replenish & support the skin's natural protective barrier. Leaves skin feeling soft & smooth. Proven, long-lasting moisturisation (up to 24hours with each applications).

Which skin types? All skin types.

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Moisturizing Lotion by Cetaphil, instantly soothes and protects skin from dryness for 48 hours.

Moisturizing Lotion by Cetaphil

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Instantly soothes and protects skin from dryness for 48 hours.

What makes it special? This lightweight and fast absorbing lotion is specially formulated with a new and improved formula containing a dermatologist-backed blend of Niacinamide, Panthenol, and Hydrating Glycerin to help improve the resilience of sensitive skin. Enriched with avocado oil, this daily use lotion is clinically proven to instantly soothe sensitive skin and hydrate skin for 48 hours. Defends against 5 signs of skin sensitivity, including a weakened skin barrier, irritation, roughness, tightness and dryness.

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

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This article was originally published on October 24th 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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