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Whether you’re a seasoned skincare aficionado or just starting out, PCA Skin and Skinceuticals are two brands that have probably crossed your radar at least once. You might even have a few of their products on your shelf right now.

Today, we will be comparing PCA Skin vs SkinCeuticals and their best-selling products side-by-side to help you figure out which brand better suits you and your skin. Enjoy!

Skip to "Cleansers" section

Skip to "Moisturizers" section

> For normal/dry skin

> For oily/combination skin

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PCA Skin vs SkinCeuticals: Cleanser

The first - and some would say most important - step to your routine is your cleanser! A good cleanser will wash away make up, bacteria, oil and environmental irritants that build up on your skin throughout the day and night. An even better cleanser will contain some active ingredients to further purify and nourish your skin.

Best overall cleanser

Speaking of even better cleansers, we'll be comparing the best-selling PCA Skin Gentle Hydrating Face Wash against SkinCeuticals LHA Cleanser Gel. Keep scrolling to find out which one is best for you!

With both cleansers being targeted at those with aging/blemish-prone skin, they possess a good number of similarities to discuss.

The biggest similarity is their inclusion of chemical exfoliants; SkinCeuticals opting for a potent blend of alpha-, beta-, and lipo-hydroxy acids, and PCA skin opting for the relatively mild AHA, lactic acid.

This also exposes their biggest difference, however, with the PCA Skin Gentle Hydrating Face Wash evidently being far more gentle than its SkinCeuticals counterpart. Further to this point, PCA Skin has also included a trio of calming and soothing ingredients in their formula:

  • Aloe vera leaf juice: a purifying ingredients known for its softening and soothing benefits.
  • Allantoin: an antioxidant that soothes the skin.
  • Willow bark extract: calms and soothes the skin.

On the flip side, it does mean that the SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel is far more efficacious, especially when it comes to treating breakouts and visible signs of aging.

From this, one could deduce our recommendation rather easily, but to be clear: If your skin is sensitive, definitely opt for the PCA Skin Gentle Hydrating Face Wash. However, if your skin can tolerate more concentrated chemical exfoliation, you will see far more benefits with the SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel.

Gentle Hydrating Face Wash by PCA Skin, a gentle cleanser that removes makeup, oil, dirt and environmental impurities.

Gentle Hydrating Face Wash by PCA Skin

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A gentle cleanser that removes makeup, oil, dirt and environmental impurities.

What makes it special? PCA SKIN Facial Wash is the perfect cleansing solution for those with normal skin. As its gentle cleansing formula removes dirt and debris, the product subtly adjusts the acidity of the skin to change the pH and balance the complexion. Soothing aloe vera contained in the gel also helps eliminate redness and irritation. The blend of ingredients also includes lactic and citric acids to assist with natural exfoliation.

Which skin types? For all skin types! Primarily for acne-prone/aging skin.

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LHA Cleansing Gel by SkinCeuticals, exfoliating gel cleanser decongests pores, smoothes skin texture, and brightens skin.

LHA Cleansing Gel by SkinCeuticals

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Exfoliating gel cleanser decongests pores, smoothes skin texture, and brightens skin.

What makes it special? With a trifecta of lipo-hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, as well as moisturizing glycerin this cleansing gel is serious about tackling oil, bacteria, dead skin and clogged pores without stripping your skin.

Which skin types? For acne-prone skin.

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PCA Skin vs SkinCeuticals: Moisturizer

A must-have for all skin types and key to even the most minimalist of skincare routines is a good moisturizer. Moisturizers are so critical because they help maintain a healthy skin barrier. One of your skin barrier’s biggest jobs is managing water loss—a moisturizer helps your skin barrier maintain an optimal level of hydration and protect your skin from the environmental stressors, premature aging, bacteria and more! To put it simply, don’t skimp on your moisturizer!

Best moisturizer for normal/dry skin

If you have normal-to-dry skin and want to give your moisture barrier the best possible nourishment and support, look no further than the PCA Skin Silkcoat Balm and SkinCeuticals Emollience Rich, Restorative Moisturizer.

Identical in purpose (restoring and maintaining skin moisture levels, even in cold/dry climates) the differences entirely boil down to ingredients... again.

While the PCA Skin Silkcoat Balm is formulated with silk protein to provide deep, non-greasy moisture, the SkinCeuticals Emollience Moisturizer contains algae extracts to achieve precisely the same effect.

The PCA Skin formula also includes jojoba seed oil (moisturizing), vitamin E (antioxidant), and squalane (moisturizing). Meanwhile, the SkinCeuticals formula includes macadamia oil (soothing & calming), rose hip oil (moisturizing), and grape seed oil (softens skin and makes it more elastic).

Ultimately, both moisturizers are enriched with valuable lipids, natural extracts, and essential oils to deliver excellent hydration and protection to your skin. Both moisturizers clock in at around the same price per fluid ounce. And both moisturizers receive practically equal numbers of rave reviews.

The only difference worthy of influencing your decision is that the PCA Skin Silkcoat Balm claims to have anti-aging benefits, and is also "recommended for mature skin" by PCA Skin themselves. The SkinCeuticals Emollience Moisturizer, on the other hand, is specifically targeted towards those with dry or sensitive skin types.

Silkcoat Balm by PCA Skin, a rich hydrating balm.

Silkcoat Balm by PCA Skin

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A rich hydrating balm.

What makes it special? Formulated with antioxidants, botanicals and hydrolyzed silk, this moisturizer is the ultimate treatment for dry and mature skin, and skin in harsh or cold climates.

Which skin types? For dry/mature skin types.

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Emollience Moisturizer by SkinCeuticals, restores and maintains moisture while nourishing the skin.

Emollience Moisturizer by SkinCeuticals

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Restores and maintains moisture while nourishing the skin.

What makes it special? Nourishing water-based moisturiser that restores and maintains hydration in the skin. Suitable for dry and sensitive skin. Emollience is a restorative face moisturiser enriched with valuable lipids, natural extracts and essential oils.

Which skin types? Normal to dry skin types (suitable for sensitive skin).

Find the best price on Amazon

Best moisturizer for oily/combination skin

Searching for a lightweight moisturizer for normal to oily, breakout-prone (but maybe slightly sensitive) skin? Look no further! We put the PCA Skin Clearskin Moisturizer and SkinCeuticals Pore-Minimizing Moisturizer under some serious scrutiny to find out which is the best for you and your skin.

For the first time in this brand comparison, we finally have a slight difference between the two products' purposes. Though both are formulated for normal to oily skin, the SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture Moisturizer primarily acts to minimize the appearance of pores, whereas the PCA Skin Clearskin Moisturizer improves the appearance of uneven skin tone.

This fact in and of itself is enough for me to decide which I personally prefer. Since I tend to suffer more from uneven skin tone during breakouts rather than enlarged pores, the PCA Skin Clearskin better suits me. Of course, if you prefer the sound of pore-minimization, then the SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture Moisturizer would be better suited for you. That said, it's obviously still worth comparing the key ingredients.

The PCA Skin Clearskin Moisturizer contains:

  • Niacinamide: a potent, calming antioxidant that reduces water loss, reduces excess oil production and improves uneven skin tone due to breakouts.
  • Botanical extracts: provides purifying and calming benefits.
  • Bisabolol: derived from chamomile, this ingredient calms the skin while attracting and retaining moisture.
  • Vitamin A: promotes a clear complexion and an even skin tone.

The SkinCeuticals Pore-minimizing Moisturizer contains:

  • Vitamin E: stops skin from losing moisture, protects cells from damage, and softens skin.
  • Algae extracts: helps to reduce or fully eliminate problems with acne, cellulite, and even wrinkles.
  • Botanical extracts: provides purifying and calming benefits.

Both moisturizers offer excellent benefits for those with normal to oily skin, and with both being around the same price per fluid ounce, it really just comes down to which benefits you would prefer: Even skin tone (PCA Skin Clearskin)? Or minimized pores (SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture)?

Clearskin by PCA Skin, lightweight moisturizer for normal to oily skin.

Clearskin by PCA Skin

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Lightweight moisturizer for normal to oily skin.

What makes it special? A nourishing, light moisturizer with a high level of active ingredients to hydrate, calm and soothe the skin, improving the appearance of uneven skin tone due to breakouts.

Which skin types? For normal to oily skin.

Find the best price on Amazon

Daily Moisture by SkinCeuticals, A lightweight, pore minimizing moisturizer.

Daily Moisture by SkinCeuticals

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A lightweight, pore minimizing moisturizer.

What makes it special? This face moisturiser by SkinCeuticals contains an exclusive combination of vitamin E, three nutrient-rich algae extracts, and a blend of seven botanical extracts which replenishes and hydrates the skin while minimising the appearance of pores. Ideal for normal, combination or oily skin.

Which skin types? For normal or oily skin.

Find the best price on Amazon

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