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QV vs Cetaphil 2023 (The Definitive Guide)

Achieving your best skin doesn't require breaking the bank. There are loads of cost-effective solutions out there that deliver impressive results.

Today, we're comparing two of the most popular budget-friendly skincare brands: the fan-favorite Cetaphil and the equally effective yet lesser-known QV.

Let's dive into a side-by-side comparison of their cleansers, lotions, and creams to determine which brand is more deserving of your hard-earned money.

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QV vs Cetaphil - Which Brand Reigns Supreme?

Product-by-Product Comparison

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser vs QV Gentle Wash

Cetaphil's Gentle Skin Cleanser is designed for dry to normal and/or sensitive skin types. Thanks to its Micellar Technology, niacinamide, panthenol, and hydrating glycerin, it promises a gentle yet nourishing cleanse. It has earned a 4.3-star rating among users.

On the other hand, QV’s Gentle Wash is a glycerin-based, soap-free alternative. Designed for those with very dry skin or conditions like eczema and psoriasis, this pH-balanced wash gently cleanses without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.

Your choice between the two largely depends on your skin type. If you have normal to dry or sensitive skin and enjoy a product that provides a gentle, nourishing cleanse, then Cetaphil's cleanser might be the better option. On the other hand, if you have extremely dry skin or conditions like eczema or psoriasis, QV’s Gentle Wash could be the better choice for you.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion vs QV Skin Lotion

Cetaphil's Moisturizing Lotion, like its cleanser, targets dry to normal and sensitive skin types. Sharing similar powerhouse hydrators, it aims to restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier within one week. This lotion has garnered a 4.5-star rating.

On the other hand, QV Skin Lotion is a lightweight, non-greasy formula that is suitable for a wide range of skin types and ages, from infants to the elderly. It's formulated with dimethicone, glycerin, and petrolatum, known hydrating ingredients, and is particularly beneficial for those with incredibly dry skin.

If you prefer a lotion with a lightweight texture and quick absorption, Cetaphil's option could be the better choice. However, if you're dealing with severely dry skin and need an intensive hydrating solution that's gentle enough for the most sensitive skin types, the QV Skin Lotion might be your best bet.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream vs QV Cream

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is like a more potent version of its lotion counterpart. It is packed with the same hydrating ingredients such as glycerin, panthenol, and niacinamide but in a thicker, creamier formula. This cream is designed to provide intense hydration and repair the skin barrier, making it an excellent choice for those who have very dry skin, or for use during harsh winter months when skin tends to dry out more.

QV Cream, on the other hand, is a highly concentrated moisturizing cream that contains squalene, a natural component of skin's sebum known for its exceptional moisturizing properties. It is designed to repair dry and sensitive skin and could be particularly beneficial for those with more serious skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, thanks to its gentle and nourishing formulation.

If you're looking for a heavy-duty moisturizer that is still gentle on sensitive skin, the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream could be the better option. However, if you have specific skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, or prefer a moisturizer with naturally derived ingredients like squalene, the QV Cream might be the ideal choice for you.

Price Comparison

Both brands are budget-friendly. On Amazon, Cetaphil’s cleanser, lotion, and cream retail for under $17 for a 20oz bottle/tub. In contrast, QV’s cleanser costs ~$22 for 17.5oz, the lotion is ~$23 for 17oz, and the cream is available for ~$17 for 3.5oz.

Brand Ethics

Cetaphil, while not cruelty-free, claims to avoid using animal-derived ingredients. They also prioritize environmental sustainability, with initiatives to reduce water consumption, CO2 emissions, and a move towards renewable energy sources. They are long-time partners of Camp Wonder, a summer camp for children with chronic and life-threatening skin diseases.

QV, as per their own FAQ, is 100% cruelty-free and appears to be vegan. However, detailed information about their sustainability or philanthropic efforts is currently unavailable.


Both QV and Cetaphil offer effective and affordable skincare products. Your final choice may depend on your personal ethics. If you oppose animal testing, QV is your go-to. If you value eco-friendly and humanitarian efforts, Cetaphil should be your pick.

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