CeraVe Hydrating vs. CeraVe Foaming Cleanser Review

If you have ever browsed Reddit’s most popular skincare subreddit, r/skincareaddiction, you will have come across recommendations for CeraVe’s cleansers. The most popular variants are its Hydrating Facial Cleanser and Foaming Facial Cleanser. In this review, I’ll compare and contrast which cleanser I like better - though the sizes of the bottles below might give away the ending :)

Comparison of CeraVe Cleansers

What’s in the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser?

Purified Water, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum

What’s in the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser?

Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate and PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Niacinamide, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Sodium Chloride, Phytosphingosine, Citric Acid, Edetate Disodium, Dihydrate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum

What do I like about the ingredients?


The hydrating cleanser is a viscous, clear gel. While the foaming cleanser starts off as a gel, when it is agitated with water, the cleanser foams up. Both are easily dispensed from the pump model, and require 2-3 pumps to cover my face.

Both cleansers are fragrance-free.


I wear mineral sunscreen and tinted moisturizer every day, and I found that using the hydrating cleanser alone did not thoroughly remove makeup - bits of foundation would end up on my towel! I only trust the hydrating cleanser as a second step cleanser after a cleansing oil in the evening. The benefit to its gentleness is that it is a great morning cleanser (though I find that plain water is generally sufficient).

The foaming cleanser is thorough enough to be used as a one-step cleanser without feeling drying. I have been using it every night, and my occasional breakouts have also stopped.


You can get both the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser for $10-$13 on Amazon. They are also available at Target, Walmart, and other drugstores.


For dry or sensitive skin: Get the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. If you wear makeup, invest in a first-step cleanser as well.

For oily or combination skin: Get the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser.

· under $20 · cleansers · holy grails

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