CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Vs Foaming Cleanser – Which Is Your Skin’s True Love?

CeraVe is a well-known brand highly regarded for its hydrating and moisturizing products. Two of their popular cleansers are the Hydrating Cleanser and Foaming Cleanser. These cleansers effectively cleanse your skin while keeping its natural protective barrier intact. What is the difference between the two?

The Hydrating Cleanser, with its creamy and non-foaming formula, is perfect for those with dry or sensitive skin. It gently cleanses while ensuring your skin stays hydrated. On the other hand, the Foaming Cleanser creates a luxurious foam, making it an excellent fit for those with oily or acne-prone skin. It goes deep to remove excess oil and restore balance.

So, which one should you choose? In this CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser post, I’ll go through the ingredients, texture, price, and skin type considerations to help you find the best match for your skin.

CeraVe Cleanser Overview

CeraVe, a popular skincare brand, offers a range of cleansers designed to cater to different skin types and concerns. In this section, I’ll take a closer look at the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser, discussing their key features and differences.

Hydrating Cleanser

The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is a gentle, non-foaming formula that effectively cleanses the skin while leaving it soft and hydrated. It is formulated with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which help restore the skin’s natural protective barrier and lock in moisture. These ingredients make it suitable for dry and sensitive skin types.

Additionally, the Hydrating Cleanser contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the skin from environmental damage. This cleanser is available at an affordable price of $13.11 for a generous size.

Key features of the Hydrating Cleanser include:

  • Non-foaming formula
  • Suitable for dry and sensitive skin types
  • Contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E
  • Affordable price

Foaming Cleanser

On the other hand, the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is designed for those with oily or combination skin types. It uses surfactants to create a foaming action, which effectively removes makeup, dirt, and excess oil from the skin. However, foaming cleansers like this one may not be suitable for body use, as they can sometimes dry out the skin.

The Foaming Cleanser is also formulated with ceramides and hyaluronic acid to support the skin’s natural protective barrier, but it does not contain vitamin E. This cleanser is slightly more expensive than the Hydrating Cleanser, with a price of $14.99.

Key features of the Foaming Cleanser include:

  • Foaming formula
  • Suitable for oily and combination skin types
  • Contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid
  • Slightly higher price than the Hydrating Cleanser

In summary, both the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and Foaming Cleanser are affordable and effective skincare options. The Hydrating Cleanser is ideal for dry and sensitive skin, while the Foaming Cleanser caters to oily and combination skin types. Let’s move to the comparison of both products.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser

When it comes to CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser, their formulas are similar and share some fantastic features. Both cleansers are non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, which means they won’t clog your pores or cause any irritation from artificial scents. However, it’s important to note that there are some differences in the ingredient lists.

Shared Active Ingredients

In this section, I will discuss the key ingredients found in both CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and CeraVe Foaming Cleanser.


Both cleansers contain three essential ceramides: Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, and Ceramide EOP. Ceramides are lipids that help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. They work by keeping skin hydrated, locking in moisture, and preventing water loss.

Hyaluronic Acid

Both CeraVe Hydrating and Foaming Cleansers contain hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate). Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that attracts and retains moisture, helping to keep the skin hydrated, plump, and radiant.

CeraVe’s MVE Technology

CeraVe’s MVE Technology, or MultiVesicular Emulsion Technology, is an innovative delivery system for their skincare products. This technology is vital in providing long-lasting hydration and moisture to the skin.

MVE Technology works by encapsulating active ingredients within multiple layers of lipid-based vesicles. These vesicles have a unique structure that allows them to gradually release the elements over an extended period. Using MVE Technology, both CeraVe products can effectively replenish and strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier.


The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser has slightly more glycerin than the Foaming Cleanser. Glycerin is a popular ingredient in skincare products due to its ability to attract moisture to the skin, making it more hydrated and moisturized.


Both cleansers include cholesterol as a component in their formulations. Cholesterol helps support a healthy skin barrier, playing a crucial role in retaining moisture and maintaining a balanced skin condition.

To summarize, the key ingredients in both CeraVe Hydrating and Foaming Cleansers include ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and cholesterol.

Different Active Ingredients

Let’s delve into the differences in the formulas of CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser:

  • Foaming Action: CeraVe Foaming Cleanser incorporates surfactants that create a luxurious foaming action, providing a satisfying cleansing experience.
  • Vitamin E: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser stands out by including vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps shield the skin from environmental damage, promoting a healthier complexion.
  • Niacinamide: The Foaming Cleanser contains niacinamide, a powerhouse ingredient that can reduce redness, enhance skin tone and texture, and even out your overall complexion.
  • National Eczema Association: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser has earned the recognition and acceptance of the National Eczema Association, making it a favorable choice for individuals with eczema-prone skin. However, CeraVe Foaming Cleanser does not hold this specific endorsement.

These differences in formulation highlight the unique qualities of each cleanser. If you prefer a foaming action and desire the benefits of niacinamide, CeraVe Foaming Cleanser might be your go-to option.

On the other hand, if you prioritize vitamin E and seek a cleanser endorsed by the National Eczema Association, CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser would be a suitable match for your skincare routine.

Texture & Consistency

The texture and consistency of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser are pretty different from each other.

Just by looking at the photo above, you can see that the Hydrating Cleanser has a thick and creamy texture. It’s like a luxurious lotion. It appears white and feels incredibly smooth on the skin. On the other hand, the Foaming Cleanser has an entirely different vibe. It’s clear, thin, and has a gel-like consistency. It’s more lightweight and runny compared to its counterpart.

When you add water to these cleansers, the Foaming Cleanser transforms into a light foam that gently bubbles up on the skin, creating a refreshing sensation. It’s like washing your face with a cloud. On the contrary, the Hydrating Cleanser doesn’t produce any lather. It remains creamy and silky, providing a soothing and hydrating cleanse without the foam.

Size & Price

Regarding sizing options, the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser offer flexibility to suit your needs. You can find these cleansers in various sizes, ranging from convenient 3 oz bottles perfect for travel to larger 16 oz bottles that ensure long-lasting use.

In terms of pricing, both cleansers fall within the drugstore price range, making them affordable options. However, it’s worth noting that the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser tends to be slightly more expensive compared to the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.

Prices may differ depending on the size you choose and the retailer you purchase from. Currently, the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is available for $12.08 at Walmart, while the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is priced at $18.55 for a 12-fl oz bottle.


CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser have something in common—they are both fragrance-free. This means neither cleanser contains any artificial or added fragrances that could cause skin irritation or sensitivity.

The absence of fragrance in these cleansers is a great advantage, especially for those with sensitive skin or who prefer unscented skincare products. I like fragrance-free products as they’re free of the risk of triggering unwanted reactions.


CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser come in a pump bottle. The pump offers convenience and precision in dispensing the cleanser. With a gentle press, you can obtain the right amount of foam for your cleansing needs, making it efficient and user-friendly. The only difference in packaging is the color of the label. Both products come in white bottles but with different shades of labels.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Review

I’ve been using the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser for a few weeks now, and it has quickly become a favorite of mine. It has proven to be an excellent solution for keeping my skin clean and hydrated, all while minimizing the need for excessive soap usage. The pleasant fragrance adds to the overall experience, and its gentle nature ensures my skin feels well cared for.

One drawback that I found is its surfactant strength. It doesn’t quite meet my expectations when thoroughly removing makeup and deeply cleansing my skin.

To address this, I’ve developed a routine where I first use a cleansing balm, oil-based cleanser, or micellar water to remove my makeup and then follow up with the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser as a second cleanse.

What I Like:

  • Soothes and cleanses the skin, removing dirt and makeup.
  • Maintains and hydrates healthy skin.
  • Smooths, wrinkles, and fine lines.
  • It contains ceramides for repairing damaged skin.

What I Don’t:

  • Not a very strong surfactant.
  • Does not remove my mascara and eyeliner.

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser Review

I adore the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser! It truly works wonders and leaves my skin feeling wonderfully clean and refreshed. Including surfactants in the formula creates a delightful foaming action that I find incredibly satisfying. After using the Foaming Cleanser, I notice a significant difference in the cleanliness of my skin. The gentle foaming effortlessly rinses away, leaving no residue or dryness behind.

Whenever I desire a deep clean without any stripping sensation, this is the cleanser I reach for. I recommend it to anyone searching for a gentle yet highly effective cleanser.

The only downside I’ve noticed is that it tends to be pricier than the Hydrating Cleanser.

What I Like:

  • Removes makeup, dirt, and oil while refreshing the skin.
  • Ceramides retain moisture and promote skin hydration.
  • Lactic acid exfoliates gently.
  • It prevents dryness and irritation and restores the moisture barrier.
  • Maintains the natural skin moisture level.

What I Don’t:

  • Not accepted by National Eczema Association.
  • More expensive than Hydrating Cleanser.

How To Use CeraVe Cleansers?

Using CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser is a simple process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to incorporate it into your skincare routine:

  1. Start by wetting your face with lukewarm water. This helps to prepare the skin for cleansing.
  2. Take a small amount of CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser or a clean washcloth on your fingertips. A pea-sized amount is typically sufficient.
  3. Gently rub the cleanser onto your damp skin using circular motions. Make sure to cover your entire face, including the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Take your time cleaning thoroughly but be gentle to avoid unnecessary tugging or pulling.
  4. Continue massaging the cleanser for about 20-30 seconds to allow it to effectively remove dirt, impurities, and makeup from your skin.
  5. Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water, ensuring all cleanser traces are removed.
  6. Pat your skin dry with a fresh cloth. Avoid rubbing your face, as this can irritate you.
  7. Follow up with your preferred skincare routine, such as applying a moisturizer or any additional serums or treatments.

You can use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser twice daily in the morning and evening to keep your skin clean, hydrated, and balanced. It is gentle enough for everyday use and for various skin types, including dry and sensitive skin.

When your skin feels irritated or dry, turning to CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is a great choice—using this fantastic cleanser once a day works wonders in removing dirt, oil, and any lingering traces of makeup. Its foaming provides a soothing cleanse, helping alleviate discomfort and restore your skin’s natural balance.

Selecting The Right CeraVe Cleanser For Your Skin Type

I’ll explain which cleanser suits different skin types in this section of CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser.

Dry or Sensitive Skin

For those with dry or sensitive skin, it’s essential to choose a cleanser that provides ample hydration and avoids stripping the skin of its natural moisture. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, both of which help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier. Hyaluronic acid attracts water to the skin, while ceramides help lock in moisture and protect the skin from environmental factors.

  • Ensure the product is fragrance-free and noncomedogenic, as both can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Look for cleansers with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides.

Oily or Acne-Prone Skin

Oily or acne-prone skin can benefit from a cleanser that effectively removes excess oil and sebum without over-drying. The CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is a great choice, as it uses glycerin, a natural humectant, to attract water to the skin while the foaming action helps to lift away excess oils. In addition, ceramides in the formula assist in preserving the skin’s barrier function.

  • Opt for a gentle foaming cleanser that cleans without stripping the skin.
  • Ingredients like niacinamide can help soothe redness and inflammation related to acne.

Combination Skin

For those with combination skin who experience both dry and oily areas, it’s important to look for a cleanser that can balance skin’s needs. The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser might work best for those whose skin leans more towards dry, while the Foaming Cleanser may be more suitable for those with a more oily T-zone. You could also consider alternating between the two products, using one in the morning and the other at night.

  • Seek gentle, balancing cleansers that can address both oiliness and dryness.
  • Avoid cleansers with alcohol or harsh surfactants, which can exacerbate imbalances.

Normal Skin

If you have normal skin, you’re relatively safe in experimenting with different cleansers. However, it’s still wise to opt for gentle, non-irritating options. Both CeraVe Hydrating and Foaming Cleansers are suitable for normal skin types, so you could choose based on personal preferences for texture or experience.

  • Prioritize gentle cleansers formulated without irritants or fragrances.
  • Consider a product’s consistency, easy application, and rinse-off ability to ensure a pleasant experience.


When comparing CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser vs Foaming Cleanser, the choice depends on your unique needs and skin type. Both cleansers offer a gentle and hydrating cleansing experience but have distinct characteristics.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is perfect for dry or sensitive skin as it maintains its natural barrier and provides long-lasting hydration. On the other hand, CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser dives deep into pores, effectively removing dirt and oil without stripping away essential natural oils. It even includes niacinamide, which soothes inflammation and reduces redness often associated with breakouts, making it an excellent option for acne-prone skin.

Both cleansers are excellent choices if you desire a thorough yet gentle cleanse without compromising essential oils. However, CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser would be the preferred option if you prioritize extra hydration due to its impressive moisturizing properties.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on which cleanser you find most suitable. Share your experience in the comment section below!


How do the cleansers work?

Foam cleansers utilize bubbles to remove dirt and makeup from the skin. Gel cleansers contain alcohol or glycol to break down oils and grease. Liquid cleansers function similarly to foam cleansers but contain surfactants to dissolve oils and minimize the risk of skin irritation.

Are CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and Hydrating Facial Cleanser the same?

No. While both are known for hydrating the skin, there are differences in their pH levels and ingredients. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser contains a slightly higher concentration of glycerin and ceramides in its formula compared to the Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser. As a result, it offers enhanced hydration and moisturization benefits.

Which CeraVe cleanser is more affordable?

The prices for CeraVe Foaming and Hydrating Cleansers can vary depending on the retailer, making it difficult to provide a definitive answer. However, CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser generally tends to be priced lower than CeraVe Foaming Cleanser. This could be because CeraVe Foaming Cleanser contains more active ingredients than CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.

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