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July 25, 2022 3 min read

If you've been buying Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotions for a while, you may have noticed that the same product has different labels. Not to worry! We'll explain to you why Cerave products appear with different labels and packaging.

Just some key points before we dive in:

  • EU and US products are chemically similar.

  • EU version of dry to very dry skin classification is similar to that in US version which states normal to dry skin.

  • Active ingredients can be set in any order under EU law, ingredients are actually mostly the same.


Globally, Cerave is a well-known skincare company. This explains why you see several variations of this brand. Wherever they distribute the product, Cerave must follow by the country's cosmetic regulations. Does this imply that their formulations are different? Does this mean they have different formulas? There is a slight difference but the products’ overall effectiveness is the same.

Let's take a look at Cerave Moisturizing Lotion. With three essential ceramides and MVE technology to deliver long-lasting hydration, the CeraVe Moisturising Lotion's lightweight, non-greasy formula helps to protect the skin's natural barrier. In order to maintain the skin's moisture, it also contains hyaluronic acid. Skincare enthusiasts from around the world swear by this product. But there can be a difference at first sight, as you might have noticed on social media or even when you made your purchase.

We will compare the US and EU versions from the label to the packaging.


Just simply looking at the logo, you can see that the US version has the circle R symbol (®) while the EU version doesn’t. The ® symbol means that Cerave is federally registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, there’s no need to put the symbol on products destined for the EU market.

Additionally, the US version's front label states that the lotion is for normal to dry skin, but the EU version specifies that it is for dry to very dry skin. This is part of the packaging regulations. You'd be surprised to learn that there are many limitations on cosmetics in Europe, which is why you will see different versions of products not just for Cerave but other brands as well.

Now, let's check both of the ingredients lists.

USA

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Potassium Phosphate, Ceramide Np, Ceramide Ap, Ceramide Eop, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Ceteareth-20, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Methylparaben, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cholesterol, Disodium Edta, Dipotassium Phosphate, Propylparaben, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate


EU

Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Ceteareth-20, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Ethylhexyglycerin, Potassium Phosphate, Disodium Edta, Dipotassium Phosphate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Ceramide EOP


If you will compare the ingredient lists for the US and EU versions, you might be confused as they are not in the same order. Don’t be alarmed. According to CeraVe’s FAQ, the active ingredients are present in the same amount, they’re simply listed in a different order. In Europe, ingredients below 1% concentration can be listed in any order, so you cannot be certain about the actual percentage of ceramides in the formula.

This statement came directly from Cerave. “As we introduce CeraVe to new countries some of their regulations on packaging and labeling will vary. However, the level of ceramides is the same in all formulas but listed in a different order. Rest assured, CeraVe products in the UK will have the same skin benefit as the ones in the US.”

If they changed the amounts of the formula's active ingredients, that would be quite unusual. They have to change only ingredients that are not allowed in Europe so you may have noticed there are no parabens in the EU version. There is still a long decade of debate on the matter of parabens. Some people are allergic to them, while others are not. Since cosmetic products only utilize a very minimal concentration of these compounds in their formulas, parabens are officially regarded as safe to use under EU and FDA standards in their current form.

We hope that this answers your concern regarding Cerave Moisturizing Lotions as well as other Cerave products. Labeling and packaging laws can be complicated, but with Cerave's solid research and formulations, we can say that their products are reliable and effective. Hence, you may use Cerave products with confidence as they are a great addition to your skincare routine.

 


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