People say knowledge is power and I would agree. But the more you know, the more you have to think about, and that is what has happened here.
Price: I replaced the hydrating serum with the moisturising lotion for reasons of cost. Cerave is much cheaper than the hydrating serum. You can get a 236ml bottle of Cerave Lotion for £9.00 = £3.81 for 100ml or a 473ml bottle for £13.50 = £2.85 for 100ml. Simply Pure Hydrating Serum costs £2.99 for 50ml = £5.98 for 100ml. On the day of writing this, July 14th 2019, you can buy Cerave online from Superdrug. I don’t think you can buy it in store as I have never seen it, unless it is a newly stocked item. Anyway, Superdrug are selling the 473ml bottle for £8.50 making it £1.82 per 100ml! Bargain. So buying the large bottle of Cerave makes it less than half the price of the hydrating serum when buying it full price. It’s a no brainer cost wise.
Application: If I am honest, I prefer the texture of the hydrating serum but I am trying hard to get away from buying things because of how they feel and buy things because they are better for my skin. The hydrating serum is more of a lotion. It is lightweight and feels slightly creamy. The Cerave lotion is also lightweight and feels more like a gel creme and you can tell it is high in water content due to its consistency and colour. It’s an opaque white colour. They both go on well and there are no issues or obvious differences to highlight. They both dry down quickly, leave no shine, are non greasy and non sticky. I have experienced no reaction of any kind to either of the products having used both of them for extended periods of time. Both have no smell either, despite their being specific fragrance ingredients in the Simply Serum.
Dr Dray on Youtube, who I am a big fan of, has reviewed both products. I was already using the Simply Range before Dr Dray reviewed it but I was unaware of how good it’s ingredients were at the time.
So in the interest of science, I have done some in-depth research on the ingredients of both the hydrating serum and the moisturising lotion and I was surprised by what I found.
Simply Pure Hydrating Serum Ingredients
31 ingredients. 15 are in Cerave also.
Aqua, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycereth-26, Polysorbate 60, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Boswellia Serrata Gum, Dipropylene Glycol, Allantoin, Sodium PCA, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Serine, Urea, Sorbitol, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA.
Cerave Moisturising Lotion Ingredients
25 ingredients. 15 in Hydrating Serum also.
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, Dipostassium Phosphate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Ceramide EOP.
I had made the assumption that Cerave, as it is a well known brand, would have the far superior ingredient list. I figured a well known brand would beat a high street drug store brand hands down. However, as you can see from all my hard work (hours!), that is not the case. From the table it is clear to see that although Cerave has the least ingredients, it has less good ingredients and more potentially problematic ingredients. Simply has more beneficial ingredients as it has urea, propylene glycol, allantoin, serine, sodium PCA and lactic acid that the Cerave lotion doesn’t contain.
Simply Pure Serum despite having more ingredients than Cerave, also has less potentially problematic ingredients. Cerave has 5 ingredients which have contradictory research regarding skin irritability. Some research shows those ingredients to be irritants and others having found no irritation. I think we can conclude that as long as an ingredient has caused irritation to one person, once, it therefore has the potential to be a skin irritant. Technically, making the list of potential skin irritating ingredients in Cerave to total 8. The hydrating serum has 6 potentially questionable ingredients (excluding the enhancers). So less ingredients for Cerave but less good and more bad ingredients in comparison to Simply. Hmmm. Decisions decisions.
I have used both products for extended periods of time with no issues and no reactions at all. I like both creams and would recommend both. Now I know more about the ingredients, my personal preference would be the Simply Pure Hydrating Serum as it feels creamier, has more beneficial ingredients that are higher up the ingredient list than Cerave and has less potentially problematic ingredients. It’s a shame about the price. I will leave you to make your own choice 🙂
Please remember this is just a guide to help you decide if these products are suitable or good for your skin. Everyone’s skin is different and ingredients react differently on different people. Their will be research out there disputing the research I have used here, so please be mindful of that. You may be fine with an ingredient that research has shown to be potentially irritating and then react to an ingredient that isn’t known to be an irritant. Use your own discretion and I hope this blog is useful.
Sources: The Derm Review, Paula’s Choice, Truth in Aging and EWG.og