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Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Let's break down what a Dermatologist does: A medical practitioner qualified to diagnose and treat skin disorders.

What's an Aesthetician?: Provides services geared towards improving the external appearance of your skin. They cannot diagnose within their scope of practice.

What is Cerave/Cetaphil

Cerave and Cetaphil are both popular brands known for their gentle ingredients and affordable pricing. It is best suited for compromised skin barriers and..... that's about it. A lot of Estis call it a "nothing" skincare because it really doesn't do anything. It doesn't penetrate deep enough to make a difference in your skin. If you have no issues to target, this brand is up your alley, but even if you aren't dealing with acne, we are always working on anti-aging and this skin care brand is NOT fit for that.

Why Do Derms use it?

A lot of dermatologists will prescribe medications to treat skin disorders. A common one they prescribe is Accutane. This medication is extremely harsh and dries out the skin. If your skin is already compromised from an intense medication, why would they use intense products on top of that? So cerave is your best bet, since it DOES NOT contain any active ingredients. The derms are relying on the medication to do the work, not necessarily the skincare.

Why Don't Esti's use it?

Aestheticians cannot prescribe medications or hormonal therapies such as Accutane. We take a holistic approach and treat skin conditions with quality skincare, consistent treatments, and through investigating lifestyle choices. We work towards long term goals and commitments to your skin, whereas hormonal therapies are temporary bandages. Often times using proper home care and educated by an aesthetician is all you need. Hormonal therapies should always be your last resort.

Cerave Swaps:

If you're currently using the Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser, we recommend swapping it for the Dermaquest Vit C Infusion cleanser for that extra deep pore cleanse. Looking to swap your Cetaphil Foaming Cleanser? The Dermaquest Delicate Cleansing Cream is a gentle alternative perfect for sensitive skin. In need of a moisturizer that's not cerave? Our advanced B5 hydrating serum paired with the Dermaquest Essential Moisturizer is a must have. Lastly, the cerave Healing Ointment cannot be compared to Dermaquests Rentinaldehye Renewal Cream specifically used for compromised skin barriers.


We do not hate cerave with our entire being. When our clients are using this, we don't pass out. There is WAY WORSE out there *cough cough st.ives peach scrub*. Do we love it tho? Nope. Cerave is bomb if you want to maintain your skin's current condition but it literally does nothing. That's why Derms swear by it when their patients are on hormonal medications.

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