CeraVe is without a doubt the most recommended drugstore brand from western skinthusiasts, experts, and professionals when it comes to affordability and effectiveness. I’ve used multiple products from their skincare collection and have recommended it to my friends and family as well.
In today’s post I will be reviewing the the CeraVe products I have tried! Note the reason this isn’t a full blown brand review is because they have a total of 70 products, and I have only tried 8 🙂 Clearly not enough of their products have been tested to give a proper opinion on their line.
GENERAL CLAIMS ON ALL PRODUCTS
In 2005, CeraVe’s dermatologists developed a line of skincare products enriched with a blend of three essential ceramides (ceramides 1, 3, and 6-II), fatty acids, and other lipids to help repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier.
…A revolutionary delivery system was developed and named MultiVesicular Emulsion Technology (MVE), which releases moisturizing ingredients, layer by layer, to help keep skin soft all day long.
…The unique combination of 3 essential ceramides in CeraVe (ceramides 1, 3, 6-II) help replenish skin’s existing ceramides, relieving dry skin, by reducing moisture loss, increasing hydration, and restoring the skin barrier.
BRIEF EXPLANATION ON CERAMIDES
Disclosure: I am NOT an expert in anything. I am sharing what I have learned and am trying my best to describe it to you all in this blog post.
Cerave, if you haven’t guessed already, has a strong focus around skin-identical ingredients – substances that are already found within your skin! Ceramides, fatty acids, cholesterol, phytosphingosine, are oil lipid substances that are found in the waxy parts of our skin between the bricks of our Stratum Corneum. It is responsible for holding skin cells together and retaining moisture. Ceramides in particular make up 50% of this. Dehydrated, dry skin lack these substances, which is why products with ceramides tend to be recommended in order to replenish them back into the skin.
Ever since becoming more dry-skinned, ceramides have always been the key ingredient for what I look for in moisturizers. For a couple of years now, whatever moisturizer I used absolutely had to have ceramides in the formula, or else it was not worth buying. However, in learning more about ceramides in relation to this blog post, I have been left stumped. To REALLY summarize what I’ve learned, ceramides have shown to be effective for various skin conditions such as dry skin, Eczema, Psoriasis, and aging skin (with wrinkles) – in specific ratios. Majority of ceramide-containing products – CeraVe and my beloved Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume included – do NOT contain that ratio.
Check out the following posts that explain this way better than I can ever imagine to:
Even though the CeraVe may not have the required ratio, tons of anecdotal evidence suggest their products still work for people, myself included. Overall, Your Mileage May Vary. CeraVe is very affordable in general, so there’s really no harm in picking up the tub to try it out. If you’re using a moisturizer that doesn’t have ceramides and it’s working great for you, it’s not the end of the world either. For me, I find that ever since I switched over to using a moisturizer with a blend of humectants, emollients, and occlusives, my skin has felt very comfortable and moisturized throughout the day. This is part of the reason why I tend to say my skin is normal to dry lately rather than dehydrated and dry! If ceramides were out of the formula, who knows how my skin would behave, all I know now is that what I’m using is working for me.
Products marked with a * are PR Samples / gifts. All links provided below are affiliate links. If you use a link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission. Thank you so much if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.
My thoughts are honest, always *casts doe patronus*
REVIEW OF CERAVE PRODUCTS
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser *
One of my favourite products from CeraVe, their Hydrating Cleanser is a creamy, cushiony feel cleanser that gently cleanses my skin and is non-foaming. However I noticed it stung my face in my first 3 months of 0.3% Adapalene. I’m thinking that it is due to my barrier being compromised during the retinization period, for now the experience is way more pleasant. The only con about this cleanser is that I don’t trust it to effectively remove makeup if I were to use it as my second cleanse in my Double Cleanse routine.
CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum *
One of their newer products, The Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a gel-cream formula with the addition of Panthenol, a moisturizing and soothing ingredient. I don’t find it contributes any more to my skin’s health than the other products with the exact same key ingredients. I can see oily-skinned peeps potentially liking this serum, since it can be used on its own, and it has Dimethicone as a more common occlusive for moisturizers catered to oily skin. Overall for me it’s okay, it may have more HA than CeraVe’s other products, but overall it isn’t super wow, especially considering the price of this for the amount.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
One of the most recommended moisturizers of all time, and I have mixed feelings about it! Although it is supposed to be one of their heavier products, it can be spread lightly. I find it doesn’t instantly moisturize my skin and I feel drier than usual, so I always layer more than necessary. This was the first mistake on my part when I started using this moisturizer, for after an hour my skin felt greasy and my pores looked very exaggerated. With a thin layer, it doesn’t instantly satisfy me, but throughout the day I do notice my skin feels more moisturized and comfortable, without feeling greasy or with enlarged pores. I sometimes find on application it actually stings my face, similar to what I experienced with the cleanser (without the retinization) and it makes me look red and discoloured. This is currently my boyfriend’s go-to face moisturizer and it works really well for him.
CeraVe Night Cream
I had high hopes for this one! It also contains Niacinamide and Peptides, so I was hoping for a new holy grail moisturizer with some more bells and whistles for preventative aging. Unfortunately this cream did not work out for me, I found I had to use a LOT of it to feel decently moisturized. Also, I noticed when I reached for this moisturizer, I would get a painful cyst. I know breakouts don’t work that fast, so I would have to retry the Night Cream to confirm, but I can’t help but associate bad breakouts with it! Also wasn’t a fan of the price for the amount – unfortunately there’s a premium for peptides in skincare. Truthfully I would’ve continued purchasing the CeraVe Night Cream if it worked for my skin the first time!
CeraVe PM Moisturizing Lotion
Back in 2018 this was my go-to moisturizer and I repurchased it 3 times. It has the most pleasant light cream consistency (I’d say even gel-like), felt comfortable when layering with a hydrating toner/essence/lotion and a heavier sunscreen. I have not repurchased it since switching to a higher strength prescription, but I still recommend it. I know a handful of people complained about it stinging; Niacinamide is in the formulation, and I know a lot of people are sensitive to that ingredient in general. Perhaps because it is a lighter moisturizer, it may be sinking into the skin faster? It’s not something I can 100% confirm, but that may be happening. I actually repurchased this to try out with my new prescription strength, so I’ll eventually share my thoughts again about this moisturizer!
CeraVe Baby Healing Ointment
I forgot who first said this, but the CeraVe Baby Healing Ointment is like a jacked-up Vaseline because it includes the standard ingredients you find in CeraVe products and is an awesome product to have when your skin is feeling super dry! I mentioned in my Tried & True Tips post how using an occlusive layer is super helpful when relieving very dehydrated and dry skin. This ointment is slightly more pleasant to use – ~46% Petrolatum as opposed to 100%. I definitely reserve a full face of this at nighttime, and if I need it during the day, I mix a small amount with my moisturizer.
CeraVe Ultra-Light Lotion SPF 30 *
Price: $18.99 USD
Where to Buy: Ulta
Reviewed: SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #5: CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
Price: $18.99 USD
Where to Buy: Ulta
Reviewed: SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #5]: Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
In my experience with these products, CeraVe has some hits and misses. The big miss was their infamous Moisturizing Cream – somehow it works really well for my boyfriend, and my skin hates it! Overall, CeraVe was my reintroduction to drugstore skincare and it has made me appreciate what other brands have to offer! I think any of the CeraVe products are worth trying – the bells and whistles are there for key ingredients, minimal formulas, and very accessible to purchase!
I hope you found this review helpful and informative when considering what to try for yourself.