REVIEW: Cerave Skincare I Have Tried So Far!

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.


VIDEO REVIEW


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.

– Cerave.ca


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:

The Beauty Brains
Reddit Thread

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 *

INCIDecoder
Price: $14.99 USD
Amount: 12oz / 355ml
Where to Buy: Ulta

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 *

INCIDecoder
Price: $18.99 USD
Amount: 30ml / 1oz
Where to Buy: Ulta

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

INCIDecoder
Price: $18.99 USD
Amount: 453g / 16oz
Where to Buy: Ulta

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

INCIDecoder
Price: $18.49 USD
Amount: 1.7oz
Where to Buy: Ulta

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

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INCIDecoder
Price: $15.99 USD
Amount: 3oz
Where to Buy: Ulta

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

INCIDecoder
Price: $9.99 USD
Amount: 3oz
Where to Buy: Ulta

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 *

INCIDecoder
Price: $18.99 USD
Amount: 1.7oz
Where to Buy: Ulta
Reviewed: SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #5: CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

 

Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

INCIDecoder
Price: $18.99 USD
Amount: 3oz
Where to Buy: Ulta
Reviewed: SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #5]: Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30


FINAL THOUGHTS

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.

xo, M

October & November 2018 Roundup

Jeez, I missed one month! Where was my head at!? Either way, the roundup is not lengthy at all but they are items worth mentioning!


Favourites

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Makeup

Bubz Beauty Liquid Lipstick “Girl Next Door” – The latest and current favourite lip product in my collection. It’s a neutral pink colour, and it’s the most comfortable liquid lipstick I’ve tried. Instagram Post

Butterfly Social Eye Lashes *– At first look, you’d think they’re an underwhelming pair of lashes because of how natural they are. But they looked so natural once applied, no one could tell I was wearing falsies! They match the length of my lashes and make my existing lash line look fuller. Instagram Post

Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Boho – It took me a while to like this colour let alone try it! I had some creative urges this fall and this colour inspired me to wear more cold colours. This isn’t my favourite formula from Nudestix, but I found prepping my lips before hand does the trick to wear it comfortably! Instagram Post


EMPTIES

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Skincare

Cerave Moisturizing Cream – Used day and night by Nick, used on my body and face at nighttime, it is finally an empty! Although it does moisturize well, I found it took a bit of a wait time until the moisture actually kicked in. I’d have to play a fairly generous layer to get an instant satisfaction.

Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – Another one bites the dust! And in the nick of time too. It got cold fast in Toronto, and I felt like I needed to use a lot of this to feel satisfyingly moisturized. I’m finishing up my Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream I’ve had on the backburner, but I am looking to purchase an Avene moisturizer. Recommendations?

Cuccio Naturale Non-oily, Hydrating Butter Milk & Honey *– A lovely butter I used for my hands before bed. They felt velvety after use and the smell was so relaxing!

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel – One of my favourite peeling gels because I can use it on a wet face right after the shower! It provided just enough manual exfoliation to rid my face of some extra flakes, and didn’t sensitize my skin.

EltaMd UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ – I was holding off on finishing this one because Amazon is just so tricky when purchasing it! My face felt moisturized, smooth and even tone after using this, plus it was great at sun protection. I have quite the amount of sunscreens to go through but I am missing reaching for this one in my collection.

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask * – Received my second one in the mail shortly after finishing this pot! If I didn’t get one sent to me, I would’ve purchased it. It’s one of my favourite sleeping masks I’ve tried, and I definitely recommend it to dry skin types!

Makeup

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ – This is an OG spray if you just want your makeup to look less cakey, however it doesn’t contribute to longevity. I purchased a Pixi Mist instead, but the fragrance is SO heavy and artifical! Any recommendations for an affordable finishing spray that kinda does it all without a heavy fragrance?


Tosses

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Skincare

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop – A Vitamin C serum that gave me the glow, even tone and hydration, but didn’t tackle my hyperpigmentation! (Didn’t mean to rhyme lol).

Timeless 20& Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum – Did similar things like the previous Vitamin C serum (or any other for that matter) but it stung my face almost every time I used it, causing my face to be slightly red until it settled. This has been hyped as a dupe for the Skinceuticals Vitamin C serum, and Angie from Hot and Flashy did an awesome test on it along with other ones! This unfortunately wasn’t my favourite, I actually still prefer Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum out of the two.


And that’s that for October and November! I can’t believe it’s the end of the year. Enjoy the holidays!

xo, M

RELATED CONTENT

My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs
Dynamic Duo? Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop & Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Face Mask


This post contains affiliate links.
Disclosure

My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Please read my “skincare announcement” monologue before reading this post!
I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

Breakdown
1. Makeup Removal / Double Cleanse
2. Acne Treatment
3. Hydrators
4. Double Moisturize
5. Main Active


1. MAKEUP REMOVAL / DOUBLE CLEANSE

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Double Cleansing is a MUST in my nighttime routine. I first noticed skin improvements from this step alone, especially since I used to wear a cake-ton of makeup back in my early 20s.

I’m surprised with the Marcelle Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes. Gentle really is all-encompassing with this. Just a quick shake and a squirt on a cotton round removes the most waterproof Japanese mascara I own with one cotton pad, doesn’t make my eyesight blurry, doesn’t leave a residue, or feel like anything for that matter after I use it.

At the top of the list, the eye makeup remover contains a few solvent-emollient ingredients such as Isododecane, Isohexadecane, Isopropyl Palmitate – ingredients that help dissolve makeup without stripping the eye area’s sensitive skin.

This eye makeup remover has been highly recommended by a few Canadian Bloggers, and I see why they love it and go back to it. It doesn’t add or subtract from my skincare (aside from makeup), so there’s really not much to it. It just works!

After I remove my eye makeup, I start off with my first 1st Cleanse using the Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm *. I only need a pea-sized amount to cover my entire face. Despite it’s thick consistency, it spreads easily and gently emulsifies after wetting your fingers.

The main oils in this product are Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, and Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil – definitely explains it’s thicker consistency and why my face feels so soft after I rinse it off! I can see why Dermalogica advertises it as a makeup remover for drier skin types.

Even with such nourishing oils, my skin doesn’t feel like it has any residue after I wash the rest of the balm off. It also comes with a silicone mitt which is REALLY nice to use with the PreCleanse Balm, but I’ve opted for my fingers to be as gentle as possible because of the actives I use in this routine.

For the 2nd cleanse, I also use a pea-size amount of the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * .

It contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, and Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract –  surfactants and foaming agents that effectively clean skin. The foam that is actually creates is so small, and my skin feels like it’s softening as I continuously massage the Special Cleansing gel into my skin.

This is probably my favourite step in my entire nighttime routine. It’s gentle to use, my skin feels softer as I use it, and I notice my skin looking slightly brighter. Even when my sister used it, she liked it so much she bought the big bottle of it! The one downside would be that if you take too long to apply your other skincare products, your skin will definitely feel a tad dry. But this is avoided easily by following suit with my skincare products while my skin is slightly damp. I’m actually on the fence of whether or not to continue with Cerave’s Hydrating Cleanser once I’m done with Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel, because I really like this cleanser too!
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm


2. ACNE TREATMENT

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Nighttime is the best time to go in with a stronger acne treatment, that way whatever irritation or redness I get will only be at night.

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash is probably the best Benzoyl Peroxide product I have tried. The ingredients are no nonsense and you only need a small amount to effectively treat your face.

As the name suggests, it has 5% Benzoyl Peroxide, a very effective ingredient at killing acne bacteria quickly, and doesn’t pose the problem of bacterial resistance with continued use. I opted for the wash form that Benzagel offers because washes tend to be gentler than treatments, but just as effective if you use it long enough.

I use about a nickely to quarter-size amount and make sure I properly massage it evenly on my entire face, concentrating on my breakout prone areas. I do this for a couple of minutes until I rinse it off. I’m surprised for a small bottle it is still going! If I use it for too long I do notice my face becomes slightly drier, but most definitely nothing as severe as what I experienced in the past.

After doing this step for just over a month, I reintroduced acid toning into my routine, alternating with the wash. Since I am using Differin, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of irritation, so I stopped using my ByWishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water * until I felt confident enough to incorporate it back into my routine. I can’t do without an acid toner because nothing works faster when it comes to smoothing out the texture on my skin.

As the name suggests, it contains 5% Mandelic Acid, the largest molecule and considerably gentler acid in the AHA family. It also helps with breakouts because Mandelic Acid is supposedly slightly lipid-permeable (don’t quote me on this).

Although I haven’t experienced heavy sensitization to my skin, I do notice that my skin is slightly more sensitive to this acid toner than it was prior to Differin. (Note: I stopped using this toner because I have been testing out a hyped up one that I will be reviewing soon. I’ll finish up this one once I’m done the testing period.)
REVIEW | [ByWishtrend] Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water


3. HYDRATORS

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This step is the same as my morning routine! I’ll just be linking my morning routine here so I don’t repeat myself. This step is just as essential at night as it is morning, so I’m happy the products come in decent sizes at fairly affordable prices.


4. MOISTURIZE

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Again, very similar to my morning. While my face is still tacky, I go in with Hada Labo’s Perfect Gel, following with Mad Hippie’s Eye Cream. But to seal everything in, I follow up with a heavier moisturizer like the Cerave Moisturizing Cream.

I would typically finish off my nighttime skincare with an oil, but because I am using a retinoid, I opt for a heavier moisturizer to counteract the dryness from it. So far, it’s been working! Of course, Cerave’s Moisturizing Cream contains Ceramides, helping to moisturize and assist with my skin’s barrier function. It also contains petrolatum making it slightly more occlusive.

Despite how much thicker it is, this has never caused congestion! My boyfriend even uses it as his daily moisturizer. A bonus is you get a big tub of it and you don’t need a lot for it to work.


5. MAIN ACTIVE

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I’m glad I moisturize my skin well beforehand, because I do get quite dry with Differin. So far I have been using it for over a month and I can say I have seen some results. I have stopped using an exfoliating toner to make sure before I brought it back into my routine!

Differin contains 0.1% Adapalene, a retinoid specifically targeted for the treatment and prevention of acne. It is supposed to be more tolerant than its big brother, Tretinoin.

Although I apply this on top of my moisturizer, I find it still has shown results in the month or more that I’ve been using it. I have not gotten a huge cyst from the Crimson Wave (unless I really don’t maintain consistency), my skin looks smoother even without layers of hydrating product, and my hyperpigmentation is lightening up on my cheeks and under my jaw. I tried using it before my hydration step, and I just find my skin looks more red, gets dry really fast, and I don’t feel as satisfied with my skincare. I’m going to continue using Differin as the last step in my routine, and keeping Vitamin A as a constant active in my nighttime routine in general after I run out of Differin.


This nighttime routine has been working great for me, and I am so happy I’ve been seeing results. Paired with my morning routine, I can’t remember the last time or if I EVER felt so content with my skincare routine, enjoyed everything about it, AND saw results.

I really hoped my routines helped you out!

Be sure to check out my AM Routine: My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

xo, M

If you want to see the texture of the products and in action:


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DISCLAIMER, PR, AFFILIATES

Glass Skin for the Unblessed: Skincare Focused, Minimal Makeup

What is Glass Skin? Glow Recipe Co-Founder Christine Chang describes it as “…when your skin is so healthy, even toned, and plumped with hydration that it’s almost translucent, like a shard of glass.” – Vogue Article

It was almost instinctive that I brush off glass skin to be something achievable for me. Why? First off, I still break out. Secondly, I’m still trying to heal the atrophic scarring I have from my cystic acne past. So I did what everyone else would do, watch perfect-skin looking YouTubers do it and enjoy the aesthetic vicariously. It actually wasn’t until I saw Edward Avila’s take on glass skin that I became inspired to try it myself. Edward is a KBeauty YouTuber based in Seoul and he has a considerable amount of texture from acne like myself. Despite the crazy glow mixed with texture, his skin overall looked REALLY good and in my opinion definitely achieved the look. To see someone with a similar skin-type as mine prompted me to try it for myself.

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