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

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #5: CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

Product was sent to me for review purposes.


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ABOUT:

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“Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 provides UV protection while helping to restore the protective skin barrier. This lightweight, with a matte finish and non-greasy lotion, with 3 essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid, provides all day hydration after just one use.”

ADDITIONAL CLAIMS:

  • For normal to oily skin
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Price: $17.99 CAD / USD
Amount: 50ml

UV FILTERS:

IMG_20190628_170452.jpg

Type: Chemical
Homosalate 10%
Octisalate 5%
Avobenzone 3%
Octocrylene 2.7%

Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 30

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS:

IMG_20190628_170500.jpg

Aqua, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyacetophenone, SodiumAcryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Citric Acid, t-Butyl Alcohol, Ceramide NP, Phenoxyethanol, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide EOP

CONSISTENCY: Light lotion


FRAGRANCE:
No noticeable sent.

APPLICATION: Spreads easily and doesn’t feel greasy.

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FINISH: Not matte, but not overly shiny or greasy. Nice subtle glow compared to other sunscreens I’ve tried.

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FEEL: Light and surprisingly moisturizing for my normal-dry skin.

STINGS EYES? Another surprise, it does not!

WHITECAST / TINTED? No.

WATER RESISTANT? No.

SKIN BENEFITS?
I love Cerave for the ceramids and essential fatty acids, but I’m still surprised that this is able to moisturize my skin well! Probably because 1) The amount I use 2) It’s very lightweight.

UNDER MAKEUP:
I haven’t been wearing foundation lately, but this doesn’t have a very greasy finish, so I can see it sitting fine underneath makeup.

WHERE TO BUY:
Ulta
Shopper Drug Mart

PROS:

  • Light feel
  • Doesn’t sting my skin or eyes
  • A good drugstore SPF option
  • Able to add additional moisture to skin

IN BETWEEN FEELS:

  • SPF 30 – This isn’t bad, but I’m a SPF 50 kinda gal
  • On a bit of the pricier side for a drugstore SPF

CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 knocks its sister sunscreen, the AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 out of the park! It is way more cosmetically elegant and enjoyable to use strictly because it doesn’t feel greasy and it doesn’t pill! This is a great additional product to their line and I recommend this to any skin type.

xo, M


[RELATED CONTENT]

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY:
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
Sunscreen Sunday #2: CANMAKE Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #3: Bare Republic Tinted Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #4: Neostrata Defend Sheer Physical Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Matte-Finish Tinted Sunscreen PA++++

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #3: Bare Republic Tinted Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

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ABOUT:
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“Face the day protected! Sun and environmental stressors can affect the health of your skin year-round – so fight back with our lightweight and non-whitening, tinted mineral face susncreen. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide protect physically, not chemically, providing broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Antioxidant-rich oils and plant extract offer intense hydration and reparative benefits to help keep your skin looking its best, no matter the season.”

IMG_20190402_104548.jpg

ADDITIONAL CLAIMS:

  • Paraben free
  • No chemical sunscreens
  • No synthetic fragrances
  • Cruelty Free
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-Free
  • TSA approved size
  • No worries


Price:
 $19.98 CAD
Amount: 50ml

UV FILTERS:

IMG_20190402_104557.jpg

Type: Mineral
Titanium Dioxide: 3.2%
Zinc Oxide: 1.7%

Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 30

INGREDIENTS:

IMG_20190402_104605.jpgAdansonia Digitata Seed Oil*, Alcohol, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil*, Algae Extract*, Allyl Heptanoate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dodecane, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract*, Gamma Decalactone, Gamma Octalactone, Gamma- Nonalactone, Glycerin*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Heliotropine, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Iron Oxides, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Mica, Polyamide-5, Polysilicone-11, Propylene Carbonate, Raspberry Ketone, Silica, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Synthetic Wax, Triethyl Citrate, Vanillin *Certified Organic Ingredients

CONSISTENCY: Liquidy / oily AF

 

FRAGRANCE: Heavy vanilla scent that *eventually* disappears.

APPLICATION: Shake 15-30 seconds before applying. I use 64% of 1/4 tsp (will explain this in a future post). Spready easily.

 

FINISH: Instant finish is shiny and face feels oily. Waited ~20 minutes for it to dry down.
IMG_20190402_105010.jpg

FEEL: Light and matte. Drying.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST? No.

TINTED? Yes. Even though it’s tinted one colour, it IS universal because it’s undetectable on my skin. I don’t even think this will even out redness or cover a cast from another SPF.

WATER RESISTANT? Yes – 40 minutes.

SKIN BENEFITS?
You’d think that because this is oil based it would be moisturizing. But because alcohol is the 2nd ingredient on the list, it actually gets rid of the greasy look on your face.

UNDER MAKEUP:
If you wait the 20-30 minutes, it grips onto my It Cosmetics CC Cream really well and mattifies it.

WHERE TO BUY:
Well.ca
Amazon.ca
iHerb

PROS:

  • Actually a universal tint
  • Affordable, but moreso for Americans
  • No cast

CONS:

  • On application, when I was gliding the product, it still managed to attract dead skin on my hands, like I did a little exfoliation.
  • Have to wait 20-30 minutes for it to dry down
  • Alcohol too high on the inci list
  • Face LOOKS dry, makes my fine lines look more noticeable, dry patches
  • Unpleasant to use

IN BETWEEN FEELS:

  • Mattifies cc cream; can be good or bad depending on skin type. For me it’s bad :p

Bare Republic Tinted Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion was just okay. It’s great that this is a cruelty-free physical sunscreen with no cast whatsoever, but it’s very unpleasant to apply because of how liquidy/oily it is. For my dry skin, I don’t like it on my face at all because it makes my skin look dull. Perhaps in hotter, more humid weather it’ll perform better, but I’ll let oily-skinned peeps enjoy.

xo, M


[RELATED CONTENT]

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY:
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
Sunscreen Sunday #2: CANMAKE Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++

SUNSCREEN WEEK:
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #1]: Make P:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA++++
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #2]: Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #3]: Boo Bamboo Natural Sunscreen Mini Spray SPF 30 (Regular and Baby & Kids)
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #4]: The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #5]: Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #6]: Riversol SPF 30 Lightweight Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
SUNSCREEN WEEK [DAY #7]: La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50

SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #6]: Riversol SPF 30 Lightweight Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

 

 

Price: $39 CAD
Amount: 60 ml
Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 30

UV FILTERS:
Type: Physical
Zinc Oxide 10%
Titanium Dioxide 6%

INGREDIENTS:
IMG_20180717_150854.jpg

CONSISTENCY: Mousse.

 

 

APPLICATION: Easy to blend with no sign of pilling. I’ve seen suggestions on their website you don’t need to apply a lot to cover your face, which is the complete opposite of what I hear from dermatologists or skincare professionals…
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FINISH: Glow up.
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FEEL: Light.

STINGS EYES? No.

WHITECAST? I do notice the tint slightly, but over all it seems to mask the whitecast.

WATER RESISTANT? No.

SKIN BENEFITS?
I haven’t been using it enough to see, but so far it’s performing well as a cosmetically elegant physical sunscreen that’s slightly moisturizing.

UNDER MAKEUP:
Not as difficult to blend in as the Ordinary UV Mineral Filters, but not as easy as the other sunscreens I’ve reviewed thus far. Overall I think it’s good since I’m simple with my base anyways.

WHERE TO BUY:
Riversol’s Official Website

Riversol SPF 30 Lightweight Broad Spectrum Sunscreen * is one of the better physical sunscreens I have come across so far. What I like is that the tube is filled with product, no empty space to be found once you receive it. If I can’t get a hold of Elta Md at an affordable price I will definitely go back to this one.

By the way, I just got an email saying that if you purchase Riversol SPF 30 Sunscreen from their official website, you will get free shipping! It’s like a sign to try it, no? 😛

Thanks for sticking with me this far! One more to go!

xo, M


DISCLAIMER, PR, AFFILIATES

SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #5]: Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

ABOUT
“CeraVe® AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 is an ideal moisturizer for daily use, developed specifically for the face, which helps restore and maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier while providing protection against the sun’s damaging rays.

The ceramide-rich formula provides essential ingredients to maintain a healthy skin barrier and also contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, which may help reduce redness due to dry skin. So, while CeraVe® AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 is protecting your skin from the sun, it’s also rebuilding and restoring your skin’s protective outer lipid layer.”

IMG_20180718_164403.jpg

Price: $17.49 CAD
Amount: 89 ml
Strength: SPF 30
UV FILTERS:
Type: Physical-Chemical Hybrid
Homosalate 10%
Meradimate 5%
Octinoxate 5%
Octocrylene 2%
Zinc Oxide 6.3%
INGREDIENTS:IMG_20180718_164441.jpg

CONSISTENCY: Light cream.


APPLICATION: Spreads nicely, takes time to blend and could pill up around the sides of your face.

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Notice the little white pills on the sides

FINISH
Slightly greasy after I massaged it in, but it goes away shortly on my dry skin.IMG_20180712_144904.jpg
FEEL: Light. Skin feels dry to the touch.
STINGS EYES? Yes. I feel it more near the end of the day rather than right after application.
WHITECAST? No.

WATER RESISTANT? No.
SKIN BENEFITS?
It is fairly moisturizing, although I don’t find it on par with the PM Moisturizer. My skin looks even tone when I use this, could possibly be from the Niacinamide low on the ingredients list.
UNDER MAKEUP:
My It Cosmetic CC Cream is applied easily with this underneath and it doesn’t seem to compromise the finish.
WHERE TO BUY:
Well.ca

This is one of the better drugstore sunscreens I have tried. It’s not my favourite product out of Cerave’s line, but it does serve its purpose. Nick uses this on a daily basis as a moisturizer. He pretty much has perfect skin, so he doesn’t have any problems with this other than it stings if he applied it after he’s freshly shaven. I only use it when I’m going to the gym and I don’t want to use a more expensive sunscreen just to wash it off in an hour. Definitely give this a try if you’re looking for a hybrid, *fairly* affordable moisturizing sunscreen!

xo, M