CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 Review



We’re big fans of multi-tasking skincare products that offer sun protection along with skin-loving ingredients that provide additional benefits. CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion is one of those 2-in-1 products; it contains SPF 30 along with ceramides and a few other beneficial ingredients to hydrate and brighten skin. 

Related: Best Sunscreens for face 

But is CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion right for you? To help you decide, we’ll give you all the details on the key ingredients in this formula, as well as the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skin care.

We’ll also share some CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion reviews so that you can get an idea of what customers really think of this product.

Is CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion  Right For You?

Before we get into the details, here’s the TL;DR if you just want to know whether or not CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is right for you.

  • Key ingredients? Chemical Sunscreens, Zinc Oxide, Niacinamide, Ceramides
  • Skin type? All
  • Texture? Lightweight lotion
  • Fragrance? No
  • Parabens? Yes
  • Cruelty free? 
  • Cost? $13.49 USD on, $18.99 USD on

What Are The Key Ingredients in CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ?

In order to determine how well CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion performs, we’ll have to evaluate the key ingredients in this formula. Let’s get started.

Chemical + Physical Sunscreen Ingredients
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion combines four chemical sunscreen ingredients — homosalate, meradimate, octinoxate, and octocrylene — with zinc oxide, a mineral sunscreen. Together, these ingredients provide broad spectrum SPF 30 protection. 

Chemical sunscreens protect the skin by first absorbing UV light, then transforming that light energy into some other form of energy, such as heat. Research has shown chemical sunscreens do absorb through the skin and into the bloodstream.

In contrast, physical (also called mineral) sunscreens protect your skin by using physical UV filters to block or deflect UV light. They are not absorbed into the skin. 

We’re concerned about the use of octinoxate in CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. According to the EWG, octinoxate is a hormone disruptor and can also cause allergic reactions after exposure to ultraviolet light.

We love that CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion contains a decent amount of niacinamide, which is one of our favorite skincare ingredients. Here’s why: 

Niacinamide is the amide form of vitamin B3 (niacin) that functions as an antioxidant and offers many benefits to the skin. For example, a publication in the

Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, states that niacinamide can repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture, as well as reduce inflammation, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, acne, and wrinkling.

All CeraVe products, including CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, include ceramides as key ingredients.

Ceramides are a family of waxy lipid molecules that are naturally produced by the skin and are vital in supporting the stratum corneum.

The stratum corneum is the outer layer of skin, which can be thought of as a “brick and mortar” system. The bricks are the corneocytes (dead skin cells) and the intercellular lipids (ceramides) represent the mortar.

Without ceramides, the skin barrier is weakened, just like without mortar a brick wall would be weak and unstable.

The result is skin that can easily become dry, itchy, or irritated. A properly functioning stratum corneum is essential for healthy skin as it maintains epidermal hydration and serves as a barrier that responds to environmental stressors, infections, irritants, and allergens. 

Topical application of ceramides can help to replenish ceramide levels, thus restoring the skin’s natural barrier. 

Unfortunately, we noticed that the brand chose to use parabens as the preservatives in CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.

The use of parabens in cosmetics and skin care products is controversial because there is conflicting research on the potential health consequences of long term exposure to parabens.

According to the EWG, parabens can act like the hormone estrogen in the body and disrupt the normal function of hormone systems affecting male and female reproductive system functioning, reproductive development, fertility, and birth outcomes.

How to Use CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ?

Apply a dime-sized amount of lotion to face, neck, and check about 15 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply at least every 2 hours. 

Where to Buy CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ?

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion and other CeraVe skin care products are not sold on the brand’s website. You must buy CeraVe skin care products on third party online retailers, such as Amazon, eBay, Ulta, and more.

CeraVe skin care products are also sold in physical retail locations throughout the United States, such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, etc. CeraVe has a store locator on their website so you can find a location near you. 

How Much is CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ?

The cost of CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion will depend on where you purchase the product. For example, the lotion costs $13.49 USD on for 3 oz, while it costs $18.99 USD on for the same size. 

What is The CeraVe Return Policy?

CeraVe does not have a return policy on their website since they do not sell products on their website and, therefore, don’t accept returns. 

Is CeraVe Cruelty Free?

CeraVe is not cruelty free. CeraVe is owned by L’Oréal, a company that tests on animals. L’Oréal does not conduct animal testing on their products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. Since L’Oréal products are sold in China, they must test their products on animals by law.

Our Verdict

Overall, we don’t recommend CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion due to the use of octinoxate and parabens in this formula. 


  • Provides broad spectrum SPF 30 protection
  • Beneficial supporting ingredients (niacinamide, ceramides, 
  • Formula is fragrance-free
  • Many positive CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion reviews


  • CeraVe is not cruelty free
  • Octinoxate is considered to be a hormone disruptor and can also cause allergic reactions after exposure to UV light
  • Formula contains two parabens 
  • Some CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion reviews mention that it doesn’t absorb well, while others mention it leaves a white cast


J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 Feb; 3(2): 22–41



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