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.

What’s Inside CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizer?

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 that chemical sunscreens 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.

Niacinamide is a multi-tasking skincare ingredient that’s found in Rhode Barrier Restore Cream. 

Niacinamide is the amide form of vitamin B3 (niacin) that provides many benefits to the skin. For instance, 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. 

Applying products that contain ceramides can help to replenish ceramide levels, thus restoring the skin’s natural barrier. 

We recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Cream for dry skin because it combines ceramides with probiotics and soothing plant extracts to keep the microbiome balanced and skin looking hydrated.

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

Parabens have been linked to reproductive, immunological, neurological and skin irritation problems. Parabens penetrate the skin and hang around in our bodies. As preservatives, parabens keep the bacteria out of the products, but keep in mind there are clean alternatives. 

We recommend products that are free from parabens, as well as sulfates, and formaldehyde. One brand is Carrot & Stick. We recommend Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer.

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 Target.com, $18.99 USD on Ulta.com

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2023?

    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 Target.com for 3 oz, while it costs $18.99 USD on Ulta.com 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.

    CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion Reviews

    CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion reviews on the brand’s website are mostly positive, with the product receiving an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars after more than 3,500 reviews. 

    There are many 5-star reviews for CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion from customers who love that it feels lightweight and doesn’t leave the skin with a white cast or looking greasy. 

    For example, one review says, “I love how light this moisturizer feels even with SPF. It leaves absolutely no white-cast or greasiness. My skin is sensitive to breakouts with SPF moisturizers but this keeps my skin protected and does not create any blemishes or irritation. No stinging either!”

    And another 5-star review says, “I have been using this lotion for quite a few months now and I would say it’s great. It is really good for dry to combination skin type. It worked perfect as I have a sensitive skin. I use it every morning as my SPF protection. It is absolutely worth a try.”

    However, there are a handful of negative reviews for the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, which are mostly from customers who commented that it doesn’t blend and absorb into the skin. 

    For example, one review says, “This ones a no for me. I wish I hadn’t purchased it. The price point felt good when I bought it and it was recommended in some articles I read. But it just doesn’t rub in well. It’s gets splotchy and nearly impossible to rub into my skin. I like being gentle when applying products to my skin and I noticed redness after using due to how much I had to rub.”

    Others comment that this CeraVe sunscreen leaves a white cast, as another 1-star review says, “I did not like this product. It doesn’t blend easily and it leaves a terrible white cast. If there’s makeup on top, it creates a weird texture on top of the skin. CeraVe has better sunscreen than this one.”

    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

    What Are Some Alternatives to CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ?

    If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin. We recommend The Repair Serum, followed by The Moisturizer.


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



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