CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for the face and body is a moisturizer that is formulated to strengthen the skin barrier with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. The texture of the cream is rich and deeply hydrating, and it’s formulated to be absorbed quickly without leaving a greasy residue on the skin. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is meant for “dry and very dry skin,” and according to the company, the patented delivery system continually releases moisturizing ingredients for 24-hour hydration. The cream is non-comedogenic, oil-free, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and suitable for sensitive skin. In this review, we’ll discuss the key ingredients in this moisturizer, how to use it, CeraVe Moisturizing Cream reviews from real customers, and more.
What Are The Key CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Ingredients?
In order to determine whether or not this moisturizer will provide the claimed benefits, we need to evaluate the key CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ingredients, which include ceramides, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, and petrolatum. Below we’ll discuss the science behind these ingredients so you’ll know whether or not they are good for your skin.
All CeraVe skincare products contain essential ceramides that your skin needs to help restore and maintain its natural barrier. The CeraVe Moisturizing Cream formula includes ceramide Np, ceramide Ap, and ceramide Eop. But what exactly are ceramides and how can they benefit your skin?
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 — such as CeraVe Moisturizing Cream — can help to replenish ceramide levels, thus restoring the skin’s natural barrier.
Another key ingredient in the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is glycerin, a type of humectant. A humectant is a hygroscopic substance that has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water-loving) groups, such as hydroxyl groups (OH) and/or amine groups (NH2). Glycerin is one of the most common humectants. Its structure with three hydroxyl groups allows these groups to hydrogen bond with water, essentially “grabbing” it and holding it on the skin. Therefore, the inclusion of glycerin in the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream can help to improve your skin’s hydration.
An ingredient that works similarly to glycerin in the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is sodium hyaluronate, the sodium salt form of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent ingredient to use for increasing skin hydration. That’s because hyaluronic acid is able to absorb and hold more water than any other natural substance—up to 1,000 times its weight in water! Furthermore, according to the scholarly journal DermatoEndocrinology, hyaluronic acid helps to reduce signs of aging by protecting collagen and decreasing epidermal water loss associated with sun exposure, low humidity, and other external factors associated with skin dryness.
Another key ingredient in the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is petrolatum, which you may know as petroleum jelly or Vaseline. Petrolatum is an occlusive agent that reduces the rate of water loss through the skin. Since petrolatum has a melting point that is close to body temperature, it softens upon application and forms a water-repellant film around the applied area. This film prevents evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture and increases skin hydration by causing a buildup of water in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin).
Lastly, there are a couple of ingredients in the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream that help to improve how this product feels on the skin, such as caprylic/capric triglyceride (derived from coconut oil) and dimethicone (a type of silicone). Caprylic/capric triglyceride has an oily texture that provides slipperiness and improves product spreadability. It is rapidly absorbed into the skin, which provides a lightweight and non-greasy barrier of lubrication that helps to increase moisture retention at the skin’s surface. Dimethicone provides a silky, smooth skin feel and also helps to improve moisture retention.
How Should You Use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream?
Apply CeraVe Moisturizing Cream liberally as often as needed, or as directed by a physician.
Where is CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Sold?
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream and other CeraVe skincare products are not sold on the brand’s website. You must buy CeraVe skincare products on third-party e-commerce websites such as Amazon, eBay, Ulta, and more. CeraVe skincare 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.
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.
The good news is that L’Oreal has invested more than $1 billion over the last 25 years to develop innovative, alternative methods to animal testing, particularly in the area of reconstructed tissue development. L’Oreal and CeraVe are committed to a future without tests on animals.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Reviews
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream reviews on Ulta.com are overall very positive, with the product receiving an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars after more than 500 customer reviews.
Fans praise the cream for being moisturizing, non-greasy, gentle and say that it helps improve skin texture. It also received plenty of accolades from those with eczema. For example, one review says “Best Moisturizer EVER! It’s thick and heavy but does not leave my skin greasy at all. Within 4 days of first using it, my eczema patches are smoothed over and continue to be kept at bay. The redness has also gone away and my skin is starting to look healthy again.”
There are also many positive CeraVe Moisturizing Cream reviews from customers who use it on their face and see many positive benefits. For example, one review says, “Started using this a year ago when regular body lotion wasn’t moisturizing enough. I was living on an island and time in the sun was drying out my skin and this product saved me. I now use it on my face as well because of my acne medication. I love that it’s available in different sizes.”
Customers who gave the cream a one-star rating generally had a bad reaction to it, such as a burning feeling or breakouts, while others found the texture to be tacky. As one reviewer wrote, “I have dry patches all over my cheeks that burn even just when wind hits them. I got bumps all over my face which I’ve never had happen and I just couldn’t continue to use it.”
What Are Some Alternatives to CeraVe Moisturizing Cream?
Although CeraVe’s Moisturizing Cream is a cult favorite drugstore buy, it may not work for everyone. Perhaps it did nothing for your skin or you’re looking for products that can do more than just moisturize. If so, we have a couple of alternatives for you to consider. If you’re looking for a facial moisturizer that not only improves hydration but also helps to reduce signs of aging, we recommend Formulyst’s Lifting and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream. This velvety smooth cream features Moringa seed oil for intense moisturization, Evodia rutaecarpa fruit extract to help brighten and refine, while peony extract helps to improve the appearance of skin density for a smoother, recontoured look.
You may also want to consider Carrot & Stick, a brand that takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting-edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, but it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skincare products.
Fans of simple skincare should try Deep Science. Deep Science products are formulated with a few key ingredients that are the heavy lifters of skincare formulations.
Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 253–258