The Story Behind CeraVe
Founded in 2005, CeraVe is a dermatologist-developed skin care brand that started off with just three products — a cleanser, a moisturizing lotion, and a moisturizing cream — formulated to repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. A healthy skin barrier is crucial for soft, smooth, healthy skin. Unfortunately, there are many factors in our modern environment that can weaken the skin’s barrier, including pollution, environmental toxins, harsh cleansers, and more. A damaged or weak skin barrier allows things like bacteria, pollutants, or other irritants to pass through the top layers of your skin and cause damage. Plus, a weak barrier also allows moisture to escape from the skin. Ultimately, this leads to common skin concerns such as dryness, acne, rashes, and sensitive skin.
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Understanding the importance of the skin barrier, the dermatologists at CeraVe formulated the CeraVe skin care products with specific ingredients that help to repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. Over the years, CeraVe has expanded to offer much more than just those three initial products. Today, the brand has a complete line of moisturizing face and body products, including the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. In this review, we’ll focus specifically on the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, including the key ingredients, reviews from real customers, an alternative for you to consider, and more.
What is CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion?
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is a moisturizing, soothing facial lotion that is said to help calm the skin, increase moisture retention, and restore the skin’s barrier while you sleep. It is recommended for all skin types, including acne-prone skin since it is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores or cause acne flare-ups).
What Are The Key Ingredients in CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion?
Like all CeraVe skin care products, the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion includes ceramides as key ingredients. Specifically, this formula contains ceramide NP, ceramide AP, and ceramide EOP. Ceramides are a family of waxy lipid molecules that are naturally produced by the skin. According to The American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, they are vital in supporting the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum 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.
In order to strengthen the skin barrier, CeraVe includes ceramides in all of their products, including the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. This helps to maintain epidermal hydration and serves as a barrier that responds to environmental stressors, infections, irritants, and allergens. The result is skin that is smooth, moisturized, and healthy.
In order to facilitate the delivery of these essential ceramides to your skin, CeraVe has developed something called MVE Delivery Technology. MVE stands for multivesicular emulsion and it represents a way of delivering ceramides to the skin in a time-release manner for a continuous rather than burst effect. In order to accomplish this, the MVE Delivery Technology contains layers of oil-in-water emulsions. A 2016 article published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatologycompares this technology to “nesting dolls” as one vesicle is contained within another inside the MVE. After applying CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, there is a sequential opening of each vesicle, with a gradual release of ceramides and other ingredient contents, rather than the burst of immediate release with some other products.
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion also includes niacinamide as a key ingredient. Niacinamide is the amide form of vitamin B3 (niacin) that functions as a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help the skin combat free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. In addition to functioning as an antioxidant, niacinamide provides many more 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.
The final key ingredient in CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion that we’d like to discuss is hyaluronic acid, which 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.
How to Use CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion
Apply CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion liberally to the face and neck at night, or as directed by a physician.
Where is CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion Sold?
CeraVe PM 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 ecommerce websites 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.
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 PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion Reviews
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion reviews on the brand’s website are mostly very positive, with the product receiving an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars after more than 1,000 customer reviews.
Positive reviews for the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion mention that it is very gentle, soothing, and helps to keep the skin moisturized and soft. For example, one review says, “I have been using this moisturizer for about a year now and have really enjoyed this as an introduction to a diligent skincare routine. I love that not only is this a gentle effective moisturizer but also contains actives like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid which I have been hearing a lot about online recently. I love that this is fragrance free and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.”
The negative reviews for the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion mention that it feels sticky on the skin and pills. For example, one review says, “I heard a lot about this brand and decided to try something new, as I have been using the same skincare line for years. I bought the face wash and pm moisturizer. I am fairly disappointed in the moisturizer- I find it sticky on my face and quite unpleasant. I am not overly happy with it- especially given the price.”
What Are Some Alternatives to CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion?
Overall, we think that the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is formulated well and contains a few beneficial key ingredients, such as niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. This product could be a good option if you’re looking for a soothing nighttime moisturizer. However, if you’re looking for a nighttime moisturizer that not only keeps your skin soft and smooth, but also provides anti-aging benefits, we’d recommend looking for a product that contains retinol.
Take Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream with Retinol, for example, which is formulated to help hydrate, soothe, and transform your skin while you sleep. Rather than using standard retinol, the formula contains innovative Encapsulated Retinol Technology in order to deliver a higher concentration of retinol to your skin for intense rejuvenation. Retinol provides numerous benefits to the skin, such as helping to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores. The Anti-Aging Night Cream with Retinol also helps to lock in moisture and restore the skin’s barrier function with emollients such as safflower oil, squalane, and jojoba oil.
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J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 Feb; 3(2): 22–41
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 30 Nov 2016, 9(12):26-32
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Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 253–258