Reviewed: 12 Best CeraVe Skin Care Products

SKIN CARE REVIEWS

02.23.21DISCLAIMER

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.

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 that are said to help with many common skin concerns, including dryness, sensitive skin, aging skin, and more. If you’re considering trying this brand, keep reading to learn more about the 12 best CeraVe skin care products.

Is CeraVe Skincare Worth The Money?

A common question about this brand is if the products are worth the cost.

In our opinion, CeraVe products deliver value for money, but take a look at other brands that don’t require you to sacrifice your precious money.

We recommend brands that are committed to developing clean yet effective products.

One brand is Carrot & Stick, a clean skincare brand that perfectly balances the gentle nurturing of plants with the powerful results of innovative science.

Carrot & Stick intro bundles deliver great value for money because you can bundle 3 full-size products worth up to $240 for $88.

What’s Inside CeraVe Skincare?

All CeraVe skin care products contain three essential ceramides to help restore the skin’s natural barrier with continuous-release technology for all-day hydration. Plus, many of the products contain some of the best anti-aging ingredients you can use, such as vitamin C, retinol, and peptides. These ingredients should all be part of your skincare routine.

Ceramides
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. 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. 

Vitamin C
We’ve been hearing for years that Vitamin C is the best anti-aging ingredient. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.

A total of 10% pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is used in CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum. 

But our favorite Vitamin C serum is Carrot & Stick The Defence Serum. It contains 3 distinct types of Vitamin C that work together to help fight free radical damage. We recommend using it every morning.

Peptides
As you age, your body’s production of collagen and elastin slows down. These two proteins are responsible for your skin’s structural support. As a result, the skin loses its natural plumpness and smoothness. 

While collagen is necessary for maintaining youthful-looking skin, the collagen protein is too large to absorb into the skin topically. That’s why applying skin care products that contain collagen won’t provide the anti-aging benefits you’re looking for.

This is where peptides come into action. Peptides are the building blocks of protein, and they are easily absorbed into the deeper layers of skin due to their smaller size. 

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream includes biomimetic peptides that work to stimulate collagen production in order to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

We recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum. It contains 7 plant-based peptides to promote plumper and smoother-looking skin. It also has skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.

Retinol
Retinol is the go-to anti-aging ingredient recommended by dermatologists and skin experts. It’s one of the best ingredients for improving signs of skin aging, such as reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimizing pore size, increasing skin firmness, improving skin tone and texture, and more. 

While retinol provides many benefits to the skin, it’s also known to cause side effects like skin dryness and irritation. 

It’s in CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum.

Use retinoids at night. We recommend this retinoid oil serum. It contains Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, an ingredient that provides the same benefits of retinol but without irritation.

What Are The 12 Best CeraVe Skin Care Products?

1. Daily Moisturizing Lotion
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion is a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that is said to help hydrate the skin and restore its natural barrier thanks to key ingredients such as glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. The formula is non-comedogenic (it won’t clog pores), which means you can use this CeraVe lotion on both your face and body.

2. Skin Renewing Night Cream
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream is said to refresh and hydrate tired-looking skin while helping to restore the skin’s natural barrier overnight. It is suitable for all skin types, from oily to dry to combination skin. The formula contains biomimetic peptides that work to stimulate collagen production in order to reduce the appearance of fines lines and wrinkles.

3. Resurfacing Retinol Serum
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum is a facial serum formulated specifically for those with post-acne marks, uneven skin tone, and visible pores. It is said to help refine, smooth, and improve skin texture without compromising its protective barrier thanks to key ingredients like encapsulated retinol, ceramides, and niacinamide.

4. Moisturizing Cream
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is designed to reinforce the skin barrier by hydrating it with ingredients including hyaluronic acid as well as ceramides. The texture of the cream is formulated to be rich and deeply hydrating without being too greasy – it is also meant to be absorbed quickly. 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.

5. Eye Repair Cream
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream is a non-greasy, fast-absorbing, fragrance-free eye cream that is said to reduce the appearance of dark circles and eye puffiness, while also smoothing and brightening the delicate skin around the eyes. It can be used by all skin types, including those with sensitive skin.

6. Foaming Facial Cleanser
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is said to remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup without disrupting your skin’s natural protective barrier. This cleanser can be used on normal, oily, and even acne prone skin since this product is non-comedogenic. If you have found that other cleansers are too harsh, this product may be right for you since it has the power to cleanse deeply without disrupting the skin’s barrier.

7. 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).

8. AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is a daily face moisturizer that provides broad spectrum SPF 30 protection due to a combination of chemical sunscreen ingredients (homosalate, meradimate, octinoxate, and octocrylene) with the mineral sunscreen zinc oxide. In addition to protecting the skin from the sun’s UV rays, this CeraVe lotion is said to strengthen the skin’s barrier while increasing hydration thanks to supporting key ingredients like niacinamide, ceramides, and sodium hyaluronate.

9. Renewing SA Cleanser
The “SA” in the name of the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser stands for salicylic acid, a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA). This gentle cleanser can help exfoliate and smooth your skin while also effectively removing oil and dirt, sweeping away dead cells, and softening rough skin—without leaving skin feeling dry. Salicylic acid provides these benefits because it has the ability to dissolve keratin, the protein that acts as a “glue” to keep dead skin cells together in the stratum corneum. This is effective because dead skin cells can build up on the surface of your skin, leaving it looking dull and feeling rough.

10. Ultra Light Lotion
The CeraVe Ultra Light Lotion is a lightweight facial moisturizer that provides broad spectrum SPF 30 protection due to a combination of four chemical sunscreen ingredients. This non-comedogenic oil-free lotion is ideal for those with normal to oily skin, and is said to help the skin retain its natural moisture while reinforcing the skin’s barrier thanks to ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

11. Hydrating Cleanser
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is claimed to do all of the things a normal cleanser would do — remove dirt, makeup, and other debris — but without disrupting the skin’s natural protective barrier or stripping the skin of its natural moisture. It is a non-comedogenic face wash that works well on all skin types, even those with acne-prone or sensitive skin.

12. Healing Ointment
CeraVe Healing Ointment is a balm that is said to help hydrate and soothe cracked, chafed, extremely dry skin. It is non-comedogenic, suitable for all skin types, and free of fragrance, dyes and lanolin to minimize the risk of irritation from these ingredients. The key ingredients in this ointment — petrolatum, mineral oil, paraffin, and ceramides — work together to provide hydration while restoring the skin’s barrier.

What Are The Key Ingredients in CeraVe Skin Care Products?

All CeraVe skin care products contain three essential ceramides to help restore the skin’s natural barrier with continuous release technology for all-day hydration. But what exactly are ceramides and how do they benefit your skin? Read on to learn the science behind the use of ceramides in CeraVe skin care products.

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. 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 skin care products, 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.

Besides ceramides, the CeraVe skin care products contain pretty common ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide, vitamin C, retinol, and more. All CeraVe skin care products are fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and many of them are approved by the National Eczema Association.

Where Are CeraVe Skin Care Products Sold?

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.

What Are Some Alternatives to CeraVe Skin Care Products?

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 Defence Serum, followed by The Moisturizer.

 

References:
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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