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.
CeraVe skin care products are formulated with specific ingredients that help to repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. CeraVe has expanded over the years and now offers a full line of products, including anti-aging products like the Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum. In this review, we’ll discuss the CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum including the key ingredients, reviews from real customers, an alternative for you to consider, and more.
What’s Inside CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum?
Just as the name suggests, vitamin C is the star ingredient in this CeraVe vitamin C serum. Below we’ll discuss the benefits of vitamin C, as well as a few other ingredients in this serum.
We’ve been hearing for years that Vitamin C is the best anti-aging ingredient. It’s 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.
Vitamin C also helps fade dark spots, evens out skin tone, and increases radiance. As if that wasn’t enough, research suggests that when vitamin C is applied to the skin, it significantly reverses aging-related structural changes by influencing collagen and elastin synthesis.
The form of vitamin C used in CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum is ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is the most active form of vitamin C, but also the least stable.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One problem with this product formulation is the high concentration of denatured alcohol. Unfortunately, denatured alcohol is the sixth highest concentration ingredient in this serum.
The problem with this type of alcohol is that, at first, it seems like it’s benefitting the skin. Initially, alcohol gives products a quick-drying finish, immediately degreases the skin, and imparts a weightless feel. However, these effects are temporary and will disappear once you wash off the product.
The major problem with using high concentrations of denatured alcohol is that this ingredient is well known to cause skin dryness, irritation, and even disruption of the skin barrier. In fact, alcohol can dry out the skin so much that the skin will produce more oil over time to compensate for the dryness. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
What is CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum?
CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum is a lightweight facial serum that is said to visibly brighten your complexion, promote a more even skin tone, improve texture, restore the skin’s protective barrier, and enhance hydration for soft, healthy-looking skin. It is claimed to be suitable for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin.
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How to Use CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum
Apply CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum evenly to face and neck daily. Avoid eye area. If contact with eyes occurs, rinse thoroughly with water. Store in a cool, dark place.
Where is CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum Sold?
CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum 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 Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum Reviews
CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum reviews on the brand’s website are a mix of positive and negative. The product has earned an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars after about 40 customer reviews.
The positive reviews for CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum mention that this product absorbs well and helps the skin to look smooth, bright, and clear. For example, one review says, “This is the best Vitamin C Serum I’ve used, and I’ve tried a few of them. I love the texture and how it absorbs into my skin easily. My skin also looks brighter and clearer. The only con is the packaging. The lid gets a little messy. I wish it was more of a pump bottle.”
All of the negative reviews for CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum are from customers who were disappointed to find denatured alcohol on the ingredient list of this product. For example, one review says, “I am surprised to see denatured alcohol on the ingredients list of this serum since cerave seems to cater to people with sensitive skin. This type of alcohol can be very irritating and drying to people with sensitive skin like mine. I’ve noticed this ingredient in many of cereve’s new products. I’m sad I won’t be able to use them.”
What Are Some Alternatives to CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum?
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 this serum.
Am J Clin Dermatol 2003;4(2):107-29.