“I tried CeraVe for the first time and these are my honest thoughts”

Written by Kiran Meeda

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding cult US skincare brand CeraVe for years now. Intrigued to find out what all the fuss is about, we put the brand’s hero products to the test.

When you find a skincare product that really works for you, naturally, you have to rave about. So when thousands of people leave stellar reviews online for a single brand, the growing intrigue can catapult a brand to cult-status. CeraVe is one of those brands. 

Gentle enough that it works for most skin types and conditions, it’s worth knowing about. And it’s so popular the brand has won 31 awards for their skincare range and boasts a list of critics and beauty experts amongst its fans, including Stylist’s beauty editor, Lucy Partington, who loves the SA Smoothing Cleanser in particular.

I find I can easily get sucked into the vacuum of five star reviews, so I had to look into exactly why these products resonate with so many people.

Upon first inspection, it looks like CeraVe’s popularity all comes down to one word: ceramides. They’re naturally-occurring oils foundin our skin. When our ceramide levels are low, our skin barrier can become weakened, often leading to dry, itchy and irritated skin.

CeraVe’s skincare range is crafted by dermatologists and contains a blend of three different ceramides to help maintain and strengthen our skin barrier’s moisture levels. Think of it like cement helping to strengthen a brick wall.

The more I looked into the reviews, the more I noticed those with skin conditions such as eczema and flaky skin found CeraVe’s skincare to really help. That’s most likely down to the fact that the whole range is fragrance-free, paraben-free, allergy-tested and non-comedogenic (ie it doesn’t block pores).

As someone with oily, acne-prone skin I had to put these products generally regarded as safe bets to the test. Could they maintain my moisture levels without leaving my skin feeling and looking greasy, and work with my spot-prone skin?

Ranked in accordance to how well they worked for my skin, this is my A-team line up of CeraVe skincare.

  • The daily use cleanser for oily skin: CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

    Cleansers can be tricky ground to cover. When I’m wearing make-up, I need a cleanser that can take it off effectively, but still nourish and not aggrivate my skin. It’s actually quite a big ask.

    But, this foaming cleanser does it all. As long as I wet my skin beforehand, the gloopy gel transforms into a lightweight foam that lifts make-up (including foundation, mascara and eyebrow wax) with ease.

     Working it into my skin for a few minutes, I was so impressed with how well it took off my make-up and any redness was pretty minimal due to the use of redness-reducing ingredient, niacinamide in the foam.

    Foaming cleansers can leave skin feeling stripped of its moisture, but this foaming cleanser is different. My skin didn’t feel tight or dry, it felt clean and free from excess oil.

    Using this cleanser in the morning works just as well to remove the skincare I had applied the night before. 

    Redness is minimised, oil-levels are stable and my skin looks and feels cleaner.

    Shop CeraVe Foaming Cleanser at lookfantastic, £9.50

    buy now

  • The eye cream: CeraVe Reparative Eye Cream

    If you’re using potent ingredients such as retinol or salicylic acid your under-eyes are may bear the brunt of these actives. The skin under our eyes is thinner, and therefore more sensitive, so it requires specific attention to nourish this area.

    I deal with particularly sensitive skin at the corner of my eyes from years of eyeshadow and eyeliner staining my eye area, and so need a cream that really doesn’t aggravate this area.

    The first thing I noticed was its thin and efficient applicator head. You get a small string of the lightweight cream so it’s easy enough to manage how much you’re applying – and you don’t need a lot.

    Applying three small dots under my eyes, it took a minute to tap the cream into my skin and let it absorb, but aftwerwards, my under-eyes looked instantly hydrated. What the cream does really well at is hydrating skin and protecting the skin barrier.

    It’s a no-frills cream that really works to maintain moisture levels.

    Shop CeraVe Reparative Eye Cream at lookfantastic, £12

    buy now

  • The morning hydrating cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

    Having blemish-prone skin means that a cleanser is a great way to control excess oils, and the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is the perfect solution for that. But, when my skin needs a detox, or a cleanse that’s free from foam and something a little more gentle, I leant on this hydrating cleanser.

    A thicker, gel formula, it works to really nourish skin. I found that massaging the gel in provided a really gentle cleanse.

    Working better on make-up free skin in the morning, it has a really cooling effect on skin. Especially if you’ve been trying stronger skincare regimes with acids and actives.

    It’s a reliable, dependable and gentle cleanser that works well a few days a week when my skin needs a break from foam.

    Shop CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser at lookfantastic, £9.50

    buy now

  • The moisturiser: CeraVe Moisturising Lotion

    If there are actives in your skincare, including treatments such as tranexamic acid or salicylic acid, it’s important to keep the rest of your routine pretty simple. And that includes arguably one of the most important staples in any routine, your moisturiser.

    Night moisturisers are particularly important in our skincare routines, as the skin goes into reparative mode while we sleep. The creams are often thicker, too.

    This moisturiser while advertised for use on the body and face, makes for a really great hydrating night moisturiser. It’s pretty thick, but absorbs easier than most night creams into the skin. 

    Every time I used this at night, I woke up with hydrated, plump skin (thank you, hyaluronic acid and ceramides).

    It’s a go-to barrier moisturiser.

    Shop CeraVe Moisturising Lotion at lookfantastic, £15

    buy now

Images: courtesy of brand.

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