CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Review - The Dermatology Review (2023)

There’s no doubt you’ve seen CeraVe skin care products lining the shelves of your favorite drug store. Founded in 2005, this well-known dermatologist-developed skin care brand provides customers with affordable products that effectively repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Review - The Dermatology Review (1)

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2022?

A healthy skin barrier is crucial for soft, smooth, healthy skin. In fact, you can compare the importance of a strong, intact skin barrier to the importance of having a strong, intact roof on your house. If your roof is damaged or weak, the interior of your home could be damaged by things like rain, wind, or even animal intruders. Similarly, 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 acne, rashes, and sensitive skin.

Since there are many factors in our modern environment that can weaken the skin’s barrier — pollution, environmental toxins, harsh cleansers, etc. — the CeraVe skin care products were formulated with specific ingredients that would help to repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. In this review, we’ll discuss the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser including the key ingredients, reviews from real customers, an alternative for you to consider, and more.

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 isCarrot & 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$240for $88.

What is CeraVe 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.

What Are The Key Ingredients in CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser?

Like most cleansers, CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser includes surfactants as the key ingredients. For example, this cleanser includes PEG-40 stearate and sodium lauroyl lactylate. A surfactant molecule contains one end that is hydrophilic (attracted to water) and one end that is lipophilic (attracted to oil). This allows surfactants to attract and suspends oils, dirt, and other impurities that have accumulated on the skin and wash them away, leaving the skin clean.

As we mentioned above, the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is able to clean without stripping your skin of its natural moisture thanks to the inclusion of ceramides. In fact, all CeraVe skin care products contain essential ceramides that your skin needs to help restore and maintain its natural barrier. But what exactly are ceramides and how can they benefit your skin? Read on to learn the science behind topical application of ceramides.

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.

CeraVe has developed something called MVE Delivery Technology in order to facilitate the delivery of these essential ceramides to your skin. 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 Dermatology compares this technology to “nesting dolls” as one vesicle is contained within another inside the MVE. After applying CeraVe 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.

In addition to surfactants and ceramides, the only other key ingredient in the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent ingredient to use for increasing skin hydration because it 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.

Related: Best Face Washes

How to Use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

Start by wetting your skin with lukewarm water. Then, massage CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser into skin in a gentle, circular motion. Rinse off the cleanser and pat skin dry with a clean towel.

Where is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Sold?

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser 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 Hydrating Cleanser Reviews

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser reviews on the brand’s website are mostly positive, with the product receiving an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars after nearly 300 customer reviews.

Most of the positive reviews for this cleanser are from those with dry skin, and their reviews confirm that this cleanser does not dry out of strip skin. For example, one review says, “I love love love this cleanser. It’s a great gentle but effective cleanser. It really hydrates my skin but doesn’t strip it. It is a great basic everyday cleanser. It is super easy to get your hands on and not too expensive. If you have dry skin I would highly recommend.”

There aren’t many negative reviews for the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, but those that we did read were from customers who didn’t see the benefits they thought they would see after using this product. For example, one review says, “This cleanser just does not make my face feel clean. My face does not feel very hydrated after I use it either which is disappointing because that’s the whole point. My sister came to the same conclusion. I will not be buying this again.”

What Are Some Alternatives to CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser?

If you’re looking for hydrating skincare products for dry skin, we recommendCarrot & 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 thisrepair moisturizer.

1. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 30 Nov 2016, 9(12):26-32

2. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 253–258

  • Written byChristina Valhouli
  • Fact Checked byElle MacLeman


Is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser actually good? ›

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 4/5 – A decent, basic and gentle cleanser. This is a good cleanser for those with sensitive skins, dry skins and dehydrated skins as it doesn't seem to strip the skin of moisture. I enjoy that it doesn't lather up and it's not difficult to wash this cleanser off.

Is CeraVe good for your skin dermatologist? ›

Not only are our products developed with dermatologists, but CeraVe is the #1 dermatologist recommended skincare brand1.

Can I use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser everyday? ›

CeraVe's Hydrating Facial Cleanser is safe for daily use, and it can be used on other parts of the body that experience irritation or acne. I typically wash my face with this cleanser twice a day for 60 seconds at a time.

Will CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser cause acne? ›

It works very well for sensitive skin and won't make you break out. The only thing I can say about it is that it doesn't foam up so if you're looking for a foaming cleanser I don't recommend this otherwise it's a really great cleanser.

Do dermatologists recommend CeraVe face wash? ›

"CeraVe is a commonly recommended brand in my practice, especially for acne patients and patients with eczema," says Juliya Fisher, MD, a double board-certified dermatologist in Manhattan, New York.

What's better Cetaphil or CeraVe? ›

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion wins this comparison if you have dry skin. While both are lightweight lotions and CeraVe contains ceramides and sodium hyaluronate, Cetaphil packs in moisturizing and soothing ingredients like avocado oil, panthenol, and vitamin B5, making it an excellent choice for dry skin.

Do dermatologists recommend CeraVe or Cetaphil? ›

Both CeraVe and Cetaphil are recommended by dermatologists. In fact, dermatologists warn that the real good creams for your skin are the creamy rich creams, with no fragrances and cerave and cetaphil are part of these products.

What is the number one dermatologist recommended skin care brand? ›

Neutrogena. The brand: You don't need to spend tons of money for effective products that derms love; Neutrogena is touted as the number one dermatologist-recommend skincare product and you can find it at the drugstore.

What are the side effects of CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser? ›

Serious side effects

Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

How long does it take for CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser to work? ›

Immediately after use, 90% of consumers tested said their skin felt intensely hydrated, and 98% of consumers tested said their skin felt smoother after just four weeks of use.

Why is CeraVe breaking my face out? ›

This is a normal reaction to the product and is likely due to the ingredients bringing already-clogged pores to the surface. However, if you're just breaking out, it's likely due to the product itself and not due to any increase in your skin's turnover rate.

Is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser bad for skin? ›

Ultimately, I'd honestly say that the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is a good choice for all skin types. If you've got dry and sensitive skin, it'll give you a gentle cleanse without drying out or irritating your complexion.

Is CeraVe clogging my pores? ›

Non-comedogenic products tend to be lightweight in texture, oil-free, and formulated without the most common pore-clogging ingredients. All CeraVe acne products—including our Acne Control Gel and Acne Control Cleanser—are non-comedogenic.

Which CeraVe cleanser do dermatologists recommend? ›

For example, how frequently dermatologists recommend the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, which is only $15 on Amazon. It's no surprise as to why experts love the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser so much, as it was literally developed with the help of dermatologists.

What face wash is better than CeraVe? ›

Best face wash for dry skin

But in our expert opinion, the La Roche-Posay might actually be a little bit better because you get an ounce more product for the same price, and it has more actives than the CeraVe, including ceramides, glycerin, and niacinamide.

Why do dermatologists recommend CeraVe and Cetaphil? ›

What pros say: The fact that it is so gentle, and doesn't have active ingredients, is exactly why dermatologists love this stuff. “It's a basic gentle cleanser, so it's not necessarily going to clear acne or target signs of aging, but dermatologists often recommend it for this exact reason,” Shah says.

Why is CeraVe so popular right now? ›

So why is it so popular out of the blue? Not only is it blowing up on social media thanks to the beauty community on TikTok, but it's an extremely accessible brand. “CeraVe contains quality ingredients at a very reasonable price point,” says Dr. Chiu, “and has widespread availability at your local drugstore.”

Why La Roche Posay is better than CeraVe? ›

CeraVe products are not designed specifically to get rid of acne scars. If acne scars are a key concern, the Effaclar Duo+ moisturiser from La Roche-Posay is likely to be more effective since it works to control the appearance of marks on the skin.

Is CeraVe or La Roche Posay better? ›

Again, it comes down to intricacies regarding skin type: if you are prone to redness and irritation, you will probably prefer La Roche Posay, whereas if you are mainly struggling with congested skin, you will most likely see better results with CeraVe.

Which is the No 1 face wash in world? ›

List of the top ten face washes in the world
S.no.List of Face wash in the world
1.Himalaya Herbals Purifying Neem Face Wash
2.Aroma Magic Face Wash with Neem and Tea Tree
3.Jovees Papaya Face Wash
4.Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
6 more rows

What is the #1 facial cleanser? ›

Best Overall: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser

It's gentle enough to use in a.m. and p.m. routines and has long championed now buzzy ingredients in its formulation, from glycerin (a popular humectant) to niacinamide (which can help regulate acne and minimize hyperpigmentation).

What is the No 1 face wash? ›

Best Overall - Bella Vita Organic Vitamin C Face Wash for Oily to Normal Skin women & men. Bella Vita Organic Vitamin C Face Wash for oily to normal skin women & men is the best overall facewash on this list.

Should I use Neutrogena or CeraVe? ›

Verdict: Neutrogena and CeraVe Daily Lotions

If you have normal/dry skin, then go for the CeraVe daily moisturizer. The Neutrogena, on the other hand, is suitable for sensitive skin. In addition, Neutrogena is designed for the face and neck area while the CeraVe can be used on the body.

Which is better for mature skin CeraVe or Cetaphil? ›

Overall, there is no clear winner. It just depends on the needs of your own skin. If you experience dry skin, oily skin, acne-prone skin then CeraVe might be the clear choice. However, if you experience sensitive skin the Cetaphil is the better option.

What dermatologist does Kim Kardashian use? ›

Camille Howard, a New York-based dermatologist who has tried all nine of Kardashian's products, expensive skin care isn't abnormal: A hyaluronic acid serum "can cost over $150," and brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and La Mer have been praised for their even more expensive yet high-quality effects.

What are the 3 most important skin care products? ›

Three Essential Elements in a Basic Skincare Routine
  1. Step 1: Cleanser. Choosing a cleanser that's specifically formulated for the face (rather than the body) is the first essential step in a basic skincare routine. ...
  2. Step 2: Moisturizer. ...
  3. Step 3: Sunscreen. ...
  4. 3 (or 5) simple steps to beautiful skin.

Who has the best skin care in the world? ›

23 Of The Best Skincare Brands To Know In 2022
  • SkinCeuticals. SkinCeuticals has been a leader in skin care for over two decades thanks to its science-backed approach. ...
  • Emma Lewisham. ...
  • The Secret. ...
  • CeraVe. ...
  • esmi Skin Minerals. ...
  • La Roche Posay. ...
  • Kiehl's. ...
  • The Ordinary.

When should you stop using CeraVe? ›

Improvement in acne or rosacea is usually seen after 3 to 4 weeks of use, and maximum benefit after 8 to 12 weeks of use. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than directed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

Does CeraVe cause blackheads? ›

CeraVe is a global skincare brand created and recommended by dermatologists. Their moisturizing cream does not cause acne and can actually help to prevent breakouts and other skin problems.

How many times a day should I wash my face with CeraVe cleanser? ›

Ideally, you should wash your face twice daily, in the morning and again in the evening. You might also consider cleansing after any activity where the face becomes visibly covered with sweat, dirt or makeup.

How many pumps of CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser should I use? ›

The first few times I tried this cleanser, I couldn't believe something so hydrating could cleanse my skin at the same time. The pump dispenses a large amount of cleanser, but I prefer using 2 pumps each cleanse.

Should I use CeraVe cleanser at night or morning? ›

Using your foaming gel cleanser once again before bedtime helps remove the excess dirt, oil and makeup that may have accumulated throughout the day.

Do you need a toner after CeraVe cleanser? ›

However, the decision to include toner in your routine is completely up to you, and depends on your skincare goals and concerns. CeraVe facial toners can help visibly tone your skin, while also hydrating, smoothing, and helping to restore the skin's natural barrier.

Does CeraVe remove dark spots? ›

When it comes to removing dark spots, you aren't limited to just serums and treatments. A gentle, fragrance-free formula like CeraVe's lightweight lotion can get the job done without irritating your skin. "This moisturizer is great because it has three types of ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid.

How long till I see results from CeraVe? ›

However, it can take six to eight weeks to see an improvement,10 so it's important to continue using anti-acne products to achieve the results you want. When looking for a solution, try to choose a simple, yet effective regimen.

Which CeraVe cleanser is best for hydrating? ›

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.

This Cerave dry skin cleanser has a creamy texture, feels nourishing and gentle, doesn't lather at all and never strips your skin. This is the best CeraVe cleanser for you if: You have dry and/or dehydrated skin, or prefer gentler cleansers - this one's especially good as a morning cleanser.

Is CeraVe foaming or hydrating cleanser better? ›

Immediately we can begin to see the contrast, with the Hydrating Facial Cleanser clearly being more suited to drier skin types and the Foaming Facial Cleanser more suited to oilier skin types.

Should I use moisturizer after CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser? ›

Once the skin is cleansed, apply a serum that contains hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that retains moisture to help rehydrate skin. The CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum can be used daily for intense hydration. 3. The next step in your morning skincare routine is a moisturiser.

Is CeraVe cleanser better than La Roche Posay? ›

Again, it comes down to intricacies regarding skin type: if you are prone to redness and irritation, you will probably prefer La Roche Posay, whereas if you are mainly struggling with congested skin, you will most likely see better results with CeraVe.

Which is better Neutrogena or CeraVe cleanser? ›

Unlike the Cerave cleanser that is better used in your AM routine, the Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser can be used in both your AM & PM routines. Whether you want a quick easy cleanse or you want to combine it with your cleansing oil for your deep cleanse, the Neutrogena cleanser is perfect.

What is the difference between hydrating cleanser and hydrating facial cleanser? ›

A cleanser can remove dirt, makeup and other debris, but a hydrating cleanser, like CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, can do all that without disrupting the skin's natural protective barrier or stripping the skin of its natural moisture.

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