CeraVe Just Landed In The UK. Here’s What You Should Get

by Gio

best cerave products for dry skin

Have you heard? CeraVe has just hit the UK!

From today, you’ll no longer have to plan a trip to the States or ask your bestie on the other side of the pond to be your dealer to get your hands on some of the best skincare at the drugstore.

Can I get an hallelujah?

To celebrate the launch, I’m reviewing some of my fave CeraVe products. You know, the ones that helped me withstand the last of the winter cold.

I’m talking about CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, Facial Moisturising Lotion and Moisturising Lotion (this one is a little richer). Here’s why they’re worth checking out, especially if you’re on a budget:

cerave hydrating cleanser

Hydrating Cleanser

Do you feel like giving up on cleansing in winter? No matter what you do, your skin ALWAYS feels so tight and dry after cleansing.

Blame it on surfactants. They help oils and dirt to mix with water so they can easily be rinsed off. But if your skin’s dry and sensitive, they’ll remove too much oil, damage your skin’s protective barrier and leave your skin worse for wear.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser takes a different approach. It uses emulsifiers like Ceteraryl Alcohol and Cetyl Alcohol that bind oil and water together. This means they can remove both water-soluble and oil-soluble grime, such as dirt and makeup. Plus, they moisturise skin to boot. Win win.

The catch? Emulsifiers are good at removing a light face of makeup but if you’re using those stubborn long-lasting foundations, they’ll struggle. So either lay off those foundations for a while or go in with an oil-based cleanser first.

(I use this only in the mornings because I swear on Clinique Take The Day Off Balm or Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser to remove my makeup anyway).

The cleanser has a translucent white texture that feels more like a lotion than a cleanser. I find it super gentle: if I swipe a cotton pad imbued with toner afterwards, it comes out perfectly clean – a telltale sign the cleanser has removed everything.

Yet, my skin doesn’t feel tight or dry in the least. On the contrary, it’s – dare I say it – a little hydrated. If your skin is flaky and sensitive, this’ll be a game changer for you.

cerave facial moisturizing lotion

Facial Moisturizing Lotion

If you’re looking for a no-frills, gets-the-job-done moisturiser for dry skin, listen up.

Your skin’s dry because your protective barrier is damaged. CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion has its fair share of your barrier’s protective blocks, like ceramides and cholesterol. They strengthen the barrier so water can’t evaporate through the cracks anymore.

Talking about water, the lotion has sodium hyaluronate, a form of hyaluronic acid that attracts and binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. Keep all that moisture under your skin and your face’ll be hydrated and soft all day long.

CeraVe also added a wild card: niacinamide. This form of Vitamin B3 hydrates skin, fights wrinkles, fades away dark spots, soothes irritations, treats acne... Whatever you’re dealing with, it can handle it.

The icing on the cake? It provides broad spectrum sun protection… IF you apply enough. Almost no one does that but still… every little bit helps.

If you’re wondering how it does that, it uses synthetic UV filters like homosalate and octocrylene. My skin likes them fine but if you have very sensitive skin that often reacts to sunscreens, they may very well be the culprit.

I also wouldn’t call it a lotion. The texture’s not heavy and greasy but it’s not lightweight and fast-absorbing either. It’s something in between. That suits me fine during this time of the year but in the warmer months I’ll probably switch to something lighter.

But it does an amazing job at keeping my skin soft, plump and hydrated all day long… Yes, even on those days when the Beast From The East was ravaging the country and the temperatures dropped below zero.

If I had to be picky, I’d say I wish this lotion had antioxidants to help fight premature wrinkles too. But at this price point, I don’t mind having to apply a separate antioxidant serum (this is what I’m using right now).

cerave moisturizing lotion

Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe says the Moisturizing Lotion can be used both on face and body but I personally find it too rich for my face. It feels like it’s just sitting there while my super dry, dehydrated body skin laps it up quickly.

Formula-wise, it has a lot in common with the Facial Moisturising Lotion: hyaluronic acid to add moisture to your skin and ceramides to keep it there and strengthen your skin’s barrier against the cold harsh weather.

But, this version also has more hydrating fatty alcohols (yes, alcohol can be hydrating!) and caprylic/capric triglyceride, an emollient derived from coconut oil. Translation: they bring up the moisturising factor a notch or two.

I put it on after my morning shower and go about my day without worrying about my legs (and arms, etc). The lotion keeps everything soft and smooth until bedtime. In the morning, I do it all again.

But I do wait a couple of minutes to get dressed after the shower. I just hate putting on my thighs when moisturiser hasn’t fully sunk in yet. Don’t you?

Available at: Hydrating Cleanser, $14.99/£9.00; Facial Moisturizing Lotion, $16.49/£12.00; and Moisturizing Lotion, $13.99/£9.00 at Boots and Ulta


Have you tried CeraVe? Share your fave products in the comments below.

Hydrating Cleanser Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Stearate, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Potassium Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Tocopherol, Ceramide EOP

Facial Moisturizing Lotion Ingredients: Water, Homosalate, Glycerin, Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Niacinamide, Silica, Methoxydibenzoymethane, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Stearic Acid, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Caprylyl Glycol, Palmitic Acid, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Myristic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Carbomer, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Ceramide EOP.

Moisturizing Lotion Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Ceteareth-20, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Ethylhexyglycerin, Potassium Phosphate, Disodium Edtae, Dipostassium Phosphate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Sodium Hylauronate, Tocopherol, Ceramide EOP.

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"Hilda Corners" March 22, 2018 - 11:46 pm

I’ve been using the Hydrating Cleaner for several years, and love it.

It does a better job of removing makeup if you massage it on *dry* skin, then use a wet face cloth to remove it. I’ll admit, I don’t use heavy makeup, but it has no problem with sunscreen or my water-resistant mascara.

I don’t know if it’s in the UK, but the Face Lotion PM is an excellent light lotion, with all the good actives of the other products.

I have in-depth reviews of both on my blog.

Gio March 30, 2018 - 6:21 pm

Hilda, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I’m loving the Hydrating Cleanser too and I’m so happy it’s finally available here in the UK too. 🙂

Erin April 14, 2018 - 12:20 am

I’ve been in love with the Hydrating Cleanser for years. The past couple years I’ve started using it as my step two product for a double cleansing routine, and it’s been great for that too (the step one product I’ve swapped out a few times, but CeraVe has stayed). Face Lotion PM is pretty good stuff too, although I wound up switching to Cetaphil Redness Relief after a while (my skin needed more moisture). CeraVe Moisturizing Cream can be used on your face or your body – it’s pretty thick, hardcore stuff, *perfect* for my son’s eczema and also good for my dry, sensitive skin if I’m having some particularly bad irritation issues.

Gio April 14, 2018 - 9:01 am

Erin, thanks for sharing your experience. I find Cerave is one of those brands that makes basic but reliable skincare products you can always count on to help. And they’re so affordable too! I’ve given that lotion to a friend with eczema and he’s been loving it too. 🙂

Rebecca August 6, 2018 - 1:49 pm

Hi Gio

I am thinking of using the Facial Moisturizing Lotion for the sun protection. How much should you put on- is it like other sun creams- a tea-spoon for face and neck? Thanking you in advance. Thanks for all the hard work that you put into advising us.

Gio August 9, 2018 - 10:22 am

Rebecca, I don’t recommend using moisturisers as sunscreen because you need to use a lot. But if you choose to, then yes, apply it like sunscreen, 2.0 mg/cm2. And don’t forget to reapply!

Thank you for your support!

Zandile September 26, 2018 - 1:58 am

Hi,I’ve tried all the products you can think of for my dry itching sensitive ski but none seemed to work,I recently bought cetaphil so I don’t know how is it gonna work but thank you for sharing cerave products but I don’t know which one to buy if I wanna buy one.thank you

Gio September 26, 2018 - 7:11 pm

Zandile, the moisturising facial lotion is a good one. It’s suitable even for eczema and very sensitive skin.

BargainShopper10 November 3, 2018 - 1:57 pm

Hi Gio – can you do a review on the new CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum? Curious how you think it compares to higher end skin care brands. Thanks!

Gio November 23, 2018 - 9:47 am

Bargainshopper10, will do!

In the meantime, I do prefer serums like NIOD MMHC and La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 because – unlike CeraVe – they have more than one form of hyaluronic acid. But CeraVe supplements with ceramides, which are strengthens the skin’s protective barrier in winter. So if your skin’s getting drier now, that’s a good option to consider.

Kristina January 3, 2019 - 5:34 pm

I *love* the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion! I use it morning and night. It’s moisturizing without being greasy. Works well for me with combination skin, and for my partner who has normal to dry skin. We both use it year round, and adjust the amount of moisturizer depending on the season. I like it better than more expensive moisturizers I’ve tried, and highly recommend it to others. Also, it’s a great value – its one of those best-kept-secret products!

Gio January 6, 2019 - 1:06 pm

Kristina, it’s one of the most underrated skincare products out there, isn’t it? So glad it’s working so well for both of you.

Kristina February 9, 2019 - 3:36 am

Hi Gio,
I’m contemplating trying the Cerave skin renewing line – specifically the retinol cream serum, and the peptide night cream. What are your thoughts in these products?

I’m new to retinol and using The Ordinary 0.2% in squalane. I’m not loving the feel of the squalane on my combination skin and have been investigating other formulations that you recommend. I was just about settled on the Skincuticals 0.3% cream, when I came across the Cerave retinol cream. Cerave doesn’t mention the retinol concentration on their website, so I’m not sure how it compares.

What are your thoughts on peptides in general – I read your post about peptides a while back, and it sounds like more research on benefits is needed? And how does the Cerave peptide cream stack up against other peptide products?

Thanks very much for your insight!

Gio February 15, 2019 - 12:55 pm

Kristina, it’s hard to compare as we don’t have the % of retinol in Cerave. What I can tell you is that the CeraVe cream is fairly moisturising too so there may be a slight chance it can feel too heavy for you in summer. You won’t know until you try it. Having said that, the moisturising base makes your skin better able to tolerate retinol.

I personally don’t use peptides in my skincare routine. 90% of the research on them was done by manufacturers in vitro. It’s promising, but until more independent research on real people comes out, I’d rather stick to tried and tested ingredients like retinol and vitamin C. If you have the money to spare and are curious to try them go ahead. But they’re by no means a must.

VolcanicRash February 18, 2019 - 12:26 pm

hi there !

Thanks for the blog. Finally, someone who reads the science!

I have a question about the Cereve cleanser, i have noticed that the ingredients list for the ‘Hydrating Celaners’ is different from the ‘Hydrating Facial Cleanser’. When i go to purchase them, the photos are used interchangeably between the two products. Does it really matter if you want to use it on your face but end up getting the one thats simply called ‘hydrating cleanser’ delivered?

Hydrating Cleanser Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Stearate, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Potassium Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Tocopherol, Ceramide EOP

Hydrating Facial Cleanser Ingredients: Water (Purified), Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methylsulfate/Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 11, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum

Thanks for your expert eye !

Gio February 20, 2019 - 5:35 pm

Volcanicrash, ingredient-wise, there’s not really much of a difference. Both will work well for you.

Kat S August 19, 2019 - 2:27 am

I tried the Cerave moisturising cream on my face. I was worried I would find it too rich but instead, no matter how much I put on, my skin would feel tight and dry almost immediately. It would also burn slightly.

Do you know what could be wrong with my skin? I want to repair the skin barrier.

Gio September 14, 2019 - 12:23 pm

Kat, does this happen with any cream or just CeraVe? If it happens with any cream, it’s because your skin’s protective barrier is broken and needs repairing. In this case, keep using the cream.

If it’s only the CeraVe cream, then there must be something in it that your skin doesn’t like, especially now that it’s this sensitive. Maybe an oil like jojoba or squalene would work best?


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