cerave moisturising lotion review

Have you heard? CeraVe has just hit the UK! 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 one of the brand’s staples, CeraVe Moisturising Lotion. Here’s what makes it so popular and why you should get a bottle too, especially if you have dry skin:

Key Ingredients In CeraVe Moisturising Lotion: What Makes It Work?


I’ll keep this short and sweet. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is a mixture of coconut oil and glycerin. Both ingredients are super moisturising. Glycerin attracts moisture from the air into your skin, increasing its hydration levels, while coconut oil creates a barrier on the skin that keeps this moisture from evaporating.

The catch? Coconut oil is one of the most comedogenic ingredients used in skincare. A lot of people, especially those with oily and acne-prone skin, can’t use it without getting zits all over the place. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride comes to the rescue. It’s just as moisturizing as coconut oil, but not as thick and NON comedogenic. In other words, it gives you all the benefits of coconut oil without its side effects. Phew!

Related: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Coconut Oil In Skincare


Ceramides are oily waxes (“cera” means wax in Latin) that make up the glue that holds skin cells together (together with fatty acids, cholesterol etc).

Their job is to strengthen and waterproof the skin’s protective barrier so that moisture stays in (where it needs to be to hydrate skin!) and germs, pollutants, and other germs stay out (no irritations!). A stronger protective barrier also helps skin better withstand the attacks of harsh weather, pollutants, and anything else that’s trying to harm it.

Talking about harm… You know when your barrier has broken down. All of a sudden, your skin becomes dry. Red. Flaky, even. Adding ceramides to your skincare routine can prevent this from happening in the first place – or nurse skin back to health if it’s already happened.

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion has 3 types of ceramides. Plus, cholesterol and Hyaluronic Acid, two more components of your skin’s natural barrier. Together, they make it as strong as it can be.

Related: The Complete Guide To Ceramides In Skincare: What They Are, What They Do, And How To Use Them


Sodium hyaluronate is a form of hyaluronic acid that attracts and binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. Plus, it works well both in high and low humidity conditions.

When skin has that much moisture, it plumps up. This alone is enough to make your fine lines look smaller – temporarily. Hydration also makes skin soft and gives the complexion a dewy glow (think Korean skin).

P.S. Sodium Hyaluronate isn’t the only moisture magnet here. Glycerin does the same thing, but on a smaller scale.

Related: Why You Need Hyaluronic Acid In Your Skincare Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes dryness and makes your skin soft and supple again? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin” cheatsheet to get started (it features product recommendations and right application order):

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Aqua/Water: The main solvent in the formula, it helps to dissolve other ingredients.
  • Glycerin: A humectant that attracts and binds water from the air into your skin to keep it hydrated and plump for longer.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol: A fatty alcohol with moisturising properties.
  • Cetyl Alcohol: Another fatty alcohol that moisturises skin. It also helps thicken the texture of skincare products.
  • Dimethicone: A type of silicone that fills in fine lines and wrinkles, so they look smaller to the naked eye. It also gives the texture a velvety soft feel and makes skin smoother to the touch. And nope, it doesn’t clog pores.
  • Phenoxyethanol: A common preservative that inhibits the growth of germs and bacteria in your skincare products.
  • Polysorbate 20: Oil and water don’t mix. This is an emulsifier that helps the watery and oily ingredients mix together, so the formula is a pleasure to use.
  • Ceteareth-20: It prevents the oily and watery parts of a formula from separating into gooey layers.
  • Behentrimonium Methosulfate: It’s an emulsifier, a fancy way of saying it helps the oily and watery ingredients blend together seamlessly, so the texture is a pleasure to use.
  • Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate: It makes skin softer and helps emulsify oil and water mixtures, so they’re pleasant to use.
  • Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate: Another emulsifier that also thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Ethylhexyglycerin: It softens skin and has emollient-like properties that make the product last longer.
  • Potassium Phosphate: It helps to adjust the pH of skincare products.
  • Disodium Edtae: A preservative that helps enhance the stability of skincare products.
  • Dipostassium Phosphate: It adjusts the pH of water-based formulas.
  • Cholesterol: It makes up part of the glue that holds skin cells together. It strengthens the skin’s protective barrier and moisturises skin. It works better when used with ceramides (this lotion is loaded with them).
  • Xanthan Gum: It thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Carbomer: It enhances the texture of skincare products.
  • Tocopherol: A form of Vitamin E that has antioxidant properties. Here, it’s mostly used to stabilise other ingredients and make the products last longer.


This lotion is a reamy and rich texture that takes a couple of minutes to fully sink in. I’m cool with that. My skin needs all the moisture it can take. If yours isn’t as dry, apply it sparingly.


It’s fragrance-free. Like all the best skincare products. Fragrance is one of the most irritating ingredients in skincare products. Yes, it makes them smell good, but if you have sensitive skin, they can also irritated it. I’ll take my skincare products without it, thanks.

How To Use It

You can use this lotion both on your face and body. On your face, it’s the last step of your skincare routine at night. On your body, just apply it after a shower or whenever you feel like your dry skin could do with some moisture.


This lotion comes in a big, white blue and white tube with a pump applicator. It’s practical, easy to use, and will last you for a long time. It’s just not the most convenient tube to travel with, but you can always transfer some of the lotion in a small container. A little goes a long way.

Performance & Personal Opinion

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.

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?

cerave moisturizing lotion

What I Like About CeraVe Moisturising Lotion

  • Rich texture.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Super moisturising, makes even the driest of skin softer and smoother.
  • Long-lasting, its moisturising effects last the entire day (even if you have very dry skin).

What I DON’T Like About CeraVe Moisturising Lotion

  • Too rich for oilier skin types.
  • Takes a couple of minutes to absorb.

Who Should Use This?

This rich lotion is a godsend for dry and sensitive skin. Anyone else will find it too rich, especially on the face.

Does CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Live Up To Its Claims?

A lightweight moisturising body lotion that provides 24-hour hydration with 3 essential ceramides to help protect skin’s natural barrier. It’s not the most lightweight lotion, but everything else is true.
Specifically formulated, lightweight formula to moisturise sensitive skin that is dry. True.
Fragrance-free, non-irritating, non-comedogenic. It’s fragrance-free and highly unlikely to cause irritations and acne. But everyone’s skin is different and no one can make these claims with 100% certainty for everyone.

Price & Availability

$11.99/£9.50 at Boots, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, Stylevana, and Ulta

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

If you have dry skin that’s also sensitive, this is a no-frills moisturising lotion that does the job without irritating skin. I highly recommend it.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Drunk Elephant Sili Body Lotion ($20.00): A rich lotion loaded with natural oils to moisturise dry skin and nourish it back to softness and suppleness. Available at Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, Sephora, Ulta, and Yes Style.
  • Paula’s Choice Daily Replenishing Body Cream ($25.00): A rich lotion with natural oils, shea butter, and ceramides to deeply moisturise and nourish even the driest of skin types. Available at Paula’s Choice.


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.