The Story Behind CeraVe
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.
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.
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.
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?
Overall, we think that CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is a basic cleanser that could be beneficial for those with dry skin. We like that the brand combines surfactants with ceramides in the formula so that the skin won’t be stripped of moisture. However, if you’re looking for a cleanser that not only cleans and moisturizes your skin, but also provides anti-aging benefits we’d recommend Formulyst’s Clarifying AHA Cleanser.
The Clarifying AHA Cleanser is formulated to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin while removing dirt and makeup. It contains glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). One of the main benefits of glycolic acid is its ability to exfoliate the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, more radiant skin. Glycolic acid can also help refine pores, control excess oil, and smooth away any surface-level roughness.
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