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My Review of CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser – Is It The Best Cleanser?

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CeraVe is a brand that has made waves in the skincare community with its commitment to effective, accessible, and dermatologist-approved products. CeraVe, known for its focus on maintaining and restoring the skin’s natural barrier, has become a go-to for those seeking gentle yet effective skincare solutions.

Today, we’re putting the spotlight on one of their most talked-about products: the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. Designed for those seeking to inject a burst of hydration into their daily skincare routine, this cleanser promises not just to cleanse but also to nourish and restore. Its formula, rich in ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides, aims to maintain the skin’s natural moisture while removing impurities, making it a potential game-changer for various skin types.

In this review, we’ll take you through our personal experience with the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, delving into its texture, effectiveness, and overall performance. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the brand or just curious about trying something new for your skin, here’s my honest take on this hydrating hero.

My First Impressions of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

Upon receiving the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, the first thing that caught my attention was its straightforward, no-nonsense packaging. The cleanser comes in a clean, clinical-looking bottle, which aligns well with its dermatologist-recommended status. It’s simple yet functional, and the pump dispenser is a practical touch, ensuring ease of use and preventing wastage.

As for the cleanser itself, its texture was the first surprise. Unlike many traditional cleansers that foam up, this one has a creamy, lotion-like consistency. It’s smooth and feels almost silky between the fingers, which made me curious about how it would perform on the face. There’s a noticeable lack of strong fragrance, which I appreciate, as it speaks to its suitability for sensitive skin types.

Upon application, the cleanser spreads easily across the skin, feeling gentle and soothing. It doesn’t lather much, which initially made me wonder about its cleansing efficacy, but it also meant there was no tight, stripped feeling that some foaming cleansers can leave behind. This initial non-drying sensation was promising, indicating the product’s hydrating claims might hold true.

Breaking Down The Key Ingredients

Diving into the core of what makes the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser potentially stand out, let’s explore some of its key ingredients:

Hyaluronic Acid

A standout ingredient, hyaluronic acid is famed for its ability to retain moisture. It’s a naturally occurring substance in our skin that can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. Its inclusion in this cleanser aims to boost hydration, potentially leaving the skin feeling plump and hydrated post-wash.

Ceramide NP, AP + EOP

Ceramides are lipids that help form the skin’s barrier and help skin retain moisture. They play a crucial role in preventing moisture loss and protecting the skin from environmental aggressors. The presence of three different types of ceramides in this formula is impressive and speaks to its intent to restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier.


A humectant that draws moisture from the air into the skin’s outer layer. It’s also present in the skin naturally, and adding it topically can increase hydration, relieve dryness, and refresh the skin’s surface.

Cholesterol & Phytosphingosine

These ingredients work in tandem with ceramides. Cholesterol (yes, the thing that might give you a heart attack one day) helps in skin barrier repair and conditioning, while phytosphingosine has natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for skin conditions like eczema or acne!

Vitamin E

An antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage due to environmental stressors like UV rays and pollution. It also has moisturizing benefits and can strengthen the skin’s barrier function.

The absence of irritating ingredients like fragrances and the inclusion of barrier-strengthening and moisturizing components make this cleanser appear to be a thoughtful formulation, especially for those with sensitive or dry skin.

Results: Did It Work For Me?

I integrated the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser into my daily skincare routine, using it primarily in the evenings to remove the day’s grime and in the mornings as a gentle start. Over several weeks, my experience with the product revealed both its strengths and areas for improvement.

Initially, the creamy texture felt quite luxurious and easy to work with. It didn’t foam, which was a departure from my usual cleansers, but it spread smoothly over my skin, washing off without any residue. The lack of fragrance was a plus, as it reassured me that it was gentle enough for my somewhat sensitive skin.

The first few uses were uneventful yet pleasant. I didn’t experience any immediate dramatic changes, but there was a noticeable lack of tightness or dryness post-cleansing. My skin felt clean but not stripped, which was a refreshing change.

As the weeks progressed, I observed that the cleanser was maintaining my skin’s hydration levels quite well. It didn’t exacerbate any dry patches, nor did it lead to any breakouts, which can be a concern with creamier products. However, while it was effective at removing light makeup and everyday dirt, I found that it struggled a bit with heavier makeup or sunscreen. I had to use a separate makeup remover on those days, which was a slight letdown.

In terms of its hydrating claims, the cleanser lived up to expectations. My skin often felt smoother and more supple after washing, likely thanks to the hyaluronic acid and ceramides in the formula. This was particularly noticeable during colder days when my skin usually feels more dry and sensitive.

The Bottom Line: the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser proved to be a reliable, gentle cleanser, particularly suited for maintaining hydration and skin barrier health. While it might not be the most powerful in terms of deep cleansing, especially for heavy makeup users, its ability to cleanse without stripping the skin makes it a worthy consideration for those with normal to dry skin types. Its effectiveness in maintaining hydration while gently cleansing is commendable, making it a solid, if not spectacular, addition to a daily skincare routine.

Value for Money?

When considering the value for money of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, several factors come into play. First, the price point is reasonable, especially given the brand’s reputation and the quality of ingredients used. The cleanser is widely accessible, both online and in physical stores, making it an easy addition to anyone’s skincare arsenal. The packaging is practical and user-friendly, and the amount of product required per use is minimal, meaning the bottle lasts a good length of time. For those seeking a no-frills, effective hydrating cleanser, this product represents a sound investment.

My Final Thoughts on this Cleanser

After weeks of using the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, I would rate it a solid 7.5 out of 10. Its strengths lie in its gentle formula, the inclusion of skin barrier-supporting ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, and its ability to cleanse without stripping the skin of moisture. It’s particularly well-suited for those with normal to dry skin, or anyone looking to maintain hydration during harsh weather conditions.

However, it falls short in its ability to remove heavy makeup or more stubborn sunscreen formulas, necessitating an additional cleansing step for those who wear more than light makeup. While it’s effective and pleasant to use, it doesn’t deliver any extraordinary results beyond its hydrating and gentle cleansing claims.

Wrapping things up, the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is a reliable and budget-friendly option for those seeking to maintain skin hydration and health without any harsh ingredients. It’s a product that does its job well, even if it doesn’t quite venture beyond its primary promises. For anyone in search of a gentle, hydrating cleanser that won’t break the bank, this product is definitely worth considering.

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