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Review: CeraVe Cleansers

CeraVe has been one of my absolute favorite skincare brands for many, many years. I experiment with a lot of skincare products but my cleansers are something I have never messed around with. I came across this brand when I decided to completely scrap all my harsher products and start from scratch. I wanted to focus on products that were going to be really gentle and hydrating for my skin.

Do note that I use cleansers to actual clean my skin and not for makeup removal. I am a firm believer that removing your makeup and cleaning your skin should be two separate steps. Therefore, I do not discuss the makeup removing abilities of these cleansers because I don’t use them for that purpose.

The breakdown: 

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser: This was the first cleanser out of the range that I had tried. I had always used very foamy or creamy cleansers that upon mixing with water created a lot of suds which always felt so refreshing to wash my face with. This cleanser is the exact opposite of that. When I first used it, I hated it. It has this kind of gel-like consistency and when you massage it into your skin it doesn’t foam up at all, so I was initially very unsatisfied with it. However, I kept using it and my skin eventually thanked me for it. Because it doesn’t create suds or foam up, it is very gentle on the skin and I never got that tight feeling after washing my face. I used to think that whenever my face felt tight after cleansing, it meant that my face was squeaky clean and I loved that. Turns out that just means that your skin is begging you for some moisture and it will probably now need to produce more oil to balance things out. I would highly recommend this one for all skin types (even oily) because it contains great ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid (pulls moisture into the skin) and ceramides (lipid molecules that help plump up skin.) Available here.

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser: I was hesitant to try this one out because it’s a foaming cleanser and, as I mentioned before, those always tended to dry out my skin. But, since I had such good luck with the hydrating cleanser I decided to try this guy out to see if it would help control some of my oil without being too drying. This won me over almost immediately. It’s perfect for those days where you have an excess of oil or sweat on your face. It has that satisfying foam-y consistency but with the addition of hyaluronic acid and ceramides, it’s just gentle enough to make your face feel really clean but not crazy tight. However, I would moisturize right after using this. With the hydrating cleanser you can get away with waiting awhile before going in with your other products, but I wouldn’t do that with this one. Additionally, this cleanser contains niacinamide (vitamin B3) which boosts the immunity of your skin, helps with hyper pigmentation, regulates oil production and minimizes fine lines, along with many other benefits. I would not recommend this for those who are on the drier side, because it has the potential to dry out your skin if you are already prone to that happening. Definitely a great option for normal-to-oily skin types! Available here.

CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser: While I’ve been using the other 2 cleansers for years now, I just started using this one very recently. The SA in the name stands for salicylic acid, an ingredient I had been very skeptical about for years. When I was younger I used a lot of products with salicylic acid in them and I never felt like it did anything for me. I now believe that those products (like the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash) were not effective because they contained a lot of other unnecessary and irritating ingredients in them, rendering the salicylic acid in them pretty useless. CeraVe keeps their formulas nice and simple, without the addition of fragrances and other irritants. The consistency of this cleanser feels weirdly like a combination of the hydrating and foaming cleaner. It doesn’t foam up very much but it’s not a complete gel either. My skin feels very balanced after using this and I have not experienced any dryness or irritation which is a relief. I’ve slowly started to incorporate salicylic acid back into my skincare as it’s known for its deep pore cleansing abilities and I have been blown away with how smooth and soft my skin has been feeling. I would recommend this one for all skin types because I have found it to be very gentle, but like the foaming cleanser, I would moisturize immediately after use. Available here.

I love all of these cleansers very much. And I actually do use all of them, depending on what my skin is needing that day. But, as a guideline, I would use the hydrating cleanser in the morning and either the foaming or renewing cleanser in the evening as you have more buildup on your skin after a long day. It is very important that you are paying attention to the ingredients in your cleansers because even though a cleanser is one of the least effective products in terms of actually “treating” your skin (due to it being on your skin for a short period of time) it is still imperative to use non-irritating products on your skin. In the past, I’ve had cleansers completely dry out my skin, irritate and worsen breakouts, and even cause allergic reactions. CeraVe is my go-to brand for gentle skincare and I never have to worry about anything going awry when using their products 🙂


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