While the world of skincare is busier than Tokyo's Shibuya Crossing, there are very few products that go on to achieve cult status. In fact, I can only really think of a handful in my ten plus years as a beauty editor. There's the glow-inducing Pixi Tonic, hangover-hiding Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and the mega moistursing La Mer Cream.
One brand that I didn't envisage entering the beauty hall of fame was CeraVe. With its pharmacy-vibes packaging, change-leftover-from-a-tenner pricing and modest product range, it doesn't exactly scream 'luxury.' Yet it's now the fastest-growing brand across health and beauty, with an estimated retail value of around £31 million.
Not to mention, it has a host of celebrity fans including Blake Lively who, turns out, loves the brand's Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 50. The good news – if ever during a heatwave – is that the moisturiser-meets-sunscreen is currently on sale for just £12.
So, what's all the fuss about? Read on and you'll soon find out...
What is CeraVe?
CeraVe is a skincare brand whose origins began in 2005, when researchers partnered with leading dermatologists to create a line of skincare products that are designed to help repair and strengthen the skin barrier.
The USP is that it's the first and only brand to offer a full line of products containing an exclusive combination of three scientifically-identified essential ceramides. Each product works to penetrate the skin’s surface, infuse it with moisture, and lock it in for truly long-lasting results.
What is so good about CeraVe?
1. It's developed by dermatologists
Co-founder of the brand Tom Allison recently explained to Vogue that one of the reasons for its success is written plain as day on the packaging ‘developed by dermatologists'.
'In 2004, we brought together a panel of dermatologists who are considered the world experts in ingredient formulation design and asked them what they would create were they to start a skincare brand themselves. They pointed us to ingredients called ceramides,' he says.
2. It contains ceramides
These hold the power to truly rejuvenate your skin’s appearance. 'Ceramides are fats (also known as lipids) that make up over 50 percent of your skin’s composition. Yep, in case you didn’t know it, you’re basically a walking, talking avocado. 'Ceramides are particularly abundant in the outermost layers of the skin so it’s no surprise that they play a vital role in determining how your skin looks, ages and how it responds to environmental stress,' explains cosmetic doctor, Dr Johanna Ward, WH 'Skin Deep' columnist.
3. It's affordable
Last but by no means least, is the fact that it's budget-friendly. Some of the range comes in at less than a tenner and all of it is less than 20 quid. Equally, the formulas last. As a fully-fledged fan, I can say that the cleansers last around three months.
Is CeraVe good for your face?
In a word, yes. For the main reason mentioned above, it's all to do with ceramides. You know the grout that keeps your Pinterest worthy bathroom tiles in place? Well, ceramides work in exactly the same way. If there isn’t enough grout between the tiles in your shower, then it’s powerless at keeping water from leaking out.
'Ceramides seal the gaps between skin cells and keep vital moisture locked in. They also keep your skin cells organised into a dynamic matrix rather than a hopeless mishmash, which also helps to prevent hydration from leaking out and crucially, from preventing undesirables such as free radicals, bacteria and pollution from seeping in. Ceramides are akin to the ‘do not pass go’ card in your monopoly game,' explains Dr Ward.
So why are ceramides so important? Well, without the protective prowess of ceramides you open the floodgates to all sorts of tricky skincare issues.
'Skin can look and feel dry, red, rough, and will ultimately be weak. In people with dry skin and conditions like eczema, rosacea, and even acne, we know that ceramide levels in the skin are lower than they should be,' adds Dr Ward.
'This contributes to sensitivity and skin inflammation. The lovely thing about ceramides is that all skin types can benefit from them and all skin types respond well to them. Because they are naturally occurring in the body, applying ceramides topically doesn’t upset sensitive or oily skins. Regular use makes the skin plumper, firmer and more resilient to ageing and environmental damage,' she adds.
Is CeraVe a good skincare brand?
Skincare is as personal as your choice of clothing so it's no surprise that on Reddit beauty threads you’ll find people who aren't fans of the reductive formulas. For every person who claims the products transformed their skin, there is someone else who felt unimpressed. A common thread is the inclusion of preservative parabens in many of the formulas, which some believe cause health concerns and yet the vast majority of studies suggest that's not true.
Why do dermatologists love CeraVe?
It's all to do with those ceramides, guys. They really are a vital ingredient in your skincare routine.
Is CeraVe better than Cetaphil?
So both are created with sensitive skin types in mind, are no-frills, and come in at the cheaper end of the spending spectrum. Yet CeraVe differs in that it's made with ceramides and Cetaphil isn't.
The Best CeraVe Products | A Product For Every Skin Type
The best Cerarve product for dry skin
Those will dry skin will know all too well that the right cleanser is vital to keep pesky flakes at bay.
Set your sights on the Hydrating Cleanser. 'It contains three essential ceramides to help protect the skin barrier and hyaluronic acid is left behind which helps to retain the skin’s natural moisture,' says Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme, CeraVe Medical and Aesthetics Consultant.
Side note. Ceramides are as equally as important for skin that lives below your neckline. This protective moisturising body cream is made with three naturally occurring ceramides and hyaluronic acid to deliver long-lasting hydration.
The best CeraVe product for sensitive skin
Ceramides could not be more vital for sensitive skin. So if your face is feeling sore then you'll be pleased to know that skin barrier repair is in CeraVe’s DNA.
'All of the cleansers are formulated to be kind to sensitive skin, used with the Facial Moisturising Lotion AM / Facial Moisturising Lotion PM which has ceramides, niacinamide fand emollients to ensure that you’re be working on your barrier repair at every step of your routine,' explains Dr Ejikeme.
The best CeraVe products for acne/oily-prone skin
Oily and acne-prone skin types usually have to deal with discomfort and imperfections, therefore they need a trusted cleanser that will mop up excess oil without drying the skin out.
Look no further than CeraVe’s Foaming Cleanser, which is recommended by dermatologists due to the way it delicately cleanses while infusing the skin with calming niacinamide.
Best of all, the foam is strong enough to lift away all dirt and make-up so that you don't need to bother with double-cleansing.
'This was created to slough off dead skin and smooth bumps. It has however gained cult status as a blemish-fighting cleanser among customers. The cleanser contains salicylic acid and LHA to smooth skin while hydrating and repairing with hyaluronic acid and ceramide,' says Dr Ejikeme.
Oily skin types still need hydration in order to keep the skin barrier intact. CeraVe’s AM and PM Facial Moisturising Lotion to hydrate your skin all day long.
The best CeraVe product for combination skin
'This is the best of both worlds in terms of CeraVe cleansers. The hydrating cream formula uses amino-acids to create a rich foam which hydrates but doesn’t leave any residue on the skin,' says Dr Ejikeme.
Again CeraVe’s AM and PM Facial Moisturising Lotion is an easy win for combination skin.
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