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CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Review (and how to use it!)

The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is a gentle cleanser that is designed for both sensitive and dry skin. I tested it out twice a day for a month to see how good is was at removing excess oil without stripping the skin. This post is my full review of the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser.

CeraVe hydrating cleanser review

If you have dry or sensitive skin, like I do, I would recommend either CeraVe or Cetaphil as the best skincare brands for dry skin types. Both brands have had seals of acceptance from the National Eczema Association, and both are recommended by dermatologists.

This post is my full review of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Review

Ingredients in the CeraVe hydrating cleanser

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. I try to make my reviews as helpful as possible for my readers. You can view my product selection and review process here.

What is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser?

CeraVe make a number of different facial cleansers, but their two most popular cleansers are the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser and the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. I am writing a separate post which contains a detailed comparison between the two products, but very generally the Hydrating Cleanser is better for dry skin and the Foaming Cleanser is better for oily skin.

The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser contains a very gentle and moisturising formula which is designed to clean dry and sensitive skin, whilst leaving it soft and moisturised. I found that the product did clean my skin and didn’t leave it feeling tight and dry, however I’ve had better results with other cleansers such as the Hado Labo Gentle Hydrating Cleanser.

The CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser may be too gentle and moisturising for many skin types. If you get oily skin you may need a cleanser that has a stronger cleansing agent. I also found that while it didn’t dry my skin out, I’ve used other cleansers that have given me better results. If you have extremely dry skin, like I do, I have recommended other cleansers later on in this post.

The cleansing agent in this product is Peg-40 Stearate which also acts as an emollient, and helps to soften and moisturise the skin. It is a more gentle cleansing agent than Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) which is found in many face washes. The product also contains hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides to protect the skin barrier.

How to Use CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

This product is a cleanser that should be washed off with water. It cannot be used without water, unlike the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. It should also not be used to remove makeup.

After removing all makeup massage the cleanser into the skin in a circular motion before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Use the product twice a day, in the morning and evening.

a photograph of the CeraVe cleanser

Review of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

I used the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser as part of my skincare routine, twice a day for a month. I found that a small amount went a long way, and I still have some of the product left in the bottle.

Since my skin is very dry I cannot use harsh cleansers on my face, and always choose products that are suitable for sensitive skin types. Overall the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser did a good job of cleaning my skin and didn’t leave it feeling dry or tight.

After one month of use I have healthy skin and no skin irritation. I don’t think the cleanser does a very good job at sloughing away dead skin cells however, so you may need to use an extra exfoliant when required.

Texture and Consistency

You can see from the image below the cleanser has the texture of a watery gel. It is much thicker than other cleansers I’ve tested such as the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, but not as thick as the Hada Labo Hydrating Cleanser.

When the cleanser spreads on the skin it has a silky feel, a bit like a moisturiser. The cleanser don’t form a lather at all when applied to wet skin.

Texture and consistency of the cleanser

Scent

The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is completely fragrance free. I love fragrance free skincare products as they are less likely to cause irritation or skin redness. In my opinion there is also no reason for a cleanser to have a scent to it!

Packaging

This cleanser comes in a pump bottle, which I prefer compared to a tube. Many of the other cleansers I have tested out, including the Hado Labo Hydrating Cleanser, the Beauty Pie cleansers and the Emma Hardie cleansing balm, all come in tubes or tubs.

Pump bottles are far easier and more hygienic since you don’t need to put your fingers into a tub, and risk introducing bacteria to the product. It’s also easier to get the product out of the bottle when it has a pump.

Price

At the time of writing this article the cleanser is on sale in Boots for £9.50. I think the product is excellent value for money since one bottle lasts a long time.

Results

I had a good experience with this cleanser, however it is not my favourite since I’ve tested other products that were more moisturising. It cleans your skin in a non-irritating way, protects the skin’s barrier and helps to promote all day hydration. It also makes your face feel soft and your skin look healthy.

I would recommend this product for dry skin types who are prone to redness and need extra skin hydration. It best suits dry skin, but in my opinion there are better products out there for very dry skin.

I don’t believe this would be an effective cleanser for acne-prone skin, normal skin, oily skin, or combination skin. This is because the cleansing agent is so mild that it may not clean your skin well enough, and remove all the excess oil and sebum.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

Pros and Cons of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

I used this CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser twice a day for over a month, and found it worked well at cleaning my skin whilst leaving it hydrated and soft. I would say this cleanser may not be for you if you have particularly oily skin since it may be too gentle.

Pros

  • Very gentle on the skin
  • Leaves skin feeling moisturised
  • Won’t dry the skin out
  • Cleans away dirt on dry skin
  • Free from fragrance and irritants
  • Protects the skin barrier
  • One bottle lasts a long time
  • Convenient pump bottle
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The cleansing agent may not be strong enough for normal skin
  • Not suitable for acne prone skin
  • I found that it wasn’t as moisturising as other cleansers if you have extra dry skin
  • Must be washed off with water unlike the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Ingredients

The key ingredients in this cleanser are hyaluronic acid, glycerin and CeraVe’s three essential ceramides. They help to moisturise the skin and restore the skin’s protective barrier.

The cleansing agent in this product is PEG 40 which is a more gentle cleanser compared with other cleansing agents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS).

CeraVe sometimes alter their ingredient lists, so ensure you check you own product for the latest formula. The current ingredients list is below:

Full Ingredients

Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Peg-40 Stearate, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Phosphate, Disodium Edta, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Tocopherol, Ceramide EOP.

What Sets the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Apart from its Competitors?

I’ve tested out many cleansers that are suitable for dry and eczema-prone skin. The CeraVe cleanser is a good basic cleanser for dry skin, however there are other options which are better in my opinion. If you have extremely dry skin, I would recommend the Hada Labo Tokyo Gentle Cleanser since I found this product far more moisturising.

Another option is the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. I found this product to be quite similar to the CeraVe cleanser but not quite as gentle. The Cetaphil cleanser uses SLS as its cleansing agent, but has a very mild formula. One of the main benefits of the Cetaphil cleanser over the CeraVe cleanser is that it can be used without water!

The comparison table below shows a basic overview of these three different cleansers.

Comparison Table

Title
CeraVe
Hydrating Cleanser
Cetaphil
Gentle Skin Cleanser
Hada Labo Tokyo
Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
Preview
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser | 236ml/8oz | Daily Face & Body Wash for Normal to Dry Skin
Old Version, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, 473ml
Hada Labo Tokyo Gentle Hydrating Cleanser 150ml, White
Skin Type
Dry
Dry, Sensitive
Very dry
Key Ingredients
Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides
Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol
Super Hyaluronic Acid
Fragrance Free
Prime Benefits
-
Price
£10.00
£19.96
£13.45
CeraVe
Title
Hydrating Cleanser
Preview
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser | 236ml/8oz | Daily Face & Body Wash for Normal to Dry Skin
Skin Type
Dry
Key Ingredients
Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides
Fragrance Free
Prime Benefits
Price
£10.00
View on Amazon
Cetaphil
Title
Gentle Skin Cleanser
Preview
Old Version, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, 473ml
Skin Type
Dry, Sensitive
Key Ingredients
Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol
Fragrance Free
Prime Benefits
-
Price
£19.96
Buy Online
View on Amazon
Hada Labo Tokyo
Title
Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
Preview
Hada Labo Tokyo Gentle Hydrating Cleanser 150ml, White
Skin Type
Very dry
Key Ingredients
Super Hyaluronic Acid
Fragrance Free
Prime Benefits
Price
£13.45
Buy Online
View on Amazon

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have oily skin or are prone to acne or blemishes, CeraVe make a number of other cleansers which may be better for you. The CeraVe Foaming Cleanser or the Renewing SA Cleanser have formulas that are better suited for bumpy skin, or to prevent breakouts.

Where You Can Buy the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

You can buy the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser at:

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin 473ml with Hyaluronic Acid & 3 Essential Ceramides
  • Developed with Dermatologists.
  • Contains 3 Essential Ceramides to respect the skin's natural barrier.
  • Non-foaming formula that gently cleanses the face and body.
  • Formulated with MVE Technology to lock in moisture, providing 24-hour hydration.
  • Gentle on skin, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.

Last update on 2022-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs About the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

Is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser good for acne?

CeraVe make other cleansers which are better suited to acne prone skin than the Hydrating Cleanser. If you are prone to blemishes or acne, try the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser or the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

Does CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser actually clean?

From my experience the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser does a good job at cleaning dry skin. If you have normal, combination or oily skin however, the cleansing agent may not be strong enough to remove all the excess grease and dirt from your skin.

What is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser used for?

The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is used to clean dry and sensitive skin. From my experience it is a good option for dry skin, but if your skin is extra dry there are other better options out there.

Can I use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser everyday?

The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is designed to be used every day. I used it twice a day, in the morning and evening as part of my daily skin care routine.

Is the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser oil free?

No, the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is not oil free. If you are looking for an oil free cleanser, try the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.

Does the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser remove makeup?

You should not use the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser to remove makeup. Always remove your makeup first with micellar water before using the Hydrating Cleanser to clean your face.

Posts From Other Beauty Bloggers

If you found my review of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser helpful, you may enjoy the following posts from beauty bloggers that I follow and trust.

Ruth Crilly

Caroline Hirons

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British Beauty Blogger

This Post Was a Review of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

Thank you for reading my review of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. This is a great product for cleaning dry skin. After using it your skin feels soft and hydrated, and it doesn’t leave any greasy film on the skin’s surface. If you’ve tried this cleanser please leave me a comment below and let me know how you got on!