Skincare can be really expensive. In fact, I’m kind of fed up of tiptoeing around the fact that in so many cases, we’re all being painfully overcharged for certain skincare products. Brands know all too well the price that we’re willing to pay for great skin, and they’re not afraid to take advantage of it. However, as our skincare priorities have shifted, not only are brands charging obscene amounts of money for efficacious products, but they’re also driving up prices on products that look more aesthetically pleasing. As a result of this, it’s safe to say that when it comes to skincare, price does not always reflect quality.
So when a no-frills product range comes along that doesn’t have a gimmicky name, doesn’t come housed in Instagram-worthy bottles and generally lacks fancies, it can be very easy for it to be overlooked. If you ask me, that is exactly what happened to CeraVe. For years, CeraVe had been heralded as one of the few U.S. brands that British beauty editors couldn’t wait to get their hands on. So when it finally launched in the U.K. a few years ago, I bought almost everything in the range.
Blake Lively is a fan of CeraVe.
As a beauty editor, barely a day goes by when I don’t talk to a dermatologist about one thing or another, and over the years, I’d go as far to say that CeraVe has been one of the most highly recommended brands. And it’s not just skin experts who love it—it also has some celebrity fans. Rumour has it that Blake Lively loves the SPF, Poppy Delevingne relies on the Hydrating Cleanser, and Olivia Wilde swears by CeraVe moisturiser. Above all of that, every product comes in at under £20, and honestly, there isn’t a single product in the lineup that I can fault.
Olivia Wilde has been known to use CeraVe moisturisers.
Sure, CeraVe products might not be the prettiest to look at or even the most luxurious to use, but they work, which is more than can be said for some products triple their price. The brand creates products that work to protect and restore the natural skin barrier to prevent irritation, dryness and even breakouts. By providing the skin with three essential ceramides (moisture-retaining lipids that are naturally found in skin), CeraVe products have become my go-to when my skin doesn’t want to play ball. I might not wake up in the morning with a whole new glowing complexion, but they are among the only products I really trust to restore moisture, calm breakouts and generally get my complexion back on track.
Poppy Delevingne likes CeraVe's iconic Hydrating Cleanser.
So if your skin is prone to dryness, breakouts or just simply struggles to behave itself, keep scrolling for the very best CeraVe products out there.
1. Blemish Control Cleanser
The entire Blemish Control range is formulated for blemish-prone and acneic skin—working to treat breakouts without disrupting the skin's moisture barrier. This cleanser is formulated with 2% salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and unclog pores. Unlike the brand's SA Cleanser, this stuff also contains niacinamide to reduce the appearance of active breakouts and hectorite clay to absorb spot-inducing oil.
2. Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25
3. Hydrating Cleanser
4. Blemish Control Gel
A moisturiser created specifically for spot-prone skin, this clever formula contains the brand's moisture-restoring ceramide concoction as well as a powerhouse blend of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids to penetrate pores and rid them of blemish-causing dirt and sebum.
5. Eye Repair Cream
6. Micellar Cleansing Water
I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of micellar waters. I think they encourage laziness with cleansing and lead people to think that a swipe of micellar over the skin is sufficient enough to keep skin healthy—but it isn't. In fact, you should always be using a wash-off cleanser after you use a micellar to remove your makeup and SPF. Having said that, I do understand that in some cases, micellar water is necessary. Whether you're at a festival and don't have access to a tap or have stubborn waterproof makeup on that requires some extra elbow grease during a first cleanse, micellar water can help. This particular formula is great. It doesn't leave skin feeling dry and actually helps restore lost moisture. If you're particularly stubborn and are only going to ever cleanse with micellar water, I'd make it this one.
7. Moisturising Cream
8. Foaming Facial Cleanser
Caring for skin that sits somewhere between oily and sensitive can be really tricky, with most products catering to one or the other. This ever-so-light gel-to-foam cleanser fights excess oil while delivering hydration. My favourite bit? It is also formulated with niacinamide to reduce irritation.
9. Smoothing Cleanser
10. Resurfacing Retinol Serum
Again within the Blemish Control range, this retinol serum is great for those battling leftover scarring and more visible pores from breakouts. With encapsulated retinol, it helps to boost the skin's cell turnover, minimising the appearance of scarring and pores while it works. And it does all of that while putting the skin barrier first, meaning any risk of that infamous retinol irritation is massively reduced.
11. Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
For those, like me, who like their cleansers to have a satisfying lather, this option is great. In fact, it just might be one of my favourite cleansers of all time. It gently cleanses the skin without upset, maintaining essential moisture levels, but also gives a cleanse deep enough to leave skin feeling really clean.
12. Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum
You may have noticed that CeraVe doesn't have many serums in its line-up of products. The reason for this, I assume, is that serums tend to be packed with active ingredients—many of which are known to act against the skin barrier. This stuff, however, sits somewhere between a serum and a moisturiser. With a lightweight, creamy texture, this hyaluronic acid serum really helps to hydrate, plump and soothe the skin. Personally, I'd recommend this for those with very dry skin who want their hydrating serums to work a little harder. Alternatively, I recommend it as a makeup primer for those with oily skin who want to reduce the appearance of pores. (It contains silicone and dimethicone, which gives skin that blurring, silky finish.)
13. Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser