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CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review: Soothing and simple


In our CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review, we discover if the dry skin moisturiser actually soothes redness and irritation or makes breakouts worse


Click the links to jump to the relevant section:

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Performance

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review video

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Review: Verdict

How we tested CeraVe Moisturising Lotion

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Formula

How to use the CeraVe Lotion

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Ingredients

CeraVe has become a skincare giant thanks to its hugely popular, dermatologist-recommended range.

Each product in the CeraVe range is designed to restore and maintain your skin’s barrier, and each contain three essential ceramides.

Ceramides are the natural fats or lipids found in our skin and they make up around 30-40% of the entire outer layer of our skin.

When your skin is dry it can become irritated and this is usually a sign that your skin barrier is damaged or needs some tender loving care.

One of the biggest CeraVe bestsellers, and the product that for many is their first foray into the range, is the CeraVe Moisturising Lotion.

It promises to provide all-day hydration for dry and very dry skin types while actively improving your skin with regular use.

To put these promises to the test, I’ve spent the past six weeks using the CeraVe Moisturising Lotion every day.

I check how well it hydrates the skin, how long that hydration lasts, if it really balances the complexion, and how well it helps to relieve irritation and redness as part of my CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review.

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Review

CeraVe sells a growing number of products for different skin concerns and needs but its Moisturising Lotion, along with the CeraVe Moisturising Cream, are two of the brand’s bestsellers. They’re also the products that the brand is so well-known for.

The lotion is the lighter of the two products and while it’s designed for use on your body, it can also be used on your face. Alternatively, there are other CeraVe lotions that have been formulated specifically for your face. This includes:

  • CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF25
  • CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF30 for Normal to Dry Skin
  • CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF50

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion: At A Glance

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The CeraVe Moisturising Lotion’s main ingredients include ceramides and hyaluronic acid

What is CeraVe Moisturising Lotion? The CeraVe Moisturising Lotion’s main ingredients include ceramides and hyaluronic acid. This combination is said to provide all-day hydration thanks to CeraVe’s patented MVE Delivery Technology. This technology helps release the active ingredients in the lotion over the course of 24 hours.

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion price: £17 (473ml)

How to use CeraVe Moisturising Lotion: Apply liberally to the face and body, as needed.

When to use CeraVe Moisturising Lotion: Suitable for use both morning and night.

Who should use CeraVe Moisturising Lotion? This cream is best suited to people with dry or very dry skin. It’s suitable for sensitive skin and is recommended by dermatologists to help with eczema and psoriasis.

Where to buy: Lookfantastic | Boots

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion dupes: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lotion (£20); Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion (£11.50); Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion (£18.50)

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CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Performance

mamabella | mamabella

Over the course of six weeks, my skin became noticeably less red and irritated. It even started to look more plump and youthful towards the end of my CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review period

I was apprehensive about using the CeraVe Lotion on my combination skin. Firstly, because the brand claims it’s best for dry and very dry skin, so I was worried it would make my skin feel heavy. Especially my oily T-Zone. Secondly, because the ingredients list includes Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate which is shown as having a potential comedogenic rating of four out of five.

This doesn’t mean it will definitely cause breakouts; it’s the overall formula which determines the comedogenicity but it did make me nervous. Thankfully neither of my concerns were completely warranted.

The first thing I noticed about the lotion was how lightweight it is. It has an almost ideal texture for my combination skin, thick enough to offer nourishment to the dry patches yet light enough for the oily areas. Although without feeling greasy or leaving my skin shiny, and all while absorbing relatively quickly.

In my hydration tests, the lotion increased the hydration of my skin by 6.8 percentage points, or 25% after five minutes. This was above average for the moisturisers I’ve tested and placed the CeraVe lotion in 13th place on my best moisturiser UK list (at the time of writing.) This also earns it a spot on my best moisturiser for combination skin list.

Over the course of six weeks, my skin became noticeably less red and irritated. It even started to look more plump and youthful towards the end of my CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review period.

I didn’t experience any more breakouts than I normally would and when I did get spots, they seemed to clear up much quicker and look less inflamed than before I started using this lotion.

My only complaint is that once my skin became more balanced, the lotion started to feel a little greasier. That is, when my dry patches were less dry, the lotion felt like it was sitting on the skin more than it did at the start of my review period.

This lotion also didn’t seem to play all that well with my other products, and particularly not my makeup. On the days I wore foundation after applying the CeraVe lotion, it slid off and looked patchy much earlier in the day than it would normally.

It also had a tendency to cause my sunscreen to pill if I didn’t wait for it to be fully absorbed, which was annoying and not a problem I’ve had with this sunscreen with any other moisturisers.

It’s also worth noting that because I have combination skin, I can’t vouch for how well this CeraVe lotion performs on dry or very dry skin. Based on my experiences, the cream is nourishing enough for skin that’s slightly dry, but if you need more nourishment then the CeraVe Moisturising Cream might be a better choice.


CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review video

@victoria_woolly_web A bit of a mixed bag for @cerave here as part of our hunt for the best moisturisers and serums. Its CeraVe Moisturising Lotion gave the biggest hydration increase of any product we’ve tested to day. While the CeraVe Moisturising Cream dropped, albeit by a tiny amount. We imagine this may have something to do with the cream taking longer to be absorbed so maybe a longer wait time would show different results? (I’m going to test this hypothesis ASAP!) The cream is also the same one that comes in the tub, it’s just a smaller bottle #mamabella #hydrationtest #hydration #bestmoisturizer #bestmoisturizer #bestmoisturizerforthisseason #cerave #ceraveskincare #ceravelovers #lotioncream #moisturiser #moisturiser_for_dryskin #EndlessJourney ♬ CUFF IT – Beyoncé

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Review: Verdict

Despite my worries about the CeraVe Moisturising Lotion causing outbreaks and spots, or feeling greasy on my oily patches – two complaints I’ve seen a number of times when reading online reviews – I didn’t experience either.

Its formula and texture strike a good balance for combination or dry skin. The lotion hydrates without leaving behind any oily residue; and it nourishes without feeling heavy.

Yet what really impressed me with this CeraVe lotion is how well it seemed to support my skin barrier. Over the course of my six-week review, my skin was less red and irritated. I could finally get away without wearing a skin tint or similar and my skin looked clear and balanced and this is undoubtedly due to the ceramides inside the formula.

This lotion also helped improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Having since stopped using the lotion, because I need to prepare my skin for my next moisturiser test, these signs of ageing have returned so rather than having got rid of them, the lotion simply made them look better.

This isn’t a complaint, very few skincare ingredients can get rid of fine lines and wrinkles for good but it’s just worth noting that you have to keep using the lotion to maintain the level of plumpness and youthfulness this product creates.

In summary, the CeraVe Moisturising Lotion is great for dry, and combination skin. It may not provide enough nourishment and moisturising if you have very dry skin, and it may be a little too greasy for oily skin, yet at this price you can at least give it a go.


How we tested the CeraVe Moisturising Lotion

I used the CeraVe Moisturising Lotion as my go-to facial moisturiser in the morning and evening for six weeks. I applied a pea-sized amount of cream to our palms and, while our face was still damp from our serum, massaged it in circular motions across our face and neck.

I deliberately used the lotion alongside my regular skincare products and the CeraVe lotion was the only item that changed. This meant that, should something go wrong or I experienced a reaction, I could assume that the CeraVe lotion is to blame.

FURTHER READING: How we test skincare to see if it lives up to its claims 

How to use CeraVe Moisturising Lotion

The key to getting the most out of the CeraVe lotion is to apply it to damp skin. It doesn’t need to be wet, but if you apply it straight after your serum or toner it can give the the hyaluronic acid and glycerin found in the lotion more hydration to pull into the skin and lock in place.

  • Wash the skin with a gentle cleanser and pat dry.
  • Apply your toner and serums.
  • Dispense a pump of the CeraVe lotion into your palm and while your face is still damp, gently massage the cream onto your skin using circular motions.
  • Apply the lotion as often as needed to keep your skin hydrated and moisturised.

FURTHER READING: The best CeraVe products for all your skincare concerns – from acne, wrinkles, bumpy skin, and eczema

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Formula

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The CeraVe Moisturising Lotion has been formulated with hydration and your skin barrier in mind

The CeraVe Moisturising Lotion has been formulated with hydration and your skin barrier in mind.

Glycerin acts as a natural moisturiser, drawing water into the skin’s outer layer and supporting overall skin health. As does the inclusion of sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid can hold vast amounts of water and the lotion helps keep this hydration in the skin.

Ceramide NP, AP, and EOP, along with phytosphingosine and cholesterol, are the ingredients in the formula that help to restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. These ceramides mimic the natural fats and lipids found in the skin to boost hydration and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.

Tocopherol, or Vitamin E, then brings antioxidant benefits, protecting the skin from damage caused by free radicals.

The only main ingredient that gives us cause for concern is an ingredient called Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate. This has been linked with causing spots and breakouts so if you have acne-prone skin it might be worth approaching this lotion with caution. In my experience, it didn’t cause any additional breakouts but online reviews about this are mixed so just bear it in mind.

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion Ingredients

The following list of ingredients is taken from the INCI Decoder website. You can hover over each ingredient to find out more about it.

The numbers next to each ingredient represent its Irritation Rating (the number to the left of the comma), and then Comedogenic Rating (to the right of the comma).

Both ratings are scored out of five and the higher the number, the higher the chance of it causing irritation, or comedones (spots). Green means it has a low rating so is less likely to cause problems. Yellow and red numbers represent high ratings and are more likely to cause problems.

Aqua/Water solv, Glycerin sii|h 0 0, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride emo, Cetearyl Alcohol emo|vc|emu|surf 1 2, Cetyl Alcohol emo|vc 2 2, Dimethicone emo 0 1, Phenoxyethanol pres, Polysorbate 20 emu|surf 0 0, Behentrimonium Methosulfate surf, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate emu 0 4, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate emu, Ethylhexylglycerin pres, Potassium Phosphate buff, Disodium EDTA chel, Dipotassium Phosphate buff, Ceramide NP sii, Ceramide AP sii, Phytosphingosine sii|cci|aacne|amic, Cholesterol sii|emo 0 0, Xanthan Gum vc, Carbomer vc 0 1, Sodium Hyaluronate sii|h 0 0, Tocopherol aox 03 03, Ceramide EOP sii

Hover the mouse / tap over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.

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CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review: Soothing and simple