Review: CeraVe – Hydrating Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin

Where to purchase: Look Fantastic: LINK / Boots: LINK / Feel Unique: LINK / Superdrug: LINK

Price: ~£9.50

Volume: 236ml

Made in: France

What is it?: A Non-Foaming (2nd Cleanse) gentle Gel Cleanser meant to cleanse the skin WITHOUT stripping it of moisture.

What makes this special?: This contains 3 Essential Ceramides (fatty ingredients found in the skin’s barrier) to help retain that moisture. Hyaluronic Acid is also added to keep the skin moisturised.

Supposedly Good for: Normal-Dry Skin.

What I think: I agree, I also think Dehydrated Skins and Sensitised Skins could use this. NOTE: I have Oily-Combination Skin and I find that this works for me, especially during the winter. I really prefer non-foaming cleansers that don’t strip the skin, so if you’re like me, then this could suit your needs! But if you want a powerful or stronger cleanser, then I would pass and go for the Jelly Joker Cleanser instead.


Vegan?: No

Cruelty Free?: CeraVe sell in China which may require animal testing in the country.

How long does it last after opening?: 12 Months

pH: 5.5 (Skin Mantle is 5.5)

Packaging: Plastic Bottle with a Pump – This pumps out an adequate amount of product too. This also hasn’t leaked for me.

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Directions: This can be used daily in the AM and/or PM. Massage the cleanser onto wet skin, then rinse thoroughly.

How I use it: I use this to remove my SPF. When removing makeup, I would prefer to use the Beauty of Joseon Cleansing Balm (Review HERE) or the Juno Skin Cleansing Balm (Review HERE). I do occasionally use this in the shower to wash the body as it wont strip the skin too much of its moisture. I need to wet this product before massaging into the skin otherwise it will feel sticky + tug at my skin. Adding water adds some lubrication so it’s easy to massage into the skin. This does turn slightly milky once water has been added, so it’s easy to wash off.

Key Ingredients: 3 Types of Ceramide: Ceramide NO, Ceramide AP + Ceramide Eop – These help reinforce the skin’s barrier and keep it moisturised. Cholesterol is added which also supports the skin’s barrier and is a fatty ingredient to keep the skin moisturised. Phytosphingosine (Anti-bacterial). Sodium Hyaluronate is also added which is a hydrating ingredient.

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.

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

Texture: This has a gel consistency (not a cream). This will feel tacky on the skin if you don’t add water. I like adding some water to make this easier to massage my face.

Does this foam up?: No.

Does this turn milky when water is added?: Yes, which makes this easier to wash off.

Does this make the skin feel tight/dry after cleansing?: Not really. I do think the Aveeno Gel Cleanser is slightly better at keeping the skin hydrated after cleansing, but I think this still does a decent job. My skin doesn’t feel uncomfortable after cleansing.


As you can see, this is a gel (almost cream-like) cleanser. It is transluscent and would be sticky if I squished it between my fingers.

Do you see how it almost looks like a Jelly Cleanser? It is close.


Does this Sting if the Skin has been Irritated / Sensitised by Shaving/Heavy Retinol Use?: No

Summer or Winter?: Both! It’s not a heavy Cleanser and washes off quite easily. However if you are someone who gets sweaty and oily in the summer, this may do better in the winter.


Video Swatch:

Fragrance?: No added fragrance and/or essential oils (this doesn’t smell bad).

Good at Removing Makeup?: I wouldn’t recommend this to use as a makeup-melter. I’d either use it to remove SPF or as a second cleanser in a 2-step cleanse.

Does this sting the eyes?: No.

How long have I been using this?: 3 Months.

Will I use until Completion?: Yes.

How Long will that take?: Another 3 Months (I share this with my sister).

The Effect?: Gently cleansed skin that doesn’t feel tight or dry.

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What I like:

  • Fragrance + EO Free
  • Doesn’t make the skin feel tight or dry
  • Decent ml for the £

What I don’t like:

  • Not a good makeup remover/dissolver

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 4/5 – A decent, basic and gentle cleanser. This is a good cleanser for those with sensitive skins, dry skins and dehydrated skins as it doesn’t seem to strip the skin of moisture. I enjoy that it doesn’t lather up and it’s not difficult to wash this cleanser off. No it doesn’t have exfoliating acids or melt makeup, but I would recommend it to those who aren’t fond of cleansing and feel tightness when they cleanse. If you want more ways to use this product, it can be used on the body when showering; otherwise it might take ages to get through a big bottle like this.

Would I repurchase?: Yes as this is easily accessible from my local pharmacy and is good for if and when the skin is sensitised; but I would also like to repurchase the Dupes down below perhaps slightly more than this.

Dupe?: The Aveeno Face Calm + Restore Oat Gel Cleanser (Review HERE) is a good, perhaps even better and gentler dupe! (I prefer this more jelly-like texture). I have a Youtube Video Swatching + Reviewing HERE as well. Another Gentle Cleanser but is mikly and not a gel, is the Laneige Cream Skin Oil Milk Cleanser (Review HERE).

NOTE: If you would prefer a Gel/Jelly Cleanser that DOES foam up and does clean stronger, then the Geek & Gorgeous Jelly Joker (Review) is a good dupe! (It’s also Fragrance and Essential Oil Free).

My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.

Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.

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