CeraVe is a brand of dermatologist-developed skin care products that can alleviate a range of common skin concerns by starting at the source of the problem: the skin’s natural barrier. The importance of a strong, intact skin barrier can be compared to the importance of having a strong, intact roof on your house. If your roof is damaged or weak, the interior of your home could be damaged by things like rain, wind, or even animal intruders. Similarly, a damaged or weak skin barrier allows things like bacteria, pollutants, or other irritants to pass through the top layers of your skin and cause damage. Ultimately, this leads to common skin concerns such as acne, rashes, and sensitive skin.

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Based on this concept, the dermatologists that developed the line of CeraVe products incorporated specific ingredients that would help to repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. In this review on the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, we’ll discuss how this product can deeply cleanse the skin, effectively removing excess oil, dirt, and makeup, while still keeping your skin hydrated and smooth.


Who is CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for?

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser can be used on normal, oily, and even acne prone skin since this product is non-comedogenic. If you have found that other cleansers are too harsh, this product may be right for you since it has the power to cleanse deeply without disrupting the skin’s barrier. Plus, since this cleanser is fragrance free it is suitable for sensitive skin.

Formulation insight

All CeraVe products, including the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, contain essential ceramides that your skin needs to help restore and maintain its natural protective barrier. Ceramides are lipids (oils) that are naturally produced by the skin and are vital in supporting the skin barrier as well as retaining moisture. Without ceramides, the skin barrier is weakened, allowing moisture to escape from skin. The result is skin that can easily become dry, itchy, or irritated. Topical application of ceramides on the skin can help to replenish ceramide levels, thus restoring the skin’s natural barrier.

The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser contains ceramides 1, 3, and 6-11. All of these ceramides carry out different functions. For example, ceramide 1 strengthens skin while ceramide 3 helps to lock in moisture. Moreover, a 2008 study published by the International Journal of Dermatology found that ceramides 1 and 3 act synergistically on maintaining skin hydration and preventing transepidermal water loss.

Another ingredient found in the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser that can repair and strengthen skin is niacinamide. Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide exerts antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging effects, as well as improves the epidermal barrier function. In fact, niacinamide is one of the most well-studied antioxidants for use in skincare because its small molecular weight enables it to easily penetrate the skin.

The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is also formulated with two humectant moisturizers, glycerin and hyaluronic acid, that are well known for hydrating the skin. Glycerin, also referred to as glycerol, is a natural alcohol and humectant that’s been used in skin care products for centuries, says Dr. Wendy Bollinger Bollag, cell physiologist. Research published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology demonstrates that glycerin helps skin to look and function better by helping skin cells mature properly. In fact, glycerin is not just a humectant but also an occlusive moisturizer as well. This means that while it softens skin, it also pulls water from the environment and helps prevent transepidermal water loss.

Hyaluronic acid is also a very popular humectant moisturizer used in skin care products. This molecule is naturally found throughout the human body, and it is particularly abundant in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is able to restore hydration to your skin based on its structure as a glycosaminoglycan, a sugar molecule that has a high propensity for attracting water. When hydrogen bonding occurs between adjacent carboxyl and N-acetyl groups, hyaluronic acid has the capacity to retain up to 1,000 times its weight in water! Increased hydration leads to a healthy, firm complexion with fewer lines and wrinkles.

Of note, the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser does list two parabens on the ingredients label. Parabens are synthetic preservatives that can mimic hormones in the body if they are absorbed through the skin and potentially disrupt functions of the endocrine system.

How to use CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser?

Start by wetting skin with warm water. Then, massage the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser into skin in a gentle circular motion. Rinse and gently pat the skin dry.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser Reviews

The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser has received a very positive response from its users, with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. The majority of reviews state that this product is ideal for those who suffer from acne breakouts as it effectively clears excess oil from pores while being gentle enough not to aggravate existing blemishes. Reviewers also frequently commented that this product can remove makeup well, which is a plus if you do not want to use a separate makeup remover. The few negative reviews for the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser are from those with inherently dry skin who stated that this product made their skin feel too dry and tight.

Overall, the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is a drugstore staple for effectively removing excess oil, dirt, makeup, and other impurities from the skin while simultaneously locking in moisture.


  1. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 30 Nov 2016, 9(12):26-32
  2. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 253–258


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CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser Review

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