CeraVe Hydrating Skin Cleanser is a gentle, moisturizing cleanser. The formula doesn't lather up much -- although experts say lather doesn't actually clean skin and is more a tactical benefit -- and it can't remove heavy makeup on its own. Reviewers suggest using a separate makeup remover or applying the cleanser with a washcloth for the best results. If you prefer a lathering formula, Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash (*Est. $5.50 for 6 oz.) is a good and gentle option.
Soothes sensitive, irritated skin. Experts say CeraVe Hydrating Skin Cleanser is an excellent option for anyone with sensitive skin or rosacea. Editors at InStyle magazine say it contains ceramides that help to calm irritated skin. Paula Begoun, skin-care expert and author of "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," says the formula is loaded with good-for-skin ingredients -- namely glycerin, cetyl alcohol, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and cholesterol -- but most of them are best when left on the skin (rather than rinsed off in a cleanser). Still, she says "every little beneficial extra helps" when dealing with dry and impaired skin.
Users at MakeupAlley.com, Amazon.com and Drugstore.com say the cleanser works very well and is soothing to sensitive skin. One says, "I have rosacea and my skin tends to be extremely dry, but since using these products, I find my skin is very well hydrated and it does not irritate my rosacea." Several say it doesn't do a good job of removing makeup, however. Begoun says using a washcloth to apply the cleanser helps.
Softens skin but doesn't lather up much. Users with dry skin praise CeraVe for leaving skin feeling clean and refreshed without stripping it of moisture. A few complain that it doesn't lather up much, but experts point out that the lather isn't what cleans skin and non-lathering formulas are best for those with sensitive skin. One plastic surgeon and dermatologist tells InStyle magazine the formula leaves skin feeling soft but isn't "the least bit heavy, so it won't clog pores or leave a residue." CeraVe Hydrating Skin Cleanser is fragrance-free.
Review Credibility: Excellent Paula Begoun gives CeraVe Hydrating Skin Cleanser her highest rating. She said the formula is effective and gentle. It contains several good-for-skin ingredients that are best left on the skin (rather than being rinsed off), but she says every little bit helps when dealing with dry or impaired skin.
Review: Hydrating Cleanser, Paula Begoun, Dec. 19, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good InStyle magazine editors list top beauty picks based on the favorites of industry experts. CeraVe Hydrating Skin Cleanser is listed as the best facial cleanser for dry skin. Editors say that it hydrates the skin but isn't too heavy.
Review: Best Beauty Buys 2012: Skin, Editors of InStyle magazine, April 2012
Review Credibility: Good More than 370 reviewers at MakeupAlley.com give CeraVe Hydrating Skin Cleanser an overall rating of 3.7 out of 5. Several say the formula is excellent for sensitive skin and has a calming effect on irritated skin. Many note that it doesn't remove makeup very well, however.
Review: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, Contributors to MakeupAlley.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Good More than 200 users at Drugstore.com give CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Most say the gentle formula leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized without being too oily. It doesn't remove makeup very well, however.
Review: CeraVe Cleanser, Hydrating, Contributors to Drugstore.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Good CeraVe Hydrating Skin Cleanser earns an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars from more than 170 users at Amazon.com. Several say they prefer it over Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, which is often recommended for those with sensitive skin. Most say the formula leaves skin feeling soft and calms irritated skin.
Review: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Size: 12 oz, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2013