12.18.2014
6
14
Face Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Rating
2.5 fl. oz. for $14.99
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer with Sunscreen
Last Updated:12.18.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This facial moisturizer with sunscreen claims to be like no other sunscreen you've tried, and that's true—but it's not necessarily a good thing. Although this dispenses as a lightweight lotion, it contains an unusually high amount of zinc oxide, which means this product does not go on invisibly as claimed. In fact, the amount of zinc oxide lends a slightly grainy texture, and also gives this daytime moisturizer a dry finish that feels drier the longer it's worn.

We're perplexed as to why CeraVe included so much zinc oxide, especially given that this product also contains other active ingredients, including titanium dioxide and several others. In fact, the formula contains over 41% active sunscreen ingredients—overdone for SPF 30 and even for higher SPF ratings. The combined amount of active ingredients makes this feel less silky than it might have otherwise, but it is still surprisingly light.

On the upside, the formula contains a nice mix of skin-repairing ingredients and the cell-communicating agent niacinamide. What's missing are antioxidants—essential ingredients that CeraVe has yet to include in any of their SPF-rated products, despite the research proving their benefit when added to sunscreens.

This isn't an ideal daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, but some people with normal to oily or combination skin may find it workable. Be careful, though, because when applied liberally (as any sunscreen should be), this will leave a discernible white cast. Applied sheer, the white cast is not an issue, but doing so compromises the amount of sun protection you get.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free formula.
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Contains a good mix of skin-repairing ingredients and cell-communicating niacinamide.
Cons:
  • Amount of zinc oxide is overkill and leads to a dry finish that feels drier the longer it's worn.
  • Lacks antioxidants to provide an extra measure of environmental defense.
Claims

Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe Sunscreen for Face SPF 30 is like no other sunscreen you've ever experienced. Enjoy powerful protection from a lightweight formula that spreads easily and dries with a clear finish. Ceramides help repair and restore the protective skin barrier. Niacinamide helps the skin produce more natural ceramides and fatty acids essential for repairing and restoring the skin barrier.

Ingredients

Active Ingredients: Homosalate (5%). Meradimate (5%), Octinoxate (5%), Titanium Dioxide (2.5%), Zinc Oxide (23.65%). Inactive Ingredients: Water/Eau, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Butylene Glycol, Sorbitan, Sesquioleate, Dimethicone, Isostearic Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Niacinamide, Cholesterol, Phytosphingosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Polyacrylate, Propylene Carbonate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, PEG/PPG 18/18 Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trideceth-6, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.

Brand Overview

CeraVe At-A-Glance

Strengths: Affordable, gentle, and fragrance-free; some excellent moisturizers and facial cleansers; a well-formulated eye cream; products provide broad-spectrum sun protection; remarkably gentle baby care; good (but small) assortment of anti-aging products.

Weaknesses: SPF products would do better with the inclusion of antioxidants and more elegant textures; the Renewing SA products aren't as adept at treating keratosis pilaris as they could be.

This small-ish (but expanding( collection of skin-care products keeps things gentle and effective with fragrance-free formulas, many of which are more state-of-the-art than any other product in its price range or pricier versions at the drugstore. In short, this line is a real find!

CeraVe uses a delivery system the company refers to as Multivesicular Emulsion Technology, which releases key ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid over a period of several hours. Although this technology is undoubtedly helpful, such time-delayed delivery systems aren't unique to CeraVe, and the fact remains that most of the ingredients they use are very helpful on their own, no matter what delivery system you use.

The important point is that ongoing, consistent use of this kind of moisturizer designed to repair the skin's barrier function will result in smoother, softer, healthier skin. An interesting element for this product is the inclusion of phytosphingosine. It is an ingredient that research shows is effective in regulating damaged or diseased epithelial cells. It seems this ingredient can be a cell-communicating ingredient, albeit one that is best for compromised skin. However, given CeraVe is positioned for those struggling with psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea, that's a great addition. (Source: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, October 2003, pages 1135–1137).

It is for these reasons that all the CeraVe products are definitely worth considering, especially at this price. You'll find a options for moisturizing, cleansing, baby care,broad spectrum sun protection (though many of the SPF products don't feel or look so great on skin), and baby care.

For more information about CeraVe, call 866-819-9007 or visit www.cerave.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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01.18.2015
Different formula for the best

So they have changed the formula since this was reviewed, with a LOT less zinc oxide but still having the same good ingredients as the PM version. I've been using it and it's a great budget friendly moisturizer with spf that doesn't irritate skin! I think most people would love this one, except maybe those with EXTREME oily skin but my combo skin loves this stuff! Hoping to see this product re reviewed soon as it deserves more credit.

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Alyssa, P
01.19.2015
Paula's Choice Research Team Response

Hello, and thank you for letting us know this has a new formula! We will check it out and revise the review as needed.

—Paula's Choice Research Team
07.02.2014
They just changed the formula

This product formula has just changed to a mineral-only formula with a much lower percentage of ZO.

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Maria D
07.02.2014
Paula's Choice Research Team Response

Thanks for your comments! We haven't seen evidence of this change yet at our local retailers, online, or on CeraVe's main site. We will update the review when this change becomes more widespread.

—Admin
05.12.2014
great for melasma sufferers

FYI, for many people, perhaps the high zinc oxide content isn't necessary. But for melasma sufferers like me, and other sun sensitive people, it's a godsend. Most chemical sunscreens and titanium dioxide do not block out the full range of UVA rays, and even the tiniest bit of UVA getting on my skin triggers my melasma. Also, zinc oxide is better than chemical sunscreens for melasma because the UVA and UVB rays are deflected rather than being converted to heat on your skin.

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Anonymous
10.20.2013
I looked like a ghost

I was thrilled to see a CeraVe sunscreen--I thought it would be a quality product--and was sold on the "invisible zinc!" proclaimed on the front of the package. It feels nice and goes on smoothly without much of a smell, but invisible it is not. I have moderately fair Caucasian skin, and with this sunscreen on, I was a ghost. I managed to blot it in, decreasing coverage, and it still settled into my fine lines. The only good things I can say are: it doesn't smell bad and I didn't burn.

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Anonymous
07.05.2013
Not what I was hoping it would be

I was so excited to find a sunscreen by CeraVe. I love the moisturizer. I have ultra sensitive skin and am unable to use any chemical sunscreen. But sailing and gardening requires some protection. I tried it and loved the feel at first. But after a couple hours I could feel my face stinging and feeling tight and dry. After washing it off and remoisturizing I realized I was having an allergic relation to some chemical or the high amount of zinc. Two days later I am still sore and red.

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Anonymous
05.18.2013
Great Moisture for Oily skin

Oily skin sometimes needs moisture and sunscreen. This is the first moisturizer that did not turn into a slick mess after a few hours. Also I have very sensitive skin and many sunscreens cause redness and stinging. I can put this on right out of the shower and no stinging or redness at all. A first for me. Also a great value.

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Reviewed by
CYNTHIA C.
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