Now here's an irony: CeraVe's version of this product with SPF 30 contains a substantially higher amount of active ingredients than the SPF 50 version, yet the SPF 50 version, with the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as its sole active ingredients, has a higher SPF rating! What that means for your skin is that the SPF 50 version is preferred, although it's not perfect.
It feels surprisingly light, is fragrance-free, and you get broad-spectrum sun protection with a soft, smooth matte finish those with normal to oily or combination skin will appreciate. Those with sensitive skin should think twice about using this, though, because it also contains a synthetic sunscreen agent (butyloctyl salicylate) among its primary ingredients, which can be sensitizing. (Not everyone with sensitive skin will have a problem with this ingredient.)
This doesn't have the grainy feel or the eventual uncomfortably dry feel of its SPF 30 counterpart, but it contains the same mix of skin-repairing ingredients plus the cell-communicating ingredient 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.
Although there is much to like about this daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, we don't rate it better than average because it contains a preservative (methylisothiazolinone) that can be sensitizing when included in leave-on products (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, December 2012, pages 334–341, and November 2011, pages 276–285).
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Contains a good mix of skin-repairing ingredients and cell-communicating niacinamide.
- Lacks antioxidants to provide an extra measure of environmental defense.
- Contains a sensitizing preservative not recommended for use in leave-on products.
- Despite the all-mineral actives, the formula isn't a slam dunk for sensitive skin.
Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe SPF 50 Sunscreen for Face is like no other sunscreen you've ever experienced. Enjoy high performance protection from the same zinc oxide trusted by lifeguards and dermatologists, now in a new lightweight formula that spreads easily, dries with a clear finish even on the most sensitive skin.
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4.9%), Zinc Oxide (4.7%). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone PEG-8 Laurate, Isohexadecane, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Trisiloxane, Arachidyl Alcohol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Hydrated Silica, Ceramide-3, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 1, Niacinamide, Cholesterol, Phytosphingosine, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Ascorbic Acid, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Arachidyl Glucoside, Beeswax, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Bisabolol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Pantothenic Acid/Yeast Polypeptide, PEG-8, Xanthan Gum, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Alumina, Potassium Sorbate, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Methicone, Methylisothiazolinone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.
This small collection of skin-care products keeps things gentle and effective with fragrance-free formulas that can be considered more state-of-the-art than any other product in its price range or pricier versions at the drugstore. CeraVe uses a delivery system the company refers to as Multivesicular Emulsion Technology, which releases key ingredients such as ceramides (they actually include three different ceramides: I, III, and VI, which is rather unique and great for skin) 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.
For more information about CeraVe, call 866-819-9007 or visit www.cerave.com.