SA Renewing Lotion
8 fl. oz. for $15.99
Last Updated:12.17.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This fragrance-free body lotion from CeraVe is said to exfoliate skin, and to that end it contains the beta hydroxy acid (BHA) ingredient salicylic acid. Although salicylic acid is an exfoliating superstar, its effectiveness in that regard depends on the product’s pH, which is where this product falls down a bit. After several tests, we determined that the pH of SA Renewing Lotion is 4.5, which is beyond the ideal range (pH 3–4) salicylic acid needs to function optimally as an exfoliant. With a pH of 4.5, you’ll likely get some efficacy against breakouts and chicken skin (keratosis pilaris) but not as much as you would from a BHA body lotion with a lower pH, such as Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA. This product also contains the AHA derivative ammonium lactate, but again the higher pH keeps this from working as well as it could.

What about using this as a regular body lotion? Its silky, slightly emollient formula contains some very good ingredients for normal to dry skin, and it is absolutely worth considering for all-over smoothing and hydration without a greasy feel. Like CeraVe’s other body lotions, it contains a good mix of skin-repairing ingredients but is short on antioxidants.


CeraVe SA is your daily defense against extremely dry skin. Its patented MVE formulation releases ceramides and other essential ingredients throughout the day, so they penetrate deep into the skin to hydrate and nourish. It always has the power of salicylic acid to loosen and exfoliate dead skin cells, allowing moisturizing ingredients to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin for enhanced effectiveness. The result is soft, silky smooth skin that looks and feels great.


Purified Water, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Ammonium Lactate, Salicylic Acid, Trolamine, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 1, Cholesterol, Phytosphingosine, Dimethicone 360, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Hyaluronic Acid, 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 new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
Sort by:
works 4 me

Smoothes skin I can't comment on the effectiveness of fighting acne because I do things to contribute to my problems but my skin looks better every time I use it.

Reviewed by
kamron w.
Cerave SA

I've also found this product to be very effective for dry skin, especially on my elbows and feet. Of course, I haven't used Paula's product :-)

Reviewed by
Sheila R
Works for my upper arms

Although I trust Paula's facts on the pH needed for salicylic acid to be effective, this lotion was effective in eliminating the small bumps on my upper arms.

Reviewed by
Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

585633-IIS5 v1.0.0.431 10/8/2015 1:13:33 PM