11.26.2014
31
2533
Hydrating Cleanser
Rating
12 fl. oz. for $11.99
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths)
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Hydrating Cleanser deserves serious consideration by anyone with normal to dry skin that’s also sensitive, including those dealing with rosacea. It is an exceptionally gentle, soothing cleanser that contains several ingredients that mimic the structure and function of healthy skin. These are a good, but not essential, addition to a cleanser (ideally, they are ingredients that should be left on your skin). But when you’re dealing with an impaired barrier, which is a hallmark of consistent dryness, every little beneficial extra helps. This cleanser is fragrance-free; its only drawback is its limited ability to remove makeup unless used with a washcloth.

Tip: For a sensitive skin and rosacea-safe cleanser that both hydrates and removes makeup beautifully, we recommend Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Cleanser.

Claims

Gently cleanses the skin while helping to maintain the right moisture balance. It is proven to prevent moisture from escaping (evaporating) from the skin’s surface. Provides gentle, effective cleansing while it restores and enhances the skin barrier. Its fragrance-free, moisturizing formulation is nonirritating and noncomedogenic (does not cause pimples or acne by clogging the pores).

Ingredients

Purified Water, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, 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
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07.30.2015
Doesn't just sting

This product doesn't just sting! After using, my eyes swell and and a get bright red patches and flaky skin. I'm not sure what exactly I am allergic to but it is something in the product. I normally use Cetephil which works for me but I am trying to find a cleanser that is "better"... back to the drawing board.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
07.15.2015
Surprised

I've never had sensitive skin or problems with skin products. However, using the cleanser made my face 'burn'. Very surprised at having had that reaction. Luckily, it was a free sample I was using, so no money lost there.

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Reviewed by
Ellen J
07.10.2015
Very Irritating!

I have tried this cleanser a few times, and it immediately caused my skin to tighten up and get red! It's supposed to be hydrating and gentle, it's the worst cleanser I have ever tried, second up is the Neutrogena Ultra daily cleanser, my skin felt drier after using these products!looking at the ingredients for both, they both have a lot of alcohol, supposed to be "good alcohols", doubt that very much, if it's not the alcohols, what is it? (by the way it took a few days for my skin to calm down)

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Anonymous
07.10.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

We're so sorry you didn't love this, but thanks for sharing your feedback!  If you're interested, here is an article showing the differences between good alcohol and bad alcohol:  Alcohol In Skin Care:  The Facts.

—Admin
07.07.2015
Stings!!

I was beyond relieved to see I wasn't the only one who had this sting their face. Even Cetaphil and the neutrogena extra gentle hurts a little bit. I HIGHLY recommend paulas choice skin recovery. No stinging and my flaky skin is a thing of the past! Believe me I have tried pretty much everything for dry, sensitive skin.

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Reviewed by
Sheena M.
07.05.2015
Paula doesn't know what she's talking about

This product is affordable yes but it isn't recommended for long term use. Paula goes on about bad ingredients in higher end products but does not mention any from this cleanser. There are ALCOHOLS in this cleanser which irritates the skin. Also this cleanser does not clean that well and leaves a filmy residue feeling on your face. Do more research and rather getting something affordable, get something that's actually good for your face long term.

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Reviewed by
James
07.09.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  The world of alcohols can be tricky, so hopefully this helps:  the alcohols included in this product (Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol and Cetyl Alcohol) are all fatty alcohols (used for emulsifying) which are non-irritating and not at all related to the skin-damaging sd alcohol or ethyl alcohol.  The rest of the ingredients in this product are also beneficial and it can be used daily =)  Also, The Paula’s Choice Research Team no longer reviews products for Beautypedia, and while The Beautypedia Team is still a part of Paula’s Choice Skincare, what’s new—and you may not yet have known—is that now we have two teams working independently to bring you the best quality reviews, products, and  research-supported expert advice you know and love. One team is dedicated to Beautypedia and product reviews from other brands; the other is dedicated to Paula’s Choice skincare and its unique combination of expertly formulated products and advice on a wide range of beauty-related topics.

—Admin
05.24.2015
ok, not my favorite

This came in a trial set along with the moisturizing cream (which I love). The cleanser is just ok, I wouldn't use it at night to remove makeup, but maybe in the morning when my face is mostly already clean.

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Anonymous
05.21.2015
Ouch! Stings my skin

Well it sounds gentle, but not on my face! It stings in the area below my nose and above my mouth. Once I wash it off, my skin is red there. Plus, it does not remove makeup, but it would be fine as the second step in a dual cleansing routine. Price is great, but not for my skin. Funny thing is, other lower rated cleansers work just fine for me. Wish PC would identify what the irritating ingredient is in this face wash.

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Reviewed by
Gail A.
05.06.2015
Great, but doesn't remove makeup!

This cleanser is fabulous, however it does a horrible job at removing makeup. I'm fine with this, though because I always break down my makeup with coconut oil prior to washing my face so the cleanser can just focus on cleansing my skin rather than the makeup. This gets rid of the oily residue and any slight trace of remaining makeup on my face and doesn't leave it tight and irritated. Love this cleanser!

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Reviewed by
Morgan S.
05.03.2015
Does Not Remove Makeup

This product does not remove tinted sunscreen, foundation or my eye makeup. Also does not work with my Clarisonic brush.

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Reviewed by
CHARLENE L.
04.17.2015
Caused irritation

For the past 30 years I've used Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser as a pre-cleanse to remove my makeup. It has NEVER irritated my skin. I decided to try the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser to see how it compares. Within 30 seconds I could feel my skin starting to sting. I had the same thing happen when I tried a generic brand of Cetaphil. I'm going to stick with my Cetaphil and Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Cleanser. Both are excellent for my normal sensitive skin and do not ever cause irritation.

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Reviewed by
Michelle
04.08.2015
Paula is correct

This does not remove makeup.

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Reviewed by
Gayle C.
02.16.2015
Best Cleanser I've Used

I have very dry and dehydrated skin that's acne prone, and this cleanser is the best I've ever used. It hydrates my skin and makes it so soft and smooth. It helps alleviate any dry patches around my mouth chin and nose and makes makeup application a lot smoother because of it. It's absolutely incredible and I recommend it to everyone!

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Reviewed by
Emily P.
02.12.2015
Great for Dry Skin Rosacea

Wow! I've been using the skin recovery moisturizers and the 1% BHA lotion from Paula's Choice but still had some remaining redness, dryness, and a few rosacea breakouts. Switching to this took care of that completely! This makes my skin feel dewy, soft, and supple. It cleanses well and doesn't irritate the skin or eyes. However, I'm not sure if it makes a good makeup remover as I use one beforehand.

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Reviewed by
Elizabeth S.
11.22.2014
Mild + Limited Cleanser

My skin tends to have buildup of oil and dead skin. This cleanser fails to do any deep cleaning. Also, its texture is hard to use with face brushes because it lacks adequate slip and instead causes the bristles to scratch at my face. Otherwise, its nice and soothing. Great option for people with irritated inflamed skin. Or people whose face is never that dirty to begin with. Best used as a morning cleanser.

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Reviewed by
Siouxi V.
09.20.2014
Great for swimmers

If you are a swimmer, the Hydrating Cleanser is a great product to use after spending time in a big box of chlorinated water. I ditto other comments about CerVe products being a great value, but wanted to emphasize its effectiveness for removing that dreadful itchiness caused by chlorine.

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Reviewed by
JennieM
07.17.2014
Morning Cleanser only

This cleanser is non-drying and works nicely for the morning when very minimal cleansing is needed. I love the way it feels on my skin, but it's really designed for those who don't wear makeup. I would describe it as more of a rinse off moisturizer. I have used this at night, but only after taking off my makeup with a couple Lumene Sensitive Touch wipes. Without the makeup remover wipes, I'd see a lot of makeup on my cotton ball when I apply my Paula's Choice Clear Regular Strength exfoliant.

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Reviewed by
Lindsey
07.12.2014
Strange Texture, But Leaves Skin Feeling GREAT!

I was looking for a cleanser, saw that CeraVe was highly recommended and not too expensive, so I bought this for my combo to dry skin. Cleans well, a little goes a long way, great value, gentle, and I love the way my skin feels after using it! Possible cons: Creamy/Slimy texture. It feels like it will leave a film, but only when washing. (when I rinse, my skin feels clean - not filmy at all!) Doesn't remove all makeup. Doesn't lather (could be a pro for some. I don't mind that it doesn't.)

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Reviewed by
Alexandra M.
06.07.2014
Effective hydration+cleansing!

My teenage boy skin is troublesome. I deal with cystic acne due to hormones and treatments I use reaallly dry out my oily skin to the point that it cracks. EVERY cleanser would leave my skin feeling tight (even paulas skin recovery one). I got this cleanser along with the cerave facial moisturizing lotion pm (another AMAZING product) and my skin is so hydrated and not greasy at all. It's like a translucent gel and it really INFUSES the skin with water. Get this cleanser now!!

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Reviewed by
Max B
05.31.2014
this stings!!

I have to agree with other reviews, about this stinging. I'm very surprised and wish I could figure out which ingredient is causing this. As a water soluble cleanser & suppose to be non irritating just doesn't make sense. Bonnie

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Reviewed by
Bonnie
03.26.2014
loved as a morning cleanser

After reading other reviews, I decided to try it as a morning cleanser. It is great. It doesn't leave my face dry or tight in any way. It was a little pricier than I wanted for a morning cleanser, but the bottle is pretty big and it should last for a long time.

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Reviewed by
Barbara
03.25.2014
Excellent for No Makeup Days

I don't wear makeup often so this product is excellent for me. On the days I wear mascara, however, I find it is very difficult to remove using this product and always wake up the next morning with smudges.

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Reviewed by
Monica, M
02.25.2014
Great post-surgical cleanser

Uber mild...no lingering residue but doesn't remove makeup completely. Super gentle non-irritating, non-drying but you still feel like you washed your face.

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Reviewed by
LL
02.08.2014
Great

This is the best cleanser I have ever used! Have been using it for several years. It is gentle and does not strip my skin of needed moisture. If I wear heavier foundation, I usually wash my face twice. My current favorite foundation, Clinique CC Cream comes right off with this cleanser. I have always used eye makeup remover prior to using any cleanser. I think the key with this cleanser is to add plenty of water to it so it makes a nice lather!

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Reviewed by
Annette
02.02.2014
Stings

I love this brand and was excited to recommended it to my sensitive skinned roomate. On the first use it stung and burned her skin and caused severe erythema.

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Reviewed by
TANYA B.
01.22.2014
Stung

I have been using CeraVe's lotion for years before they expanded their brand. Loved it when my skin was oily. Now mid 30s my skin is changing and is on the slightly drier side. Thought I would give this a try to boost hydration a bit. Unfortunately It stung immediately so bad I had to wash it off.

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Reviewed by
ALANDRA H.
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