CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser


559 reviews

66% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$


Water, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate/Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-11, 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

on 6/6/2015 8:39:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

Edit: I want to clarify - this cleanser is not suited for oily skin. It is more suited for combo skin. My skin is still very greasy, but I have random dry patches and that's what this cleanser takes care of. The best way to describe Cerave Hydrating Cleanser is that it's a moisturizer that you wash off. It is soooooo gentle.

Background on my skin: Super oily, acne prone, rosacea, ugly. Also I currently live in hot, humid TX.

All of the Cerave products I've tried have been hell for my skin. I tried all of the moisturizers, which lead to volcano breakouts. And I even gave the cleanser for oily skin a try (spoiler alert: it stripped my skin so badly I thought my face was going to bleed). So I was reluctant to try yet another one of their overpriced drugstore products ever again.

I got anti-androgenic medications this year for my hormone levels and as a side effect, my skin suddenly started having dry patches. Yet I'm producing a ton of grease. It's a vicious cycle. Drying actives got rid of the acne but dried me out, moisturizers got rid of the dryness but added the acne right back in. I almost miss the good ol days when not even 10% benzoyl peroxide could dry my pizza-face out. D: I totally get the concept of finding the right balance, but that's nearly impossible when both parties are causing trouble.

HurricaneNika on cafe board mentioned this cleanser months ago & claimed it got rid of her dry skin flakes. We have a somewhat similar skintype (I think I'm more oily though). I figured it was worth a shot. I still use Jojoba Oil to remove my MU/moisturize. And I still love Simple's Micellar Water (review in profile). But I still felt something was missing from my regime.

The reason I still have to use my Simple Micellar Water is because this cleanser will NOT completely cleanse your face nor remove long-wear make up. It's like using light hair conditioner to wash your face. I actually wish it were a teeny, tiny bit harsher in the cleansing department. But on the flip side.. it got rid of any skin flakes. WITHOUT breaking me out. So I really shouldn't complain. I've reviewed all of the ingredients and there is only one that concerns me - Cetearyl Alcohol. That is a very pore-clogging ingredient for most acne-prone people. However since this is a cleanser - it does not spend hours sinking into my skin before being washed off. That may be why the cleanser doesn't break me out, but the moisturizers do. Another note: I'm pretty sure its the ceramides in this product that are the miracle workers. Cerave Hydrating Cleanser contains 4 of them pretty high up in the ingredient list. Ceramides help restore and protect the skin's natural barrier. I actually put this on my chapped lips for about 10 minutes and when I washed it off with a wash cloth, my lips felt buttery smooth. Similar to the results I get sleeping with a lip balm on overnight. Amazing stuff.

So now that I've explained all the pros, there is one legitimate con. Nearly $15 for a drugstore cleanser is somewhat insane. Even my current boyfriend commented on it, and he's a typical clueless man.

I'll repurchase.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 6/4/2015 2:29:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Okay I love this cleanser!! I wasn't too worried about the "Not-lathering" aspect because i was using Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser before this and it is somewhat similar. But Cerave outshines cetaphil in so many ways. When i use this, my skin feels and looks amazing. I actually have mild rosacea and redness on my cheeks, and this is the only cleanser that calms it down. I notice a lot of people having problems with this cleanser breaking them out? I think it it because they are using it in the wrong way.

YOU MUST APPLY THIS TO DRY SKIN, NOT WET. I literally rub this all over my dry face with full makeup (even on my eyes) and splash with water and it takes off EVERYTHING! So i don't get why people complain about it not removing makeup.
Anyways, I would totally recommend this cleanser to anyone and everyone. It is a high quality product at a bargain price.

on 5/31/2015 10:56:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

To me this is an AM cleanser and an excellent one at that. I don't think I would or could use it to remove makeup. But it is absolutely wonderful for a morning cleanser. I use it to remove oil and retin-a from the night before and it feels absolutely great. I have sensitive skin and there is no irritation at all. For me, it is calming to the skin and the perfect prep for my morning routine. Highly recommend! I'd give it 5 stars if it did it all... meaning if I could use it at night to remove makeup. I use the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser in PM for makeup removal.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 5/29/2015 11:27:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Wavy, Other

Eyes: Blue

I have newly-diagnosed rosacea. The first dermatologist handed me a sample of Mirvaso and left the room. The 2nd one recommended I use this product to cleanse with and that I should wear mineral make-up. Ok. That felt great; at least someone told me something. Well, I really wanted to believe in this stuff and I think if you use it in the morning, it is ok. But if you are wearing make-up, forget it. Even the mineral make-up. I thought I was cleaning my face until I looked at my skin in my magnifying make-up mirror that I use, and I could see that there was still make-up on my face. I went back into the bathroom and used a soft washcloth to wipe my face clean. Even then, I still saw some. I don't know what to do. I have Clinique Take The Day Off balm but I haven't used anything but what was recommended to me. But I never had any problem with the balm, so, I am thinking, I will use that first, then cleanse with the CeraVe. But when that bottle is done, I am going to go back to Dove for Sensitive Skin. It was not hurting me (that I know of) and it always cleaned my face.

on 5/24/2015 9:55:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I rarely write reviews, but this product absolutely destroyed my skin. I'm acne-prone but largely under control thanks to a glycolic-salicylic wash and prescription sulfur wash. However, these products can be a bit drying, and I thought this wash might help hydrate and improve the appearance of my skin. Wrong!! Within 3-4 days of use, I started breaking out terribly. A lot of the spots were in places where I never break out (and I mean NEVER--I can't tell you the last time I had a pimple on my upper lip, and suddenly I had about six) and I didn't change anything else about my routine, so I have no doubt that this was the culprit. It also made my skin incredibly oily, to the point where I was blotting every half hour. Things started to clear up as soon as I discontinued use, but it's several weeks later and I'm still dealing with the remnants of the breakout this product caused. Now I'm stuck with an $18 bottle of cleanser than I'll never use and would never pass along to anyone else. If you have sensitive skin or are the least bit prone to breakouts, I'd avoid this one at all costs.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 5/22/2015 7:48:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I have been using this cleanser since I was diagnosed with Perioral Dermatitis in April 2014 (over a year at time of this review). I had to simplify my entire routine (which totally sucked because I am a product junkie) and I only used this, and CeraVe AM & CeraVe PM for about a year. These products got me through a horrible time skin-wise and I am forever grateful! It is non-irritating. To get a good cleanse I use this with my Clarisonic (I don't think my oily, sometimes acne-prone skin could use this cleanser without it). Perioral Dermatitis is closely related to Rosacea and other dermatitis'. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with sensitive skin, however, my skin has since returned to normal (and I am back to being a product junkie!) and I still use this cleanser! I love everything about this non-foaming cleanser except the parabens but I guess there isn't enough evidence yet to know if they are as bad as people think they are.

on 5/15/2015 4:23:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

My dermatologist recommended this cleanser while I was on topical acne medication. I used this cleanser for 4 weeks on my face. The cleanser did not foam since it was for normal to dry skin. I had oily acne prone skin but was dehyrated so I decided to give this cleanser a try.


moisturizing, hydrating
make skin soft and smooth
did not clog pores
great price for a large bottle


made face look oily
did not cleanse face properly (left over residue on my face)

I stoppped using this cleanser after I used it for 4 weeks. Right now, I use this cleanser at a body cleanser instead of as a face cleanser. I have normal to dry body skin and this cleanser is amazing on my body. It actually cleanses my body without leaving behind residue. My skin is soft and smooth after cleansing and drying even when I don't moisturize.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

CeraVe saved my face. I had been using a combination of Cetaphil and Oil of Olay since I was 18. All of a sudden when I turned 36 my face broke out in a red, stinging, burning rash with raised red bumps on my cheeks. It was terrible, especially since I never had bad acne as a teen. I suffered for 2 years trying everything I could to get rid of this rash. A young family member had been taken to the dermatologist for acne and was given some samples of Cerave, which they never used. So I figured it wouldn't do to let these samples go to waste. Within days, my face started clearing up. This is gentle on my very sensitive and dry skin. I use this in combination with the AM and PM moisturizers. No more red rash on my face; haven't had a red rash on my face since. I'm in my 40s now --- no lines, no breakouts, no redness... just calm clear skin and I can thank CeraVe for that.

on 5/12/2015 4:52:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Other

This stuff really is awesome. The Cetaphil Gentle skin cleanser does not even compare to this stuff! My dermatologist gave me a sample of this and I am in love! I have really oily, acne prone skin and was not expecting to love this at all! Somehow it managed my oil and didn't break me out. It is really gentle and is a lotion-type consistency. I would recommend this to anyone!

on 5/9/2015 8:04:00 AM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Green

i got a sample of this cleanser and i have to say - i love it! i have dry skin and it cleanses my skin well without stripping it dry. my skin feels sooooo soft after using this. i'm definitely switching to this when my other cleanser runs out!

Back to Top