CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Review: Best Affordable Moisturizer?

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream Review: Best Affordable Moisturizer?

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CeraVe’s moisturizing cream is one of the most popular products on the market. The brand describes it as “developed by dermatologists” and “supporting your protective skin barrier.”

But does CeraVe’s moisturizing cream contain research-backed ingredients that are proven to moisturize the face and improve skin quality? Does it have any questionable additive ingredients? What site has it for the best price? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in CeraVe’s facial moisturizing cream based on medical studies to give our take on whether or not the product is likely to be effective.

We’ll also provide a price breakdown with the cheapest place to purchase it, and share customer reviews of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for face.

Ingredient Analysis

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ingredients

The ingredients in CeraVe’s moisturizing cream are shown above.

Petrolatum is a jelly-like substance that’s commonly used in moisturizers. It’s the same active ingredient as in Vaseline, and it’s been shown in a 2016 clinical trial to provide skin barrier repair and antimicrobial effects.

Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP and Ceramide EOP are all ceramides, and as we documented in our review of CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum, this class of compounds (from which the brand gets its name) are clinically shown to improve skin hydration and repair the skin barrier.

Sodium hyaluronate is one of the most well-studied anti-aging ingredients. A medical review published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules found that this ingredient can significantly increase skin tightness and significantly reduce wrinkles.

Tocopherol, also known as vitamin E, is another effective ingredient. It’s clinically proven to have photoprotective effects, which means it can help protect the skin from the damaging effects of UV exposure.

While there are clearly a number of effective ingredients in CeraVe facial moisturizer cream, it contains one questionable additive ingredient.

Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative shown in a 2020 clinical trial to be toxic to human cells. This was an in vitro (test tube) study, which makes the data weaker than a trial with human participants. That being said, it seems logical in our opinion to avoid use of synthetic preservatives in cosmetics as much as possible.

Overall we consider CeraVe Moisturizing Cream to be well-formulated and likely to be effective for the improvement of skin quality and increase of skin moisture content. It’s one of the best-formulated moisturizers for the price, and contains several research-backed ingredients.

We don’t currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of a synthetic preservative ingredient.

But how do real users rate and describe the effects of this moisturizer? We’ll share some reviews in the next section.

Real People Try CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

A popular beauty influencer named Abbey Yung reviewed CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. She overviews the ingredients, gives her thoughts on whether or not the product is likely to be effective, and shares a personal review of its effects including before-and-after images:

A TikTok user named Andrea claims that CeraVe’s cream caused acne. The description to this video is “Cerave moisturizing cream never again”:

@leoqween_ Cerave moisturizing cream never again #acne #acnescars #skincare #darkspots #skincareroutine ♬ som original - starboy

Where to Get the Best Price

CeraVe’s moisture cream is sold at a wide variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown at the time of publishing this article.

The prices are per-ounce to standardize the price comparison, because this product is sold in a variety of sizes:

CVS: $1.33 (link)

Ulta: $1.25 (link)

Target: $1.21 (link)

Walmart: $1.19 (link)

Amazon: $0.94 (link to official Amazon listing)

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is currently 29% cheaper per-ounce on Amazon than on CVS.

Real Customer Reviews of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

We consider Amazon to be a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand’s website. CeraVe’s cream has been reviewed over 110,000 times on Amazon, with an impressive average review rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review is written by a user named “Jen H.” who claims the cream improved her skin irritation:

“The moment I put it on it soothed my itchy skin & there was an immediately noticeable difference in the look & feel of my skin. It is instantly moisturizering without feeling thick or sticky - it's almost like it's a whipped moisturizer, light & fluffy even!...It does still itch occasionally but the difference Cereve has made has been HUGE!! No product is perfect but this is the closest I've found! I absolutely recommend it.”

The top negative review comes from a user named “LoryB” who claims the product is deceptively marketed:

“Rereading the jar, it says keep it away from eyes. This is disappointing to say the least …AMAZON should know about misleading advertising. It may be “OK” for the rest of the body but I would think twice about putting it on your face...CeraVe makes products for the face but this is NOT one of them…I do not like it Do not recommend it. I have 81 year old skin…it does not feel moisturized, only sticky”

Is There Something CeraVe Doesn’t Want Users to Know?

A YouTube video from a popular beauty influencer named Cassandra Bankson exposes some interesting info about the CeraVe brand:

Our Clean Skincare Picks

There are skincare products containing ingredients shown in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality.

Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top anti-aging serum.

It contains hyaluronic acid which was described as a "skin-rejuvenating biomedicine" in a medical review due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of facial aging.

HYDRAGLOW by CLEARSTEM is our top moisturizer pick.

It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects." 

Bulletproof Collagen Powder is our top skin supplement.

Collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to reduce visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


CeraVe’s moisturizing cream for the face is one of the most effective formulations we’ve come across at its price point. CeraVe is a leading skincare brand for a reason: they make effective products with research-backed ingredients, and user reviews of this product online are very favorable.

We don’t currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of a synthetic preservative ingredient, but we do consider it to be superior to most moisturizing creams at its price point.

The best price on CeraVe Moisturizing Cream can currently be found on Amazon.