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This is the one skincare brand I always come back to

Regardless of the season or skin issue, Cerave has my back.

A Cerave cleanser and two moisturizers sit on a bathroom sink. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Being a beauty editor, I can get overwhelmed by the amount of makeup and skincare items that come in and out of my life. I’ll test one skincare line, move onto the next, and sprinkle new makeup on top of my routine regularly. Don’t get me wrong: Trying new products still gets my heart pumping, but I crave a straightforward regimen in the times that I'm not testing what’s hot and upcoming. And ever since my dermatologist sent me home with samples of Cerave to combat the excessive dryness caused by the acne medication I was taking years ago, that’s the brand I keep coming back to for its no-fuss simplicity.

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Why do I love Cerave?

Two pump bottles of cleanser and moisturizer sit on the bathroom sink.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

All Cerave products contain ceramides to protect the skin barrier.

When my skin is irritated from using a retinoid or breaking out because of hormones, I’m confident that Cerave’s products won’t add insult to injury. In fact, I count on them to help my skin woes of the moment, whatever they may be. The common thread throughout the entire product line is the inclusion of three ceramides—lipids found in the outermost layer of the skin—that help replenish the skin barrier. Strengthening the skin barrier is vital for keeping out bacteria and microorganisms that can harm the skin. Every product is fragrance-free and claims to be “non-irritating.” Most products are also non-comedogenic, meaning they won’t clog pores.

Though I haven't tried the entire line, there are three products I’ve purchased over the years when I know my skin needs some extra TLC.

1. For a gentle face wash: Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser

A hand pumps cleanser out of a pump bottle.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser cleans the skin without drying it out.

This cleanser is labeled as being for normal to dry skin, which is also how I define my skin. For years after my six-month course of Accutane at age 18, my skin was dry, but it’s since balanced itself out, returning to a "normal" baseline with some dryness in the colder months. The Hydrating Facial Cleanser contains hyaluronic acid, a hydrating ingredient that helps the skin retain water, in addition to the ceramides. It has a thin, creamy texture that leaves my skin looking and feeling cleaner, but without the stingy, squeaky-clean feel other face washes cause. I can massage all over my face with this cleanser, including in my eye area or on patches of acne, and not feel any stinging whatsoever. It’s that gentle. I’ve recommended it time and time again in Reviewed articles and to people in my personal life for this reason. I can’t imagine this face wash irritating even the most sensitive of skin.

My only minor complaint is that this gentle cleanser will only remove traces of makeup—a little bit of under-eye concealer and some mascara, let’s say—so I typically use the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water and a cotton round to remove a full face of makeup first.

Get the Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser on Amazon for $13.11

2. For light hydration: Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion

A hand pumps moisturizer out of a bump bottle.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion has a lightweight, thin consistency.

Like the cleanser, this contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid. It has a thin consistency that seems to keep spreading as you massage it into your skin, so a little bit of this goes a long way. I recommend starting with a dime-sized amount and rubbing that into the face and neck and, if you feel like you need more moisture, applying a second coat anywhere you want it once the lotion has started to absorb.

This layers well over serums or cream treatments (I use a prescription retinoid cream) and soaks in fully after a few minutes of tackiness. It creates a healthy-looking, smooth base under makeup, too. (I’ve tried thicker eye creams but my concealer has never gone on smoother than when I’ve used this!) I love this lotion for the warmer months when my skin leans more normal than dry, but it can easily work on normal to oily skin year-round or be layered on dry skin for more moisture.

Get the Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion on Amazon for $17.78

3. For deep moisture: Cerave Moisturizing Cream

A hand dipping into a tub of moisturizer.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Cerave Moisturizing Cream has a thick consistency to moisturize dry skin.

When my skin is very dry, I rely on this cream. It also contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides and it has a thick texture that still blends easily into the skin. I slather a dollop of this onto my face and down my neck and chest during the winter months and let it work its magic. Without fail, this leaves my skin well-moisturized.

You'll mostly see this moisturizer in a big tub that you can purchase with or without a pump. Because I mostly use it for my face, I opt for the travel-sized tube, which provides a comparable amount of full-sized moisturizers from other brands. This way, I can keep it in the drawer of my vanity and pack it with me anywhere I go. (It was a lifesaver during a January trip to Las Vegas when the desert climate left my skin itchy and irritated.) Regardless of what’s going on with my skin or how my routine changes (think: swapping serums and adding an eye cream), this is a product I’ve come back to time and time again to top of my skincare routine.

Get the Cerave Moisturizing Cream on Amazon for $11.99

Should you try Cerave skincare products?

A bump bottle and jar of moisturizers sit on a bathroom shelf.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Regardless of your skin type or concern, Cerave has products for you.

Without a doubt, yes. If you’re ever unsure of what to use on your skin, regardless of your skin type or condition, turn to Cerave. The brand has products that contain ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide for treating acne, SPF for sun protection, retinol and vitamin C for anti-aging, and more. You can also shop by product type: cleansers, moisturizers, eye creams, serums, and ointments, to name a few. Many of the products receive thousands of reviews on Amazon, too, telling me that I’m not the only one who swears by the line. Whether you’re just starting a skincare routine or looking to change yours up, Cerave is the place to start.

Shop all Cerave products on Amazon

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