Cerave Hydrating Cleanser is trending – but should you buy it?

Is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser the best face wash for you?

Studio shot of a woman washing her face against a white background
(Image credit: Getty Images)

CeraVe makes some of the most universally-loved skincare in the beauty business.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser has generated a particularly strong buzz online, as have the brand's excellent moisturisers for dry skin, best-selling SA Smoothing Body Cream and my favourite post-gym skincare buy.

It’s no wonder beauty fans are excited. This US brand specialises in gentle, results-driven products that are also extremely affordable - what's not to love? Here’s everything you need to know about Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, and why you might want to make it part of your routine.

VIEW NOW: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanserfor normal to dry skin, £9.50, Boots.com

What's great about CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser?

If you are looking for an uncomplicated but effective daily face wash then CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser could be the one. It’s excellent value, coming in at less than £10 for a 236ml pump, so would be a great choice if you are on a budget.

The formula is a gel, which makes for effective dirt dissolving but unusually for this texture doesn’t foam. Very oily skin types or anyone who loves that bubbly feeling might mourn the lack of lather. But for most it will be a positive thing - no tight, stripped squeaky-clean skin here.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser 236ml

The emphasis, as the name suggests, is on softening the skin as much as cleaning it. The formula contains several solid hydrating ingredients including hyaluronic acid as well as ceramides. These lipids are naturally present in the skin and boost its barrier function to prevent water loss.

How should I use this cleanser?

Those aforementioned hydrating and protective ingredients make Cerave Hydrating Cleanser extremely versatile. If you tend to wear make-up during the day this would make an excellent second step in your nighttime skincare routine. Yes, I'm suggesting you double cleanse. But step one need only beswiping off your heaviest eye and lip make-up with micellar or a Face Halo.

It’s a breeze to use, just pump it out into your palm, massage onto skin with a little warm water (not too hot - that can be drying) Remove it by adding more water and splashing off. Or, even better, use a flannel or muslin cloth.

Thanks to it’s easy pump action and ability to be worked in with the hands, this makes an excellent morning cleanser. Particularly if you’re partial to a quick face wash in the shower rather than going the whole hot cloth double cleanse hog.

Again, watch out for the moisture-sapping effects of scalding water. If you like to have very hot showers make sure you turn the temperature down a tad when you wash your face.

What results can I expect?

Clean, fresh-feeling skin that's primed for your serum or moisturiser. Despite being a hydrating formula this is on the light side, texture-wise. If you have extremely dry or dehydrated skin don't expect the same ultra-rich, nourishing feel of a cleansing oil or balm.

Thanks to it’s combination of superior cleaning and softening you can expect improvements on many aspects of your skin. This is because, despite it’s unsexy reputation, consistent cleansing is one of the best things you can do for your face. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser will help shift congestion and ensure all your other skincare penetrates properly. plus, those barrier boosting ceramides can help your skin defend itself from sensitivity and seasonal flare-ups.

Who should buy CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser?

It’s fair to say this sits on the functional side of the skincare scene, both in terms of looks and action. But that’s not a bad thing. The reason so many Beauty Editors love this cleanser is that it does what it claims to without messing about with unnecessary ingredients or silly claims.

That simple, mild formula will suit sensitive skin types as well as those with rosacea or acne. While this is certainly aimed at dry to normal skin, it would be a great choice for anyone with dehydration, no matter what skin type. It’s a beauty myth that oily or combination skin can’t get dehydrated - it’s actually very common. Being both hydrating and refreshing this product is a great solution for that particular combination.

Clearly the price is a big draw here as well. This is effective skincare at a price that's open to all. Sure, it doesn’t smell like a spa or come in a posh glass jar. But as long as you're not wedded to either of those ideals it’s hard to come up with a reason why you shouldn’t give it a go.

So will you be trying the CeraVe cleanser?

Our Beauty Editor certainly thinks so!

Fiona McKim
Beauty Editor, womanandhome.com

 As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.