February 9, 2015

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser Review

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser

I start off my review of Cerave Hydrating Cleanser by saying how much I dislike lotion style makeup removers. I’m not much into cold creams, lotions, or creams of any kind to remove makeup. I do prefer cleansing oils or some sort of foaming cleanser and in some cases I even use both for a double cleanse (oil first, followed up by a lathering cleanser).

The exception to my rule?

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin!

I cannot use DHC Cleansing Oil for my life lately nor can I take advantage of Banila Co’s brilliant Clean It Zero! Let’s just take ALL my makeup removers off the counter right now. It might just be Winter my my skin is on freak out mode central at the moment and something as simple as cleansing turns into quite the project. I come out of a cleanse very tight and very dry. My skin ends up looking and feel super flaky around the cheeks and jawline. Not cool!

So, I decided to switch things up. I was going to go with Cetaphil but I decided since I really loved CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion I decided to try out the Hydrating Cleanser. I heard a few bad reviews about this not being able to cleanse skin well but I honestly felt it did a fairly good job!

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser swatches

This texture reminds of he facial moisturizing lotion but a little thicker. It’s translucent white with a thicker, gel like consistency. It kinda reminds me of body cream in all honestly. I was worried about using it near my eyes but the bottle doesn’t say to avoid eye contact thankfully (I HATE cleansers which can’t be used around the eyes). Basically I remove all my eye makeup first, wet my face, and I apply two or three pumps of this to my face. I massage it on and rinse it off with lukewarm water.

It actually doesn’t feel like it’s doing much so after rinsing, although my skin looked cleanse, I just swiped my face down with a bit of cleansing water to see if anything was left behind. The cotton pad came back clean so I’m pretty happy with the results!

But it’s not really clean I’m after as I have plenty of cleansers that work fine right now. What I am after is a cleanser that won’t suck further moisture from my skin and this apparently is it. I’ve been using it nearly a month now and it does not only a great job cleansing my face but also a very good job hydrating it. My skin is smooth and soft out of the cleanse. I don’t feel tight or dry after removing my makeup. It’s quite a novel experience for me to come out of a cleanse and not immediately run to the most hydrating facial moisturizer I have to slather it on. This doesn’t draw moisture away from my skin and it seems to lightly hydrate it!

I don’t really love a cream/lotion cleanser as I mentioned above but for Winter months Cerave Hydrating Cleanser is gentle and effective at not drying my skin out while removing my makeup. This one can definitely be added to the Winter Skincare Essentials group!

Do like!

If you have dry or even dry sensitive skin I’d highly recommend checking it out.

Available now at drugstores.

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser2

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • jennifer

    I like Cerave Foaming cleanser for normal to oily skin. I have oily acne skin. It is a nice basic cleanser that does a good job with my clairsonic.

  • Lauren

    I love this stuff! My skin is incredibly sensitive and picky, and until this cleanser, I had been unable to find a cleaner that does all the following: A) didn’t make my skin dry and flaky (Cetaphil, Origins Checks and Balances, and every other cleanser with sudsing/foaming ingredients), B) didn’t leave an oily film that freaked out my skin and caused acne (Origins Mega Mushroom and Burt’s Bees Sensitive, which are otherwise great), and C) helped my redness and sensitivity issues.

    I can’t speak to its makeup removing properties (I rarely wear makeup), but this cleanser removes all the excess oil from my skin without stripping it or drying it out, and it doesn’t leave an oily residue like a lot of other non-soapy cleansers. It’s gentle, seems to improve the texture of my skin (likely because it’s non-irritating), and is easily rinsed off. I don’t feel like I HAVE to moisturize afterwards, even though I usually do. At night, I use Cerave’s SA Lotion, and during the day I use an oil-free moisturizer.

  • Meghan

    I love this cleanser! I use it as a second cleanse after I’ve removed my makeup with a cleansing balm or oil and I think it does a good job at removing whatever residue was left and making my face feel clean without being squeaky (as Caroline Hirons says I am not a mouse so I shouldn’t squeak)

    Even though I have oily skin, I still prefer this cleanser to the Fresh Foaming Facial Cleanser Cerave does.

    • Isabella Muse

      i squeal a lot is that wrong?! *looks around guilty-like* 😀 I haven’t tried the foaming one, was curious!

  • Jes

    Before I started making my own cleansing balm, this was my HG cleanser. I don’t cleanse my face in the morning in the winter (stupid northeast), but I may add it back into my morning routine in the spring. I think ceramides, polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), and hyaluronic acid are what really make it a nourishing low lather cleanser, not just a lotion cleanser. My husband loves the foaming cleanser. For the money, you can’t beat them.

  • Christina

    I love this.. I have Rosacea so I switch between this & the Eucerin redness relief cleanser.. They are both really awesome products..

  • Jennifer F

    This is my holy grail morning cleanser. I shake a tiny bit of Bare Escentuals Exfoliating Cleanser and mix with Cera Ve every morning for gentle but thorough cleaning that doesn’t strip my skin but gets rid of little flakes from the Retin A I use at night.

  • Debra

    I’ve gone back to this cleanser several times after trying more expensive brands. It still does what I want it to do! I remove my makeup with Pond’s Cold Cream and then use Cerave Hydrating Cleanser to clean my face. A good rub with the washcloth finishes the job.

    Then I use a bit of Purity on a wet face with my Clarisonic. It sounds a bit complicated but it’s all done in a few minutes!

    I used to use Cetaphil but my face never felt clean afterward. Don’t know why. I just hope this Cerave doesn’t get changed (“improved”).

  • Fancie

    I tried the facial lotion after reading your review and I love it! I’ll definitely be trying this cleanser very soon too

  • Amy

    Do you think this would be good for a morning cleanser? For sensitive/combo/a bit dry skin? I’ve been using Cetaphil for forever and half in the mornings and love it.

    • Christina

      Its awesome in the morning.. This is my morning cleanser and I have sensitive skin with Rosacea.. For me it was much more hydrating then Cetaphil and I noticed the very first time I used it.. They sell the travel size of this cleanser so you can try without committing to the full size, that is how I tried it..

  • Alyson

    I’ve tried this and I think it’s okay. Even though I have super dry skin, I prefer the CeraVe foaming facial cleanser; I just really need lather.

  • Micki

    I love love love this stuff. Have used it for years. Significantly reduced my Rosacea.

  • Tara

    I have been using cerave hydrating cleanser for a good couple of months and I do enjoy it.I have dry senstive skin. However, I do not like the Am moisturizer. i dont feel it hyrdrates enough or at all for me.

  • Mary

    Used it for years. Love it! I love Cereve. Glad to see your trying out their stuff 🙂

  • Kayla

    I absolutely love this cleanser. It was recommended to me by my dermatologist. It’s so gentle. Especially around the eyes. It even removes my mascara without any burning saving me time and hassle. I also wanted to note that if you travel and find the bottle to be too big they also now have a bar form of the hydrating soap. I picked it up a few weeks ago as I’ve been doing a lot of traveling I think I got it from cvs? Anyways it’s really great too and it lathers (unlike the liquid) in case you prefer lather. Only downside is that it does sting eyes a little.

  • Bonnie S

    I just discovered Cerave, and I love this brand! I use both their cleansers at night, first the above to remove makeup and then the cleanser for normal to oily skin with my Clarisonic. I use Cerave moisturizers when I come out of the shower, and Cerave spf30 lotion in the morning under makeup. I only found about this line through a makeup blog – what a find! Cruelty-free, affordable, widely available, soft on skin and keeps acne at bay – I’m in love with Cerave!!!

  • Jess

    I love this cleanser! I have had trouble with my skin since an allergic reaction to mineral makeup (sorry Bare Escentuals) about 8 years ago, and as I got older, it got even more extreme. Flakes, red patches, super tight and dry…I was at my wit’s end.

    So I got on the Reddit forum skincareaddiction and Cerave hydrating cleanser + the Cerave lotion in the tub (not the pump) + St. Ives gentle exfoliating AHA pads were recommended as a baseline place to start calming down my skin. Let me tell you, it’s like night and day. No more flakes, no more tightness…my skin is plump, glowy, soft, and happy!

  • CatG

    I use this every day. I never thought about using it to remove my face makeup though! I usually remove that first, and then wash my face! Good to know!!!

  • mirandagrosvenor

    I just got this and really like it – everything else I had wss drying out my face – but it didn’t remove eye makeup for squat. I agree with everyone who says it’s a morning cleanser.

  • Andrea

    I know this is an old post, but I had to say I love this cleanser. My skin has been freaking out lately. I start by lightly exfoliating with Garnier Charcoal scrub, rinsing genlty, massaging the Cerave hydrating cleanser into my skin, and moisturizing with Neutrogena oil free moisturizer for combination skin. It souunds like alot, but I swear my skin is softer than it’s ever been and, because it’s properly hydrated, the oil production has slowed down. I LOVE TJIS STUFF!!!

    • Isabella Muse

      yay! happy to hear it Andrea 🙂 It’s a fav of mine too!

  • Jean

    I thought it was funny when you wrote “immediately run to the most hydrating facial moisturizer I have to slather it on”. After I shower I always have to immediately get my facial moisturizer or I freak out when my skin tightens up. I thought it was only me! I am running to CVS tomorrow to try this and the night cream. Thank you for another awesome review! Its nice to have a blog I can go to as an honest reference.

    • Isabella Muse

      why thank you Jean! Your comment made my day 🙂 I’m glad the reviews were helpful! Yes, as soon as I cleanse my face, forget about it, tight and dry feeling so don’t worry you are not alone 🙂

  • Sheila

    Age:53 Complexion:Fair, sensitive, Rosacea. Suffered from cystic acne early on, some scarring as a teenager and young adult. Diagnosed with Rosacea several years ago.Tried it all. Anti-biotics messed up my stomach, acne RX made my condition worse. I recommend the Ceravae hydrating cleanser, cream and eye cream. I have been told that Ceravae’s hydrocortisone cream is good for times when rosacea is at worst, but not all the time. The Ceravae foaming cleanser is great too, especially for summer or winter. I want to tell everyone with acne, it does get better but until then don’t make the mistake of trying to dry out oily skin. It will hurt later on as you age. Ceravae foaming cleanser, PM cream and some of their other products contain niacimaide. The benefits of this are that continual use will reduce redness while ceramides will built that skin barrier to protect your skin. Using harsh products, some RX, will damage the skin mantle. Once that happens spider veins will develope. You want the hyaluronic in Ceravae to keep from taking the moisture out of the skin, it conditions. My skin is dry, mature and ageing and I highly recommend Ceravae. I would like to add that I used an over the counter product Prosacea that contains aloe which is antibacterial and sulfur. I use this very little after I wash in the morning with Ceravae. I use on cheeks, chin, and nose my my rosace is. I use the Ceravae to moisturize the other areas. Don’t get Prosacea in eyes or lips. It will help the acne, rosaceas, redness and with healing. I am not paid for these comments. This is from my personal experience. Pray it helps all.

    • Jerry

      Does this help with acne ? Because ive been using Clean And Clear for face cleansing for about 6 months and there was no improvements what so ever. I was pretty much just maintaining my acne from where i started… now that i think of it the clean and clear face wash actually caused to give me a little more acne from what i had… i think all the ingredients and all was to harsh on my face and it doesnt make sense to me to go to one of those harsh products . I feel like my face just needs a gentle cleanser that cleans and unclogs pores and hopefully starts getting my face in shape to heal everything up. Get what i mean? :/