Frequently Asked Questions

What is my skin barrier?

The skin barrier, often called the stratum corneum, forms the top layer of the skin. Under a microscope, the skin barrier, when healthy, looks like a brick wall. Most of these “bricks,” are made up of corneocytes, which are, in fact, dead skin cells. They are held in place by something similar to mortar. This “mortar” is made up of lipids, referred to as the lipid bilayer, and moisture. The lipid bilayer is so named because it is composed of two layers of fatty acids. Its role is to help lock moisture into the skin. Every time you wash, scrub or use certain cleansers and soaps, you remove corneocytes and lipids from the skin. That’s why it’s crucial to restore the raw materials to rebuild the lipid bilayer and keep the “bricks” close together. These tightly packed “bricks” help maintain the skin’s natural protective function.

What may disrupt my skin barrier?

Many “enemies” can weaken or disrupt the skin barrier, including: Exposure to sun, wind and low humidity; Use of soaps, harsh cleansers or facial scrubs; A family history of dry skin; Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis; Certain medications that can dry the skin, such as those used to treat eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea; Age (the skin naturally loses its ability to maintain its moisture level as we age).

Why is CeraVe’s MVE® Technology important?

There are three types of lipids that combine to form the lipid bilayer of the skin. They are ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acid esters. Each of these lipids has the ability to both attract and repel water. When working together, these lipids alternate between bringing moisture in and keeping moisture out of the skin. The patented Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE®) technology used in CeraVe® releases these ingredients over time, allowing them to penetrate deeply into the skin to hydrate and nourish, as well as repair, restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. This also means that CeraVe® Skincare products keep working to help restore and maintain the natural protective function of the skin barrier long after you apply them. ***MVE® is a registered trademark of Healthpoint, Ltd., and is used under license.

What’s all the buzz about ingredients like Ceramides? Hyaluronic acid? Niacinamide?

Ceramides are essential in helping to form the multiple layers of the skin. They help to retain moisture. Ceramides play a central role as “water regulators” primarily because of their abundant presence in the skin and high capacity to prevent water loss. In healthy skin, ceramides are responsible for 40% of the lipid bilayer. This is why ceramides are so effective in creating a barrier recovery effect. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is an essential humectant that allows the skin to retain moisture. It is important to note that healthy skin is made of about 30% water. HA is necessary to keep skin healthy because it brings water up to the top layer of the skin and ensures that it remains hydrated. Without proper hydration, skin can become dry, cracked and wrinkled. Niacinamide, contained in CeraVe® Foaming Facial Cleanser, CeraVe® PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, CeraVe® AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30, CeraVe® Therapeutic Hand Cream, CeraVe® Renewing SA Cream, and CeraVe® Renewing SA Foot Cream helps support the production of ceramides and lipids, essential for restoring moisture to the skin and may reduce the appearance of redness due to dry skin.

I have oily, acne or rosacea-prone skin. Should I be using CeraVe®?

A frequent comment that New York dermatologist Hilary Baldwin, M.D. hears from her acne or rosacea patients is “everything, even water, irritates my skin.” However, these individuals are the very people who most need to apply gentle, soothing topical products. Dr. Baldwin knows that redness, flushing and blushing are not easy to control and certain acne and rosacea medications can be very irritating. And, as she states, “… an unused medication is an ineffective one.” Moisturizers like CeraVe® Moisturizing Lotion and CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream contain ingredients that help to repair the impaired skin barrier function. As a result, patients may better tolerate topical medications to improve rosacea and acne, sunscreens to protect skin from sunburn and cover-ups to improve appearance while barrier repair takes place. However, not all moisturizers are created equal. Some moisturizers contain ingredients that can increase the clogging of pores and worsen conditions like acne. Dermatologists advise patients to look for the words “nonacnegenic” (does not cause acne) and “noncomedogenic” (does not cause comedones or blackheads) on product labels. The inclusion of fragrance, although pleasant to the nose, can also cause some people to experience allergic reactions. CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream is fragrance-free and does not contain ingredients that are known to promote or irritate acne or rosacea. In clinical studies, most CeraVe products were shown to be nonacnegenic and noncomedogenic. Be sure to read and follow the product label to ensure these products are right for you.

Can I apply an SPF over CeraVe® products?

Yes! Or you can try CeraVe® Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM SPF 30

Why does my skin get so dry and itchy in the winter?

According to Pennsylvania dermatologist Richard G. Fried, M.D., Ph.D.: “In the winter, humidity in the air decreases significantly.” Lower humidity and cold temperatures can cause undesirable changes in the skin. As it becomes dehydrated, skin cells shrink and gaps form between them. “Harmful irritants and allergens can enter through these gaps in the skin barrier. This can cause a cascade of problems ranging from itching and rashes to the worsening of existing skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis,” according to Dr. Fried. “The amount of moisture we have in our skin is largely a function of how much moisture is in the air, the kind of products we put on our skin, coupled with natural secretions from sebaceous (oil) glands,” he says. That’s why it’s especially important to use a product that replaces lost moisture in the dry winter months. The availability of products like CeraVe®, that hydrate the skin without making it feel greasy, makes it easier to maintain healthy, well-functioning skin during winter months.

Are CeraVe® products tested on animals?

No. CeraVe® products are not tested on animals.

What’s the difference between CeraVe® Moisturizing Lotion and CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream?

CeraVe® Moisturizing Lotion and CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream contain the ingredients that skin needs to stay well hydrated, soft and supple. Many dermatologists recommend using the lotion year round and applying CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream to areas that are especially prone to becoming dry; areas such as elbows, hands, knees and feet. Layering the two products proves to be especially advantageous for individuals with very dry skin. CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream is also ideal for use during the colder winter months or in drier climates.

Is CeraVe® for the face AND body?

All CeraVe products can be used on the body or the face, as they are non-comedogenic and non-irritating. CeraVe® Foaming Facial Wash, CeraVe® PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM and CeraVe® AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 were developed specifically for the face and neck area.

Can I use CeraVe® products on my baby?

Yes. According to Anthony J. Mancini, M.D., a pediatric dermatologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, dry skin is quite common in newborns. After spending nine months in the womb, completely surrounded by fluids, a newborn baby’s skin needs to acclimate to the new environmental conditions that are present outside the womb. Beyond the newborn period, children may continue to experience dry skin as a result of genetics, climate or other factors such as atopic dermatitis (eczema). Many pediatric dermatologists recommend the regular use of non-soap cleansers such as CeraVe® Hydrating Cleanser. The gentle formula cleanses and hydrates the skin while protecting its barrier. Parents are advised to gently pat baby’s skin dry with a soft towel immediately following a bath, making sure to leave skin slightly damp, and then apply a gentle moisturizer such as CeraVe® Moisturizing Lotion or CeraVe® Moisturizing Cream.

Has CeraVe® won any industry or beauty awards?

Yes! CeraVe® has won multiple honours.

How does CeraVe® work?

Find out more about how our products work by visiting How It Works.

Is it possible to wash your skin too often?

Yes, it is possible to wash your skin too much. Individuals with oily skin or acne often wash their face several times a day in the mistaken belief that stripping the skin of oil will eliminate the problem. The skin has a sort of “built-in sensor,” however, and when it feels that it is too dry it may compensate by producing more oil secretions. Most dermatologists recommend washing the face twice daily with lukewarm water and a gentle skin cleanser. In between washings, splashing the face with cool water and patting it dry can help it feel less oily. CeraVe® Hydrating Cleanser features a unique and revolutionary concept to help cleanse skin. Using patented MVE® technology, CeraVe® Hydrating Cleanser’s ingredients gently lift daily unwanted residue and makeup from the surface of the skin without stripping it of essential moisture. As you apply the creamy lotion to your face and rinse (or tissue) it off, your skin is cleansed, not stripped. So, only the residue of the day’s activities are removed. In return, the cleanser’s MVE® technology deposits restorative ingredients into the skin’s upper layers; ingredients such as ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acid esters which are the basic components of healthy skin. It then goes further to deliver humectant ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and dimethicone to draw in and hold precious moisture to your skin.

Where can I purchase CeraVe®?

You can purchase CeraVe® at most major retail outlets, including drugstores, mass retailers and grocery stores or online at or Find a retailer near you by using our store locator

I see that your products are fragrance-free. What's the difference between fragrance-free and unscented?

"Fragrance-free" means that a product contains absolutely no fragrance. Most dermatologists recommend fragrance-free products, since fragrances can cause irritation for sensitive skin. A product labeled “unscented” may contain subtle masking fragrances.

What makes CeraVe different than other skincare brands?

Developed with dermatologists, our mission is to provide advanced skincare products that do more than just moisturize the skin’s surface. CeraVe® is the first and only brand to offer a full line of skin care products that contain an exclusive combination of three scientifically-identified vital ceramides. CeraVe® products penetrate the skin’s surface, infuse it with moisture, and lock it in for long-lasting results and beautiful, healthy looking skin.

Are CeraVe products non-comedogenic?

The majority of CeraVe products are non-comedogenic, so they won’t clog pores or cause acne. Please check the label or product page for more information. All CeraVe products are fragrance-free and non-irritating.

What is InVisibleZincTM?

InVisibleZincTM technology uses a revolutionary, naturally sourced, zinc oxide to deliver a unique dry, clear finish on the skin as compared to regular zinc which could result in a very thick product that would not absorb well. The elegant, lightweight, oil-free CeraVe® sunscreen lotions spread easily and provide broad spectrum protection from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays.

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