best Cerave UK products good for acne dry skin wrinkles and more

The best CeraVe products for all your skincare concerns – from acne, wrinkles, bumpy skin and eczema

18th May 2022 | Author: Katherine O'Shea

Find out if CeraVe is as good as the reviews say with our pick of the best Cerave cleansers, moisturisers, retinol serums and more

CeraVe skincare is revered by skin experts, TikTok users, and customers worldwide.  Developed by American dermatologists, the brand offers an affordable range of skincare products that are good for acne, eczema and many other skin conditions, all without breaking the bank.

It’s so popular that it’s gathered quite a cult following in all the regions it’s sold in, including the UK, and the main reason? CeraVe skincare products actually work!

What’s more, you get a huge amount of product for your money, making it fantastic value. We’re obsessed with the products we’ve tried, the reviews for the products we’re yet to try are incredible, and the customer base seemingly keeps on growing.

Below we’ve listed what we consider to be the best CeraVe products, from cleansers to serums and lotions, for a range of skin conditions including acne, bumpy skin, eczema, psoriasis, and more. Hopefully, there is something to suit all skin types, conditions, and budgets but if something is missing, please drop us a line at!

CeraVe UK

After noticing that skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin are all caused by a compromised skin barrier, the experts at CeraVe created products designed to restore the skin’s natural protective barrier. The CeraVe brand launched in the UK in 2018, initially with six core products. In that time, the range has grown to 14 options, each one designed with a specific condition or skin type in mind.

Best CeraVe UK products

To help you choose which are the best CeraVe UK products, we’ve listed each item based on the skin condition they’re best suited to. This is similar to how we categorised The Ordinary products in our The best The Ordinary products for all your skincare concerns guide.

If you don’t suffer from acne, but dryness is a particular concern. You can scroll straight down to the best CeraVe products for dry skin section. Alternatively, if you’re looking to get rid of blemishes and fight the signs of ageing, you can mix and match the products within these sections.

Jump straight to each section using the links below

♥︎ The best CeraVe products for oily skin

Enlarged pores are caused by a variety of lifestyle and genetic factors. If you have oily skin, for example, you’ll likely have enlarged pores. Men, for instance, tend to have thicker but more oily skin so they have larger pores. This is because when excess oil, dead skin cells and dirt collect in your pores, your skin swells and your pores look larger than normal. Oily skin can be hereditary or as a result of your diet.

As we get older, and our skin loses elasticity, it can make pores look bigger.  Hormonal changes, including puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and the menopause, can also increase the appearance of large pores in women. This means your skincare products need to attempt to tackle some of these causes.

At a glance

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

£9.49 | Buy now

Cerave foaming cleanser for oily skinCeraVe

A foaming CeraVe cleanser is your best option for oily skin. However, it’s difficult to find a cleanser for oily skin that takes off makeup, but doesn’t leave it dry and aggravated.

This CerVe foaming cleanser soothes your skin, won’t exacerbate any sensitivity, and helps your skin to retain its moisture.

When you apply it onto your wet face you’ll find it transforms into a lightweight foam that will lift your foundation and mascara.

Your skin won’t feel dry and tight afterwards, which can often happen with other skincare products.

With the CeraVe cleanser for oily skin you’ll see that it leaves your skin feeling clean and free from excess oil.

As well as being fantastic for your oily skin, if you suffer from acne it will really help with that too.

Often acne medication can leave your skin very dry, so this CerVe foaming cleanser or the CeraVe Smoothing Cleanser are your two best products to try.

FURTHER READING: Best cleanser: Discover which face cleanser best suits your skin from oily to dry and acne-prone

Buy now from Amazon

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion 

£8.99 | Buy now 

Cerave Moisturising LotionCeraVe

It’s a myth that oily skin doesn’t need moisturising. In fact, when the skin isn’t hydrated enough, it can produce excess sebum to make up for it. You do need to choose a moisturiser wisely, though.

The CeraVe Moisturising Lotion is a fantastic all-rounder that will help your skin to feel smoother and healthier, whatever skin type you have. Including oily. You can use this moisturiser on both your face and body to help protect your skin’s natural barrier.

Unlike other moisturisers that only provide instant hydration, this moisturising lotion will keep your skin hydrated all day. The CeraVe moisturising lotion won’t make you feel oily or greasy because it feels very light. This also means it won’t block your pores.

It comes in a big bottle that will last a long time, particularly because you really don’t need to use much of the product to get a good coat on your skin. It doesn’t smell because its fragrance-free, which means it’s also really kind to sensitive skin.

If you like using fake tan then this moisturizer is great for you because we found it doesn’t break it down as some other moisturisers do.

If you have very dry skin you may instead want to opt for the CeraVe Moisturising Cream. It’s pretty much the same as the lotion, but it’s thicker and less runny than the CeraVe Moisturising Lotion.

Read our full CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review here

FURTHER READING: The science of moisturiser: Which ingredients actually work and which are marketing BS?

Buy now from Boots

♥︎ The best CeraVe products for dry skin

From sensitive skin to rosacea and eczema, the causes of dry and red skin, and inflammation vary in severity. It’s usually a sign your skin isn’t happy about something, and you should always be careful when adding new products to your routine, but seeing as CeraVe was developed with such conditions in mind, we’d hope this wouldn’t be the case.

At a glance

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

£16.99 | Buy now 

Cerave Hydrating hyaluronic SerumCeraVe

To benefit the most from this CeraVe serum, you should apply it to your face and neck daily. You can put it on before your moisturiser, or it can be a base for your makeup.

It’s great for any skin type, but if you feel your skin is drier than you want it to be this serum is for you.

This product is specifically designed to hydrate your skin by retaining its natural moisture, as well as soothing your skin.

In addition to the ceramides forming a protective barrier for your skin, which works to prevent water loss, this serum also contains Vitamin B5.

Also known as pantothenic acid, VitaminB5 helps give your skin a plumping effect by improving the softness and elasticity of your skin.

The pump to get the product out works really well. The only downside is you can’t see how much product you have left because the bottle isn’t clear.

Unlike most hyaluronic acid products, the serum itself looks and has the feel of a moisturiser. It soaks in quickly but performs better if your face is slightly damp beforehand.

This hyaluronic acid serum is much cheaper than similar others on the market, making it great value for money because it’s just as effective as the more expensive brands.

FURTHER READING: What does hyaluronic acid do to your skin?

Buy now from Amazon

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

£9.49 | Buy now 

Cerave Hydrating CleanserCeraVe

The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is a great choice for eczema, but it’s also a good product if you have normal to dry skin. It’s a soap-free, non-foaming lotion that gently removes dirt and oil but really hydrates the skin.

When you apply it, it feels really silky and nourishing on your skin. Being perfume-free it doesn’t smell of anything, but we found that to be positive. To be honest it feels like it’s a much more expensive product than it is, making it great value for money.

You can also buy a foaming version of the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, which is better for people with blemishes and combination skin. Read more in our CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser review.

How to use the CeraVe cleanser: Put it on your damp skin and massage it, before rinsing. If you have extremely dry skin then this particular cleanser will leave your skin the softest.

As with all the CeraVe products, it contains the three essential ceramides to lock in your skin’s moisture and help restore its protective barrier.

FURTHER READING: Eczema: What is it, what causes it and can you ever truly get rid of it?

Buy now from Amazon

♥︎ The best CeraVe products for blemishes and acne

Salicylic acid was one of last year’s most searched-for, and sought-after skincare ingredients and this was, in part, down to the popularity of CeraVe’s SA range – with SA standing for Salicylic Acid.

It’s part of a family of acids known as beta hydroxy acids, of BHAs and these are great for acne, blemishes and bumpy/textured skin because the molecules are small enough to get further into the structure of your skin. We’ve listed two of CeraVe’s SA products below but you can discover more here.

Note: If you suffer from persistent or severe breakouts, consult a doctor before you add any new products to your skincare routine. You can read more in our What is acne? guide.

At a glance

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser

£11.99 | Buy now 

Cerave Smoothing CleanserCeraVe

If you’re suffering from acne it’s vital you have an effective skincare regime. Although acne is caused by bacteria or hormones, rather than neglecting to wash your face, regular cleansing of your skin is an important part of keeping it under control.

Therefore, you’ll want to add the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser for acne because its formula gently exfoliates your skin with salicylic acid. It’s also fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, which means it won’t block your pores.

This foaming cleanser is gentle enough to be used every day and, like the rest of the CeraVe product line, it helps protect your skins natural barrier, making it harder for germs to enter.

You can also use it to remove oil, dirt and makeup from your face without irritating your skin.

How to use the CeraVe cleaner: Pump a tiny amount into your hand – you don’t need much for it to be effective – and then massage the cleanser into your wet skin and rinse. It’s not too foamy, so it won’t dry out your skin. It doesn’t have the nicest of smells, but it will leave your face feeling purified and clean.

If you’re taking a trip to the USA any time soon you’ll want to have a look for CeraVe products in their pharmacies because they have even more CeraVe products that are specifically designed for helping acne.

You can also shop the full US range at, but you may have to pay shipping costs.

Buy now from Amazon

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream

£11.99 | Buy now

CeraVe SA smoothing CreamCeraVe

If you have dry, rough or bumpy skin this is a great body cream to use. It’s also suitable for you if you suffer from Keratosis Pilaris (KP).

Sometimes referred to as “chicken skin,” this condition occurs when keratin builds up in the hair follicles across the body, causing them to become blocked and bumpy.

The salicylic acid penetrates deep into your pores and loosens dead skin cells. It works with the ingredient Urea, which helps exfoliate dead skin build-up and can keep your skin moist from drawing water from the deeper layers of your skin.

How to use CeraVe cream: To get the biggest benefit from using this skin smoothing cream for bumpy skin, you’ll want to apply it when you get out of the shower.

It will then give you a controlled release of hydration for the next 24 hours thanks to CeraVe’s MVE delivery technology.

FURTHER READING: Salicylic acid: What does salicylic acid do and why is it so good for acne?

Buy now from Amazon

♥︎ The best CeraVe products for wrinkles

While it’s not possible to get rid of wrinkles completely, certainly not without Botox or surgery, it is possible to delay their onset. We explain more about the science of ageing in our how to prevent wrinkles guide, and our collagen explainer, but in short: as we get older, our skin’s natural elasticity and structure become weaker.

Using SPF is a great place to start, but retinol is considered the main way to stem the tide of wrinkles and fine lines.

You can read more in our skincare ingredients guide and discover retinol alternatives in our best anti-ageing cream, best eye cream and best neck cream lists. 

At a glance

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum 

£26 | Buy now

Cerave Retinol SerumCeraVe

If you’re looking for an anti-ageing serum that really works, then the CeraVe retinol serum should be part of your skincare routine.

This skincare essential works for all skin types and it’s remarkably gentle for a retinol-based product. If you’ve found retinol serums have irritated your skin in the past, it’s worth giving this serum a go.

Its non-comedogenic formula will reduce the appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles because it improves the texture of your skin. Your skin’s moisture is then locked in by the hyaluronic acid, the soothing niacinamide and the CeraVe standard of three essential ceramides.

As with all the CeraVe skincare products, this serum also contains MVE technology so once you put it on in the morning it’ll be helping to hide your wrinkles for the rest of the day.

How to use the CeraVe serum: Apply small dots of the serum on your face where you need it most. Smooth it into the skin until it’s absorbed fully. You can use it once or twice a day. We recommend putting it on before your makeup in the morning and then before going to bed, so it can continue to do its magic whilst you’re sleeping.

This anti-ageing serum is particularly good for your Crow’s Feet, and the deeper wrinkles on your forehead.

It can take up to three months for retinol serums to show results but we found it made a difference to our fine lines much sooner than this. Other reviews claim they even noticed results straight away with this serum.

This serum is slightly more expensive than other CeraVe UK products in this list because the serum is part of the wider US range.

That said, it is possible to buy it from Amazon UK so you don’t have to pay additional customs charges or similar.

FURTHER READING: Best anti-ageing cream for targeting wrinkles and fine lines

Buy now from Amazon

Why is CeraVe so good? 


With CeraVe products, your skin continues to be hydrated for 24 hours thanks to its patented MultiVesicular Emulsion Technology (MVE).

This delivery system helps protect your outer skin barrier all day because it has time-released spheres said to provide “multiple phases of moisturisation”.

These spheres trap and hold the ingredients at application. Over the next 24 hours the layers slowly dissolve, releasing the CeraVe ingredients onto the surface of your skin throughout the day.

What makes CeraVe different from other brands is that its products all contain three essential ceramides.

Ceramides are fatty acids or lipids found naturally found in skin cells. They’re important for retaining your skin’s moisture, and they help prevent the entry of germs into your body.

They essentially help protect your skin’s natural barrier.

Although our skin generates ceramides naturally, these ceramides start dwindling with age and can also be impacted by environmental factors, leading to your skin suffering and deteriorating from a lack of protection.

If you suffer from eczema, psoriasis or have dry skin, for instance, it could be that you have a lower level of ceramides and you need a boost.

A loss or drop in natural ceramides can make your skin feel a lot drier, inflamed, itchy or irritated.

As a result, CeraVe products reduce the amount of moisture your skin loses, increase your amount of skin hydration, and as a result restores your protective skin barrier.

As well as replenishing your ceramides, CeraVe UK products are also good for sensitive skin.

That’s because they are fragrance-free, paraben-free, allergy-tested, and non-comedogenic (meaning they don’t block your pores).

The US range is slightly larger, and it is possible to buy products from the States and have them shipped over. In particular, you can buy them all from

However, if you don’t want to wait for them to arrive, there should be enough in the CeraVe UK range to get you started.

new CeraVe micellar waterCeraVe

UPDATE: CeraVe has launched a new skincare product in the UK and it’s a good’un!

Joining the wider CeraVe cleanser range, the new CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water with Niacinamide is suitable for all skin types and helps remove dirt and makeup.

Niacinamide helps brighten the skin, and CeraVe’s ceramide complex helps maintain balance and keep the skin’s natural barrier in check. You can read more about why this ceramide complex is so effective in our guide below.

A large, 295ml bottle of this cleansing water costs just £10 and is available from Lookfantastic, Boots, Feelunique, and more.

Buy now from Lookfantastic

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