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Ask the experts: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream review

Curology’s licensed dermatology providers and product development experts share what they really think about this popular drugstore product.

Meredith Hartle, DO
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Alisha Khan headshot
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by Curology Team
featuring Alisha Khan, Jane Tsui, Meredith Hartle, DO
Updated on Oct 11, 2023 • 7 min read
Medically reviewed by Erin Pate, NP-C
woman applying moisturizer on her skin
Meredith Hartle, DO
Default avatar
Alisha Khan headshot
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
featuring Alisha Khan, Jane Tsui, Meredith Hartle, DO
Updated on Oct 11, 2023 • 7 min read
Medically reviewed by Erin Pate, NP-C
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

In this article

What is CeraVe moisturizing cream?

We're super excited to bring you this special 'Ask the Experts' review of the much-raved-about CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. We interviewed Jane Tsui and Alisha Khan, who are both product development managers with a passion for all things skincare. We also asked Dr. Meredith Hartle, a physician at Curology, for her insights on this popular drugstore product.

Is CeraVe’s moisturizing cream the answer to your skin hydration prayers? Keep reading to find out!

What is CeraVe moisturizing cream?

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is a rich and non-greasy moisturizer. It’s supposed to sink right into your skin, both on your face and body, especially if you have normal to dry skin.

It’s also loaded with three essential ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and petrolatum. These work together to lock in moisture, keep your skin barrier intact, and offer hydration lasting up to 48 hours!

This moisturizer is fragrance-free and has the stamp of approval from the National Eczema Association and the American Diabetes Association. Whether dealing with dryness, rough patches, or general discomfort, this cream seems like a promising way to help bring your skin back to its happy, healthy self.

The key ingredients in CeraVe moisturizing cream

Our experts, Jane and Alisha, have got the scoop for you on the key ingredients in CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. So, what makes this cream a go-to for so many?

First, it contains both hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which are like moisture magnets for your skin.¹ Then we have ceramides: ceramides are fatty acids that increase skin hydration, helping to maintain a strong skin barrier.²

However, ceramides are large molecules, and our experts point out some debate about how deeply they can penetrate your skin. So, while they’re great for surface hydration, the jury’s still out on their deep-skin benefits.

Does CeraVe Moisturizing Cream work? The science behind the product 

Our experts say this CeraVe product contains petrolatum, which is a highly effective occlusive. What’s an occlusive? Well, think of it as a protective seal that traps moisture in your skin. And when you pair that with ceramides and a little something called phytosphingosine, you’ve got a hydration powerhouse!

Now, onto the tech side. Ever heard of MVE Technology? It’s a delivery system that slowly releases moisturizing ingredients over 48 hours, keeping your skin hydrated longer than your average cream.³ It’s like skincare with a time-release capsule!

And those ceramides we mentioned? They’re not just filler; they help maintain your skin’s natural barrier. Studies even say ceramide creams can improve your skin hydration and barrier, especially if you have dry skin.⁴ And don’t forget about hyaluronic acid—this gem also helps moisturize the skin.⁵

Plus, let’s not overlook this product's credentials: it’s fragrance-free, developed with dermatologists, and even got a nod from the National Eczema Association and the American Diabetes Association. Sounds pretty impressive, right?

However, what works for one person may not work for the other.

Potential irritants and allergens

For the most part, the ingredients in CeraVe Moisturizing Cream are generally non-irritating. The website even flashes the “non-comedogenic” badge, which means it’s not supposed to clog your pores. 

But there's something you should know. The combo of cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth-20 in this product has a reputation for being comedogenic, meaning it might clog your pores. So, while the label says “non-comedogenic,” skincare is never one-size-fits-all.

Our experts say it's always best to patch-test first. Dab a little on your wrist or behind your ear and see how your skin reacts. Even if a product boasts a “non-comedogenic” label, it could still have ingredients known to clog pores. That’s why we recommend you cross-reference the ingredients with our comprehensive list.

Bottom line? Skincare is personal. What works for your BFF might not be your skin’s cup of tea. So take the time to know what you’re putting on your face and body!

CeraVe in a nutshell

Dr. Meredith Hartle, DO, a supervisory physician specializing in family medicine, gives CeraVe Moisturizing Cream some high marks. She often recommends this cream to her patients who are dealing with moderate to severe dry skin or even eczema. According to her, the product’s key ingredients, like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and petrolatum, are fantastic for locking in moisture. She advises her patients to use the CeraVe cream right after showering for that much-needed hydration boost.

However, Dr. Hartle also advises caution: the cream’s combination of cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth-20 might clog pores in some people. So, if you’re wrestling with acne, you may want to be cautious about applying this cream to acne-prone areas.

In a nutshell, if you’re on the hunt for serious moisture, Dr. Hartle suggests that this CeraVe cream could be your skin’s new best friend—but perhaps not if you’re currently battling breakouts.

The importance of moisturizing your skin 

Moisturizing your skin offers versatile benefits. It helps retain water, hydrates the skin, and even reduces visible dry skin flakes.⁶

Now, let’s get technical. Today's moisturizers blend both occlusives and humectants. Occlusives block water from evaporating, while humectants pull water in to keep your skin properly hydrated.⁷

If you’re searching for a good moisturizer, why not give the Curology Rich Moisturizer a try? And if you’re a bit confused about how to properly hydrate your lovely skin, a chat with a dermatology provider is always a good idea.

So go ahead, lavish some love on your skin. It’s not just about looking good, it’s about keeping your skin healthy and happy!

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

Get your personalized skincare routine with Curology

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Keep your skin hydrated with Curology 

Looking for a hydration hero? Give Curology’s Rich Moisturizer a try! Specially formulated to lock in moisture, this non-comedogenic cream is great for keeping your skin soft, smooth, and hydrated all day long.

Don’t let dry skin bring you down—join Curology* and get your glow on! 

*Cancel anytime. Subject to consultation. Results may vary.


Is CeraVe Moisturizing Cream good for my face?

Generally speaking, you can use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream on both your face and body. Developed by dermatologists, this cream is packed with ceramides and other beneficial ingredients. But if you’ve got skin that’s prone to acne, heads up: it contains some ingredients that could clog your pores. As always, it’s a good idea to do a patch test to make sure it resonates with your skin.

Does CeraVe moisturizer actually work?

CeraVe uses MVE technology that releases hydrating ingredients for up to 48 hours. So yes, it’s designed to work overtime on your skin barrier. But remember, skincare isn’t one-size-fits-all. While it’s generally well-reviewed, your experience may vary—especially if you’ve got acne-prone skin.

What are the cons of CeraVe moisturizer?

The cream contains a mix of cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth-20, which is known for being pore-clogging. If you’re worried about breakouts or have sensitive skin, do a patch test before using it.

How often should I apply CeraVe Moisturizing Cream?

For optimal hydration, apply CeraVe Moisturizing Cream daily, preferably after showering when your skin is still damp. This ensures that the cream locks in maximum moisture. However, if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, monitor how your skin responds and adjust your usage accordingly.

Does CeraVe Moisturizing Cream contain any fragrances?

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is fragrance-free, making it a suitable choice for those who are sensitive to added fragrances in skincare products. However, always check the ingredient list and consult with a dermatology provider if you have concerns about potential skin reactions or allergies.

• • •

P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1. Milani, M. and Sparavigna. A. The 24-hour skin hydration and barrier function effects of a hyaluronic 1%, glycerin 5%, and Centella asiatica stem cells extract moisturizing fluid: an intra-subject, randomized, assessor-blinded study. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. (2017, August 11).

  2. Spada, F., et al. Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin's own natural moisturizing systems. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. (2018, October 15).

  3. Zeichner, J.A. and Del Rosso, J.Q. Multivesicular Emulsion Ceramide-containing Moisturizers: An Evaluation of Their Role in the Management of Common Skin Disorders. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. (December 2016).

  4. Spada, F., et al. Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin's own natural moisturizing systems. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. Ibid.

  5. Draelos, Z.D., et al. Efficacy Evaluation of a Topical Hyaluronic Acid Serum in Facial Photoaging. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). (August 2021).

  6. Harwood, A., et al. Moisturizers.  StatPearls. (2022, August 21).

  7. Harwood, A., et al. Moisturizers.  StatPearls. Ibid.

Erin Pate is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner at Curology. She earned her Masters of Science in Nursing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.

Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.

Jane T. is a Product Development Manager at Curology. She received her degree in Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, worked at a cosmetic contract manufacturer, and moved into a product development role to influence the full lifecycle of cosmetic products from concept to launch.

Alisha Khan is a Product Development Manager at Curology. She studied Chemical Engineering at Cornell University and worked as a bench chemist at a multinational CPG company before coming to Curology. * Subject to consultation. Subscription is required. Results may vary. 

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Our policy on product links:Empowering you with knowledge is our top priority. Our reviews of other brands’ products in this post are not paid endorsements—but they do meet our medically fact-checked standards for ingredients (at the time of publication).
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Curology Team

Erin Pate Nurse Practitioner, NP-C

Erin Pate, NP-C

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