I came across this very affordable brand, CeraVe, online quite a while back. It was one of those USA “drugstore” brands that I pine for halfway across the world, because everyone raves about it especially for sensitive skin, but I can’t get hold of it for so many reasons. But when I found it out was available here in Malaysia, I was off to the pharmacies like Speedy Gonzales! You couldn’t see me for the dust I left behind!
Unhappily, we appear to only have a tiny little selection available here in Malaysia, but hey, at least we get it! UPDATE: Cerave is as of 2017, no longer available in Malaysia. I’ve set out below where else you can buy it. I picked up the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, targeted at dry to normal skin. Oh hey, that’s me!
CeraVe (I have no idea how to pronounce it, so I call it ‘sera-vee’ in my head – let me know if you know!) is one of those dermatological brands, that remind me of Cetaphil. In fact, at the local pharmacy, it’s located near Cetaphil, Seba-med etc in the most obscure shelf you can find by the bath products, on the lowest shelf. You’d have to stoop down and really PEER at the shelves to be sure you can see anything, and then you’d be rewarded by the sight of 3 items. LOL! I kid you not! There were just 3 items from this brand on the shelf of the pharmacy I went to (Caring) and 2 items from each product. It’s like sifting sand for gold dust.
At normal times, I’m sure that you, like me, wouldn’t give this one a second look. It isn’t pretty, it’s obscure, and it’s really quite cheap, that you start questioning if it’s any good at all. Well, it is. So, aren’t you glad I found you a very affordable and good cleanser? Now, say thank you nicely 😛
The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (bright green label) is formulated for those with normal to dry skin. If you are reading this and thinking “Darn! I have oily skin! Boo!” There is also a CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser (light green label) that is just as highly rated so you might be more interested in that one instead.
What makes the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser so awesome for dry skin is this – it doesn’t strip the skin while cleansing, and it feels gentle while it cleanses. The ingredients are supposed to be very beneficial, and mimics the skin barrier so it doesn’t strip the oils from your skin. This makes it also very good for those with sensitive skin, whose skin may get red and irritated by the slightest rubbing or harsh ingredients. I don’t have sensitive skin so I can’t tell you if it’ll be good for that, but it does feel gentle on my skin.
This is how the product looks when you pump it out of the bottle. It is opaque and it isn’t creamy the way cream cleansers are. It has a slight translucency around the edges, and it reminds me of starch after it’s been cooked.
It also does not foam up, and it doesn’t quite feel like a cream cleanser either. It applies on skin rather like a lotion, as opposed to a cleansing product. However, it washes off easily with just water, leaving a bit of a residue behind on skin. Your skin will not feel squeaky clean (it should NEVER feel squeaky clean, please!) but it doesn’t feel uncomfortable either. It just feels clean and hydrated, the way skin should feel.
I use the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser as my evening second cleanse, leaving it in my shower. I could also use it in the morning if I wanted, but despite the claims of it being gentle, I do find that if I double up on use, it actually does seem to strip my skin a little.
So, I only keep it for use once a day, and pick it for the evening because I already have other cream cleansers I use in the morning. I won’t use this as a makeup remover, or as a first cleanse, because it quite frankly, is shite at the job 😛 Use a proper makeup remover or a cleansing balm or oil as your first cleanse, then use this as your second cleanse.
Personally, I’m happy with it. It’s very affordable, and it works. You really cannot ask for more! Oh, one more thing. Don’t ask me to compare with the famed Cetaphil cleanser. If you can believe it, I’ve never used Cetaphil 😛
IN A NUTSHELL
The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is targeted at those with normal to dry skin. If you have oily skin you do not want this, you want the Foaming Facial Cleanser. The texture feels like a lotion, but it rinses off easily, without foaming up. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry unless I use it twice a day, in which case it does after a few days. I use this as a second cleanse. You could use it in the morning if you prefer. I just prefer using something else. It’s useless at removing makeup so use a proper cleansing balm or cleansing oil for that purpose. This isn’t meant for that. All in all, a very affordable and effective product.
PROS: Affordable, Gentle, Leaves skin feeling comfortable and not dry after washing, Rinses off easily, Not fragrances, Easy to dispense product, Pump on bottle locks so it is very portable
CONS: Does not remove makeup, Feels a little drying on my skin if I use twice a day, Hard to find locally unless you buy it online
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who has dry skin, Anyone who understands how cream cleansers work, Anyone familiar with non-foaming cleansers
PRICE: RM27.90 or thereabouts for 237ml | US$12.99 for 335ml
WHERE TO BUY:
Caring pharmacy (I got mine here) or some of the smaller, independent pharmacies. I did not see it in Watson’s or Guardian.Buy it online at iHerb (use the code MPW213 for a discount) It isn’t much more expensive online and if you buy other items marked “Shipping Saver” you save a significant amount on shipping.
If you’re interested, here is the ingredient list for the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.
Have you tried this cleanser or any products by CeraVe?
I bought a night cream off iHerb because it was highly rated, and very affordable, so that’s my next foray into the brand. I do think this cleanser is very good especially if the air is making your skin dry, or if you have dry skin. You will naturally apply your serums and creams over this, but it helps to not walk out of the shower with a rictus grin on your face, because your skin feels so tight and dehydrated 😛 I like this one and my wallet does too!