CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25: Affordable Sunscreen Elegance

CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25

I feel as though I’ve almost written an entire review on this sunscreen already, but as the mentions are dotted about in different posts I thought I’d collate all of the information into one neat review.

Because this CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF 25 is a good one; uncomplicated, unperfumed, inexpensive and effective. Its particular USP, as with most of CeraVe’s products, is that the formula contains ceramides to help restore the skin’s own protective barrier. Ceramides are actually present in the skin already – the fats make up over 50% of the skin’s composition, according to Dr Google – but over time, the ceramides become less effective at their job. And their job is, in the simplest terms, forming a protective barrier against the outside world. Helping to keep the stuff we don’t want (eg pollution, smoke) out and the stuff we do want (water!) in. If this protective barrier is weakened then you can start to see dryness, itchiness, redness, signs of dehydration and that general feeling of sensitivity and angstiness that we’ve probably all experienced at one time or another. If the barrier is strong and healthy, then it follows that skin will look and feel more soothed and hydrated. (And hydrated skin, in turn, will usually look far plumper and firmer.)

I wasn’t really that au fait with how ceramides worked (I think those dodgy shampoo ads from the nineties made me add the word “ceramide” to my list of beauty gimmicks to ignore!) but it seems that they are – quite literally – the thing holding our skin together. So the inclusion of essential ceramides in a well-formulated cream can’t be a bad idea – add in a shovel-load of niacinamide, which is also a marvellous ingredient for strengthening the skin’s barrier, and you have yourself a very attractive moisturiser. Especially if you have sensitive, itchy and irritable skin that constantly feels on the verge of a breakdown.

CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25

And then there’s the broad spectrum sunscreen, protecting against UVA and UVB rays. All in a rather elegant lotion that’s hydrating but not greasy, lightweight but not alcohol-laden, doesn’t have added fragrance and comes in a sensible, easy-to-use pump-action tube. CeraVe say that this SPF 25 lotion is for normal to dry skin but I wonder whether oily or acne-prone skin might also benefit too. The niacinamide in the formula has skin-calming, sebum-regulating properties as well as being brilliant for helping with the skin’s barrier function, so perhaps  a nice choice for those with angry, spotty skin that’s flaky and dehydrated at the same time. Has anyone with oily or spot-prone skin tried this? Please report back in the comments, I’d love to hear your feedback.

For those wondering how the CeraVe lotion compares to my “test” SPF, Anthelios XL: I think that the CeraVe is more hydrating than the Anthelios and a better choice for drier skin or skin that’s in some way compromised or sensitive. If you want a more velvet, undetectable finish and a featherweight feel, Anthelios is the more appropriate option.

You can find CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25 at Boots.com here* – it’s £12.

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  1. Emanuela
    May 22, 2019 / 1:25 pm

    As much as I love Cerave products, I hate this one with a passion. I have combination, acne prone skin, and this moisturiser makes me look so shiny and greasy! I find it to be heavier than I’d like. On top of that, it irritates my eyes like crazy, I can’t even put it anywhere near my eye area, or my eyes will start stinging and watering like there’s no tomorrow. And I don’t use anything else in the morning, apart from sunscreen, so it’s not even like it could be influenced by other products underneath. It’s just a terrible one for me. I am now trying to use it up on my hands and I like it as a hand cream with spf.

  2. Preben
    December 17, 2018 / 10:42 am

    Such a great review and I couldn’t agree more! I have oily, sensitive, acne-prone and irritated skin (lucky me huh). Anyways, I adore this Cerave moisturiser with SPF. It gives plenty of hydration without making me look greasy. It does however give quite the glow, but during winter who doesn’t want as much of a glow as possible?

  3. Kelly
    July 28, 2018 / 7:18 pm

    Thanks for the review. The fact it just says UV has put me off trying it. Does it protect you from UVA and UVB rays as far as you know?

    • July 29, 2018 / 7:28 pm

      Yes it’s both, and the UVA protection is very good – the UVA value in this product is almost 2/3 of the SPF value, and I *think* that for UVA to be rated good the UVA value has to be at least 1/3. I probed the brand a bit for info a while back as couldn’t see it either x

      • za
        January 29, 2019 / 7:58 am

        hi, where did you find the info on the UVA value? could you link me please? x

    • CS
      July 14, 2021 / 7:34 pm

      I contacted Cerave today and got this answer:
      The UVA protection for the Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF 25 is UVA PF 8 or PA ++.

  4. Sophie
    July 28, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    Thank you very much for your sterling sun cream research Ruth. I have to wear Factor 50 all year around due to meds I’m on so I am always interested in updating my knowledge on this subject. I have kissed so many sun screen frogs trying to find the right one for my very sensitive, extremely dry skin. I used Garnier Ambre Solaire’s one for years till I found out that their UVA protection was not very high. I am presently using Boots Soltan Factor 50 Moisturise and Protect as both their UVB and UVA levels are five star. It’s a bit like hunting down the perfect lipstick or foundation….an eons long project. :]

    • July 29, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      Oh I shall add that one to my list! Is it greasy-ish or no residue? x

      • Sophie
        July 29, 2018 / 9:56 pm

        I think most people would find it a bit greasy. Perfection for me with my arid skin but definitely too much for greasy skin. However my daughter-in-law to be who has normal skin uses it too and loves it. Leaves me glowy but not shiny and works very well beneath my Max Factor Lasting Performance foundation. However Soltan seem to do a few formulations for each strength factor so possibly there is one to suit most people. I like that I have no reaction to the cream despite being hugely sensitive. I’m also impressed with Boots research into UVA ray protection which gave birth to the five star rating in the first place, a rating system that other sun screens use now too.

  5. July 28, 2018 / 2:05 pm

    Cerave really is such a great brand- I’m in love with their cleanser so I’m sure that their moisturizers are the same, they get the job done without a lot of fuss and it’s not super expensive either!


    • July 29, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      Exactly. Not the sexiest stuff to look at, but no-frills effective x

  6. Cristina
    July 28, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    Hi Ruth, Sounds great but I have a question. You say the fórmula includes niacinamide so…can I use my daily Vit C serum under it?
    Have a good one!

    • July 29, 2018 / 7:31 pm

      Yes, pretty sure the non-combining thing is outdated info x

  7. mim
    July 28, 2018 / 7:17 am

    I hope we can get this in Australia soon. I spy the omorovicza in the background. I was really interesting in trying it. How do you find it?

    • July 29, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      I’ll report back – that’s currently in testing! x

  8. Jen
    July 28, 2018 / 4:30 am

    Ah! If only they made an SPF 50 version! Sadly my skin is too pigmentated through previous years of reduced protection (or no protection!!) sunscreen to risk dropping as low as 25. Maybe during the winter months?

  9. July 27, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Love the Cerave brand. I’ve used their SPF moisturizer for oily skin and it worked really well, so your positive review doesn’t come as a surprise to me.

    I’m currently loving inDefense30 from Indeed Labs as my go to SPF moisturizer.

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

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