beauty

"Converted!" 3 women with dry, sensitive skin try the chemist skincare range experts love.

Cerave
Thanks to our brand partner, Cerave

When cult skincare brand CeraVe arrived in Australia last year, many of us beauty lovers were very excited.

Look, we practically wet our pants because finally, we too could experience first hand the affordable chemist skincare brand dermatologists rave about.

CeraVe launched in the US way back in 2005 and was developed with dermatologists because many skin experts were having trouble finding skincare options for those of us with dry, sensitive skin, mild eczema-prone skin, acne – all the fun things.

 

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Whether you’re acquainted with one or all of these skin issues, the thing they mostly have in common is they’re caused by a compromised skin barrier. Think of your skin barrier as a pool cover for your face.

Its job is to keep all the good things (like hydration and water) in, and the bad things (irritants and pollution) out. But leave your pool without the cover or one with holes in it for too long and soon, the water level drops and the water you’re swimming in may not be as clear. Same goes for your skin.

The experts behind CeraVe realised that a key ingredient was needed and that’s ceramides, lipid molecules that form the skin barrier and help it to serve its purpose. So, they formulated a range with three essential ceramides through their patented MultiVesicular Emulsion (MVE®) technology to keep skin hydrated for 24 hours. And the rest is history.

After gaining cult status in the US, CeraVe hit Chemist Warehouse shelves in 2019 with a Hydrating Cleanser (236ml for $12.99), Foaming Cleanser (236ml for $14.99), PM Facial Moisturising Lotion (52ml for $21.90) and Eye Repair Cream (14ml for $18.99), among others, to help our dry faces and bodies.

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Now, the brand has blessed us with two newbies: an AM Facial Moisturising Lotion with SPF 15 (52ml for $21.99) and a Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum (30ml for $29.99).

 

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All the products are non-comedogenic (they won’t clog your pores), hypoallergenic (they won’t aggravate your allergies), oil-free and fragrance-free. Some also come in jumbo pump packs made to be used by the whole family in the shower. And perhaps most enticing of all, nothing costs more than $30.

Sounds brilliant, but what are the products actually like to use and do they deliver on their promises?

Myself and two other Mamamia staffers nabbed the new products from Chemist Warehouse (while practising social distancing, of course) to find out. Keep scrolling for our honest reviews.

Amy, 27, has perpetually thirsty skin.

"I've been using CeraVe ever since it came to Aus!" Image: Supplied.
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CeraVe products have been a part of my skincare routine ever since they launched in Australia (please note the peeing my pants with excitement reference above). I legitimately recommend the brand to anyone and everyone because A) they do what you need them to and B) they don't cost much.

They also fit really nicely into my approach to skincare, which is based on the bookends metaphor: any good routine needs a gentle cleanser and SPF on either end, and a bunch of targeted products in between you can pick up depending on what your skin feels like. Both the CeraVe cleansers are effective, inoffensive staples for any skincare routine - I use the Foaming Cleanser each night to remove makeup and grime, and the Hydrating Cleanser if I feel like I need it in the morning.

My new favourite is the Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and my dry skin and I aren't the only ones loving it sick. So many of my beauty editor mates, including You Beauty host and beauty boss Leigh Campbell, are recommending it, and I also talked about it in the You Beauty newsletter as a personal recommendation.

The hydrating cleanser sadly doesn't look this sunny in my bathroom with zero natural light. Image: Supplied.
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All my beauty editor friends are loving this serum. Image: Supplied.

The hydrating serum helps your skin to retain moisture, which equals plump, juicy skin and reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. But what makes it different to the many other hyaluronic acid (HA) serums out there is the formula. Unlike others that are runny and leave your skin feeling sticky, this one is silky and feels like a lovely gel lotion. Bonus points - at $29.99, you can afford to slather it all over your parched neck and décolletage, too.

While the new AM Moisturiser doesn't have a high enough SPF rating to take the place of my daily sunscreen (I use an SPF 50 almost every day), it works for days when I'm inside or just popping out for a bit to grab a coffee or do the groceries.

Hannah, 32, currently navigating pregnancy dryness and sensitivity.

"Since I was pregnant with my first daughter three years ago, my skin has had a tendency to be on the dry side." Image: Supplied.
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I’ve had sensitive skin for as long as I remember, including bouts of psoriasis around my mouth in my teens. Happily, that's long since disappeared but since I was pregnant with my first daughter three years ago, my skin has had a tendency to be on the dry side too.

Now I'm 32 weeks pregnant and the dry, sensitive skin is back. Before trying the CeraVe products, I was at the point of using my toddler's moisturiser so it was the perfect time to give CeraVe a go.

The real MVP for me is the eye cream. It's LOVELY. It has the perfect soft, silky consistency while also being very creamy and not runny at all. It feels amazing once it’s on and there's no stinging at all. It's truly fragrance-free and my eye bag area feels and looks plumper after four days of use, which for me is a miracle when 32 weeks pregnant, raising a toddler and working 12-hour days. Consider me converted. Love it.

The gang's all here! Image: Supplied.

I found the Hyaluronic Acid Serum goes on smoothly because of the easy-to-use pump bottle and creamy consistency. I'll keep using it for my face, neck and chest. I'll also keep using the PM moisturiser. I love the squeezy pump packaging and the texture that's smooth and hydrating, but not greasy. It also has no smell, which is a winner because everything smells when you're pregnant.

The hydrating cleanser has a comforting, smooth texture with a light, fresh scent. I'm a triple cleansing kind of lady - this one didn't cut it for me on its own but could work in my routine with another cleanser (I like that squeaky clean feeling). That said, it's great to keep in the shower because my two year old always wants to try “mummy’s makeup”  - a loose term for all beauty products in our house - and I can rub the cleanser on her tummy without a second thought. It's good to know it’s gentle enough for her and I don’t have to use my spendy products keeping her entertained!

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Jess, 23, recovering from a rude facial dermatitis flare-up.

"This serum seems to be doing wonders for my dry skin so far." Image: Supplied.

Earlier this year, I suffered a bad bout of dermatitis and had to strip back my skincare routine to the very basics. Now that I'm on top of my dermatitis, I've been looking for some gentle products I can add back into my skincare routine. The CeraVe range was perfect for me, because A) I could easily pick it up from Chemist Warehouse, and B) it's affordable.

I’ve been using the products for about a week now in the mornings and evenings and I’m really enjoying all the products in the range. The packaging feels really nice and sturdy and the products are a good size. The moisturisers also sit well under my makeup and make me look quite glowy.

My favourite product is the Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It makes my skin feel really smooth after application and it’s gentle - it doesn’t make my sensitive skin angry like other products have in the past. It also seems to be doing wonders for my dry skin so far. I really like all of the products in this range and I’m keen to keep on using them in my daily skincare routine.

If you're keen to try any of the products from the CeraVe range, head to your local Chemist Warehouse store or jump online at chemistwarehouse.com.au.

Feature image: Supplied.

Have you tried any CeraVe products? We'd love to read your reviews in the comments below.

Cerave

A cult US skin care brand, CeraVe, was developed with dermatologists in 2005 after experts noticed that many skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema and acne all had one thing in common – a deficiency in skin Ceramides and in turn, a compromised skin barrier. Successfully launched into the Australian market in 2019, CeraVe is the first skin care brand to contain three essential, skin-identical Ceramides that the skin needs, progressively delivered through a patented MultiVesicular Emulsion (MVE®) technology that maintains hydration levels in the skin for 24 hours.

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