Review: CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

It is sunny out. What does that mean? That you are actually thinking about putting on some sunscreen. I mean, we all know we are supposed to wear it year round; UV light penetrates clouds and what not.  But as summer approaches, I thought I would share this little part of my beauty regimen.

Sunscreen is important (we have only heard this at least a thousand times), so last year when trying to build a simple beauty regimen, I knew I needed to find a sunscreen that moisturized without leaving my face greasy. I would be really pleased if it had a few of the ingredients that actually do help to make skin healthier, too (more on those in just a moment). Challenge accepted, right?

I do all of my beauty product research starting with, and let me tell you: the woman who started this site knows her stuff. She has done her research and she succinctly let’s you know on a product-by-product basis what is in these things, if it is any good, and even if there is something better (and at a drugstore price).

One of the unsung brands that Beautypedia turned me on to is CeraVe. It is a drugstore brand sometimes described as an alternative to Cetaphil, developed for dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea,  among other things. So, not only is it cheap, it is fragrance free and full of important ingredients that make skin healthy, like niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid.

The AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 has all of these lovely additions, but does suffer the draw back of not having additional antioxidants, according to the Beautypedia review, and this places it squarely in the “good” category (antioxidants would improve the functionality of the sunscreen). However, I had already started using the CeraVe night moisturizer, loved that, and decided to buy this. I am certainly not disappointed. It leaves my skin moisturized just so and doesn’t make my makeup melt off my face on hot days. I mentioned that it is fragrance free, and that is a great feature for sensitive skin. If you have dry skin, normal skin, or have skin that is a shade oily but use a cleanser that pulls all of the moisture out of your skin (hello, foaming cleanser, I am looking at you), I definitely suggest this for you.

So, a little about those ingredients.


Niacinamide is Vitamin B3 and is known to prevent water loss by sealing in moisture, evening out skin discolorations, and improving skin elasticity. All cool stuff, to be sure (with a study on it improving skin health in rosacea patients here). It is also thought to be a cell-communicating ingredient, which means that it acts as a signal in a cell-signalling response pathway. This is a newer field and the hope is that by applying these cell signals, we can signal the skin cells to act like normal, healthy cells, thus fighting a barrage of other signalling information, some of it bad. This would improve skin function, softness, and overall appearance in addition to protecting cells from damage.


These little molecules make up about 50% of your skin’s extracellular matrix. They prevent water molecules from escaping, hold skin cells together like some cellular glue, and improve the skin’s barrier function. There are 11 recognized forms (the lotion has 3 of them). A lack of ceramides is associated with aging and various skin disorders and it is thought that topical application can improve these disorders and thus the skin function.

More information can be found here.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluric acid is a natural moisturizing factor. As the name implies, natural moisturizing factors are humectants keep skin moisturized by pulling moisture out of the air itself. When levels of these factors get too low, skin can feel tight, rough, or even flaky. When this happens, skin is impaired in many ways and even has trouble healing. So, when one of these factors is present in a skin care or beauty treatment, it improves the skin’s barrier function, moisture levels, and healing process while also allowing the skin to go about its job without normal environmental stresses. These improved moisture levels make skin softer, smoother, and more supple in the bargain, making various natural moisturizing factors great ingredients to look for.

More information can be found here.

Liked this? Read more research on health, beauty, and nutrition here!


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