Of all the beauty products in my arsenal, the one I am happy to pluck from the drugstore shelves and will never be convinced of a need to do otherwise is a facial cleanser. There are literally thousands out there shouting from the rooftops about this ingredient and that, but the reality is that all you need is to get a good formulation appropriate to your skin type (dry, dehydrated, oily, congested) that can tackle the appropriate amount of dirt and makeup removal from your face while not stripping your skin and causing irritation. A face wash stays in contact with your skin for less than one minute, so all those fancy ingredients don’t have the time or strength to do much of anything miraculous. Save your money on those pricey cleansers!
CeraVe’s SA Renewing Cleanser has been my go-to and permanent staple to my beauty routine for about two years. I found out about it as a loyal CeraVe fan (their products contain excellent ingredients and technology for the money and convenience) and because I needed something a bit more heavy duty on makeup removal than their hydrating version. My skin is also sensitive, so I needed something gentle enough not totally strip my skin and to keep it balanced.
What is it?
This one is going to be targeted to those who are combination/oily and are clog-prone. It is also a good option for a transition cleanser for those who get more oily in the summer time, or when you need a heavier-duty formula to combat that super SPF.
It does not contain dyes or fragrance (yay for sensitive skin), foams up which is an indicator that it’s going to break through oil and grease, and includes salicylic acid which lightly exfoliates and penetrates pores to clean them out and also gives it it’s namesake. The description on Ulta’s website does a nice job of summing it up:
CeraVe’s SA Renewing Cleanser exfoliates and detoxifies to remove dirt and oil while softening and smoothing skin. Unlike some exfoliating cleansers, CeraVe’s SA Renewing Cleanser does not contain harsh beads or grains and is gentle on skin. It better prepares skin for essential hydration by helping to slough off dead skin cells while cleansing. And, like all CeraVe products, it hydrates and helps restore skin’s protective barrier.
- Developed with dermatologists
- Detoxifies and exfoliates to remove dirt and oil
- Salicylic acid softens and smooths skin
- Three essential ceramides help repair the skin barrier
- Enriched with antioxidant vitamin D
- Gentle and non-drying
- Non-comedogenic and non-irritating
- Fragrance free
What I like about CeraVe products is that they include an impressive array of ingredients that benefit the skin barrier – glycerin, niacinamide, ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Together these help to nourish and protect the top layer of your skin that keeps moisture in and bad things out. I guarantee you won’t find a better-priced option with all the goodies in there like this one.
Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Niacinamide, Gluconolactone, Sodium Methylcocoyl Taurate, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Salicylic Acid, Ceramide 6-11, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol Sodium Benzoate, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cholecalciferol, Phytosphingosine, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide
I found that one whole squirt was too much, so I do about a half. It comes out in a clear watery-gel like consistency with no smell and no gritty particles. I rub it in the palms of my hands with some water and it begins to suds up into a rich soapy lather. I then rub it around in circles on my face making sure to spend extra time in my trouble areas – on and around my nose, forehead, and chin. I do rub this on my eye makeup and luckily don’t have to tug much for it to be effective. I do double-cleanse because I’m so clog-prone and get oily throughout the day, but those of you who don’t have those problems or don’t wear heavy makeup should be OK with one pass.
I wash my face and it feels clean but not squeaky clean. Just a pleasant clean with a good foundation for my serums and moisturizers. There’s not leftover residue, however this stuff does get pretty sudsy so if you do too much you can feel like you have to keep rinsing to get it all off.
This is a nice frosted clear plastic pump bottle. It closes easily for travel, and I’ve never had a problem with it leaking. It always pumps out what I expect it to, and stands up sturdily in the shower. No frills, but nice for the category.
Overall I love this cleanser because it does what it’s meant to do, at an affordable price, and conveniently available at almost any drugstore. It has better ingredients than what you’ll find in most, and it’s a reliable formulation that helps keep my pores clean while being appropriate for my aging (cry face) skin. Whether or not the ceramides, SA and HAs actually can get deep down to do what they’re meant to do, I really don’t care. Even if it’s a little bit, it helps. And if it doesn’t, the product still works appropriately and I’m not counting the dollar signs after each wash watching the formula go down the drain.
It’s sensitive enough for me to use after peels, and I use it on my face, neck, chest and upper shoulder/back area with no issues. All places I can break out (blegh).
If you’re in the market for a new cleanser because you find yourself seeing a lot of leftovers when you tone, or were oily and need something that will help with acne that doesn’t feel like a tingling nightmare on your face, this is one I highly recommend. I’m going to take off .5 stars though, because I do have to double cleanse.
Have a CeraVe product you love? Drop us a line in the comments.