Developed with dermatologists, all CeraVe products contain a unique blend of three essential ceramides that are identical to those found naturally in your skin. Our range of fragrance-free products are formulated to lock in moisture and help maintain your skin’s protective barrier. Learn more about what goes into our products and which ingredients are right for you—including hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C, salicylic acid, and a host of other proven ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some well-established ingredients in skincare?
The best skincare ingredients for your daily regimen will depend on a number of factors—like your primary skin concerns, skin type, and complexion goals. And, because every individual’s skin is unique, the right solutions can vary from person to person. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some of the most popular ingredients used in skincare formulas today include hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, retinol, alpha-hydroxy acids (like lactic acid), and beta-hydroxy acids (like salicylic acid).1 You can find all of these ingredients and more in CeraVe products, as well as our three essential ceramides and MVE technology.
What are “active ingredients” in skincare?
The term “active ingredient” refers to the primary part of a product’s formulation. In other words, the “active” in a skincare formula is the main ingredient used to deliver the key benefits you see on the label. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires active ingredients to be highlighted on the packaging of any skincare product that’s classified as a drug (such as sunscreen). For drug products, these active ingredients must also be listed on the label in order from the highest to the lowest concentration.2
Always read the label closely when deciding whether a product is right for you, and apply your skincare products by following the label’s instructions. Consult with a dermatologist regarding any questions on specific active ingredients and advice on which may be best for your skin concerns.
What are some of the main ingredients in CeraVe formulas?
Our products are developed with dermatologists to include carefully selected ingredients for many skin types and concerns. Different ranges include targeted ingredients that are geared towards helping you address specific skin issues, from acne to eczema and diabetic skin. CeraVe’s products for acne-prone skin, for example, feature beneficial ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Our face and body sunscreen products contain active ingredients, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and are designed to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Regardless of which CeraVe range you choose, all products feature three essential ceramides and are formulated to lock in moisture and help maintain your skin’s protective barrier.
Why are ceramides included in all CeraVe formulas?
Ceramides and other lipids are key for maintaining healthy-looking skin. These lipids are like the “glue” that holds your skin cells together. They help keep your skin barrier intact so that it can keep essential moisture in and harmful irritants out. All CeraVe products feature a unique blend of three essential ceramides, which are identical to those found naturally in your skin. To learn more, visit the Strength of Ceramides.
What are the different types of skincare ingredients?
There are many different types of ingredients available in skincare products today. These ingredients are often grouped together into categories based on their primary functions. Exfoliants, for example, are skincare ingredients that work by removing dead skin cells from your skin’s outer layer. Some ingredients that fall into this category include chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid.
In addition to this, you’ll also find moisturizing ingredients—including humectants, occlusives, and emollients—which are explained in more detail in our moisturizer guide. These include ingredients like petrolatum, hyaluronic acid, and dimethicone. Other types of skincare ingredients include chemical or mineral sun filters, cleansing agents, and more. When in doubt, a board-certified dermatologist can help you choose the right ingredients for your skin’s needs.
What should I look for when reading a product label?
When reading the labels of your favorite CeraVe products, there are a few key things to look for. If you see the term “non-comedogenic,” for example, it means that the product was specially formulated not to clog your pores. In addition to this, CeraVe skincare formulas are also “fragrance-free” and “allergy-tested,” meaning that they’re formulated with ingredients that are less likely to trigger allergic skin reactions—such as redness, itching, or irritation. Learn more in “Non-Comedogenic,” “Fragrance-Free,” and “Allergy-Tested Explained by the Experts.”
Where can I learn more about the best skincare ingredients for my skin type?
Understanding what’s in your skincare products can help you choose the right formulas for your needs. However, everyone’s skin is unique, and therefore, requires a personalized approach. For help building a skincare routine backed by dermatologists, head to our Skincare Solution Finder. And, if additional guidance is needed, always consult with a board-certified dermatologist. They will be able to answer any questions you may have and recommend the right types of ingredients for your skincare goals. To learn more about CeraVe’s formulas for different skin types, browse our skincare tips and skincare routines.
- “Understanding Popular Skin Care Ingredients.” Cleveland Clinic, 2 Aug. 2022.
- Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Summary of Cosmetics Labeling Requirements.” U.S. Food And Drug Administration, 1 Dec. 2022.
- Spada F, Barnes TM, Greive KA. “Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin's own natural moisturizing systems.” Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018 Oct 15;11:491-497. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S177697. PMID: 30410378; PMCID: PMC6197824.