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Is CeraVe Good For Black Skin? 

In this post, I will answer your question „Is CeraVe good for black skin?“ based on an analysis of their most popular products (cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens) and ingredients that CeraVe uses.


CeraVe is a brand that makes a lot of products that are good for black skin due to formulas with beneficial ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, glycerin, and others. Also, the absence of essential oils, fragrances, and other irritants makes it good for skin of color.

In the text below you can find a detailed analysis of ingredients that are found in CeraVe products and descriptions of products that are, and that are not good for black skin.

Is CeraVe Good For Black Skin?-Analysis Of Products

CeraVe SA Soothing Cleanser

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser | 236ml/8oz | Face and Body Wash with Salicylic Acid

CeraVe SA Soothing cleanser contains many ingredients that make it good for black skin. Next to ceramides it contains other moisturizers and emollients like niacinamide, glycerine, and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid.

There are no fragrances, essential oils, and alcohol. Surfactants that are present in this cleanser are Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate and cocamidopropyl. These are mild surfactants and because they are in wash of product they should not irritate the skin.

This cleanser is suitable for acne-prone skin because it contains salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is one of the AHA exfoliating acids. It is a very powerful exfoliant because it can penetrate deep into pores and remove clogged dirt and dead skin cells out from there. That makes it great for treating blackheads and preventing breakouts.

Since CeraVe SA smoothing cleanser is full of beneficial ingredients and does not contain ingredients that can be potential irritants It is suitable for people with a darker complexion.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser | Moisturizing Non-Foaming Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides and Glycerin | Fragrance Free Paraben Free | 16 Fluid Ounce

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is good for black skin because it has a simple ingredient list which means less chance of irritation. It is suitable for normal to dry skin.

This cleanser contains many emollients and moisturizers like hyaluronic acid, glycerine, ceramides, and Cetearyl alcohol.

Cetearyl alcohol (fatty alcohol) is not like common alcohols in cleansers (denatured alcohols). It is not drying and gives skin a soft feel. Since fatty alcohols have an oil-soluble tail component, they are completely safe for the skin and neither drying nor irritating.

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser | Daily Face Wash for Oily Skin with Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, and Niacinamide| Fragrance Free Paraben Free | 16 Fluid Ounce

CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is good for black skin because it contains moisturizing ingredients and does not contain essential oils, fragrances, and irritants. Also on the ingredients list, you can find mild surfactants like Cocamidopropyl and sodium cocoyl glycinate.

Moisturizing ingredients in this cleanser are glycerine, propylene glycol, caprylyl glycol, and sodium hyaluronate (a cousin of hyaluronic acid). It is suitable for oily to normal skin and people with acne-prone skin can use it because it is not comedogenic.

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Face with Vitamin B5 and Ceramides | Hydrating Face Serum for Dry Skin | Fragrance Free | 1 Ounce

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is very well formulated for black skin and it is suitable for dry aging skin.

It is not a good idea to apply it on acne-prone skin because it contains isopropyl myristate which is 5/5 on the comedogenic scale. This doesn`t mean that the whole product is comedogenic, but for acne-prone skin, it is better to use products that don`t contain any comedogenic ingredients.

To hydrate and moisturize your skin CeraVe hydrating hyaluronic acid serum also contains glycerin, ceramides, panthenol, and Cetearyl etylhexaonate.

Panthenol is a humectant and it has anti-inflammatory properties. Including panthenol in your skincare routine means that it will help your skin to be protected from environmental stressors, moisturized, and rejuvenated. Panthenol is very beneficial for Skin types that are exposed to extremely stressful environmental factors, such as severe temperatures, air conditioning, or central heating.

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

CeraVe Retinol Serum for Post-Acne Marks and Skin Texture | Pore Refining, Resurfacing, Brightening Facial Serum with Retinol and Niacinamide | Fragrance Free, Paraben Free & Non-Comedogenic| 1 Oz

I am not thrilled with this serum and I would not recommend it for black skin. It is okay, but there are much better retinol serums on the market.

The good thing about this serum is that it contains niacinamide, ceramides, and encapsulated retinol, which means less irritation.
What I don`t like about this serum is that they have used alcohol which can be extremely drying to the skin. Also, it contains isopropyl myristate so it is not quite suitable for acne-prone skin.

Directions on how to use this product are kind of confusing. They say to use it daily and to apply sunscreen while using this product. Does that mean applying it in the morning? If directions are confusing to you too, I would stick to applying it as a part of the nighttime routine and apply sunscreen the day after.

CeraVe Renewing Vitamin C Serum

CeraVe Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid | Skin Brightening Serum for Face with 10% Pure Vitamin C | Fragrance Free | 1 Fl. Oz

This is another product that I would not recommend for skin of color. CeraVe renewing vitamin C serum contains 10% ascorbic acid that is not encapsulated, so it can be irritating.

Also, another potentially irritating ingredient is denatured alcohol which is high up on the ingredients list.

The good thing about this serum is that it contains ceramides, panthenol, and glycerin.
It contains isopropyl myristate, but it is below phenoxyethanol (every ingredient that is under phenoxyethanol on the ingredients list means that the product contains less than 1% of that ingredient), so it is non-comedogenic (safe for acne-prone skin).

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol

CeraVe Anti Aging Retinol Serum | Cream Serum for Smoothing Fine Lines and Skin Brightening | With Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and Ceramides | 1 Ounce

CeraVe Skin-Renewing Retinol serum is a little bit better than resurfacing retinol because it contains encapsulated retinol, but it is not perfect because denatured alcohol can be found on the ingredient list (below phenoxyethanol).
The good thing about this serum is that it contains niacinamide, so there is less chance of irritation from retinol. Next to niacinamide it also contains ceramides. I kind of has mixed feelings about this one.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream | Body and Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin | Body Cream with Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides | Normal | Fragrance Free | 19 Oz | Packages May Vary

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream is great for black skin because it contains a lot of emollients and moisturizers like glycerin, cetyl alcohol, petrolatum, and ceramides. This cream doesn`t contain alcohol or fragrance and it is not comedogenic.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion | Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide | Ultra-Lightweight, Oil-Free Moisturizer for Face | 3 Ounce

Another great moisturizer that can be used for black skin is CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM because it has niacinamide, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. It is suitable for normal to dry skin. Through the course of the night, the proprietary Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE) formulation of this product deeply penetrates the skin to hydrate and nourish it.

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen

CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 | Face Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide for Sensitive Skin | With Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and Ceramides | 2.5 oz

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen contains 9% titanium dioxide and 7% zinc oxide which means that it belongs to the category of mineral sunscreens (sits on the surface of the skin and acts as a physical barrier to sun`s rays). Zinc oxide is preferable for black skin because it has anti-inflammatory properties.
This sunscreen is alcohol, fragrance, and essential oils free.

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 | Oil-Free Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen | Non-Comedogenic | 3 Ounce

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM is not so a great option for black skin because of its low SPF (30). Another reason is the fact that this is chemical sunscreen. I would not recommend chemical sunscreen to anyone because it is partially absorbed into the bloodstream and the effects of that absorption are not fully studied.

If you need help with your skincare routine, you can find a lot of useful information in my previous posts about the best toners for black skin and the best oils for black skin.

Ingredients That Make CeraVe Good For Black Skin

By analyzing ingredients we can determine if CeraVe is good for black skin. In the text below you can find a list of beneficial ingredients that CeraVe uses in their formulas.

Ceramides are lipids that are responsible for holding skin cells together in the upper layer of your skin (epidermis). They also prevent trans-epidermal loss (keep water in the skin) and protect your skin against allergens and environmental stressors by keeping your skin’s barrier functioning. Including ceramides in your skincare routine will help with improving the health of your skin’s cells, preventing dryness by locking moisture into your skin, and promoting anti-aging.

CeraVe products are based on ceramides and they include three important ceramides that are similar to those found in your skin to keep your skin healthy and improve its ceramide levels. CeraVe includes in their formula encapsulated ceramides which means that there the penetration is better.

Niacinamide is present in a lot of their products. It is tolerable for most people and has great benefits for the skin. Niacinamide is great for hyperpigmentation, strengthening the skin’s barrier, anti-aging, sebum control, improving moisture retention, and repairing damage on the skin caused by UV rays. It has anti-inflammatory properties which make it great for skin conditions caused by inflammation, like acne.

This is one of the ingredients that are a must-have in the skincare routine for people of medium to deep skin tones. Niacinamide is great to combine with other ingredients that might be irritating because it reduces post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

What is post inflamatory hyperpigmentation?
That is hyperpigmentation that appears on the skin after healing from irritation caused by a new strong topical product like retinol. If you have niacinamide included in your skincare routine there is a much smaller chance of that happening.

You don’t need dedicated niacinamide serum, moisturizer or toner with niacinamide will do. Also, be patient, don’t expect results overnight, and stick to your routine. To improve your skin’s health you can include food that is rich in niacinamide into your diet like eggs, fish, brown rice, bananas, nuts, seeds, etc.

Glycerin is the best humectant out there according to a 2016 study and having it in your skincare routine is a big deal for your skin because it is very beneficial. It has tiny molecules, much smaller than molecules of hyaluronic acid and because of that, it can penetrate deeper into the dermis. Glycerine has anti-aging abilities because it smooths out wrinkles by space-filling.

Having glycerine in your skincare routine means a healthier skin barrier that brings less sensitivity to irritations. Also, it can accelerate the wound-healing process and hydrate and relieve your dry skin. Even though you can buy glycerine over the counter it is best not to use it directly on your skin. Always look for products that contain glycerine.

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that increases skin hydration and in that process, it plumps up wrinkles and fine lines. It helps with enhancing the penetration of other ingredients and healing wounds.

It is found in our skin, so applying it on your face should not cause any irritation, but to be on the safe side treat it like any other new ingredient in your skincare routine, and do a patch test to check for allergies.

This post is written and managed by Hannah West

Post Author Her Glance

Hannah has written well over 50 posts for the HerGlance project until now. We at HerGlance are extremely happy to work with you, we love you Hannah! <3

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