CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser Ingredients Explained

Last updated on August 02, 2023.

Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 24 ingredients that contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores and dark spots

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

CeraVe is from Canada. This product is used in 5060 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Niacinamide
Ceramides (3)
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating (5)
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing (5)
Reduces Irritation (3)
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging (3)
Dark Spots
Acne Fighting
Brightening (2)

Concerns

Drying (2)
Acne Trigger
Rosacea
Eczema (2)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free
ph level
5.5

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
3
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
4
Cleansing, Emulsifying, Foaming, Skin Conditioning
5
Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
6
Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
7
Emulsifying
8
Cleansing, Foaming
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
9
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
0 / 0
May worsen Eczema Icon
10
Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
11
Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
12
Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
13
Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
1 / 0
14
Preservative
0 / 0
Preservative IconParaben IconNon-Reef-Safe IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
15
Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
16
Emulsifying
17
Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Stabilising
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness Icon
18
19
Preservative
0 / 0
Preservative IconParaben IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconNon-Reef-Safe Icon
20
Buffering, Masking
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
21
22
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
23
Skin Conditioning
24
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 24 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is a synthetic cleansing agent, though it is derived from coconut oil.

It is used to enhance the texture of products by boosting lather and thickening the texture. As a cleanser, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is mild.

3
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
4
What it does: Cleansing, Emulsifying, Foaming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is a cleansing agent and emulsifier. It is a surfactant derived from sarcosine, and a common source is coconut oil.
As a surfactant, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate helps lift dirts, oil, and other molecules to be washed away. In leave-on products, this ingredient is used as an emulsifier. Emulsifier help prevent ingredients such as oils and waters from separating.

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is also commonly found as a foaming agent in shampoo, toothpaste, and shaving foam. It is amphiphilic, meaning it loves both water and fats.

5
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate isn't fungal acne safe.

6
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
7
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

This ingredient is derived from caprylic and capric acids. It is an emulsifier with emollient properties.

According to the manufacturer, it is hydrophilic and soluble in aqueous solutions (water). They also state this ingredient is stable in a medium pH range (~5 - 8).

As an emulsifier, it helps make oils and oil-soluble ingredients more soluble in water.

Learn more about Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides
8
What it does: Cleansing, Foaming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate isn't fungal acne safe.

9
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Disliked

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

Another role of this ingredient is preventing a product from melting or freezing. Propylene glycol also adds antimicrobrial properties to a product, elongating product lifespan.

This ingredient is considered an organic alcohol and commonly added into both cosmetics and foods.

Those with sensitive skin or conditions may deliver a rash when using this ingredient.

Learn more about Propylene Glycol
10
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ceramide NP is a type of ceramide.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin that bonds dead skin cells together to create a barrier. They are known for their ability to hold water and thus are a great ingredient for dry skin.

Ceramides are an important building block for our skin barrier. A stronger barrier helps the skin look more firm and hydrated. By bolstering the skin ceramides act as a barrier against irritating ingredients. This can help with inflammation as well.

If you would like to eat ceramides, sweet potatoes contain a small amount.

Read more about other common types of ceramides here:
Ceramide AP
Ceramide EOP

Learn more about Ceramide NP
11
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ceramide AP is a type of Ceramide.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin that bonds dead skin cells together to create a barrier. Having a strong skin barrier leads to more firm and hydrated skin.

They are known for their ability to hold water and thus are a great ingredient for dry skin. By bolstering the skin ceramides act as a barrier against irritating ingredients. This can help with inflammation as well.

If you would like to eat ceramides, sweet potatoes contain a small amount.

Read more about other common types of ceramides here:
Ceramide NP
Ceramide EOP

Learn more about Ceramide AP
12
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ceramide EOP is a type of Ceramide. EOP stands for a linked Ester fatty acid, a linked Omega hydroxy fatty acid, and the Phytosphingosine base.

Ceramides are intercellular lipids naturally found in our skin that bonds dead skin cells together to create a barrier. They are known for their ability to hold water and thus are a great ingredient for dry skin.

Ceramides are an important building block for our skin barrier. A stronger barrier helps the skin look more firm and hydrated. By bolstering the skin ceramides act as a barrier against irritating ingredients. This can help with inflammation as well.

If you would like to eat ceramides, sweet potatoes contain a small amount.

Read more about other common types of ceramides here:
Ceramide AP
Ceramide NP

Learn more about Ceramide EOP
13
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Community Rating: Disliked

Carbomer is a polymer of acrylic acid. Its main role is to create gel consistency within products.

Carbomer is commonly found in many types of cosmetics products. It is found to be safe in concentrations up to 15%. However, a high amount of carbomer can cause pilling or balling up of products. Most products contain 1% of less of carbomer.

14
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Methylparaben is a preservative and is a paraben. It is used to prevent the growth of fungus, mold, and other harmful bacteria. Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in both cosmetics and food.

Methylparaben can be synthetically created. It can also be found naturally in some fruits, such as blueberries.

Oftentimes, Methylparaben is combined with other parabens to help increase the shelf life.

The safety of Methylparaben is currently being studied. While ongoing studies are looking into the safety of parabens, the results have been very mixed. Some studies have not found Methylparaben to be harmful.

Learn more about Methylparaben
15
What it does: Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

This ingredient has many purposes in skincare: thickener, emulsifier, and exfoliator.

You'll most likely find this ingredient in cleansers where it is used to create a gel-like texture. As an emulsifier, it also prevents ingredients from separating.

There is much debate on whether this ingredient is comedogenic. The short answer - comedogenic ratings don't tell the whole story. Learn more about comegodenic ratings here.

The concensus about this ingredient causing acne seems to be divided. Research is needed to understand if this ingredient does cause acne.

Scrubs may use salt as the primary exfoliating ingredient.

Learn more about Sodium Chloride
16
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Liked

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate is the lauric acid sodium salt of lactyl lactate.

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate is an emulsifier and surfactant.

Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. They do this by preventing ingredients from separating, such as oils and water which do not mix naturally. Surfactants reduce surface tension, making it easier to rinse pollutants off skin.

Due to its relation to lauric acid, it may provide antimicrobial benefits.

Learn more about Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate
17
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning, Stabilising
Community Rating: Liked

Cholesterol is a class of organic molecules called lipids. It helps hydrate your skin and is essential to having a healthy skin barrier.

Our skin naturally contains cholesterol in the outermost layer. Besides cholesterol, it also contains ceramides and fatty acids. Cholesterol makes up about 1/4 of your skin's outer layer and barrier. Your skin barrier is responsible for keeping allergens and microbes out. Having a healthy skin barrier is also responsible for keeping your skin firm and plump.

Our bodies use cholestrol to create vitamin D, steroid hormones, and more.

Learn more about Cholesterol
18
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
19
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Propylparaben is a preservative and is a paraben with antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

This ingredient can be naturally found in plants and insects, but most of it is synthetically manufactured for human use. In cosmetics, it is usually created by reacting para-aminobenzoic acid and propanol (an alcohol).

You can usually find this ingredient in water-based products.

Parabens have come under controversy due to the claim they are hormone disruptors. Studies show conflicting results. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Propylparaben is commonly found in food, medicine, and cosmetics.

Learn more about Propylparaben
20
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
21
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Tetrasodium EDTA is the salt formed from neutralizing ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid with sodium hydroxide. It is a chelating agent and used to prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This helps keep the product and ingredients stable.

Tetrasodium EDTA comes as a white solid and is soluble in water.

22
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid is a form of hyaluronic acid. It is created by the hydrolysis of hyaluronic acid with a high molecular weight. Once created, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid has a low molecular weight.

Low molecular weight HA has been shown to hydrate and increase elasticity of the skin. Increasing elasticity is also associated with reduction of wrinkle depth.

One study found topical low molecular weight hyaluronic acid may be considered for the treatment of rosacea in the adult population. However, we always recommend speaking with a professional about your skin concerns.

Hyaluronic acids are a humectant. This means they draw moisture from the air. Hyaluronic acids help moisturize, soothe, and protect the skin.

Read more about other common forms of hyaluronic acid:

Learn more about Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid
23
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Phytosphingosine is a phospholipid naturally found in our skin. It helps moisturize, soothe, and protect skin.

Phytosphingosine is already present in our skin. On our skin, it is a building block for ceramides.

Phytosphingosine tells our skin to increase its natural moisturizing factor (NMF). The NMF is responsible for hydration, a strong barrier, and plasticity. Our NMF decreases with age. Increasing NMF leads to more healthy and hydrated skin.

Studies show products formulated with NMF ingredients help strengthen our skin's barrier. Having a healthy skin barrier reduces irritation and increases hydration. Our skin barrier is responsible for having plump and firm skin. It also helps protect our skin against infection, allergies, and inflammation.

Phytosphingosine is also abundant in plants and fungi.

More ingredients that help boost collagen in skin:

Learn more about Phytosphingosine
24
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 24 ingredients in this product ✨

42% are loved or liked
0% have mixed ratings
58% are disliked or very disliked
0% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Foaming Facial Cleanser ->
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We're dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date and science-backed ingredient info out there.

The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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Latest Reviews

View all 47
HelenaLy's Avatar'
Feb 19, 2024

ive used this product for around 3 years, my face doesnt feel 'clean' whenever ive used this. it feels like there's some type of smooth residue and im personally not a fan of it.

ive used this product for around 3 years, my face doesnt feel 'clean' whenever ive used this. it feels like there's some type of smooth residue and im personally not a fan of it.

Light
No Scent
Doesn't Work
Hubayobi's Avatar'
Dec 9, 2023

Refreshing cleanser
Used it for a long time. A good daily cleanser, doesn’t dry out the skin, affordable and good for all skin types. It did the job!

Refreshing cleanser
Used it for a long time. A good daily cleanser, doesn’t dry out the skin, affordable and good for all skin types. It did the job!

Great Value
Hydrating
No Scent
Works Well
Read more reviews ->

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