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CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum Ingredients Explained

Serum
3.5   (4 ratings)
15
2
12
1

Updated on September 19, 2023

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Overview

What it is

Serum with 26 ingredients that contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any common allergens, fragrances, oils or parabens

Fun facts

CeraVe is from Canada. This product is used in 346 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.

Serum with 26 ingredients that contains ceramides, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 26

Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

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.

Ascorbic Acid Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 6 Benefits

Ascorbic Acid is is pure Vitamin C. This form makes up the largest amount of vitamin C found naturally in our skin.

Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

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

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Dimethicone Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
1 / 0 Silicon Icon
SiliconSilicon Icon

Dimethicone is a silicone used for making products smooth and silky. It also has the added benefit of sealing in hydration. The amount of dimethicone found in beauty products is considered safe and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate is derived from cetearyl alcohol and sorbic acid.

Disliked Full details ->
Alcohol Denat. Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon 5 Concerns

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol and other additives. It has a low molecular weight and will evaporate quickly. This helps other ingredients become better absorbed and dry once applied.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate Emulsion Stabilising

Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate is a polymer made from ammonium salts. It helps add stability and texture to a product.

Panthenol Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Panthenol is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin. It can be found naturally in our skin and hair.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Ceramide NP Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
CeramideCeramide Icon 4 Benefits

Ceramide NP is a type of ceramide.

Ceramide AP Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
CeramideCeramide Icon 4 Benefits

Ceramide AP is a type of Ceramide.

Ceramide EOP Skin Conditioning
Ceramide IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
CeramideCeramide Icon 4 Benefits

Ceramide EOP is a type of Ceramide.

Carbomer Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
1 / 0

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

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Cetearyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1 Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon 3 Concerns

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

2 Com. / 1 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Behentrimonium Methosulfate
Sulfate Icon
SulfateSulfate Icon

Behentrimonium Methosulfate is an ammonium salt. It is mainly used to prevent static in haircare products as a surfactant.

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Hyaluronate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Hyaluronic Acid Icon
Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid Icon

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate Emulsifying

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

Cholesterol Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness Icon
2 Benefits

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

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Tocopheryl Acetate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disodium EDTA

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

Disliked Full details ->
Isopropyl Myristate Emollient, Masking
3-5 / 3 May worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
3 Concerns

Isopropyl Myristate is an emollient, thickening agent, and texture enhancer. It is created from isopropyl alcohol and myristic acid.

3-5 Com. / 3 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

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.

Disliked Full details ->
Phytosphingosine Skin Conditioning

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

Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

Ingredient Ratings

Based on the number of likes and dislikes each ingredient has received.

14
2
10
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 26 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
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. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking
Loved

Ascorbic Acid is is pure Vitamin C. This form makes up the largest amount of vitamin C found naturally in our skin.

Not only is vitamin C great for your overall health and immune system, it also has plenty of benefits on your skin.

Vitamin C is best used for brightening skin. It improves dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation. This is because it blocks the process of skin darkening when exposed to UV.

Remember: Vitamin C should not replace sunscreen!

Your skin uses vitamin C to build collagen. Collagen is one key component in having a strong skin barrier and plump skin. Vitamin C also plays a role in regulating collagen, thus making it effective in improving wrinkles and fine lines.

Ascorbic acid shows potent antioxidant activity. As an antioxidant, it helps fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells. These antioxidants also protect skin against UV damage.

The best formulations include Vitamin E and/or ferulic acid. These two ingredients help stabilize and provide a boost in the benefits of ascorbic acid. This is because ascorbic acid becomes unstable when exposed to UV and air. In fact, you can tell your ascorbic acid has oxidized when it turns an orange-yellow color.

Ascorbic acid is generally compatible with other ingredients. However, using ascorbic acid with other active ingredients might cause irritation. Two ingredients: copper ions and benzoyl peroxide, will inactivate ascorbic acid completely.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Foods rich with vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and more. When consuming Vitamin C, your skin receives a portion of the nutrients.

Learn more about Ascorbic Acid
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
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
Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Very Disliked

Dimethicone is a silicone used for making products smooth and silky. It also has the added benefit of sealing in hydration. The amount of dimethicone found in beauty products is considered safe and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores.

Dimethicone has been found increase absorption in skin, boosting the benefits of other ingredients. While there is concern for the safety of dimethicone, the levels used in skincare are safe for use.

Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate is derived from cetearyl alcohol and sorbic acid.

It is an emollient and helps hydrate the skin. Emollients form a barrier on the skin to prevent water from escaping.

Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Very Disliked

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol and other additives. It has a low molecular weight and will evaporate quickly. This helps other ingredients become better absorbed and dry once applied.

Alcohol Denat. is volatile and may cause irritation. It helps draw out natural oils in skin and dry out your skin.

One study from 2005 found adding emollients to propanol-based sanitizer decreased irritation.

Alcohol is antibacterial by nature. This can help preserve products and increase their shelf life.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

Learn more about Alcohol Denat.
Buffering
Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
Emulsion Stabilising
Liked

Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate is a polymer made from ammonium salts. It helps add stability and texture to a product.

Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate is stable over a wide pH range. Due to its ability to absorb water, it can help thicken the texture of a product.

As an emulsion stabilizer, this ingredient is able to stabilize and mix the other ingredients. This creates a consistent texture.

Learn more about Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Panthenol is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin. It can be found naturally in our skin and hair.

This ingredient is also referred to as pro-vitamin B5 or dexpanthenol in dermatology.

Panthenol is famous due to its ability to go deeper into the skin's layers. Using this ingredient has numerous pros (and no cons):

Like hyaluronic acid, panthenol is a humectant. Humectants are able to bind and hold large amounts of water to keep skin hydrated.

Once oxidized, panthenol converts to pantothenic acid. Panthothenic acid is found in all living cells.

Learn more about Panthenol
Skin Conditioning
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
Skin Conditioning
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
Skin Conditioning
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. They bind dead skin cells together to create a barrier. The ceramides in our skin have the ability to hold water to keep our skin hydrated.

Ceramides are an important building block for our skin barrier. A strong skin barrier helps with:

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

Read more about other common types of ceramides here:

Learn more about Ceramide EOP
Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
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.

Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Very Disliked

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

Cetearyl alcohol is an emollient. Emollients help soothe and hydrate the skin by trapping moisture.

Studies show Cetearyl alcohol is non-toxic and non-irritating. The FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

This ingredient is usually derived from plant oils such as palm, vegetable, or coconut oils. There is debate on whether this ingredient will cause acne.

Due to the fatty acid base, this ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis safe.

Learn more about Cetearyl Alcohol

Behentrimonium Methosulfate is an ammonium salt. It is mainly used to prevent static in haircare products as a surfactant.

Surfactants have differing ends: one side is hydrophilic while the other end is hydrophobic.

Surfactants also help your cleansers remove pollutants more easily from the skin.

Learn more about Behentrimonium Methosulfate
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Like hyaluronic acid, it is great at holding water and acts as a humectant. This makes it a great skin hydrating ingredient.

Sodium Hyaluronate is naturally occurring in our bodies and is mostly found in eye fluid and joints.

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Sodium Hyaluronate
Emulsifying
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
Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
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
Preservative
Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

One study found using Tocopheryl Acetate with Vitamin C decreased the number of sunburned cells.

Tocopheryl Acetate is commonly found in both skincare and dietary supplements.

Learn more about Tocopheryl Acetate
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
Emollient, Masking
Very Disliked

Isopropyl Myristate is an emollient, thickening agent, and texture enhancer. It is created from isopropyl alcohol and myristic acid.

It is used to help other ingredients be better absorbed. It is also an emollient and may help soften and hydrate the skin.

The comedogenic rating of this ingredient depends on the concentration. Lower amounts results in a lower rating.

Isopropyl Myristate may not be fungal acne safe. It can potentially worsen acne prone skin.

Learn more about Isopropyl Myristate
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

It is a common ingredient in many products, especially those designed to hydrate skin. The primary benefits are retaining moisture, skin softening, and promoting a healthy skin barrier.

Though Caprylyl Glycol is an alcohol derived from fatty acids, it is not the kind that can dry out skin.

This ingredient is also used as a preservative to extend the life of products. It has slight antimicrobial properties.

Learn more about Caprylyl Glycol
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
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
Skin Conditioning
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
Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

Reviews

3.5
from 4 ratings
Absorbs Well (1) Light (1) No Scent (1)
dianarvizu's avatar

dianarvizu

3 years ago Β· Combination Skin
Review

Did not work for me
I've been trying to find a good vitaminc c cream/serum to include in my routine and this was sadly not it.
I used for a few...

Did not work for me
I've been trying to find a good vitaminc c cream/serum to include in my routine and this was sadly not it.
I used for a few days and noticed a ton of new breakouts. This was the only new product I was using, so I stopped it and the breakouts stopped.
Product-wise, it feels nice on the skin, doesn't have a strong scent, and it absorbes really nice.

ClaireEstelle's avatar

Claire L.

2 months ago Β· Combination Skin
Review

I like but don't love this serum. It feels nice on the skin, but I haven't noticed any big changes in the overall appearance of my skin with it....

I like but don't love this serum. It feels nice on the skin, but I haven't noticed any big changes in the overall appearance of my skin with it. I'd give it four stars but they recently changed the packaging from an easy to use metal tube to a plastic tube with a funky lid that's hard to unscrew without taking the whole thing off and exposing the product to air unnecessarily. On the hunt for a new Vitamin C serum.

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