A few weeks ago, CeraVe sent me its new Ultra-Light Moisturizing Gel to test, and my husband quickly stole it from my side of the vanity. “Creams are too heavy for me right now,” he said. I have a feeling a lot of other men feel the same way, and women too. We’ve both become fast fans of the brand’s first-ever gel moisturizer. To find out more about the new formula, I spoke to New York dermatologist Shari Marchbein, MD.
The Key Ingredients
“The beautiful thing about this CeraVe gel is that it not only contains the brand’s signature essential ceramides, but also glycerin, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide that soothe the skin and keep the skin barrier hydrated,” explains Dr. Marchbein. “It also has CeraVe’s MVE Technology—Multivesicular Emulsion—which they’re known for, and it’s what they put in their leave-on products, like moisturizers and sunscreen. It’s a delayed release of hydration, so it allows the hydration slowly releases throughout the day rather than getting a quick burst of hydration and then having your skin dry out a few hours later.”
Why We Like It
“Moisturizers combine humectants and emollients, so it’s very different than a hydrating serum, which I consider a booster,” Dr. Marchein explains. “This is an oil-free, hydrating, moisturizing gel, and I think men are going to love this, especially if they have facial hair, because the gel texture is fabulous.” This is exactly why my husband likes it: He has a beard and says this gel is lightweight, nonsticky and absorbs so easily. (He’s finally developing a skin-care routine he actually likes after years of me badgering.)
For me, I have combination skin, so on days where I’m a bit more oily, this gel from CeraVe is a perfect way to get the necessary hydration and moisture my skin needs, without a heavier formula that might make me more oily. And on my drier days, I can still use it if I want to, layered underneath my cream moisturizer, for an extra boost (it layers really nicely). On a packaging front, I like that it’s in a tube and not a jar. It’s also fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin.
Dr. Marchbein says the best way to apply it is over your serums and under your sunscreen or makeup. “It’s also great for the summer skin-care transition because not everyone wants to use a cream or lotion this time of year,” she adds. “And in the winter, or even now if you use a retinoid and your skin gets dry, use this as a part of the sandwich technique. When you’re using an ingredient that’s drying, sandwich that ingredient between layers of hydration and moisture. That is a four-step process: Apply this gel, then moisturizing cream, then your retinoid or whichever ingredient is irritating, and lastly, moisturizer again. And what we know as dermatologists is that this does not decrease the efficacy of your retinoid or other actives, but it does enhance their tolerability.”
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