Cerave Moisturising Lotion review: A dream for acne-prone skin

Looking for a simple, fragrance-free and gentle moisturiser that packs in hydration power without feeling heavy on the skin? You’re in the right place! Here’s my full Cerave Moisturising Lotion review.

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion review

I honestly can’t keep up with my skin. I’ve got acne one minute (well, most of the time, tbh) and insanely dry patches the next. Sensitive, troublesome skin likes mine requires a gentle, effective and non-pore-blocking daily moisturiser—and that’s exactly what tempted me to buy the Cerave Moisturising Lotion.

This budget skincare staple is mentioned what feels like a hundred times a day all over Reddit’s SkincareAddiction subreddit (PSA: If you’re trying to up your skincare game, that’s where you need to be) and amongst the Instagram skincare community. Even those with the most sensitive of skin types seemed to be touting it as their go-to daily moisturiser.  As per usual, I gave in to the hype and—one bottle later—here I am, writing up a review (with a very well moisturised face, might I add).

Anyway, read on to find out if I’m going to repurchase and what I thought of the texture, moisturisation power and price of this Cerave holy grail.

Cerave Moisturising Lotion review

If you can’t be bothered reading the full review (don’t worry, I get it) then just know this: I like this moisturiser. A lot. I’ve never really found a moisturiser I like all that much before, so that’s really saying something.

Key product benefits & claims

Product: Cerave Moisturising Lotion

A lightweight moisturising body lotion that provides 24-hour hydration with 3 essential ceramides to help protect skin’s natural barrier – Cerave

Key benefits & claims:

Suitable for: All skin types, including sensitive, dry or eczema-prone skin

Price: Around £7–8 for a 236ml bottle or £15 for a large bottle (best value)

The texture & consistency

The Cerave Moisturising Lotion is a thin, white cream. It spreads over the face super easily—you don’t really need that much—and is easy to apply. After giving it a minute or so to sink in, it absorbs completely and feels super lightweight on the skin. It’s very hydrating, but doesn’t feel greasy on the skin or leave a shiny or oily residue.

Cerave Moisturising Lotion swatch

The results

I’m using tretinoin to keep my hormonal acne under control post-accutane. Tretinoin is pretty drying, so I was really struggling to find a moisturiser that eased my dry patches and tightness without leaving me feeling like an oil-slick. Now that I’ve found the Cerave Moisturising Lotion, it’s worked a treat! Despite being fairly lightweight in texture, it really packs a moisturising punch.

After using it for a few nights, my dry patches from tretinoin cleared up completely. If I consistently use this in the morning and evening, my skin feels hydrated yet balanced. I also love how gentle this product is. My skin can be sensitive, so the wrong products can easily leave it looking red and inflamed. Thankfully, the Cerave Moisturiser calms down my skin and doesn’t cause any redness whatsoever.

If you are looking for a moisturiser that is lightweight but super moisturising, you’ll love this. However, if you’re looking for something that feels rich and leaves a dewy glow, it might not feel like enough for you. If you fall into that second bracket, check out the Cerave Moisturising cream instead—it’s thicker.

If you’re keen to see more of my hydrating skincare favourites, make sure to check out my accutane skincare guide.

The scent

The Cerave Moisturising Lotion is fragrance-free smells like… nothing. Literally nothing. I actually really like this, because frankly, IMO, fragrance/perfume is an unnecessary and potentially irritating addition to skincare products. But if you do enjoy a fragrant/luxe smelling product, this one probably isn’t for you.

The packaging

The Cerave Moisturising Lotion comes in a large white pump bottle with blue Cerave branding. FYI, this product can also be used as a body lotion, hence the hefty bottle size. The packaging is not particularly luxurious or fancy, but considering the product inside is so bloody brilliant, who really cares? I’ve had no problems with the pump, which has a handy twist-to-shut mechanism (there’s probably a technical term for that, but I have no idea what it is).

Cerave Moisturising Lotion packaging

The price

I got the 236ml bottle for £7.60 from Superdrug, which is a really decent size for the price. I’ve been using it for around 2 months in both the AM and PM and it’s still over half full. For comparison, The Ordinary NMF contains 100ml for around £6, while Simple’s Rich Moisturiser contains 125ml for around £3. This makes Cerave a major bargain! Although the initial cost is slightly more than other drugstore brands, you get so much more for your money. 

Plus, once you’ve tried it (and hopefully enjoyed it), you can also buy a 473ml (yep, massive) bottle for around £15—even better value!

The best price I’ve found is on Amazon, but make sure to check out offers on Boots, Look Fantastic and Beauty Bay too.

Good for, bad for…

While Cerave clearly markets this product towards dry and sensitive skin types, I think this is a great choice for most skin types. If you’re on the drier side or have reactive skin, it’ll keep your skin supple and moisturised without any irritation.

If you have combination or oily skin, you should still be using a good daily moisturiser. If you skip it, your skin could end up overcompensating with sebum production, which could make your skin even oilier. The Cerave Moisturising Lotion is a good choice; it’s gentle, absorbs quickly and won’t leave your skin feeling sticky or oily.

And as a super acne-prone gal (read my acne story), trust me when I say this moisturiser is acne-friendly. It’s lightweight, oil-free and hasn’t clogged my pores at all. Plus, as it’s so nourishing, I think it helps my skin to heal faster post-breakout. If you’re struggling with acne right now (sending love!), read my guide on how to clear acne.

This might not be so suitable if you’ve got extremely dry skin or are looking for a moisturiser that will leave a real glow. While this one definitely moisturises well, I wouldn’t say it feels rich. You might find that the Cerave Moisturising Cream (in the tub) is a better choice.

Cerave Moisturising Lotion ingredients


I put these ingredients into cosdna and the only cause for concern was Polyglyceryl-3-Diisostearate. It’s an emulsifier with a rating of 4 on the comedogenic scale of 0–5. It’s at the very end of the ingredients list, which means it is present in very small amounts. I have very acne-prone skin and haven’t had any troubles with this lotion and Cerave themselves claims it’s non-pore-blocking. Still, it’s something to be aware of—if you do find that the Cerave Moisturiser breaks you out, this might be the culprit.

Cerave Moisturising Lotion ingredients

How to apply Cerave Moisturising Lotion

You should cleanse, apply any moisturising/hydrating serums to your damp skin and follow immediately with moisturiser for the best results. Why? Because moisturisers are most effective when you use them while your skin is still damp, to help lock in hydration.

I tend to use my active ingredients in the PM and then use this simple hydrating routine every AM—it works really well:

Cerave Moisturising Lotion: A skincare staple

If you’re looking for a nourishing yet lightweight moisturiser that won’t irritate your skin, this is it. It’s affordable, it’s gentle and it’s quite literally packed with ingredients your skin will love.

I’d recommend this product to all skin types except those who are looking to get a dewy ‘glow’ from their moisturiser. The Cerave Moisturising Lotion does pack a moisturising punch and banishes dry patches, but it’s fairly lightweight.

The best price I’ve found is on Amazon, but make sure to check out offers on Boots, Look Fantastic and Beauty Bay too.

Make sure to check out my Cerave Hydrating Cleanser review and Cerave Moisturising Cream reviews if you’re keen to try out more Cerave products—and follow me on Instagram for lots more skincare reviews and girl talk.

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4 responses to “Cerave Moisturising Lotion review: A dream for acne-prone skin”

  1. Jessica says:

    Hi, thanks for the great review. I have bought a bottle and first apply feels good so fingers crossed. Our skin sounds very similar so could you possibly tell me what your PM routine is please? As I also use tretenoin at night and find conflicting advice on whether to moisturise before, after or even at all.
    Many Thanks

    • Alice says:

      Hey Jessica,

      Thanks for your comment 🙂 Glad you found the review useful! My PM routine is:

      1. Cleanse & wash face
      2. Apply tret (avoiding eye area) to my skin once dry
      3. Wait a few minutes
      4. Apply serums & moisturiser

      I know what you mean with the conflicting advice! But, it really is what works for you. Moisturising before and after tret is called ‘the sandwich method’ and is a good choice for anyone who finds tret drying.

      But otherwise, typically, you’re best off applying tret on clean, dry skin and moisturising after.

      Hope that helps! x

  2. beautyslash says:

    Hi, thank you for the amazing review. It is very helpful for me. I really like and enjoy reading posts. Thanks a lot.

  3. Win Kham says:

    Hello, it can be applied to the face as a moisturizer.

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