CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Lotion Review: Everything You Need to Know
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This was actually the first moisturizer I tried from the CeraVe line. At the time, I had a very poor understanding of what was causing my extreme skin sensitivities. I had tried dozens of moisturizers all of which broke me out, caused redness, or folliculitis flair-ups. I was sick and tired of everything. Completely lost and desperate.
That night, I began aimlessly searching for solutions online (must have been the thousandth time), and came across an advertisement for CeraVe Baby. I saw that it was targeted for sensitive skin and bought it. My reasoning was simple: if delicate baby skin can use it, than why the hell wouldn’t I be able to?
It was a total shot in the dark, and out of blink luck I actually ended up seeing relief in my symptoms.
Now, I don’t recommend anyone do this. The guessing game approach to solving skin problems requires an insurmountable amount of chance. I probably sound like a broken record saying this, but to really solve skin problems you must understand the science behind why something works. Knowing that completely removes the guessing component of choosing products. With that said, let’s continue.
Table of Contents
- 1 What does CeraVe Baby promise?
- 2 Ingredients and Benefits of CeraVe Baby.
- 3 Application, Feel, and Scent.
- 4 How to Use.
- 5 The Takeaway.
- 6 Want to Subscribe for Updates?
What does CeraVe Baby promise?
To “moisturize, protect, and maintain baby’s delicate skin with essential ceramides and vitamins.” CeraVe also claims it’s suitable for chapped, dry, irritated, itchy, and eczema prone skin. Is that true? Well, let’s break down the science and find out!
Ingredients and Benefits of CeraVe Baby.
As always, here’s the full ingredient list.
Active Ingredient: Dimethicone 1% (Skin Protectant)
Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax, Niacinamide, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lauric Acid, Zinc Citrate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Arginine PCA, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, EDTA, Sodium PCA, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer.
Also known as Medium-Chain Tiglyceride (MCT) oil. It’s essentially coconut oil without the lauric fatty acid component, allowing it to remain a liquid below room temperature. It’s a super lightweight non-comedogenic emollient that sinks in quickly and moisturizes the skin. Unlike coconut oil, it’s completely compatible with rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, malassezia folliculitis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), and psoriasis. (5)
An all star ingredient with a ton of benefits. It’s gentle and non-irritating. Lightens skin, and treats hyperpigmentation. (6, 7, 8) Increases hydration and improves barrier function. (9, 10, 11, 12) Has some acne-fighting properties, and a suitable alternative to antibiotic. (13, 14, 15) It increases collagen production, and has well-documented anti-wrinkle effects comparable to prescription tretinoin (Retin-A. (16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21) In other words, it does it all!
The outer layer of skin is composed of approximately 50% ceramides, 25% cholesterol, and 15% free fatty acids. (22, 23, 24) All these components play a crucial role in hydrating and maintaining a healthy skin barrier. In this formula, ceramides work as skin-identical ingredients that the body metabolizes to repair barrier damage and prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). (25)
A naturally occurring substance and potent humectant capable of holding 1000 times it’s water weight. (26, 27) It’s extremely effective at hydrating skin by drawing moisture from the environment, and gives a “plumping” effect that reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Also promotes and significantly speeds up wound healing. (28, 29, 30, 32)
A byproduct of uric acid derived from urea. (33) It has keratolytic (i.e. exfoliating) and moisturizing properties. It’s considered an effective soothing agent suitable for dry, scaly, rough, irritated, and itchy skin. (34) Studies on mice have also shown it promotes wound healing. (35)
Another skin identical ingredient that helps repair barrier function and maintain healthy skin. (36)
Cetyl Alcohol, Cetostearyl Alcohol, and Lauric Acid
All of these register as potentially pore-clogging ingredients on COSDNA. However, take comedogenic ratings with a grain of salt. They’re inherently flawed because they rely on data collected from bunny ears. Needless to say, bunny skin is not human skin. Just because a bunny gets acne from an ingredient, doesn’t mean you will.
There have been many instances of ingredients clogging poor bunny ears, that are perfectly suitable for human skin. However, if you suspect you have a sensitivity to fatty alcohols than these ingredients may cause problems so proceed with caution.
The takeaway here is to patch test. While this moisturizer may work for me and many others, there’s no real way of guaranteeing it will for you. Skincare is a very individual thing. YMMV, as they say. What works wonders for some, may not for others. So follow the golden rule and patch test everything! Wanna read my horror story about not patch testing? Click here.
So does CeraVe Baby do what it claims?
For the most part, yes. It will definitely go a long way in repairing, moisturizing, and protecting delicate skin. And CeraVe isn’t being deceptive by saying it’s suitable for chapped, dry, and irritated skin. In my opinion, it’s one of the best baby products available today. The experts over at Paula’s Choice agree, saying it’s an
“excellent all-over lotion for babies with dry skin or adults with dry, sensitive skin. It is also unquestionably one of the best baby-care product buys out there!”
There’s a minor caveat though — the addition of lauric acid could be problematic for those with eczema (atopic dermatitis).
Because eczema is exacerbated by malassezia. (37, 38, 39) For those that don’t know, malassezia is an ordinary fungi found on human skin. However, under poorly understood circumstances this yeast becomes pathogenic for susceptible individuals.(40) Eczema being one of those vulnerable skin conditions.
The problem lies in how malassezia multiplies and become problematic. To summarize, it feeds on fatty acids with carbon chain lengths 11-24. (41, 42) This means almost all oils and moisturizers can cause problems. Lauric acid has a 12-carbon atom chain, meaning it’s a prime fatty acid for these fungi to metabolize.
To read more about how to treat skin conditions that are caused by an overgrowth of malassezia, check out this guide.
In my opinion, CeraVe PM or CeraVe Cream would be better suited for eczema prone skin because both of these moisturizers exclude all problematic fatty acids.
But besides that, CeraVe Baby is a fantastic lotion for sensitive, delicate, or dry skin. It’s gentle fragrance-free formula is also a plus. And if you personally avoid parabens then you’ll be happy to know it doesn’t have any.
Application, Feel, and Scent.
CeraVe Baby has a very cosmetically elegant finish. It dries more matte than any other lotion I’ve ever tried. Much like asian sunscreens “disappear” into the skin, the same can be said about this moisturizer.
It comes out thick but glides and spreads easily. There is a cool and soothing feeling when it’s applied, that feels like cold air hitting wet skin. Think of the fresh minty feeling you get after using mouth wash, but on skin (if that makes sense). You can feel a protective layer going on initially but like I said, it dries with a very cosmetically elegant finish. I’d say it’s close to being 100% undetectable on the skin, which is incredible considering how soft and smooth it leaves the skin feeling.
As far as moisturizers go, I’ve yet to encounter one with a better finish. I actually prefer CeraVe Baby to CeraVe PM in terms of the application. The only reason I use CeraVe PM instead is the higher niacinamide content. If Niacinamide was higher up on the CeraVe Baby ingredient list, it would blow CeraVe PM out of the water in my opinion.
This lotion is fragrance free, but smells like fluffy vanilla cake!
How to Use.
This is pretty straight forward. Simply apply it as the last step in your routine before occlusives (if you use them). Here’s an example skincare routine considering all things. Depending on which products you use, some of these steps won’t apply so adjust it accordingly.
- Oil cleansing method, or oil cleanser.
- Gentle pH-balanced cleanser (5.5 or below)
- Low pH serums or toner. Wait 20-30 minutes.
- Salicylic Acid (BHA). Wait 20-30 minutes.
- AHA (glycolic, lactic, mandelic). Wait 20-30 minutes.
- Retinoids (Tretinoin [Retin-A], Retinol)
- Spot treatments or other actives (e.g. Benzoyl Peroxide, Azelaic Acid).
- Moisturizer (Use CeraVe Baby here)
- Occlusives (e.g. Vaseline, Aquaphor)
- Ingredients: 5/5
A great blend of vitamins and skin repairing ingredients like niacinamide, ceramides, dimethicone, cholesterol, hyaluronic acid, and allantoin.
- Benefits: 5/5
Soothes and repairs damaged skin. Strengthens the moisture barrier, and helps maintain healthy skin.
- Application: 5/5
Has a very cosmetically elegant finish. Spreads easily, leaves absolutely no residue, and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth. Smells like fluffy vanilla cake!
- Packaging: 5/5
No complaints. The bottle has a pump dispenser that locks to prevent bacterial overgrowth and accidental spillage.
- Value: 5/5
Phenomenally priced for the awesome ingredient list and amount of product you receive.
Overall: 5/5 (Holy Grail Status)
A very good moisturizer that I highly recommend! If it weren’t for the lower niacinamide content I would prefer this over my current holy grail — CeraVe PM. Either way, it’s a solid product with a cosmetically elegant finish and awesome ingredients. Hope you’ve enjoyed this review!
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Hi, wonderful review again. Just had what I thought was the moisturising lotion sent but actually the cerave baby moisturising cream….!!? Aargh. Anyway would it be totally bad to use instead. Inactive ingredients
water, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, caprylic/capric triglycerides, cetyl alcohol, ceteareth-20, petrolatum, ceramide 3, ceramide 6-11, ceramide 1, hyaluronic acid, cholesterol, phenoxyethanol, behentrimonium methosulphate, potassium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, ethylhexylglycerin, sodium lauroyl lactylate, disodium EDTA, phytosphingosine, carbomer, xanthan gum, sodium hydroxide
Great review! First time on your site will have to check out more. I was looking for more info on this lotion as I currently use the cleanser for my baby. Don’t remember seeing it so not sure if it’s available in Canada. Thanks for the review!
is there an alternative to this product that’s sold in the uk? with shipping & customs it comes to £40 🙁
Thank you SOOOOOO much for this easy to understand article. I live in the desert and glycerin is dehydrating to skin…anything less than 65% air humidity; Tucson is at 7%. I wonder if you have any recommendations as nothing seems to be hydrating or soothing or plumping to me, an active 55 year old. I’ve tried serums, creams, lotions,, supplements, things pricey and cheaper….nada. I’m drinking water, not much alcohol. I’m literally itchy from the inside out. Maybe I need to go to the doc?
Hi there, I believe I may have pityrosporum folliculitis and I have read your entire article about it. I am very overwhelmed but it was extremely helpful as well so thank you! I want to start using the cerave moisturizers you recommend but I noticed they contain a couple of dangerous parabens like methylparaben (except for the baby one). I couldn’t find anything addressing this on your blog and I was wondering if I should be concerned about using products with parabens. I want a moisturizer slightly stronger than the baby one but the rest have parabens:/ Every site online says that they should be avoided no matter what. I would really appreciate if you could advise me what to do. Thank you very much!
Tried this last night and unfortunately woke up with small bumps, nothing crazy since I patched tested. It is very hydrating and does it’s job but unfortunately my skin hates niacinamide. Know matter what product I try if their is niacinamide my skin will get these small little red bumps(that goes away within a day or or two) but it sucks because I really wanted to fix my moisture barrier without spending an arm or leg on crap ingredients(which tend to be in a lot of products) any suggestions I am so discouraged that this point😔 overall just the first use I woke with my skin not dry looking🤗 I’m using hemp seed oil and it has been helping a lot just want something with ceramides, fragrance free, and non-comodogenic.
I have the CeraVe Baby Moisturizing CREAM. I find that it reduces irritation, but also gives me very tiny white heads throughout the day/overnight that can easily be removed with a scratch of my fingernail.
FYI, I did notice the ingredients are different per the tube I purchased and CeraVe’s website. The product formulation may have changed.
Tube ingredients: water, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, caprylic/capric triglycerides, cetyl alcohol, ceteareth-20, petrolatum, ceramide 3, ceramide 6-II, ceramide 1, hyaluronic acid, cholesterol, phenoxyethanol, behentrimonium methosulphate, potassium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, ethylhexylglycerin, sodium lauroyl lactylate, disodium EDTA, phytosphingosine, carbomer, xanthan gum, sodium hydroxide
CeraVe’s website: Dimethicone, Behentrimonium methosulfate, Edetate disodium, Polyaminopropyl biguanide, Potassium chloride, Purified water, Sodium borate, Sodium chloride
Anyone have an idea of what causes the white heads? Still searching for that holy grail moisturizer!
Great review. Do you have any sunscreen recommendations to use on top of the baby lotion. All the sunscreens I use don’t play well with it and I’ve broken out. Would love to hear what you are using.