CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 (review & swatches)
Even though technically we’re supposed to use sunscreen every single day, many people don’t, and who can blame them? Oldschool formulations often applied with a very noticeable white cast or made the skin look greasy and shiny, both of which are not ideal. Luckily, now that brands recognized the growing demand for more elegant sunscreen formulations, we finally have some decent options.
Today I wanted to share one of my favorites that I already repurchased twice – CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 ($18.99).
If you live in the US, then you probably already know of CeraVe. They are your classic, vanilla drugstore brand, and everything about them screams “dermatologist’s office”. The products come in simple packaging, without fancy Insta-perfect fonts or buzz-worthy names. As a mission, CeraVe focuses on helping skin maintain and repair a healthy barrier, so they are mostly known for their gentle ceramide-rich moisturizers.
CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 is no exception. This dermatologist-developed formula is oil-free and leaves the skin feeling soft with a matte finish. It provides broad-spectrum chemical sunscreen protection using a blend of four active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, and Octocrylene 2.7%. Other notable ingredients include Sodium Hyaluronate and Glycerin as humectants, emollient cholesterol, and three essential ceramides – called 1, 3, and 6-II – necessary to promote a healthy skin barrier.
On paper this sounds pretty darn good, but how does it actually feel on the skin? Just as awesome, actually! My combination skin has been feeling a little drier than usual lately, but I am still cautious of products that contain too many oils and butters in the formula. That’s why this sunscreen worked so nicely – it’s oil-free but still helps keep my face hydrated and moisturized. It works well as a base for makeup, too, although wearing makeup makes it harder to reapply throughout the day like you’re supposed to. A word of caution for my oily-skinned friends – even though the formula is oil-free, a combination of cholesterol and ceramides may still be too rich for your skin type. I would recommend trying a gel sunscreen formula instead, such as this one from Biore. Like most chemical sunscreens, Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 doesn’t leave a white cast, which makes it suitable for all skin tones. It applies like a lush, thick cream, and then absorbs into the skin, leaving an invisible matte layer.
You will LOVE it if:
- You have normal, combination, or potentially even sensitive skin type. It can also work for some people with oily skin.
- You are looking for a ceramide-rich daily moisturizer that would double as a sunscreen.
- You plan to wear it mostly indoors or during the hours of low to moderate solar activity.
- You avoid parabens, colorants, fragrance, and alcohol denat. in skincare.
- You prefer an airtight pump packaging.
- You prefer chemical sunscreen agents.
SKIP it if:
- You have very dry or very oily skin.
- You prefer physical sunblock.
- You like when your sunscreen doesn’t smell like sunscreen.
- You are looking for strong anti-aging actives in your daily moisturizer.
- You are on a tight budget. Even though this sunscreen is widely available at drugstores under $20, there are definitely more affordable options out there.
- You prefer all-natural skincare.
- You are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients.
Ingredients: Active: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.7%. Inactive: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Ceramide NP (Ceramide 3), Ceramide AP (Ceramide 6-II), Ceramide EOP (Ceramide 1), Phytosphingosine, Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Crosspolymer, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Hydroxyacetophenone, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate.
CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 has been wonderful for my combination skin. It feels like a regular balancing moisturizer with an added bonus of broad-spectrum SPF protection that doubles up as a makeup primer. I appreciate that the formula is fragrance-free since some of my serums already contain some fragrance and I really don’t like to mix several scented products on my face. There really isn’t anything I dislike about the formula, but if I had to pick something, it would apply to chemical sunscreens in general. There are so many new sunscreen agents on the market, that are safer and more effective, but they can’t be sold in the US since FDA didn’t approve them yet.
You can pick up a bottle of CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 at your local drugstores and online at Ulta or on Amazon.