CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM with SPF 30

I stumbled upon this excellent drugstore moisturizer on Beauty and the Feast's post on her skincare routine. Since I rarely come across strong drugstore skincare recommendations from the beauty blogging world, I decided this was a must-try. At the time, I had just finished 2 tubs and 1 tube of Nivea Soft. Although Nivea Soft served me well day and night when my skin was not at its best, and although I continue to love that cream and would recommend it to anyone for just about anything, it was time to return to a routine that included a daytime moisturizer with SPF and potentially a night cream.

Priced at about $17 in NYC, this moisturizer is more expensive than other drugstore brands but is clearly more affordable than higher-end skincare from Sephora and department stores. Given a rather high SPF of 30, I thought this made CeraVe an especially good value.

After several months of use, I can safely say that this moisturizer is one of the best I've ever tried. It is a slightly heavy and creamy lotion (not runny, and sits on your finger/palm when dispensed), which I prefer to thinner formulas. What I like most about the formula is that it spreads easily and absorbs well. Unlike heavier creams, it doesn't sit on top of your skin like a film or take too long to absorb. But unlike thinner lotions, it also doesn't seem to evaporate within minutes of applying. My face feels moisturized in the morning, but not greasy. I barely know I'm wearing it, but I love applying it in the morning. To me, that's perfect.

Two other qualities that make this work for me? No fragrance and the slim pump bottle. I know it looks kind of boring and clinical, but sometimes you just want something like that on your dresser, you know?

Initially, I had one very minor concern. Because of the SPF, there is definitely a distinct white cast when the lotion is first applied. It disappears immediately after blending and patting it in, and the SPF doesn't give it that greasy slip of regular sunscreen. It won't show up in photos and it doesn't affect makeup application. I wouldn't label the slight cast a flaw, as it's probably common with higher SPF moisturizers and doesn't affect the performance of the lotion overall.

Although I'm gradually trying to incorporate more natural products into my routine (ones that don't include parabens, for instance - this one does), I'm pretty sure I'll be buying this one again. I don't know if I can manage a natural, SPF moisturizer whose formula I love in a price range that I find affordable. I had one, short encounter with Aveeno's Smart Essentials SPF 30 moisturizer and wasn't impressed. And to tell you the truth, I don't feel the need to experiment too much more with this part of my routine - at least at the drugstore. Next time I try another daytime moisturizer SPF, it might be slightly higher end and from a brand that I've already had good experiences with, like Korres. For a daily essential that will need a refill, this is a terrific product.

$14-$17 @ drugstores

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