Cerave Sunscreen Review: Ingredients, Before & After

Just because the summer is over doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop carrying about your skin. Sun can burn our skin even during clear winter days, so sunscreen should be used throughout the year. I have decided to test the well-known Cerave’s sunscreen to see for myself if it’s as good as the claims say.

Last updated on January 22, 2024 6:32 am

What Does It Offer?

Cerave Sunscreen comes with SPF 50 and SPF 30, and it provides excellent sun protection while remaining hydrating on your skin. It is said to be gentle, lightweight, and it shouldn’t leave your skin feeling greasy. Also, it’s designed primarily with sensitive face skin in mind.

This is a 100% mineral sunscreen that works by reflecting the damaging UVA and UVB rays. It’s fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and it should be invisible under makeup. It’s also said to be water-resistant.

What Is the Product Like?

Both SPF 30 and SPF 50 Cerave Sunscreens come in a pretty plain tube packaging. The primary color of the tube is white, with some orange, green, and blue details. My first opinion was that it looks like something from a pharmacy, but this isn’t far from true. Still, the colors do remind of the sun, so it’s clear what the product is for. Also, the packaging is rather small, but as it’s made to be used on the face, this is probably why.
Despite the claims of it being water-resistant, it clearly states on the packaging that it can protect you for only 80 minutes underwater. This isn’t too much, but it’s pretty standard for sunscreens. Still, for a price of around $15, I have expected a bit longer guarantee.

Both products dispense easily from the tube. There really isn’t any smell, which is always a massive plus for any facial products. Not that I dislike most smells – I just don’t want anything artificial on my face. They feel creamy without being greasy, which is always a good thing, especially for sunscreens. It’s easy to apply on the skin, but you might have some issues spreading it around your skin. This is nothing uncommon for pure mineral sunscreens, which tend to be a bit thicker compared to other formulations. However, it can leave you feeling like you have coated layers upon layers of product, which isn’t a good sensation.

Also, no matter how much you blend, you will still have some white residue. This is more noticeable with SPF 50 than SPF 30, but both definitely leave a mark. Again, this is probably due to a high amount of minerals, as they tend to leave a cast after application. As I am rather pale, this isn’t a massive problem for me, as you can barely notice the discoloration. However, someone who has a deeper skin tone might have an issue with it.
The product feels good on the face, but applying makeup over it is a bit difficult. I have tried several methods, and the best one is if I wait several minutes after applying sunscreen. Even then, the foundation can break up as some time passes, but it isn’t too bad. With a good setting spray or even a setting powder, it can last for a reasonably long time. The sunscreen itself mattifies the skin, adding it a nice touch. In fact, if you have oily skin, it might even be a good primer.

I didn’t notice any sunburns while wearing any of these two products, so they do serve their purpose. Personally, I prefer SPF 50, as my skin is susceptible to the sun. However, during winter, SPF 30 is more than enough.


This product uses Glycerin, which is a known ingredient for skin hydration. It also contains ceramides, which help the skin remain safe from environmental aggressors such as wind or cold. This also makes the product great for those looking for a sunscreen with anti-aging properties.

However, what I didn’t like is how few anti-oxidants this product has. It only contains niacinamide and a minimal amount of Vitamin E. Most facial sunscreens contain a vast mix of anti-oxidants, so this surprised me, and not in a good way. I didn’t expect any luxurious mix for a price range, but I did expect some more.

Compared to the now discontinued first version of sunscreen, this Cerave product no longer contains skin-sensitizing preservatives. However, it still has some questionable ingredients that we can’t ignore. For example, it contains Benzyl Alcohol, which is a common allergen, as well as Methylisothiazolinone, a preservative that isn’t safe for skin.

Is It Vegan And Cruelty-Free?

Cerave isn’t a cruelty-free brand, as it sells its products in mainland China. This also means that none of its products can’t be cruelty-free or vegan. In other words, Cerave Sunscreen isn’t vegan, nor is it cruelty-free, at that matter.


As Cerave is one of the biggest sun protection brands out there, I have had big expectations from this brand. I have to admit not all of them have been met.

First of all, this product does what it is made for. It protects from the sun. Which one you’ll decide to buy – the SPF 30 or SPF 50 one – depends on your own skin and preferences. It is suitable for sensitive skin, and you probably won’t experience any breakouts. The formula does contain some allergens, but they come in such a small amount my skin didn’t react to them, and it normally would. In other words, if you have sensitive skin, this product might work well for you.

When it comes to makeup, it can be applied on top of it. You might have some issues with it if your skin is dry, like mine, but once you figure out how to work with it you won’t have any more problems. It’d probably work better for oily skin, as it does mattify you without leaving you feeling dry.

The biggest issue I have is that it leaves white residue, so if you have a darker skin tone or love wearing dark clothes, this might stain. Also, it can feel heavy on your skin, which is never a good thing. Still, for the price range, this is a very good facial sunscreen.

Last updated on January 22, 2024 6:32 am

Leave a Comment