Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser 4% Benzoyl Peroxide
CeraVe’s Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser 4% Benzoyl Peroxide attempts to combine two anti-acne steps in one: cleansing away oil and pore-clogging debris + killing acne-causing bacteria via benzoyl peroxide. It’s a valiant effort, but benzoyl peroxide is more effective in a leave-on formula for reasons we’ll explain below.
Housed in an opaque squeeze tube, this cleanser’s lightweight lotion texture produces a light lather as it interacts with water. It does a fine job of cleansing skin—though we must point out that if you wear makeup this is best as part of a double cleansing routine. Why? Per CeraVe’s instructions, they caution you to avoid the eye and lip area, due to the active benzoyl peroxide, so you’ll need to use another type of cleanser or makeup remover over those areas first. Using another cleanser first may also help the benzoyl peroxide stand a better chance of being able to penetrate and do its job to some degree (more on that in a minute).
The fragrance-free formula treats skin to a good dose of replenishing glycerin, as well as ceramides, sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide further down on the ingredient list. While these ingredients don’t get much contact time with skin to work their magic, we’ll give CeraVe credit for including them since they do play a role in maintaining skin’s barrier and moisture balance. One of the cleansing agents, sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, is known to be drying so these ingredients may help slightly offset that effect.
On to the star of the show: benzoyl peroxide is considered an incredibly effective topical antibacterial agent for acne and here you’re getting a good amount of it at 4%. The problem is that benzoyl peroxide is much more effective when included in a leave-on formula, where it can properly penetrate before being whisked away. Since this cleanser is rinsed off, you're not getting as much of the benefit as you need to effectively prevent and treat breakouts.
That said, because benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient not everyone’s skin tolerates when left on, delivering it in a product that has shorter contact time with skin may deliver some amount of benefit without the side effects some people experience when it’s left on skin. We can’t make any promises, but it could be worth a try.
Long story short: Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser 4% Benzoyl Peroxide isn’t a total slam dunk, but we do appreciate CeraVe’s intentions. If you’ve had prior experiences of not being able to use benzoyl peroxide in a leave-on formula, this might be worth a try. For everyone else, peruse our top-rated blemish treatments and cleansers for alternative options.
- Benzoyl peroxide may deliver some amount of acne-fighting benefit in this form.
- Formula contains beneficial ingredients to offset dryness.
- Fragrance free.
- Getting max benefits from benzoyl peroxide requires leaving it on, not rinsing off.
- Contains a potentially drying cleansing agent.
Developed with dermatologists, this 4% benzoyl peroxide cleanser clears acne breakouts and helps prevent new blemishes from forming. Gentle on the skin, CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser helps maintain the skin’s barrier with three essential ceramides, leaves skin feeling soft and comfortable, and reduces acne without dryness or flaking.
This expanding collection of skincare products keeps things gentle and effective with fragrance-free formulas, many of which are more state-of-the-art than any other product in its price range or pricier versions at the drugstore. In short, this line is a real find!
CeraVe uses a delivery system the company refers to as Multivesicular Emulsion Technology, which releases key ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid over a period of several hours. Although this technology is undoubtedly helpful, such time-delayed delivery systems aren't unique to CeraVe, and the fact remains that most of the ingredients they use are very helpful on their own, no matter what delivery system you use.
The important point is that ongoing, consistent use of this kind of moisturizer designed to repair the skin's barrier function will result in smoother, softer, healthier skin.
It is for these reasons that most CeraVe products are definitely worth considering, especially at this price. You'll find a options for moisturizing, cleansing, broad spectrum sun protection, and baby care.
For more information about CeraVe, purchased by L'Oreal in 2017, visit www.cerave.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.