CeraVe is a popular drugstore skincare brand that offers effective skincare products without fancy packaging or trendy ingredients. While their products may not be flashy, they actually work.
So when I saw CeraVe’s new CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment, an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) night serum, I immediately purchased it since I love AHA products and enjoy CeraVe’s other products. I’ll discuss my experience with the treatment in this CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment review.
SPOILER: If you’ve been looking for a way to exfoliate your skin at night, but don’t want to risk irritation or breakouts with harsh scrubs, CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment might be just what you need.
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Exfoliation is an important step in your skincare routine, but many people don’t do it often enough. This can lead to dull-looking skin and clogged pores over time because dead cells never get the chance to slough off naturally. While exfoliating your face is something you should do regularly, it can be challenging to find a product that doesn’t cause irritation.
CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment is a chemical exfoliator suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It contains ingredients that are formulated to be effective without causing too much irritation or dryness.
CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment is an AHA serum that contains a 5% blend of glycolic acid and lactic acid to improve cell turnover and remove dead skin cells for brighter, more radiant skin. These exfoliating acids provide many anti-aging benefits that improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, hyperpigmentation and dark spots, and enlarged pores.
CeraVe also includes their signature and proprietary three essential ceramides to support a healthy skin barrier, hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate) for hydration and licorice root extract to brighten the skin.
CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment Key Ingredients
- Glycerin: Glycerin is an effective emollient, humectant, and moisturizing ingredient. It helps to hydrate the skin by retaining water on the skin’s surface, which benefits every skin type.
- Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid is the smallest alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and penetrates the skin the deepest among all of its chemical AHA relatives. It can effectively dissolve the glue between cells to encourage exfoliation. It also boosts collagen synthesis, which helps to firm the skin, minimizing the look of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Lactic Acid: Lactic acid is a larger AHA than glycolic acid, so it won’t penetrate as well as glycolic acid, but it gently exfoliates the skin’s surface, promoting a brighter complexion. Lactic acid also has moisturizing properties and supports a healthy skin barrier, making lactic acid better suited for those that have sensitive skin.
- Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate: Dipotassium glycyrrhizate, also known as licorice root extract, is a soothing and anti-inflammatory agent that reduces irritation and redness on the skin. It is often used to brighten the complexion by lightening hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
- Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP: CeraVe’s proprietary blend of three types of ceramides are hydrating lipids naturally found in the skin. They help restore and maintain a healthy skin barrier on the skin’s surface, locking moisture in and helping prevent dryness that can lead to irritation and redness.
- Sodium Hyaluronate: Sodium hyaluronate (the salt form of hyaluronic acid) is one of the primary hydrating ingredients used in skincare products because it holds 1000 times its weight in water, so it works to help maintain a hydrated and healthy appearance.
- Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a lipid found naturally in the skin that helps maintain a healthy barrier. It also helps other ingredients mix better with the skin, improving their stability and absorption into the skin.
- Phenylethyl Resorcinol: Phenylethyl resorcinol is an effective skin lightener, brightener, and antioxidant.
- Phytosphingosine: Phytosphingosine is a lipid naturally occurring in the skin. It is an effective anti-inflammatory, which reduces redness and irritation on the skin. It also contains antimicrobial benefits, which can help treat acne-prone skin.
This nightly treatment uses CeraVe’s MVE Technology which continually releases moisturizing ingredients for extended hydration. It is non-comedogenic (it won’t clog pores), paraben-free and fragrance-free.
NOTE: While using this overnight treatment and any product that contains alpha-hydroxy acids, it is important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater daily and for a week after since AHAs make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment Review
CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment has a thick gel-cream texture that absorbs easily and quickly into the skin. It feels lightweight without leaving any sticky or greasy residue.
Since my skin is somewhat sensitive, I notice a little bit of tingling and prickly feeling on my face for the first minute or so after application. I use it two nights in a row and then take a day off. I have not experienced any redness, dryness, or peeling. The low 5% AHA concentration really agrees with my skin.
I wake in the morning to smoother, softer, and brighter skin. What really stands out to me with this AHA serum is my skin texture. It is noticeably refined (like the refined skin I get from retinol), which is exactly what I want from a glycolic/lactic acid product.
Those that prefer stronger peels and chemical exfoliation will probably not get much out of this AHA product, BUT if you have sensitive skin or are new to chemical exfoliators, I think this treatment would be the perfect introduction.
Related Post: CeraVe vs Cetaphil: Which is Better?
How To Use CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment
Apply CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment to the skin nightly after cleansing and toning.
Although CeraVe notes that it can be used alone or followed by a moisturizer, I think you should always follow with a moisturizer to add an additional layer of hydration and moisture since AHAs can be irritating on the skin.
Alternatives to How To Use CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment
Good Molecules Overnight Exfoliating Treatment has double the concentration of AHAs if you are looking for a more potent overnight exfoliating serum. Good Molecules Overnight Exfoliating Treatment contains 10% alpha and beta hydroxy acids in the form of glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid.
The serum works to unclog pores and sweep away dead skin cells for brighter, smoother skin with better clarity. The addition of salicylic acid is ideal for oily and acne-prone skin types, as it penetrates your pores to clear away excess sebum and oil that clog pores and cause breakouts and acne. For more on Good Molecules, check out my Good Molecules skincare review.
For experienced users of acid exfoliation, The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution or Paula’s Choice 25% AHA + 2% BHA Exfoliant Peel are rinse-off treatments that resurface the skin, unclog the pores, smooth fine lines, fade dark spots and improve skin texture and uneven skin tone. You should only use these peels if you don’t have sensitive, peeling or compromised skin.
For these and all new skincare products, be sure to patch test before using them on your skin for the first time.
Final Thoughts on How To Use CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment
I think CeraVe Skin Renewing Nightly Exfoliating Treatment is the perfect introduction to alpha hydroxy acid skin care products. It is lightweight, hydrating, and very effective in improving skin texture without increasing irritation, which can occur when using a physical exfoliator like a face scrub.
While I think this CeraVe skincare treatment is perfect for beginners and those with sensitive skin, skincare enthusiasts looking for a stronger peel will probably need to go with another product with a stronger concentration of AHAs.
Thanks for reading!