Cerave is a cult US skincare import that’s been strengthening our skin barriers for very little money since March. Here’s why the brand’s first new product launch since then works so well (it’s all down to one key ingredient)

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In daily life, your stratum corneum is up against it. The uppermost layer of your skin, or skin barrier , is responsible for defending our skin against the likes of UV damage, pollution , infection and generally anything coming at us environmentally, but it naturally weakens as we age, and everything from diet to stress to overly aggro skincare routines (looking at you scrubs) can compromise your barrier’s defences. While moisture binding ingredients such as hyaluronic acid  help to prevent water (hydration) escaping from the skin’s surface, there’s another key ingredient that works directly to strengthen the skin barrier, but doesn’t quite have the jazzy rep other more well known molecules in skincare.

Enter the ceramides, the hero ingredient in the aptly named Cerave’s skincare range. Cerave makes one of the US’ most popular moisturisers, which is often recommended by dermatologists and a consistent sellout on Amazon, likely because it does such an impressive job when it comes to softening, smoothing and preventing skin barrier flare-ups. The secret lies in the ceramides- a blend of lipids found naturally in skin that reinforce the uppermost layer in the skin, and that are found in low numbers amongst those suffering with dermatological diseases. Cerave’s much-hailed Facial Moisturising Lotion , £12, brings three separate ceramides into the mix alongside emollients and humectants to bolster skin from within while keeping moisture where it needs to be, and in the first launch since the brand’s rollout into the UK, in-house dermatologists have distilled the protective formula into an eye cream , and it’s excellent.

Firstly, it comes in at £11 for 14ml, yet it’s packed with A* ingredients such as the aforementioned ceramides, plumping hyaluronic acid, brightening niacinamide  and moisturising glycerin, while being  fragrance-free , fast-absorbing and suitable for all skin types. Gentle aloe vera and almond oil cool and calm and the likes of vitamin E provide antioxidant armour to help to shield skin from external damage (the skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your body). It also comes with a National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™, which is hugely comforting for the itchy eyed , and the ever so slightly balmy texture works beautifully as a base for makeup. You could probably use it on your whole face if needs must and you have skin that veers towards the dry side, and the tiniest blob covers the eye area so it should last you a fair while too- the packaging is designed to keep the cream and its rejuvenating ingredients stable and sterile. Which you’d assume might be the same for all skincare, but not so.

If you suffer with sensitive skin , eczema  or any other kind of reactivity in the skin department, you’ll likely love this stuff, but really, it’s dermatologically sounds skincare at democratic prices, and we’re struggling to think of anything bad to say. If you’re a French pharmacy skincare lover, get in line, but we may as well all cash in- the good stuff’s right here.

Cerave Eye Repair Cream, £11 for 14ml,  buy online

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