Last week, when I went to Target, the store was completely sold out of CeraVe products.

The bare shelves were alarming. As someone with sensitive skin who has used CeraVe for years, I had never seen this before. Have the products always been helpful? Certainly. Safe? Absolutely. But hot? Trendy? A cult-favorite? Never.

In a time when new beauty brands are popping up on the daily, it’s honestly shocking to see an ancient brand hit refresh. Self-proclaimed skincare experts all over TikTok are touting CeraVe as a holy grail line, leading GenZ-ers to buy it in bulk.

Dermatologist and founder of The Derm Institute, Dr. Annie Chiu, helped us understand why this brand has withstood the test of time, and why CeraVe is worthy of a fresh endorsement from Gen Z.

The Products

CeraVe started way back in 2006 with three simple products: a cleanser, cream, and lotion. What makes CeraVe products unique? All of CeraVe’s products—now over seventy—bear the brand’s unique blend of ceramides. Ceramides are a main part of the skin’s protective barrier that helps to repair damaged skin and prevent loss of moisture.

The CeraVe brand is built with the purpose of improving a person’s overall skin health by strengthening the skin barrier. “CeraVe products tend to be tolerable even on the most sensitive skin types, so it may not ‘treat,’ but it won’t worsen someone’s skin condition when incorporated,” Dr. Chiu told Very Good Light.

CeraVe provides a perfect starting platform for skincare virgins and beauty lovers alike, thanks to its ceramide formula and exclusion of fragrance and harmful chemicals. Dr. Chiu is a fan, especially if you are overwhelmed by skincare and unsure of what to use.

“Dermatologists would always rather you first do no harm instead of going to the drugstore and getting irritated by a bunch of different actives or overdrying products. Once you want to hone in on issues like acne or anti-aging, you can build off of CeraVe products so you have a healthy skin barrier to tolerate more actives in other brands.”

The Ingredients

What notable ingredients are used in the products? Besides ceramides, CeraVe uses tons of topicals that not only retain moisture, but work toward that goal of skin barrier strength. In their cleansers and moisturizers, you’ll find glycerin, which Dr. Chiu describes as “a humectant that draws moisture from the environment,” as well as hyaluronic acid, “another hydrator that draws moisture from the environment and plumps skin which can help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and promote healing.”

Petrolatum will not clog your pores as many assume, but rather “sits on top of the skin and forms a barrier that prevents loss of moisture.” And finally, you’ll find dimethicone, “an occlusive that improves the moisture barrier and protects the skin from the environment while smoothing the skin’s surface.”

What won’t you find? Fragrance can be an extreme irritant, especially for sensitive skin. Good thing you’ll never see it in a CeraVe product. SkincarebyHyram is quaking.

The Popularity

If it’s not clear enough already, CeraVe does nothing but good things for most skin types. So why is it so popular out of the blue? Not only is it blowing up on social media thanks to the beauty community on TikTok, but it’s an extremely accessible brand.


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“CeraVe contains quality ingredients at a very reasonable price point,” says Dr. Chiu, “and has widespread availability at your local drugstore.”

Except for my local Target apparently, where it’s sold out. This lower price point is attractive to Gen Z, especially since a trusty line of base products allow for more fun and spending on other more expensive trends.


CeraVe is blowing up on TikTok after almost 15 years in the skincare game (thanks, Gen Z!)

– It is dermatologist-approved and formulated with helpful ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and dimethicone.

– No added fragrance ever, so it’s safe for sensitive skin

– This brand is inexpensive and accessible, perfect to use as a jumping-off platform for skincare newbies or as a solid base for skincare enthusiasts

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