This £12 beauty editor-approved cleanser is now available in the UK

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Lucy Partington
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CeraVe’s SA Smoothing Cleanser is gentle but hardworking, just as any good cleanser should be – and Stylist’s beauty editor is completely sold.

Skincare is my favourite thing. I could – and do – harp on about the joy of SPF for days. I’m obsessed with vitamin C, and I’ll recommend retinol to anybody who’ll listen to me. 

I like that having a solid and consistent routine makes a tangible difference to my overall skin health and appearance, and I love when I find products that truly are a joy to use. That said, I find it hard to get excited about cleanser: I know what I like, and while I do prefer some to others, it’s not a category that I’m ever really that enthusiastic about. In fact, the last time I was truly interested was in June 2018 (so specific!), when Harley Street dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting launched Flawless Cleanser, £16.

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But, earlier this year, that changed. I was on a work trip in LA and obviously I went beauty shopping, hitting up all the skincare aisles I could find and keeping an eye out for anything and everything that’s not available here in the UK. I’d seen CeraVe’s Renewing SA Cleanser on Instagram a few weeks earlier, so when I spotted it sat on the shelf in Target, I immediately put two in my basket (one for me, one for my pal who’s as equally obsessed with beauty and skincare).

I knew I’d like it because CeraVe is a brand that me and the rest of the Stylist beauty team is already obsessed with. Not to sound like I’m on payroll (I’m not, I promise), but products are created with dermatologists, they’re gentle enough for all skin types, are packed with ceramides which help repair and protect the skin’s barrier, plus everything is affordable and, importantly, it really, really works. 

It’s also a brand that’s consistently recommended by dermatologists we speak to. But don’t just take my word for it: when our junior beauty writer had a bad case of eczema, she cut down her routine to just three products on a derm’s recommendation (two of which were CeraVe) and saw a major difference within days, and we also wrote about a CeraVe eye cream that cleared up a writer’s stubborn under-eye eczema.

Anyway, I digress. I packed the bottle of Renewing SA Cleanser into my case and started using it as soon as I got back to England. 

I was diagnosed with acne towards the end of last year, and although my skin is currently better than it has ever been, I suffer from hormonal breakouts around my jawline and tend to get  bumpy, dehydrated skin. That means I usually steer clear of salicylic acid, despite it being great for acne-prone skin like mine, simply because I find it’s too drying. 

Within just a few days of using this cleanser morning and night, I noticed a difference. My skin was much smoother, but it also felt hydrated – not stripped or dry or tight, which is the common thread between this and other CeraVe cleansers. The gel-like consistency (which, funnily enough is my favourite type of consistency) makes it quick and easy to cleanse skin after I’ve removed make-up, and it easily cuts through any remaining dirt and SPF so I know my face is properly clean. The only problem? I couldn’t get my hands on a new bottle when I ran out because it wasn’t available over here.

Until now, anyway – because today (23 August) marks the long-awaited, official launch of CeraVe’s SA Smoothing range (the name is slightly different but it’s the same product) in the UK and I for one could not be happier. The best news though is that a bottle of the cleanser costs a mere £12 and, although I kind of don’t want everyone to know about it in case it sells out, it’s also a product I truly believe everybody can benefit from.

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It’s also worth knowing that the cleanser can be used on your body, so if you suffer with keratosis pilaris (AKA chicken skin) then this will help no end – and if you follow with the SA Smoothing Cream I guarantee you’ll notice a difference in texture in a matter of days.

So go forth and reap the rewards of impossibly smooth skin.

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Main image: courtesy of CeraVe


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Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she'll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.