Are CeraVe Products Good for Psoriasis? | MyPsoriasisTeam

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Are CeraVe Products Good for Psoriasis?

Medically reviewed by Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.
Written by Jodie Rothschild
Updated on January 3, 2024

Are you living with the persistent itching, scaling, and other skin symptoms of psoriasis? If you’re on the lookout for solutions, you are not alone.

Many MyPsoriasisTeam members have asked for recommendations for topical (applied to the skin) remedies they can buy over the counter. Some members have found that CeraVe products can be helpful.

Read on to learn more about CeraVe moisturizing cream and cleanser specifically designed for people with psoriasis. Remember, always check with your dermatologist or health care team before adding any new products to your skin care regimen.

What Are the CeraVe Psoriasis Products?

Both CeraVe Psoriasis Cleanser and Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream have received the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Seal of Recognition. This seal “highlights and recognizes over-the-counter products that have been created or intended to be nonirritating and safe for those living with psoriatic disease,” the foundation says.

Products with this seal may not be helpful for everyone with psoriasis. The seal only signifies that products have been evaluated in people with psoriasis and are considered safe for them. Work with your doctor to determine which creams and cleansers work best for you.

Key Ingredients

The CeraVe psoriasis cleanser and moisturizing cream have key ingredients that focus on soothing and preventing psoriasis symptoms. These ingredients are salicylic acid, lactic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide.

One study published in 2019 evaluated how these CeraVe products performed for 33 people with mild to moderate psoriasis. In this study, about 85 percent of people who used both the CeraVe cleanser and cream together reported that they provided relief of psoriasis symptoms. About 73 percent of participants said the cream alone improved their skin’s appearance. It’s important to note that this research was funded by L’Oreal, which owns CeraVe. The study’s author has also worked as a consultant and advisor for L’Oreal.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a type of keratolytic. Keratolytics help to break down keratin, a protein found in your skin. Keratolytics have three main functions in skin care products:

  • Exfoliate (shed) the outer layer of dead skin cells
  • Relax the keratin proteins in the epidermis to soften skin
  • Help skin retain moisture

Keratolytics can help some people eliminate the scaly patches that usually come with psoriasis plaques. They may also help smooth bumpy skin.

A 2017 study evaluated the effectiveness of several topical treatments, including salicylic acid, on people with psoriasis. This research found that using salicylic acid allowed for better absorption of other topical medications. Researchers also noted that salicylic acid has antioxidant properties.

Both of the CeraVe psoriasis products contain 2 percent salicylic acid. Prescription medications can contain up to 10 percent salicylic acid, which may be more effective at removing scaly skin. However, some people find that salicylic acid can cause more side effects like stinging and skin irritation when using the 10 percent concentration.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is another kind of keratolytic. It gently exfoliates the skin while helping it retain moisture.

Lactic acid isn’t as strong as salicylic acid, so it’s gentler on the skin. This may be beneficial for people with sensitive or dry skin, or those who may be prone to flaking or eczema in addition to having psoriasis.

Ceramides

Ceramides help create a skin barrier by holding together the cells in your epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin.

In psoriatic skin, the barrier function of the skin is compromised. Ceramides help restore the barrier. They keep moisture in, and they keep harmful, potentially irritating substances out. Between keeping your skin hydrated and reducing irritation, ceramides may be an effective tool in soothing psoriatic skin flares and itchiness.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a type of vitamin B3 that helps to treat psoriasis. Niacinamide is an antioxidant that can help protect your skin. It also encourages your skin to produce its own ceramides.

What Else Is (and Isn’t) in These Psoriasis Products?

Other ingredients in both CeraVe products that some people with psoriasis find beneficial include:

  • Urea to gently exfoliate and soften skin
  • Glycerin and hyaluronic acid to moisturize skin
  • Shea butter to soften skin

When choosing any skin care product, from soap and body wash to moisturizing lotions, consider the inactive ingredients. Make sure that products don’t contain alcohol or fragrances because these can be drying and irritating to your skin.

Other Products To Consider

If you and your health care team see that CeraVe products may be helping you, you might want to consider trying similar products:

  • Sunscreen — Keratolytics make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it’s important to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
  • Itch relief cream — Many MyPsoriasisTeam members recommend CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Cream, which contains the active ingredient pramoxine hydrochloride (a nonsteroidal anti-itch treatment) to help make the itchiness less severe.
  • Healing salve — CeraVe Healing Ointment is a balm that helps protect and hydrate skin. It can be used on skin that’s chafed or cracked.

CeraVe vs. Cetaphil

CeraVe and Cetaphil are both brands recommended by many dermatologists, and most of their products are fragrance-free, which is helpful for people with psoriasis. Although Cetaphil products don’t carry the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Seal of Recognition, several MyPsoriasisTeam members have found success with Cetaphil products.

“I use both Cetaphil and other psoriatic lotions to control my psoriasis,” one member wrote. Another said, “The Cetaphil soothes my skin.”

Which CeraVe Product Is Best for Psoriasis?

The decision of which CeraVe product will work best for you depends on your symptoms, preferences, and skin sensitivity. While specific CeraVe products have been given the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Seal of Recognition, the other options noted above may also be helpful, despite not carrying the seal.

How To Use CeraVe for Psoriasis

You can find instructions for use on the back of your CeraVe products. For instance, the CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream directions say to apply to your skin up to four times daily, with special emphasis on the areas affected by psoriasis, or to follow your dermatologist’s instructions. The instructions also note the importance of avoiding the sun or wearing sunscreen because this product may raise your risk of sunburn due to containing an alpha-hydroxy acid. Whether you’re using CeraVe or another over-the-counter moisturizer, it’s a good idea to check in with your dermatologist about the best ways to care for your skin.

Talk to your doctor about the products or ingredients that would benefit your skin and help ease your psoriasis symptoms. Make sure to talk to your doctor before trying any new products on your skin.

Talk With Others Who Understand

MyPsoriasisTeam is the online social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 122,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.

Are you or a loved one struggling to find products that work for psoriasis? Have you discovered certain products that work for you? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

Updated on January 3, 2024
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Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D. is a dermatologist at the Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Jodie Rothschild is principal of Rothschild Biomedical Communications and a proud member of both the American Medical Writers Association and Plain Language Association International. Learn more about her here.

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