Cerave Moisturizing Cream (Cerave in a Tub)

Woooof. Cerave in a tub was the holy grail of all holy grails on r/skincareaddiction at one point. I used this cream a lot when my acne was bad, because I convinced myself that my breakouts were because of a weakened moisture barrier. Even those four or five years ago, I never thought the cream was phenomenal. Even though I was only using it at night, I had major issues with the product pilling on application, faint burning, and being too chalky when I woke up the next morning, so it was difficult to wash off.

But the brand Cerave, at the time, was a huge step up in my skincare game compared to my former late-teens mainstay Clean and Clear. Just push through it! I told myself. Spoiler alert: my skin condition did not improve.

Cerave’s been doing a huge advertising push lately, and I’ve seen good ol’ “Cerave in a Tub” being advertised just about everywhere. It seems like the emphasis is more on it being a body cream, but it can still be used on your face. The advertising won me over to try it again in 2020. Whoops.

I washed my face before bed with water. I didn’t use exfoliants, in order to get the “full” Cerave in a tub experience. This thick white cream is pretty difficult to spread around and does not absorb well into the skin. Fair enough, it is a cream, and not a gel, after all. I had a fair bit of whitecast left over even a good amount of time getting it to sink in — not that it matters when all you’re doing is heading to bed, but still!

Five minutes pass. The faint, familiar burning returns. This persists for another twenty minutes until I decide to partake in the difficult task of rinsing it off. In the spirit of “maybe I’m just not used to it yet!”, I tried this two more nights during the week, but to no avail: I had the same results. Worst yet, I woke up the next morning with a few spots.

There are a few morals to this story. First of all, if it’s a moisturizer, I am fairly certain there should be no, or a very short, break-in period where your skin is getting used to it. Also, a moisturizer shouldn’t burn! Even if you think the ingredient listing is tame, if your skin starts burning, just stop using it! And last, apparently a tiger never changes its stripes. Or, well, in the case of Cerave PM moisturizer, it occasionally does change it’s stripes (ingredients), but then the product ends up worse for wear.

I tried putting this cream on my knees and elbows since it’s being touted as a body cream too — it was still a little bit too heavy and chalky to feel hydrating. If you still want to try it out, $15 for a pretty substantial tub of product will go a long way and keep you covered for a few months — but only if your skin can tolerate it! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 0/5 (ouch!)

Longevity: 4/5

How much I actually like this product: 0/5 (ouch again!)

Recommended for sensitive skin: NO!

Stratia Liquid Gold

Stratia Liquid Gold

I really, REALLY wanted to like this. The gold color, promise of crazy hydration and the fact that it reminded me of a fabric paint tube really lured me into dropping $24 on this thing directly from Stratia’s website. It was not a $24 well spent.

It didn’t do anything.

This products gets a lot of hype on reddit for repairing destroyed moisture barriers, and having an optimal combination of ingredients to do so (ceramides and cholesterol).  I live in a city with harsh winters, and I also have combo skin with dry areas in the lower quadrant of my face, so moisture is definitely an issue for me — so I was excited to try this out.

And this just… this just didn’t do anything.

It’s cool that it’s yellow, but the runny-ness of the formula just isn’t effective at all. You may have well have just dripped some water onto the my face and called it a day. My skin felt neither protected by an additional layer, nor did it feel/look any softer. This, of course, infers that I couldn’t really “feel” that I had applied it after even 10 minutes or so. And even despite the thinness of it, the yellow would still show up if you’re not careful to rub it in hard enough. I really do think that, not only did it look and act like paint, but it also smelled like paint as well.

I speculated that this product aggravated my acne a little bit. I had a couple new spots after usage — I mean, this could have been from anything, but the timing was a little suspect.

It looks like they’ve changed the packaging recently, so I’m curious if the formulation was changed in that time, as well. But for now, my review will remain based on the product you see pictured above — totally not worth the purchase. I know there’s a huge cult following for Liquid Gold — if you love this stuff and want to let me know why, feel free to leave a comment! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 1/5 (I mean, how can there be longevity if you didn’t feel it working in the first place…?)

How much I actually like this product: 1/5