Lightweight mix between a gel and an oil
Leaves skin with a healthy glow
Great for use day or night
Accessible price point
Not as hydrating as a traditional face oil
Better for normal or combination skin than dry skin
CeraVe Skin Renewing Gel Oil
We put the CeraVe Skin Renewing Gel Oil to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
Accessible skincare brand CeraVe has earned a significant following for its ceramide-packed formulas beloved by dermatologists and influencers alike, and the brand's new Skin Renewing Gel Oil is a lightweight hydrator that can be used in both your daytime and nighttime skincare routine. While it has the word "oil" in its name, it's not as occlusive as traditional face oils, so it also works in the serum slot in your routine. It's a fragrance-free, non-comedogenic product that contains a mix of five different ceramides and sunflower oil, along with CeraVe's patented MVE Delivery Technology to continuously hydrate skin day and night.
With this being one of the more accessible oil-infused products out there, I was excited to give it a try and see if it hydrates as effectively as it claims. So did CeraVe's Skin Renewing Gel Oil give me the moisture I was after, and should you try it? Keep reading for my full review.
Best for: It's made for normal to dry skin, but in my opinion, it works better for normal to combination skin.
Uses: A daily and nightly face oil that delivers hydration and radiance to your skin.
Potential allergens: Sunflower extract, rosemary leaf extract, rice bran extract
Hero ingredients: Ceramides, sunflower oil
Byrdie Clean? Yes
About the Brand: Developed by dermatologists, CeraVe is a line of skincare products that always contain at least three different ceramides, which improve moisture and barrier health. The products are sold at the drugstore, making dermatologist-recommended skincare more accessible.
About My Skin: Extremely dry
My skin is extremely dry, and I frequently deal with eczema and dry patches. I typically look for products packed with hydrating ingredients, and I usually like a heavier texture on my skin. I want to feel like the products layer well, keep my skin hydrated, and stay in place all day, even under makeup. My typical skincare routine usually consists of an essence, an active serum, and a moisturizer, plus a final step. In the daytime, I'll use a sunscreen last, and at night, I use an occlusive product like an oil.
I put CeraVe's Skin Renewing Gel Oil in place of the serum step in my morning and evening routines to see its effects both day and night. CeraVe notes that it's a versatile product, and usually works best in conjunction with a moisturizer.
The Feel: A gel-oil hybrid
It's really difficult to describe the texture of this product because I've never tried any other gel-oil hybrids, but that's exactly what this is. It has the bounciness that is usually characteristic of a gel, but spreads the way an oil-based hydrator does. It's surprisingly lightweight for something with the word "oil" in its name. It easily layered with my other skincare products and didn't mess up my makeup on top of it. I don't believe it was hydrating enough for my skin type and needs, but the texture was nice and I believe people with normal or combination skin will like it a lot more.
The Ingredients: Signature ceramides and natural oils
Ceramides: Ceramides are naturally occurring lipids (or fat molecules) that help retain your skin's moisture and contribute to its proper function, keeping it hydrated and soft. They're often described as the body's natural moisturizer to prevent dehydration. They also act as a natural antioxidant, protecting the skin from environmental aggressors like pollution and dry air. Ceramides are essentially the glue that holds our skin cells together to keep our skin barrier intact and healthy, and focusing on them is what's led CeraVe to so much success. A healthy skin barrier helps seal in moisture and seal out impurities, keeping your skin looking and feeling hydrated, youthful, and supple.
Sunflower Oil: Sunflower oil is a non-comedogenic carrier oil that is highly absorbent. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help lower skin redness and roughness, and it's high in omega-6 (linoleic) fatty acid and vitamin E. Omega-6 acid helps decrease inflammation in the skin and enhances the development of new skin cells, while vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that protects your skin from environmental stressors that may cause irritation.
The Results: Lightweight, dewy hydration
CeraVe's Skin Renewing Gel Oil does exactly what it's advertised to do—it provides lightweight hydration that soothes and moisturizes skin while simultaneously making it appear more radiant. It sits nicely on the skin and layers well with both skincare and makeup. Since it's not a full oil and has some qualities of a gel-based formula, it doesn't interfere with makeup or other products.
Immediately after applying, my skin instantly looked more luminous because the product leaves a dewy sheen on the skin. After following up with moisturizer, that dewiness subsided a bit, but it still definitely peeked through as I layered more skincare and makeup on top. (At night, I don't mind grease and simply load up the products as much as I need to.)
To be honest, because it performed as advertised, I wanted to like it more for my skin, but I need deeply hydrating products that feel a bit oilier, so this wasn't as moisturizing as I wanted it to be. Throughout the day, I felt like my skin was craving more hydration and I found myself using my face mist more often than usual (my usual method for upping my hydration throughout the day on top of my makeup if needed). After using it in my nighttime routine, I didn't notice much of a difference between the effects of this and my usual serums, but that's probably because my other nighttime products are extremely emollient anyway.
I tested this product for about a week, and I realized that it wasn't for me pretty quickly. I rated it highly because the results were exactly as advertised, but I just need more hydration for my skin than this product can give.
The Value: Definitely worth it
At $25 (though the price can vary a bit), CeraVe's Skin Renewing Gel Oil is definitely worth the money: I only needed one pump to cover my entire face and neck, and with two applications a day, I predict that this product would likely last at least a couple months. Compared to other serums and oils that I have in my regular rotation, this one is significantly cheaper and is still hydrating (especially if you have a less finicky skin type than mine).
Similar Products: You've got options
Mara Beauty Sea Vitamin C Serum: While Mara Beauty's Sea Vitamin C Serum ($96) is significantly more expensive than CeraVe's Skin Renewing Gel Oil, it is, in my opinion, the ultimate serum-meets-oil formulation. It has a high concentration of active ingredients (including vitamin C and botanicals) the way a serum does, but also has all the hydrating properties of a rich oil. It brightens and evens over time, leaving skin dewy and glossy.
Glossier Futuredew Oil Serum Hybrid: A much-loved favorite offering an effect that few products can match, Glossier's oil-serum hybrid ($24) uses nourishing oils and plant-based extracts to hydrate and improve overall skin appearance over time. The formula creates an instant dewy finish, so it doubles as a highlighter and is ideal for daytime use.
Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate: While more of a true oil, this Kiehl's standby ($52) has a lightweight yet intensely nourishing formula that's ideal for restoring glow to dry skin types. It's made for daytime use with your moisturizer and sunscreen, so you can get all the hydration you're after without the weight or greasiness.
While CeraVe's Skin Renewing Gel Oil didn't provide the ideal level of hydration for my dry complexion, I still highly recommend it to people who have normal or combination skin. It is a powerful hydrator (just not enough for me), and is great for delivering a much-needed ceramide boost to your skin. It easily fits into your existing skincare routine, and at its drugstore price point, you really can't beat the value. And of course, I really like that it's fragrance-free, which means it's suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.
- Product Name Skin Renewing Gel Oil
- Product Brand CeraVe
- Price $25
- Weight 1 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Water, Sucrose Laurate, Sucrose Stearate, Helianthus Annuus(Sunflower)Extract, Oryza Sativa(Rice)Bran Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis(Rosemary)Leaf Extract, Ceramide 6-11, Ceramide 1, Ceramide 2, Ceramide 3, Caprooyl Phytosphingosine, Caprooyl Sphingosine, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sucrose Palmitate, Tocopherol, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-25, Pentylene Glycol, Behenic Acid, Cholesterol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol.