Growing up, I never really experienced acne. It wasn't until I hit my mid-20s that I started getting terrible breakouts that left me feeling too insecure and embarrassed to leave my house. It took awhile to get my acne under control, but I still get the occasional pimple when my face doesn't agree with certain skin-care products. In the last year amid the pandemic, I also started experiencing the maskne everyone's been talking about, and I hadn't found any solutions that make an immediate difference — until now.
I've been a big fan of CeraVe products for years. I've been using different variations of its cleansers and moisturizers since my first visit to a dermatologist's office 10 years ago. To date, my favorite face wash from the brand has been the Hydrating Facial Cleanser, but I recently just tried out the CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser ($15), and I have to admit, I'm impressed.
The Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser is noncomedogenic, as well as fragrance- and paraben-free. The hero ingredient is benzoyl peroxide, which helps clear acne and blackheads and can help prevent future breakouts. Other ingredients include ceramides to maintain the natural skin barrier, niacinamide to soothe inflammation, and hyaluronic acid to keep everything moisturized. With hundreds of five-star reviews on Target and Ulta — as well as the support of thousands of TikTok users — I was excited to see if it worked as well as everyone said it did.
My first time trying the product, I immediately loved the consistency. It's a little on the milky side, and the formula is pretty thin, but it feels very silky and luxurious. One thing I noticed is that you have to work up quite a lather to actually see the foam, but I think it works just as effectively. CeraVe recommends you use the cleanser twice daily, but I started out using it once a day in the mornings until my skin got used to it. After a few days, I upped my usage to twice daily, which is when I really began to see results. Whenever I use it, I start off by rinsing my face with warm water. To fully reap the benefits, after I apply the cleanser all over my face, I let it sit for about 30 seconds. I then rinse off the product with cold water.
As for the results, after about three days, I noticed a difference in my skin and breakouts. While I was used to seeing at least two or three new zits pop up after every outing where a mask was required, using this CeraVe cleanser cut that number in half. It left my skin feeling soft and hydrated, although I did notice some dry skin and flakiness around my nose.
At $15, this cleanser is one of the most affordable skin-care products I've used in a while, as well as one of the most effective. Plus, this product has another use you may not know about: eliminating stinky armpits. Yep, you read that right. Benzoyl peroxide can also be used to kill odor-causing bacteria in your underarm area, and I'm living proof that it truly does work. I even went as far as to skip deodorant one day after washing my armpits with this cleanser, and my underarms remained fresh as a daisy.
This cleanser would be perfect for those with oily or acne-prone skin, but since I have extremely dry skin, I'll stick to using this product periodically when I get a breakout or to prevent maskne. Overall, I plan to use it once or twice a week on my face but at least five times a week on my armpits. You know what they say, get you a cleanser that can do both.