Since what feels like the dawn of the Internet, French drugstore products have become some of the most covetable of the land. American/Australian drugstore products? Not so much.
We've all been there, flinging our trust into the arms of a basic moisturiser because a French girl said it worked; and turning our noses up at the gentle, dermatologist-approved Chemist Warehouse products that one might find lingering in the back of the cupboard at your parent's house. While French pharmacy skincare is a proverbial top-shelf purchase, Australian pharmacy has felt very much bottom shelf until recently.
A PR package from CeraVe first landed on my desk at the beginning of 2019. The box that was sent included its now-sold-out Moisturising Lotion and Hydrating Cleanser, a twin pack that felt approachable and unglamorous but boasted credible technology and efficacy.
One day, my $100 cleanser ran out and I was left with the unoffensive, non-drying option of the Hydrating Cleanser - while I weighed up re-ordering the other expensive cleanser, priced at the cost of a weekly shop. It's been over a year now, and I have told every single person I know (twice) about the miracle that is CeraVe.
The phenomenon is not new to the Internet. Visit any skincare Instagram - or any teenaged Tik Tokker with an interest in skincare, for that matter - and you're likely to spot the brand amongst the most coveted of products. After the onslaught of information in the skincare world on the myriad of ingredients we should be using daily to protect our skin from every possible issue, CeraVe has emerged like a beautiful, basic, beacon.
The beauty lies in its age-old (as in, before we were all banging on about hyaluronic acid) technology of incorporating essential ceramides and lipid molecules in the products. Compounds which support a healthy barrier function (your skin's immune system) - and resulting in healthier looking skin in every iteration.
From Gen-Z Tik Tok users to millennial magazine editors (read: the entire RUSSH office), the CeraVe phenomenon is single-handedly pivoting the way we look at buying affordable products as a whole. By subverting traditional marketing techniques of placing importance on luxury products and placement, CeraVe is for everyone, simply because it works.
Since the launch in Australia in early 2019, the brand has gone on to release products with active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and even retinol (currently only available in the US). The main hero, though, remains the ceramide.
Ceramides are lipids that are naturally found in the skin. These lipids help to support the skin barrier function and aid in retaining moisture. Ceramides make up 50% of the skin's lipid bi-layer, and are essential to strengthening the protective skin barrier. A healthy barrier is able to fight off environmental stressors and bacteria, giving your skin a better chance at preventing breakouts, blackheads, and ageing.
While we all love left-of-centre drugstore purchases that are often crammed into the category of affordable hacks, CeraVe has given us all an opportunity for our entire routines to be an affordable hack, and it would appear that the entire world is on board.