The 8 Best Ceramide Moisturizers to Buy in 2020

Moisturizers for dry, itchy skin

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion at Amazon

"This Amazon’s Choice product is perfect for anyone who wants a versatile ceramide moisturizer"

Best Budget: Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream at Amazon

"People with sensitive, dry skin on a budget will appreciate Aveeno’s Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream."

Best for Dull Skin: Mario Badescu A.H.A & Ceramide Moisturizer at Amazon

"This moisturizer fights off dull skin by combining the exfoliating and brightening power of alpha-hydroxy acids."

Best for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Face Repair at Amazon

"Designed to keep sensitive skin moisturized throughout the day without irritating greasiness."

Best for Eczema: Cetaphil Pro Restoraderm Gentle Body Moisturizer at Amazon

"An excellent choice for those with sensitive, eczemic skin."

Best for Babies: CeraVe Baby Healing Ointment at Amazon

"A gentle choice that helps attack one of the most common skin conditions among babies: diaper rash."

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream at Amazon

"Oil-free, alcohol-free, and doesn’t contain artificial colors, fragrances, or other irritating ingredients."

Best for Psoriasis: CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream at Amazon

"CeraVe’s Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream helps treat the unique set of symptoms that come with psoriasis at a drugstore price."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to ceramide lotions, CeraVe is one of the most recognizable names — and with good reason. This Amazon’s Choice product is perfect for anyone who wants a versatile ceramide moisturizer that works well on most skin types for face and body.

CeraVe’s lotion contains the specific ceramides that are necessary for replacing and retaining your skin’s moisture. It also has the cholesterol and fatty acids needed to help those ceramides sink into your skin, as well as hyaluronic acid for even better absorption.

Customers with eczema, skin problems related to diabetes, acne, and more all tolerated this lotion well. Its diverse uses and reasonable price point make it an ideal choice for someone who wants a good general ceramide lotion for face and body.

Best Budget: Aveeno Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream

People with sensitive, dry skin on a budget will appreciate Aveeno’s Skin Relief Moisture Repair Cream. The company’s known for creating skincare products with oatmeal, but they’ve added nourishing ceramides to this formulation for a drugstore option that packs a punch.

The manufacturer says the cream is clinically shown to hydrate your skin for 24 hours, so you won’t have to stop and reapply throughout the day. It’s also fragrance-free, so strong scents won’t aggravate your nose (or bother your coworkers).

For lotion that'll leave your sensitive skin soft and supple, try this formula — it's even used to help with eczema.

Best for Dull Skin: Mario Badescu A.H.A & Ceramide Moisturizer

Mario Badescu’s skin care line has a reputation for gentle yet effective approaches to skincare. This moisturizer fights off dull skin by combining the exfoliating and brightening power of alpha-hydroxy acids with superior moisturizing from ceramides.

AHAs work by loosening dead cells on the very top layer of your skin and sloughing them off to make room for fresh cells with a more youthful appearance. This is great news for people with dull skin who want their healthy glow back. However, if your dull skin is on the drier side you’ll need extra moisture to even out the effects of the AHAs, and this cream’s ceramides strike a perfect balance to leave your skin bright and well-moisturized.

In addition to healing sallow, dull skin, this pick also helps address adult acne, redness, and age spots. Plus, this lightweight formula's nozzle design allows you to use every last drop of the product.

Best for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Face Repair

When you’ve got sensitive skin, finding a lotion that balances the moisture levels on your face without irritating existing acne, rosacea, or other conditions can be a challenge. La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Double Face Repair is designed to keep sensitive skin moisturized throughout the day without irritating greasiness.

According to the company, this lotion’s prebiotics can help turn sensitive skin into healthy-looking skin by keeping microorganisms on your skin’s surface at optimum levels. The formula also boasts 48-hours of moisture, it won’t clog your pores, and it maintains your skin’s natural barrier to protect you from further irritants.

Best for Eczema: Cetaphil Pro Restoraderm Gentle Body Moisturizer

Cetaphil Pro’s lotion adds ceramides to the company’s gentle lotion, making this an excellent choice for those with sensitive, eczemic skin. The moisturizer was developed by dermatologists to help soothe the itchy, red skin that comes with eczema. It carries the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. It’s free of steroids, parabens, fragrances or allergens (like nut oils) that could further irritate your skin. It’s easy to find online or in drug stores, and you can use it from head to toe to fight eczema anywhere on your body.

Overall, this lotion will leave your skin moisturized without making it oily or causing acne.

Best for Babies: CeraVe Baby Healing Ointment

Plenty of skincare companies use the phrase “baby-soft skin” to try and woo potential customers, but unfortunately, even babies aren’t exempt from skin irritation. CeraVe’s Baby Healing Ointment is a gentle choice that helps attack one of the most common skin conditions among babies: diaper rash.

No matter how diligent you are about changing your baby’s diaper and keeping their skin healthy, it’s still fairly easy for them to develop rashes from chafing, drooling, and even new foods or detergents. CeraVe’s ointment both treats and prevents diaper rash by moisturizing your child’s irritated skin, then creating a barrier on the skin’s top layer to lock out wetness.

Better yet, this scent-free moisturizer even boasts a seal of approval from the National Eczema Association.

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream

It’s a common misconception that adding moisture to acne-prone skin causes breakouts. Many people with acne do have oilier skin, but people with dry skin can suffer from acne as well, and many acne treatments are drying enough on their own to warrant some added moisture. Choosing a lotion with ceramides can help lock in moisture that’s lost when you’re battling pimples.

First Aid Beauty’s face cream is oil-free, alcohol-free, and doesn’t contain artificial colors, fragrances, or other irritating ingredients. The moisturizer’s ceramides team up with squalene (a soothing emollient extracted from olive oil) and an antioxidant booster mix to protect your skin from aggravating factors in the environment. All in all, it’s the perfect lightweight, soothing choice for moisturizing acne-prone skin.

Best for Psoriasis: CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream

Psoriasis may look like a standard rash or irritated skin at first glance, but it’s actually an autoimmune disorder that causes your skin’s cells to turn over too quickly, leading to the disease’s trademark plaques and lesions. The disease is manageable with the help of doctors and dermatologists, but finding an inexpensive daily cream to soothe symptoms is still a struggle for many patients. CeraVe’s Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream helps treat the unique set of symptoms that come with psoriasis at a drugstore price.

This cream has CeraVe’s standard ceramides to help hydrate skin and restore its protective barrier, but it also has salicylic acid to help slough off psoriasis scales, urea to relieve itching, and niacinamide to reduce irritation. Plus, it even works well for children with psoriasis.

Can Ceramides Replenish Your Skin's Moisture?

By Cathy Wong

Ceramides are a type of fat found naturally in the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of skin. Together with cholesterol and free fatty acids (the two other types of fats found naturally in your skin), ceramides help hold skin cells together. Ceramides are essential to the normal functioning of the skin's barrier layer and play a key role in helping your skin retain moisture.

As ceramide levels decline with normal aging, the skin barrier can be disrupted, leading to redness, dryness, and skin irritation.

Uses

When applied directly to the skin in lotions and other skincare products, ceramides are said to help restore the skin's barrier, aid in the treatment of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, improve dry skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and other signs of aging.

Benefits

Here's a look at some key study findings on the use of ceramides for skin problems.

Eczema

Also known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a condition that causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed. Research suggests that people with eczema may have low levels of ceramides in the top layer of their skin. Some studies show that the use of skincare products containing ceramides may improve eczema symptoms.

In a 2016 study, for instance, researchers found that a cream containing ceramides and magnesium improved skin hydration and reduced the severity of skin lesions (dry, thickened, or scaly skin) in people with mild to moderate dermatitis, compared to a hydrocortisone cream and a commonly used emollient cold cream.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis has also been associated with low levels of ceramides in skin lesions (raised, red patches covered with scales), resulting in an impaired barrier function of the skin. A study published in Dermatologic Therapy in 2015 evaluated the effectiveness of a linoleic-acid-ceramide moisturizer in combination with a topical corticosteroid (compared to the topical corticosteroid alone) in people with psoriasis. After an eight-week treatment period, the severity of symptoms were reduced in those using the linoleic-acid-ceramide moisturizer.

Aging Skin

Ceramides may help protect against aging-associated dry skin, according to a study published in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology. In tests on 20 healthy women, the study's authors determined that applying a cream containing ceramides helped improve skin barrier function and increase resistance to the aging-related dry skin.

Skin Irritation

Ceramides may help shield the skin from certain irritants, a study published in the International Journal of Dermatology suggests. In an experiment involving women with healthy skin, researchers found that applying a ceramide-containing liquid to the skin helped improve skin barrier function, increase skin hydration, and protect irritation induced by exposure to sodium lauryl sulfate, a synthetic chemical found in many personal-care products.

Safety

While ceramides are widely available in topical skin care products, we don't know enough about the safety of ceramide supplements taken by mouth. High blood levels of ceramides have been linked to numerous diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Dietary supplements containing plant sources of ceramides, such as konjac, are purported to improve skin barrier function and help treat certain skin conditions. However, there is currently a lack of research supporting the claim that ceramides can heal the skin when consumed in oral supplement form.

You should read tips on using supplements, but until we know more, oral ceramide supplements should be avoided.

A Word From Verywell

Ceramides are available in a number of moisturizers and skincare products. While more research is needed on their healing effect in conditions like psoriasis, using a moisturizer with ceramides may help to hydrate dry skin and relieve itching associated with dry skin.

If you have a skin condition, consult your dermatologist to see if topical ceramide products are a good fit for your skin type and for help choosing a product.

In addition to topical ceramides, a number of natural products, such as neem oil and argan oil, may also protect against dry skin and promote healing of certain skin conditions.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Tang SC, Yang JH. Dual effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on the skin. Molecules. 2018;23(4):863. doi:10.3390/molecules23040863

  3. National Eczema Assocations. Cetaphil PRO Gentle Body Moisturizer.

  4. National Eczema Association. CeraVe Baby Healing Ointment.

  5. Lynde CW, Andriessen A, Barankin B, et al. Moisturizers and ceramide-containing moisturizers may offer concomitant therapy with benefits. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(3):18–26. 

  6. National Psoriasis Foundation. Managing itch. Updated July 12, 2019.