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Looking for a new face wash? This $15 cleanser lives up to the hype

It definitely lives up to the hype.
Katie Jackson / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

If I could choose my future husband's career field, I would probably pick dermatology. I'm constantly trying to improve my skin care routine, especially when it comes to finding the right face wash. Unfortunately, there are as many facial cleansers out there as there are freckles on my face.

Fortunately, I can lean heavily on product reviews and read magazines to see what celebrities are using to keep their skin looking flawless. That's how I ended up deciding to try the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser — here's why I think it's worth all the hype.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

It has rave reviews

The CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser has an impressive 4.6-star average rating from more than 1,000 verified Amazon reviews. At $15 for 16 ounces, it's a fantastic value and is currently the third bestselling facial cleanser on Amazon. It's also worth noting that CeraVe has the No. 2 spot with its hydrating face wash. For a brand I can't recall ever seeing in a TV commercial, it seems to be selling quite well without paid celebrity spokespeople.

The brand also often gets the dermatologist seal of approval. In fact, in TODAY's guide of dermatologist-recommended drugstore face washes, the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is preferred by Dr. Patricia Wexler, who works with famous faces like Rita Ora and Donna Karan.

It's a great choice for sensitive skin

washing my face with CeraVe Foaming Face Wash
Katie Jackson

Since CeraVe looks so much like other drugstore facial cleansers, I asked Texas-based dermatologist Dr. Adam Mamelak what makes CeraVe such a popular choice. He told me it's a great choice if you're looking for a gentle cleanser that's specifically designed for sensitive skin.

According to Mamelak, the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser has a few key ingredients that make it stand out from the pack. The formula includes hyaluronic acid for extra hydration, ceramides to protect the skin's natural barrier and nicotinamide to soothe and provide anti-redness and anti-inflammatory properties.

CeraVe foaming face wash in hand
Katie Jackson

Since I split my time between Montana and Arizona (both very dry places), and I struggle with breakouts, I loved that CeraVe has some additional moisturizing benefits. My only complaints? It was definitely a bit too childproof when it came to releasing the pump for the first time. Also, it doesn't foam quite as much as I'd like. I was hoping for a bubble bath for my face, but these bubbles aren't the kind you can build beards out of.

How well does it work?

CeraVe Foaming Face Wash
Katie Jackson

First, I'll never again judge a product by its packaging. CeraVe isn't in a cute or sexy little bottle like my moisturizer of choice (the Beuti Sleep Elixir face oil reportedly used by the Duchess of Cambridge) — but what difference does that make if it works? And it does work.

I have normal skin — this cleanser is designed for normal to oily skin — and it hasn't dried me out the way cleansers with salicylic acid do. It also hasn't made my skin greasy or clogged my pores the way heavy cream cleansers do.

While I won't say it's made my pimples disappear overnight, I will say I've noticed fewer breakouts and feel more confident in my skin now that I'm using it. In fact, my new confidence inspired me to post my first close-up, makeup-free selfie on Instagram last week. It felt incredibly liberating. But the biggest breakthrough was realizing I might not need to limit myself to marrying a dermatologist after all.

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