Describe the brand in five words.
Cheap. Foam. That’s all I’ve got.
What is it?
‘A gentle, non-irritating daily cleanser for sensitive and dry skin.’
Well it’s a ‘cleanser’ of sorts, but it’s certainly not as described by the brand.
Who is it for?
‘Sensitive and dry skin.’
Except don’t. Please. The fact that they specifically recommend this for rosacea on their website gives me the horrors.
What’s in it?
Aqua, Cetyl Alcohol, Proylene Glycol, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparben, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearyl Alcohol
What’s not in it?
Anything of benefit to the skin. Water, three parabens, two alcohols and SLS do not a ‘suitable for dry skin’ cleanser make.
Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
How does it smell?
How does it feel on the skin?/Absorption rate?
Like soap/washes off.
How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
Cleanser – am or pm
How long before you should see results?
N/A – it’s a cleanser
How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
£14.99 for 473ml
What’s good about it?
Honestly? Nothing. There are cheaper and better cleansers so the price isn’t a plus.
What’s not so good about it?
Where to begin. Cetaphil has taken on a life of its own in recent years. Crossing over from the States and becoming the cult must-have ‘affordable’ cleanser that will apparently do no harm and makes a great cleanser for people with sensitive skin. I am asked about it much more often now than I was five years ago.
There is nothing, not one ingredient in this product that will do anything to benefit your skin, with the exception of ‘clean’ it. And I use the word ‘clean’ loosely. In all seriousness, there are shampoos with better and less harmful ingredients on the market.
It doesn’t even remove makeup, so can’t be used as a first cleanse.
I know this is frequently recommended by dermatologists as a ‘must-have’, but it’s worth mentioning that Cetaphil is owned by Galderma, a huge big pharma corporate brand that also own Restylane (fillers), Differin and Epiduo among many other brands – both regularly prescribed by derms and therefore generating cash for both the derm and Galderma.
Dermatologists being on the books of multi-nationals is almost never talked about in the industry. They are doctors and therefore untouchable, a position they reinforce by dismissing any brand/person that dares to question them. Let me be clear: I love doctors. I love some dermatologists. I am not a dermatologist. Never pretended to be. But any derm telling you to use this and stating that it will not damage/alter your epidermis/acid mantle is just wrong. In my humble, non-dermatologist-but-I’m-right opinion.
Works well with?
Nothing. But you’d have to use some hydrating, calming and soothing products afterwards to say sorry to your face.
What’s the website like?
What you’d expect, but it’s irrelevant really as everyone will buy this from their drug store/chemist/supermarket. www.cetaphil.com/gentle-skin-cleanser
Would I purchase/repurchase?
Similar Better products?
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
Yes To Carrots Daily Cream Facial Cleanser
Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Creamy Formula
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See my full disclaimer here:
The views expressed on this site are the author’s own and are provided for informational purposes only. The author makes no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than herself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.