September 22, 2014 | 1870 users online

Cleansers - Cetaphil - Gentle Skin Cleanser

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rated 3.5(4926 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.5
  • 63% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.5
  • Price: $$

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/22/2014 8:29:00 PM More reviews by jennychurro

Age: 25-29 Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown

Wow, this cleanser is absolutely the best!

My skin is oily yet dry at the same time. I struggled with breakouts when I was a teenager and during those years, I overdid it when it came to using acne products (too much salicylic acid and benzoyl peroixde is never good for ANY skin type/condition!). As a result, my normal-oily skin became dry-oily, which is a pretty bad combination because it makes choosing the right cleanser all the more difficult. When I choose cleansers made for oily skin, the result is usually a uncomfortable tight feeling accompanied with flaky, dry skin. Cleansers made for oily skin strip my skin of all its good and bad oils, which translates into my skin going into panic mode and producing more oil to compensate for the Sahara desert that is my face. When I pick cleansers made for dry skin, these types of cleansers tend to be too heavy on the mositurizing ingredients and I get clogged pores, dull skin, and breakouts. At one point, I wanted to give up all together on finding the "perfect" cleanser. Maybe I was meant to live in skincare limbo with no cleanser at all.

After being frustrated with cleansers that never lived up to their claims, I decided to do an overhaul to my whole skincare approach. I decided to ignore cleansers that claimed to banish breakouts, unclog pores, and give me skin that I had before puberty because no product will ever really give me such results. Products that make these claims usually have harsh ingredients in them that seems to do more harm than good. I went back to basics. I wanted to use something that was gentle on the skin without any bells or whistles. I didn't need mircobeads, fancy fragrances, or top-of-the-line technology (what's the point? It's all going down the drain in two minutes anyways!) in my facial cleanser. All I wanted was something that will clean my skin without stripping it of all its life. Here is where Cetaphil comes in.

When I first pumped this cleanser onto my hands, there was no surprise because I knew the texture was going to be similar to a lotion based on reviews on MUA. The consistency is like a gel and the color is an semi-opaque/transparent white. I usually use two pumps to make sure I have enough product to spread onto my face. When I applied the cleanser onto my face, I worked it into my skin as with any other cleanser. Cetaphil does not foam up at all, and for me, this took some getting used to because evey facial cleanser that I have used in the past foamed up. For me, foaming action equates to clean, so I had to adjust my thinking and accept that you CAN clean your face without the help of foam. After rinsing and towel drying my face, I noticed my skin did indeed feel softer. My skin did not have any feeling of tightness and yes, it felt clean despite the lack of bubbles! My skin was recovering from irritation and under-skin clogged pores because I had foolishy experimented with harsher cleansers thinking my skin needed to be blasted with harsh chemicals to be clean. After using Cetaphil for a few days, I noticed there was a reduction in the amount of clogged pores on my face and the constant redness I had on my cheeks began to subside. I was pleasantly surprised to find that as the days went by, my skin was looking better and better. My skin texture started to smooth out and my skin tone began to look more even. I realized that for skin to be healthy, all you need is a basic, gentle cleanser with none of the frills. I never had these results from fancier cleansers, and I now consider myself a Cetaphil fan! I definitely see why this is a favorite for so many people!

To be honest, this is my second try with Cetaphil. I used this for the first time a few years back, but I decided to use other cleansers because I read in reviews and comments that Cetaphil is nothing but a concoction of bad ingredients that don't really benefit the skin. Now, I can honestly say that I beg to differ. I tried other cleansers with supposed "better" ingredients, but that stuff just ended up irritating my skin. Cetaphil may have parabens, unpronounceable ingredients and whatnot, but I can care less as long as it delivers on performance. It is gentle, effective, and easily accessible. For these reasons, I will be a Cetaphil user for the forseeable future!

By the way, I have used CerVe Hydrating cleanser and I find that Cetaphil works better for me. In terms of texture, CeraVe is thicker and more opaque. It's a bit more difficult to spread on your face than Cetaphil, and I usually use about 3 pumps to make sure I have enough to work onto my face. I tried CeraVe because I liked that it had ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid which are good for skin. However, I developed a bad reaction to CeraVe over time, so I had to stop using it. CerVe is more hydrating than Cetaphil, but it was a bit too moisturizing for my oily skin. Cetaphil was perfect because it had just the right amount of moisture without making my skin feel heavy and clogging my pores. Hooray for Cetaphil!

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rated 1 of 5 on 9/17/2014 4:30:00 AM More reviews by e1e

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Black

It is a popular cleanser recommended by doctors, but this stuff burns my skin!

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rated 4 of 5 on 9/17/2014 4:15:00 AM More reviews by janes05

Age: 19-24 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I LOVE this cleanser! I have extremely sensitive acne prone skin but this does not irritate it at all. I had no blemishes for 6 months straight, went away for the weekend without it and came back with a face full of pimples! Only downside is the packaging, should be available in a tube for travelling.

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rated 2 of 5 on 9/17/2014 3:10:00 AM More reviews by fsmeath

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm Hair: Other, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Other

My skin that sensitive to cleansers, yet if I leave this in for more than a second or two, it starts to burn. Very odd.

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rated 3 of 5 on 9/8/2014 9:41:00 AM More reviews by formika8476

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

Pretty good as a morning or post-workout cleanser, when you're not wearing makeup but need a bit more than water. It is fairly gentle--I have extremely sensitive, clog-prone skin and I haven't suffered any irritation from this in the 20-odd years I've used this, off and on.

I've noticed this does seem to work best on dry skin. I'm not a wipe-off kind of girl, but rinsing seems to work fine. It does leave behind a film so your skin doesn't feel crispy afterwards, but I haven't had clogging issues from this except when I tried to wash off make up with it. As others have noted, it is not a make-up remover. I usually massage this into a dry face (and sometimes neck and chest) before I get in the shower. Bottom line, it's something I always seem to have around, but I wouldn't cry if it were discontinued.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/30/2014 9:21:00 AM More reviews by mommadukes

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I have been using Cetaphil and Cetaphil only for 20 years. It is gentle on the skin and does not leave a film. Your skin just feels clean. Like it is supposed to. I also mix this with baking soda once a week for a cheap scrub. Would never be without this product.

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rated 2 of 5 on 8/27/2014 8:25:00 AM More reviews by kcam

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

This used to be my go to cleanser! It didn't break me out or make me oily, but it did make my skin feel a little dry sometimes but I overlooked it since I got more benefits out of it. However, I read an article about how bad this cleanser really is for your skin since it is made up of all parabens--currently looking for a new everyday cleanser that is paraben free.

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rated 4 of 5 on 8/26/2014 8:25:00 PM More reviews by huttoncg

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

I've got pretty severe acne so the big benefit to this product is that it doesn't irritate my skin. It doesn't remove makeup well though, so I end up washing my face 2-3 times and still feel like I've still got makeup on.

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rated 4 of 5 on 8/23/2014 2:55:00 AM More reviews by Yvetteski

Age: Unknown Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I have been using this since the 1970s! My dermo recommended this as a moisturizer for my eczema that wouldn't exacerbate acne or irritate my super sensitive skin. (I outgrew my eczema but have had a lifelong struggle with acne and reactive, allergenic skin. So unfair to have zits at 50 esp when insurance refuses to cover retinoids but will pay for Solodyn and other antibiotics. Rant over. Cetaphil will not remove your makeup. It is a basic, no frills, cleanser I have used on infants and as a sponge bath aid for in-home hospice care (sorry for that downer) and ages in between. I apply to dry skin, add water and massage gently. It rinsed cleanly or you can take it off with a damp washcloth or tissue. I rarely use the cleanser as a moisturizer now that they have other products but I should experiment. It now comes in the huge 2-pack at Costco. I constantly try new products, but come back to trusty Cetaphil.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/17/2014 7:58:00 PM More reviews by ding6556

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I love this stuff. I have got very acne prone skin and found this to be absolutly perfect withouir irritations. The price is a bit expensive but it lasts for ages! I like to some Bee Polish of iherb (exfoliant) it makes my skin so polished and scrubs away the dead skin without irritation. Love this. definatly my Holy Grail of clensers and will use it for years to come!

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