Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser


5058 reviews

63% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.6

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.6

Price: $$


Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben

on 5/4/2014 3:01:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I had heard a lot about Cetaphil gentle cleanser and thought I'd give it a try since my usual facial cleanser was rather low. Never again will I purchase this product or any product without researching it beforehand!

I used it (with water) the evening I bought it and moisturized with my usual night cream and got ready for bed. I woke up the next morning with my face feeling dry and scratchy. I didn't think too much of it since the weather has been a bit dry lately, so I continued with my morning routine and hopped in the shower. I used the Cetaphil cleanser again and applied my day time moisturizer. I was about to apply my makeup when I noticed my face felt dry and scratchy, again!
The only way I can accurately describe the sensation is like this: My face felt like paper.
Not just dry on the outside, but dry on the inside, like the skin on my face was completely dehydrated. My skin started to flake and peel, which is NOT normal for me since I use an AHA treatment with ceramides for exfoliation at night and a great hydrating lotion with SPF 50 during the day. I haven't had dry, patchy, flaky skin for about a year and a half until now!

I bought this cleanser because it is marketed as a gentle cleanser that is good for all skin types. I was NOT expecting it to do as much damage as it did! It honestly feels like the moisture barrier of my skin was stripped away along with all the moisture throughout. Upon further reading (and a good look at the ingredients list on the bottle) I learned that there is almost NOTHING beneficial to skin contained in this cleanser...

Ingredients: Water, cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben.

Cetyl alcohol is used as an emollient, emulsifier of thickening agent. It's also used to make products opaque, most often in shampoos. Nothing beneficial for skin here...

Propylene glycol Is a stabilizer, emulsifier. Again, nothing beneficial for skin here either.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is used in many cleansers for it's ability to thicken and form a lather. Interestingly, it has also been shown to cause sensitivity to the face with prolonged or constant exposure, so you really want to rinse thoroughly after washing. Once again, nothing too beneficial for the skin...

Stearyl alcohol serves the same purpose as Cetyl alcohol, it is used as a thickener, emollient and emulsifier. Nothing beneficial for the skin.

Methylparaben is a natural paraben found primarily in blueberries and is an anti fungal agent. Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin may react with UVB, leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage. While it does have anti- microbial properties, it could be just as harmful.

Propylparaben is naturally found in some plants and insects, but is synthetically produced for use in cosmetics. It is used as a preservative in many water based cosmetics such as creams, lotions, shampoos and bath products. Nothing beneficial for the skin here.

Butylparaben is another antimicrobial and antifungal agent and is also used as a preservative. Butylparaben has been shown to cross body barriers and enter the body through the skin epithelium. Another ingredient that is possibly beneficial, but it does enter your body through the skin.

I honestly have no idea why this is such a popular product... It contains very few beneficial active ingredients (only 2) and even then there are better options out there. If I could give this product a lower rating I would. Do yourself a favor and look for a better facial cleanser, even if this works well for you. It's composed primarily of fillers and preservatives... There are much better choices out there for the same cost and a little less.

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 5/4/2014 11:18:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I love this stuff. Takes all my make up off better than any other cleanser, not even the strongest make up remover. And it's gentle. I never realized it could take make up off so flawlessly with just the product, water, and a tissue. Only thing I don't like it, come on Cetaphil, stop testing on animals. As soon as I find a similar product that doesn't test on animals, I will not buy again. But for now, gosh darn cetaphil is just what I need.

on 5/2/2014 1:03:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I add tea tree oil to this to help combat blemishes. This is my favourite cleanser, and I have tried Shu Uemura, Aesop, etc.

The packaging is good, but not pretty.

on 5/1/2014 3:30:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

one thing to know is that this product is definitely for dry skin. it works wonderfully when my skin was really dry in the winter, its very gentle and just for people who want a basic skin care routine. it does tend to leave a little bit of an "oily" feeling on the skin during the summer when my skin is oily/combo. i recommend using like a facial sponge or brush when cleansing to get a little more out of the product because it doesnt really feel like anything when you just use your hands wight his product. But overall i think you just need to know what this product is good for and when and how to use it for maximum benefits.

on 4/29/2014 10:39:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Good price but horrible product.
I tried applying this dry and I tried with wet hands/ dry face and vice versa but nothing seemed to work. This left a horrible film on my face that required a foaming cleanser to remove. Even after drying my face it felt like there was a layer of grease on there. I persisted for a few days and had a break out of small headless pimples, and threw it in the bin.
I tried this as it was meant to be soothing for sensitive skin but it did nothing but aggregate my skin. The only good thing about this was the price and availability: cheap and available at the chemist.

on 4/21/2014 3:41:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

My sister bought this for me as I am a teenager and, even though I don't have acne, I think it's way better to prevent any imprefections. I had read tons of good reviews about it, not only here, but also on Amazon and on a lot of beauty blogs.
My question is: why? This product did nothing for me. It has like eight ingredients, and three of them are parabens. No natural ingredients whatsoever, and has a weird smell. The bottle is cheap and a lot of product comes out, so you have to be really careful when you use it.
I didn't notice any improvement on my skin, it was just like washing my face with water.
Obviously, an ineffective product. I'm so glad it was given to me instead of buying it myself lol.

on 4/21/2014 12:26:00 AM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Medium Brown, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Great, gentle cleanser for the skin! I use this on my face and body, and it cleanses and softens without leaving an annoying scent or residue. Since it's gentle, you could use this cleanser on a baby and have no problem. I've been using it for as long as I can remember!

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

if u have acne give this a try!! never in a million years i thought this would clear up my acne!! hesitated at first, but after using it for a while, i realized it cleared up my acne!! but i do get little bumps here and there sometimes..but my face is so much clearer. Thank god for this..been using almost everything. trust me. I'm a teen and this thing is a life saver. What i do, and works best for me is i wash my face with it for about 10 secs, rinse, pat dry and then apply a thin layer of it again. hope this helps

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I'm kind of on the fence about this one...
I use this in the morning only and it keeps skin less oily but can also cause it to be dry!

- you get heaps of product in the bottle
- feel natural and nice for my skin
- has cleared SOME of my acne

- bulky, ugly packaging!
- can cause me to have dry skin so must also moisturise after I use it!

I don't recommend this to people with dry skin or acne skin! But would recommend to very oily(it will keep you matte!!) , and normal skin

on 4/15/2014 3:48:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Brown

This one is an easy one.

Product: SUCKS!!! Its a bottle filled up with chemicals and more chemicals

Expensive: HELL YEEESSS!!! You are literally paying for a liquid one dollar hand soap but buying it for $11.00 just because it says its for your face...

Packaging: I would say thats the only good thing. Pumps are always nice and sanitary

Smell: Has no smell really...

Buy a one dollar Castile soap thats gonna work just as fine if not even better!

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