This is a great cleanser, especially if you have sensitive skin. I used it around my eyes. It's very gentle, not foamy at all, cleans well, and leaves my skin soft and moist. No scent, no greasiness, no color, nothing. It's fantastic - but let's be honest - isn't it just a tad boring?
I've used various generic versions of this, and they are just as good as the brand name. I can only use this on my oily skin when it's going through a dry, sensitive phase. I've used it when my skin was dry from benzoyl peroxide or from Accutane (it was the only cleanser that didn't burn my skin). This is also good for more sensitive winter skin. But this is not my usual oily skin cleanser (I like Neutrogena fresh, foaming cleanser or Purpose clear gel cleanser).
I just started using this about a month ago and I love it. I have very dry skin and this makes it so soft. I almost never get flakey now even though I am using Benzaclin gel for occasional acne. I also have very clear skin after using it. This has almost no smell and isn't harsh but I feel it cleanses well. I will probably never use a different cleanser on my face.
This stuff is awful. It doesn't take any makeup off my face - not even a light foundation, you can forget about it taking off any kind of mascara. It leaves a gross film on your skin even after careful rinsing. And...it really stings if you use it after a workout or when your skin is irritated. Complete crap.
So sue me, I'm one of those Cetaphil devotees! I've got rosacea and this cleanser has been a reliable choice. Sure, the packaging is ugly and the product name doesn't radiate glamorous images of the south of France but for me this has been the most fool proof product out there. For the price ($12 at Costco) why not give it a try?
EDIT 02/19/2008: Last year I switched to Spectrojel which I find a lot more soothing that Cetaphil, it also doesn't dry my skin out as much. Cetaphil is still a good product, I just find Spectrojel superior.
EDIT 01/24/2009: Spectrojel ended up not being the dream I thought it was, can't really describe it, but my skin just didn't look that great. Thus, I switched back to Cetaphil about 8 months ago, I'm sticking with it. It's a classic, perfect product.
This product is okay for me in the mornings, but I don't use it at nighttime because it does not remove make-up. Also, I sometimes find it too drying, even though dermatologists recommend it for sensitive skin. It seems to contain a lot of alcohol.
this stuff is okay there is so much better stuff out there...
I started using this cleanser as recommended by my dermatologist to calm skin after rosacea outbreak. It worked very well, and was very gentle on my skin.
It doesn't remove makeup very well, and was starting to clog my pores a bit.
I noticed more blackheads with this stuff. I had to switch to something with a bit more cleansing power. However, I will still keep some on hand.
My skin is sensitive/combination and I have tried MANY cleansers out there ranging from Neutrogena to La Mer. 9 times out of 10 those cleansers either dried my face out or clogged my pores and gave me occasional breakouts. 4 months ago my skin reached its worst stage and I had endless pimples on my cheeks. My dermatologist recommended Cetaphil and I became addicted to it eversince. It's the mildest cleanser out there, helps to maintain the skin's natural moisture and my skin never feels "stretched" afterwards. However, I cannot use it alone except the morning as it does not remove make up completely. Highly recommended!
I have a friend who is a cosmetician, and a few years ago she recommended this product (as well as the moisturizer) for my very normal skin. I like the milky feeling and the way it leaves my skin feeling soft, but I would not use it solely for my normbal-but-oily skin. For about six months, I used it in combination with aveeno foaming cleanser and a weekly scrub, and I found that to be very effective. Now, I'm using TESS(Teen Everyday Skincare System). To give my skin a break from the scrub, I use my cetaphil. Also, after I come home all sweaty from sports, i use a harsher facewash, and before I go to bed, just this gentle cleanser to increase softness, smoothness, and cleanliness. It is a good supplement face wash and for normal or dry skin, probably a good fit.