What is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser?
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a mild, soap-free face and body cleanser that is said to hydrate and soothe the skin as it cleans. This cleanser is suitable for all skin types, but is claimed to be ideal for those with dry, sensitive skin. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is fragrance free and non-comedogenic (it won’t clog pores).
What are the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ingredients?
The Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser formula is rather simple, containing only eight ingredients. After water, the highest concentration ingredient is cetyl alcohol (fatty alcohol used as an emollient, emulsifier, and thickener), followed by propylene glycol (humectant). Another type of fatty alcohol in this cleanser is stearyl alcohol, which can moisturize the skin and make it feel softer.
The key cleansing agent in the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is strange since SLS is one of the most sensitizing cleansing agents used in skin care products. In fact, SLS is used in scientific studies when the researchers want to establish whether or not an ingredient is problematic for skin. So we have to wonder: why would this ingredient be included in a cleanser that is meant for sensitive skin?
Despite its potential to cause skin irritation and sensitivity, sodium lauryl sulfate functions to clean the skin because it is a surfactant. A surfactant molecule contains one end that is hydrophilic (attracted to water) and one end that is lipophilic (attracted to oil). This allows surfactants to attract and suspends oils, dirt, and other impurities that have accumulated on the skin and wash them away.
Another problem with the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser formula is that it contains three types of parabens: methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Parabens are preservatives used to extend the shelf life of a product by preventing microbial contamination. Over the past 10 years, parabens have become criticized for use in cosmetics due to research that has revealed their potential relation to health concerns. However, the research on parabens is conflicting and polarizing.
For instance, some research indicates that parabens are safe as used in cosmetics and preferred since they are gentle, non-sensitizing, and highly effective. Furthermore, these studies have demonstrated that parabens did not have any effect when compared to natural hormones in the body. Other research has concluded that parabens are problematic. The concern started when a 2004 study linked parabens in deodorant to breast cancer. This link seemed plausible since parabens can mimic human estrogen and it is known that high estrogen levels stimulate the growth of cancer cells. However, the study has since been discredited and the American Cancer Society has concluded that there is insufficient scientific evidence of parabens increasing breast cancer risk.
How to use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
You can use the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser with or without water. The brand recommends following these steps to use the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser:
- Directions for use without water: Apply a liberal amount of cleanser to the skin and rub gently. Remove excess with a soft cloth, leaving a thin film on the skin.
- Directions for use with water: Apply cleanser to the skin and rub gently. Rinse.
Where is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser sold?
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is not sold on the brand’s website, but you can check their website for online sellers and physical locations that sell Cetaphil products. For example, you can buy this Cetaphil cleanser online from Amazon or at stores like Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Costco, and many more.
What is the Cetaphil return policy?
Since Cetaphil does not sell their products on their website, you will have to refer to the return policy of the retailer where you purchased your Cetaphil product.
Is Cetaphil cruelty free?
Cetaphil is not cruelty free because Cetaphil products are sold in China where animal testing is mandatory for all imported cosmetics.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser reviews
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser reviews on the brand’s website are overall positive, with the product receiving an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars after nearly 800 customer reviews. Consumers seem to be quite satisfied with the cost and the effects of this facial cleanser. One very positive review says, “This cleanser is a must have item in my bathroom. I recently had an allergic reaction to make up and this cleanser was the only thing I could use without stinging or burning. It’s very gentle and doesn’t dry skin out at all.”
However, there are quite a few negative Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser reviews. One issue for customers was that the cleanser doesn’t foam. Though it may not seem like an important concern, many consumers simply don’t trust a cleanser that doesn’t have strong foaming action. Many people have become very accustomed to the lather and foam associated with cleansing – so a product that doesn’t produce such lather simply feels ineffective.
Another reason for negative Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser reviews seems to be the watery consistency. It simply doesn’t feel pleasant to some individuals, and therefore doesn’t create a feeling that they’re really taking care of the skin. For example, one long term customer says, “I have been using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for over 35 years. It is NOT the same formula that I remember. The viscosity is not what it used to be. This once creamy and effective product has disappeared only to be replaced by a very watery substance that falls through my fingers.”
For some, the cleanser just didn’t seem to make a difference. These Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser reviews tend to express frustration with inability to find skin care products that are gentle enough for sensitive skin. Finally, there are some consumers that are concerned about the parabens in Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.
What are some alternatives to Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser?
Overall, we do not recommend using the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, mostly because of the presence of the known irritant sodium lauryl sulfate in the formulation. In addition, you may be concerned about the presence of parabens in this Cetaphil cleanser. Whatever your reason for looking for an alternative to Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, we’d like to recommend Formulyst cleansers.
Formulyst is a cruelty free skin care brand that currently offers three different face cleansers. First is the Creamy Cleansing Foam. Formulated using a higher concentration of mineral-rich actives for their mildness, the Creamy Cleansing Foam produces an airy, slightly creamy foam that gently eliminates surface dirt, purifies pores, and removes makeup without stripping your skin of its essential natural oils.
Next is Formulyst’s Clarifying AHA Cleanser, which is formulated to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin while removing dirt and makeup. It contains glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). One of the main benefits of glycolic acid is its ability to exfoliate the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, more radiant skin. Glycolic acid can also help refine pores, control excess oil, and smooth away any surface-level roughness.
The final cleanser Formulyst offers is the Gentle Foaming Cleanser. This ultra-gentle, anti-aging cleanser removes excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells, and other impurities while balancing and protecting the skin’s natural pH. The formula also contains rosehip seed oil, which provides numerous benefits to the skin. For example, rosehip seed oil is a rich source of beta carotene and all-trans retinoic acid, which both promote regeneration in the outer layers of the skin. This improves skin texture and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. In addition, rosehip seed oil has a high content of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is known to improve the skin’s barrier function and calm inflammation.