Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser: Basic Face Wash for Everyone!

About a month ago, my face became really sensitive and my usual face scrub felt like sand paper on me. On top of that, I broke out really badly and it became a dilemma: treat sensitivity first or acne first? Aggressive acne medication may make my skin even more sensitive but I needed it for my face. This lead to one thing: changed my face wash to something gentler. I had one name in mind: Cetaphil!

One word to describe Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser: LOVE!

Growing up, I've always heard all wonderful stories about Cetaphil- how gentle, how good, how wonderful it is to acne-prone skin- but for some reasons I did not use it and I regret to using Cetaphil earlier. This stuff does what it advertised: a gentle skin cleanser for all skin types. Cetaphil even uses this tag line on their product: "Every Age. Every Stage. Every Day." Even the New York Times had an article about this specific cleanser and most dermatologists out there prescribe it to their patients. So as a diligent beauty blogger, it is my duty to spread the words to y'all about Cetaphil and my own experience with it (although you may have used it already!)

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (or Cetaphil GSC) is a soap-free and scent-free cleanser that is suds free. It is also non-comedogenic so it does not clog your pores. The texture is somewhat runny and watery which takes time to get used to. Developed by dermatologists, it is an everyday cleanser for everybody, especially for those who have sensitive skin. Cetaphil GSC can be used with or without water: you can simply wipe it off your face with a soft cloth when you don't have water to wash your face. It is quite suitable to be used after working out, I think. On top of that, Cetaphil GSC does not strip away moisture from your face and I feel very comfortable after cleaning my face.

The back of a Cetaphil GSC bottle
Ingredients: water, cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben.
The list of ingredient is simple, short and sweet. As the first ingredient is water, we all know this is a water base cleanser. And because of that, this cleanser needs preservatives and Galderma Laboratories use the parabens to keep Cetaphil GSC from going bad. Recently, the effect of parabens and sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates was documented and many of us choose to steer clear from them. However, arguably the parabens are the best preservatives out there and until we find any better compounds to be used as preservatives, they will stay in personal care products for quite a while.

Functions of all ingredients:
  • Water: solvent and this cleanser is a water-based cleanser (duh!)
  • Cetyl alcohol: emolient, emulsifier or thickening agent; also a surfactant in soap
  • Propylene glycol: water soluble moisturizer
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate: a surfactant used to remove oil from the skin, also causes bubbles. Cetaphil GSC, however, is not sudsing at all so I suspect the amount of SLS is not high.
  • Stearyl alcohol: also an emolient, emulsifier or thickening agent
  • Methyl, propyl, and butyl parabens: preservatives.
So my take on Cetaphil GSC is:
  • This product is for you if you want a basic cleanser that is scent free, gentle and does not clog pores. Also, it works great with acne-prone skin and does not require water to wash off.
  • This product is not for you if you want to avoid parabens and SLS. Also, it does not exfoliate dead skin cells as it is not an exfoliant.
However, if you want to make an exfoliant out of Cetaphil GSC, simply add about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder) to about a tablespoon of this cleanser and mix them together. Voila, you have yourself a gentle exfoliating face wash. The tip is courtesy of Queen Latifah's grandmother and the Queen herself has a flawless complexion. Who knows the Queen herself is a Cetaphil girl!

So ladies, the bottom line is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser works. It works for me as well as many others. When it comes to personal care products, the quest to the perfect cleanser is still out there but until then, I stick to this one. If you have already tried Cetaphil, please share your experience, I'd love to know.

Take care ladies,
Your Makeup Blogger

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  1. This is my face wash for me! I've been using this for years. I was recommended by the dermatologist when I had skin irradiation.

  2. Hi Alyssa,

    I love this face wash a lot, it's so gentle. It's nice to hear that you use it too. Skin irradiation, oh my! I hope you are fine now.

  3. Hi,
    Steps for Performing an Effective Facial Wash...Face Doctor's opinion about this Topic...

  4. Hi,

    Thank you for stopping by! If you want to send me products to review, please email me.


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