Facts to consider, please:
FROM THE ESTHETICIAN'S PERSPECTIVE:
Many of our clients are surprised when they find out that we don’t love Cetaphil. I mean, it can’t be all bad if your dermatologist recommended it, right?
Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients in the cleanser that claims to be “gentle and non-irritating.”
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser:
So, besides WATER and THREE parabens to destroy bacteria that could grow IN THE PRODUCT (not for any bacteria on your skin) and keep it shelf stable, what's left? Some humectants and a wax for texture. The worst ingredient by far is
the sodium lauryl sulfate. SLS is a surfactant, meaning it releases oil and dirt from the skin and creates that foamy texture we love so much. The problem is that SLS can be stripping for dry skins(which may explain the inclusion of cetyl and stearyl alcohol to neutralize the stripping effects), and it can also be an irritant. Why would you include this in a product that claims to be gentle?
The SLS detergent alone is over-cleansing, but the conditioner added (which is, in fact, the first ingredient after water) leaves a film, so that on one hand the detergent can irritate, while on the other the conditioner renders the wash strangely ineffective.
Every skin needs some cleansing, even the driest, but a harsh detergent with a film-creating emollient isn't the answer.
The truth about Cetaphil is that dermatologists recommend it for two reasons. The first reason is that it doesn’t have any of the obvious irritants in it like synthetic fragrances or dyes. But the primary reason your derm may have told you to use Cetaphil is that the makers of Cetaphil ship thousands of samples to dermatologists across the land, making that recommendation easy. MDs have a big Pharma love affair with the manufacturer, Galderma, the offspring of Nestlé and L’Oréal, which also makes acne drugs like Differin!
Dermatologists know about disorders of the skin NOT about products (generally speaking of course - there could possibly be a few exceptions - I've never met any exceptions, however), and they often have neither the time or the desire to shop the shelves to figure out what cleanser is best for every skin type and concern you may have. Also, most dermatologists (especially male derms) don’t consider a cleanser’s ability to remove makeup in their recommendation.
The problem with Cetaphil from an Esthetician's point of view: we take issue with any line claiming to be gentle while using the harshest surfactant out there
[SLS]. Additionally, it does a terrible job of removing makeup If you are curious about what skin cleanser you should be using, please contact me - your State Licensed Esthetician/Cosmetologist (and Massage Therapist) with OVER 30-years in this field.