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Updated on June 07, 2024

Overview

What they are

These products are both reef safe face cleansers. They have a total of 2 ingredients in common

Suited For

They're both likely to be good for dry skin, brightening skin and reducing pores

Free From

They both do not contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot a product that needs an update? Let us know.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser US
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Face Cleanser
American Brand United States
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
Face Cleanser
Canadian Brand Canada

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and see relevant ingredients
ph level
6

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients Side-by-side

found in both products
Gentle Skin Cleanser
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Cetearyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1 Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon 3 Concerns

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

2 Com. / 1 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Panthenol Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Panthenol is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin. It can be found naturally in our skin and hair.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Pantolactone Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Pantolactone is a synthetically created humectant.

Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Cleansing
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is a natural ingredient from the fatty acids of coconut oil. It is a surfactant and helps with cleansing the skin.

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Benzoate Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Disliked Full details ->
Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

Disliked Full details ->
Squalane Cleanser
Squalane Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Coco-Caprylate/Caprate is created from fatty coconut alcohol, caprylic acid, and capric acid.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Sucrose Stearate Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0

Sucrose Stearate is derived from stearic acid and sucrose (sugar). It is an emollient and emulsifier.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Ethyl Macadamiate Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Ethyl Macadamiate isn't fungal acne safe.

Disliked Full details ->
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Masking, Skin Conditioning

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Sucrose Laurate Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sucrose Laurate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate Humectant

We don't have a description for Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate.

Unknown Full details ->
Sucrose Dilaurate Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sucrose Dilaurate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
Sucrose Trilaurate Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sucrose Trilaurate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 Emulsion Stabilising

Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 is a texture enhancer and pH adjuster.

Disliked Full details ->
Isoceteth-20 Emulsifying
May cause irritation Icon
May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Isoceteth-20 comes from Isocetyl Alcohol. It is an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Polyacrylate Absorbent, Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising

Sodium Polyacrylate is the sodium salt of polyacrylic acid.

Tocopherol Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 4 Benefits May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

0-3 Com. / 0-3 Irr.
Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone Skin Conditioning

Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone is a synthetically created molecule made to mimic ginger extract.

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is used to help stabilize a product.

Malic Acid Buffering
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Malic Acid is an AHA derived from unripe fruit. The word "Malic" comes from the word "Malum". In Latin, "Malum" means apple.

Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

Chlorphenesin Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Chlorphenesin is a synthetic preservative. It helps protect a product against bacteria in order to extend shelf life. In most cases, Chlorphenesin is paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol.

Disliked Full details ->

Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

Ingredients higher up in an ingredient list are typically present in a larger amount.

Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin

Ingredient Ratings

Here's what our community thinks of the ingredients in these two products.

Gentle Skin Cleanser
5
5
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated
Squalane Cleanser
6
4
6
4
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

When to use

2,036 Routines
50% use in am
50% use in pm
99% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->
1,480 Routines
37% use in am
63% use in pm
96% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->

Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser 10 ingredients

3.6 /5
from 1 rating
No Scent (3) Great Value (3) Broke Me Out (2)
starstellastar_407's avatar

starstellastar_407

6 months ago Β· Combination Skin
Review

This is HORRIBLE, soooo bad. Broke me out so bad. It is mega comedogenic. The ingredients are literally known to cause acne.

EmilySimons's avatar

EmilySimons

2 months ago Β· Sensitive Skin
Review

Perfect for my slightly dry sensitive skin in the mornings when I my face is not overly dirty

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser 20 ingredients

4.4 /5
from 19 ratings
No Scent (4) Works Well (4) Great Value (3)
gemmajaws's avatar

gemmajaws

2 years ago Β· Dry Skin
Review

Meh
It looks, smells, and feels like you are spreading Elmer’s glue all over your face although it does seem to work as a gentle cleanser. ...

Meh
It looks, smells, and feels like you are spreading Elmer’s glue all over your face although it does seem to work as a gentle cleanser. Packaging is good, simplicity of ingredients is nice, as is the price. I've not repurchased it though.

CustardBunny's avatar

CustardBunny

10 months ago Β· Sensitive Skin
Review

Godsend for my acne
I previously had a different routine and didnt expect much from this brand as its cheap, but oh my god my acne cleared so much...

Godsend for my acne
I previously had a different routine and didnt expect much from this brand as its cheap, but oh my god my acne cleared so much from just a month of this set. Amazing.