Cetaphil Daily Exfoliating Cleanser Ingredients Explained

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Published on July 07, 2022. Submitted by aileenypooh.

Overview

What it is

Exfoliator with 20 ingredients that contains AHA and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is fungal acne (malassezia) safe and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, reducing pores, scar healing and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Cetaphil is from United States. This product is used in 27 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

AHA
Vitamin E

Benefits

Hydrating
Reduces Irritation
Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores
Scar Healing
Brightening (3)

Concerns

Drying
Acne Trigger
Irritating
Rosacea (3)
Eczema (2)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Cleansing
May worsen Eczema Icon
3
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
4
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
5
Cleansing, Foaming
6
Emulsion Stabilising
7
Skin Conditioning
8
Buffering, Masking
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
9
Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance Icon
10
Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Helps reduce irritation Icon
11
Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
12
Preservative
Preservative Icon
13
14
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
15
Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
16
Buffering, Masking
17
Cleansing, Foaming
18
Buffering
19
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
20
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 20 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: 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. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Cleansing
Community Rating: Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a surfactant and cleanser. It helps gather the dirt, pollutants, and other impurities in your skin to be washed away. It also helps thicken a product and make the texture more creamy.

Being created from coconut oil means Cocamidopropyl Betaine is hydrating for the skin.

While Cocamidopropyl Betaine was believed to be an allergen, a study from 2012 disproved this. It found two compounds in unpure Cocamidopropyl Betaine to be the irritants: aminoamide and 3-dimethylaminopropylamine. High-grade and pure Cocamidopropyl Betaine did not induce allergic reactions during this study.

Learn more about Cocamidopropyl Betaine
3
What it does: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate is a surfactant and helps cleanse skin. It is created from the fatty acids of coconut oil.

Surfactants help rinse oil, dirt, and other pollutants easily from skin. It has a faint fruit-like scent.

4
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: 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
5
What it does: Cleansing, Foaming
Community Rating: Disliked

Coco-Glucoside is a surfactant, or a cleansing ingredient. It is made from glucose and coconut oil.

Surfactants help gather dirt, oil, and other pollutants from your skin to be rinsed away. Coco-Glucoside is considered gentle and non-comedogenic.

This ingredient is a known skin-irritant.

Learn more about Coco-Glucoside
6
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Disliked

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a synthetic polymer. It is used to thicken and improve the texture of products.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is also an emulsifier. Due to its properties, it can prevent water and oil ingredients from separating.

7
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract.

8
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Disliked

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

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
9
What it does: Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning

Heliotropine is a fragrance.

10
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Panthenol (also referred to as pro-vitamin B5) is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin.

lt is a humectant, meaning that it helps the skin attract and retain moisture.

Another benefit is the anti-inflammatory abilities. This means that it's great for sensitive, irritation-prone skin.

Once oxidized, panthenol converts to pantothenic acid. Panthothenic acid is found in all living cells.

Learn more about Panthenol
11
What it does: Masking, Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'. The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term.

For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, it can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum
12
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

13
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

We don't have a description for Polyquaternium-10.

14
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

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.

Both the US FDA and EU Health Committee have approved the use of sodium benzoate. In the US, levels of 0.1% (of the total product) are allowed.

Sodium benzoate works as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside of cells. It prevents the cell from fermenting a type of sugar using an enzyme called phosphofructokinase.

Sodium Benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. Foods containing sodium benzoate include soda, salad dressings, condiments, fruit juices, wines, and snack foods.

Studies for using ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate in cosmetics are lacking, especially in skincare routines with multiple steps.

We always recommend speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Benzoate
15
What it does: Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

This ingredient has many purposes in skincare: thickener, emulsifier, and exfoliator.

You'll most likely find this ingredient in cleansers where it is used to create a gel-like texture. As an emulsifier, it also prevents ingredients from separating.

There is much debate on whether this ingredient is comedogenic. The short answer - comedogenic ratings don't tell the whole story. Learn more about comegodenic ratings here.

The concensus about this ingredient causing acne seems to be divided. Research is needed to understand if this ingredient does cause acne.

Scrubs may use salt as the primary exfoliating ingredient.

Learn more about Sodium Chloride
16
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Citrate helps maintain the pH of a product. Normal pH level of skin is slightly acidic (~4.75-5.5). The acidity of our skin is maintained by our glands and skin biome. Being slightly acidic allows our skin to create an "acid mantle". This acid mantle is a thin barrier that protects our skin from bacteria and contaminants.

Sodium Citrate is a chelating agent. It neutralizes metal ions from water and prevents them from binding to other ingredients. This ensures the other ingredients will not be altered.

Learn more about Sodium Citrate
17
What it does: Cleansing, Foaming
Community Rating: Disliked

We don't have a description for Sodium Cocoamphoacetate.

18
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
19
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

One study found using Tocopheryl Acetate with Vitamin C decreased the number of sunburned cells.

Tocopheryl Acetate is commonly found in both skincare and dietary supplements.

Learn more about Tocopheryl Acetate
20
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

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.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 20 ingredients in this product ✨

20% are loved or liked
10% have mixed ratings
60% are disliked or very disliked
10% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use Cetaphil Daily Exfoliating Cleanser. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Daily Exfoliating Cleanser ->
Verified by SkinSort

We're dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date and science-backed ingredient info out there.

The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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