Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser Ingredients Explained

Published on October 05, 2020. Submitted by Deanna.1742.

Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 12 ingredients that contains Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for dry skin, brightening skin and sensitive skin

Free From

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

Fun facts

Cetaphil is from United States. This product is used in 156 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.

Ingredient List (12)

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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

Vitamin E

Benefits

Hydrating (2)
Redness Reducing
Reduces Irritation (2)
Brightening (2)

Concerns

Eczema

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, Foaming
4
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
5
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
6
Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Helps reduce irritation Icon
7
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
8
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
9
Emulsifying
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
10
11
Preservative
Preservative Icon
12
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

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 12 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, 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
4
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Betaine is a common humectant (a substance that promotes retention of moisture). It's known to be gentle on the skin and can help balance hydration.

Betaine is best for improving hydration and soothing irritated skin. Studies show betaine may help with uneven skin tones.

Betaine is naturally created in the skin and body. The form found within cosmetic products can be either plant-dervied or synthetic.

Learn more about Betaine
5
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
6
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
7
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
8
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
9
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, it helps collect dirt and oils for washing. Emulsifiers prevent oils and water from separating.

Polysorbate 20 also adds scent to a product. Since it is made using sorbitol, it has a sweet scent. Sorbitol can also be found in fruits such as apples and peaches.

The lauric acid used to create Polysorbate 20 is often derived from coconuts.

Polysorbate 20 may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polysorbate 20
10
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

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

11
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.

12
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
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 12 ingredients in this product ✨

42% are loved or liked
0% have mixed ratings
58% are disliked or very disliked
0% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use Cetaphil Gentle Foaming 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 Gentle Foaming 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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Top Reviews

View all 4
cgi's Avatar'
Jan 27, 2024

It’s okay
This cleanser isn’t too bad, it’s very gentle. But don’t leave it on for too long if you’re one of those people who like letting your cleansers sit on your face to let it work, because it actually starts tingling and burning...

It’s okay
This cleanser isn’t too bad, it’s very gentle. But don’t leave it on for too long if you’re one of those people who like letting your cleansers sit on your face to let it work, because it actually starts tingling and burning for some reason and leave your skin red and feeling irritated. I do love the foam that comes right out of the bottle, it’s very soft and light-weight and is very easy to wash off. It also helped reduce my acne by just a little bit. I switched from this cleanser to the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (the big bottle made for your face & body) and I have a much better experience. It’s a simple cleanser and it’s very easy to use. There’s nothing really special about this cleanser, I think it’s an okay option for those who are just starting to get into skincare.

Latest Reviews

View all 4
ZephyrRose_888's Avatar'
Dec 5, 2022

drying
this stuff makes me feel like my face has never touched moisturizer in years. dryer than the sahara desert. if it actually gets my skin clean i have no idea, but if it does it is surely not worth the tightness and dryness

drying
this stuff makes me feel like my face has never touched moisturizer in years. dryer than the sahara desert. if it actually gets my skin clean i have no idea, but if it does it is surely not worth the tightness and dryness

Read more reviews ->

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