Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Ingredients Explained

Region: US

There is an older formulation of this product:

Last updated on January 06, 2024. Submitted by bradley_gilbert.

Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 10 ingredients that contains niacinamide

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores and dark spots

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 1527 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 (10)

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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

Niacinamide

Benefits

Hydrating
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing
Reduces Irritation
Reduces Large Pores
Dark Spots
Acne Fighting
Brightening (2)

Concerns

May Worsen Oily Skin
Acne Trigger

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
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
3
Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1
Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
4
Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Helps reduce irritation Icon
5
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
6
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
7
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
8
Cleansing
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
9
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
10
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 10 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: 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
3
What it does: Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
Community Rating: Very Disliked

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.

Cetearyl alcohol is an emollient. Emollients help soothe and hydrate the skin by trapping moisture.

Studies show Cetearyl alcohol is non-toxic and non-irritating. The FDA allows products labeled "alcohol-free" to have fatty alcohols.

This ingredient is usually derived from plant oils such as palm, vegetable, or coconut oils. There is debate on whether this ingredient will cause acne.

Due to the fatty acid base, this ingredient may not be Malassezia folliculitis safe.

Learn more about Cetearyl Alcohol
4
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
5
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: Loved

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

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
6
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Pantolactone is a synthetically created humectant.

As a humectant, Pantolactone helps draw moisture to the skin. It can help add hydration to your skin.

7
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
8
What it does: Cleansing
Community Rating: Disliked

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

By binding to water and oil, it helps gently clean skin. It also helps the spreadability of the product.

Sodium cocoyl isethionate is also added to help create foam without drying the skin. However, this is depending on the amount of Sodium cocoyl isethionate.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
9
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
10
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 10 ingredients in this product ✨

40% are loved or liked
10% have mixed ratings
50% 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 Skin Cleanser US. 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 Skin 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 20
starstellastar_407's Avatar'
Jan 10, 2024

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

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

Drying
Broke Me Out
Doesn't Work
Region: US

Latest Reviews

View all 20
ksjsj's Avatar'
Jan 8, 2024

This doesn't irritate my skin like most cleansers do, but it's still just slightly stripping. It has a lotion like texture making it a bit unpleasant to apply. Overall, okay, but there are alternatives that are much better.

This doesn't irritate my skin like most cleansers do, but it's still just slightly stripping. It has a lotion like texture making it a bit unpleasant to apply. Overall, okay, but there are alternatives that are much better.

Great Value
Drying
Light
No Scent
Works Well
Region: US
Read more reviews ->

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