Cetaphil Cleanser: Why is it Recommended by Many Dermatologists?

Medically reviewed by Sue Kua, MD · Dermatology

Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Oct 10, 2022

    Cetaphil Cleanser: Why is it Recommended by Many Dermatologists?

    Cetaphil cleanser is a line of skin care products under Galderma Laboratories, which is based in Canada. Galderma products boast to always meet medical and dermatological standards. To prove this point, many dermatologists recommend Cetaphil Cleanser for the face and body.

    Cetaphil Cleanser usually comes in a simple white plastic container with a blue cap. However, larger volumes (500 ml and up) come in a convenient pump bottle.

    The cleanser is a milky substance with a slightly cloudy or translucent color. Because the product is gentle, there is only a little foaming during use. Galaderma also has Cetaphil Cleansers for different skin types (dry, oily, combination, etc.) and skin conditions (prone to redness, acne, etc.) They also have a cleanser that you can use for both your face and body (Gentle Skin Cleanser)

    Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Cleansers do not have parabens¹. However, the Gentle Skin Cleanser has the following ingredients: purified water, cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, and ²parabens.

    What are the Uses of Cetaphil Face Wash?

    Cetaphil is developed for people who have oily and/or sensitive types of skin. It helps remove oil, dirt, and makeup from the face and skin without causing it to dry.

    Below are the roles played by the main ingredients in a Cetaphil Cleanser for face and body:

    Cetyl alcohol

    As an emollient, this ingredient helps smooth and soften skin. It is a non-ionic surfactant, emulsifier, and emollient used in many cosmetics which are responsible for getting rid of oil and dirt. In the US, this substance has been approved safe by the FDA.

    Propylene glycol

    It is a substance that reduces water evaporation on the surface, can absorb moisture in the air, and supply it to the skin to help in hydration. Propylene glycol also helps hydrate and increases moisture in the skin’s cellular texture and reduces the amount of skin flaking.

    Sodium lauryl sulfate

    This ingredient helps the cleanser slide through the skin surface gently and reduce surface tension. Sodium lauryl sulfate is also listed in the top 10 ingredients that should be included in facial cleansers.

    Stearyl alcohol

    An emulsifier that smooths and softens the skin, and preserves additives in compounds so they don’t break down.


    Preservatives, which can release some essential nutrients to the skin.

    Other Uses

    Cetaphil Cleanser can also be used for:

    • Shaving. It can be a substitute for shaving cream.
    • Dry baths for postpartum women, postoperative patients, and patients who need to avoid colds.
    • Daily bathing for babies and young children. It is especially effective for children with heat rash, diaper rash, and itchy skin
    • Cleansing the baby’s mouth after feeding.

    Who Can Use Cetaphil Cleanser for Face and Body?

    Cetaphil Cleanser is a gentle, low-irritant product, suitable for people with acne-prone skin, eczema, itching, dry skin, sensitive skin, redness, psoriasis, sunburn, contact dermatitis, aging skin, and melasma.

    It is also suitable for easing skin irritation after using benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, and adapalene.

    How to Use Cetaphil Cleanser for Face and Body

    You can use this cleanser for your face and body, once or twice a day. Per the manufacturer’s instructions, you can either wash with or without water:

    Wash With Water

    • First, wet your face with water.
    • Pour cleanser into the palm of your hand, add a little water, and gently rub your hands to create foam.
    • Then, apply it evenly to your face. Gently massage your skin in a circular motion.
    • Finally, wash your face with clean water and gently pat dry with a towel.

    Dry Wash

    • Pour some cleanser into the palm of your hand. Apply evenly to your face.
    • Massage gently using circular motions.
    • After that, you just need to use a soft towel or paper towel to wipe your face, no need to rinse with water
    • However, if you feel uncomfortable, you can use water to wash it again

    Dry usage is suitable for those who travel far or in cold weather.

    Pros and Cons


    Some of the things that make Cetaphil Cleanser highly recommended by dermatologists are:

    • It is soap-free and fragrance-free
    • It does not cause dryness and irritation to the face, hands, or body.
    • The cleanser helps the skin retain moisture.
    • It does not clog pores and might even aid in the treatment of acne.
    • Cetaphil has a pH of 5.5, which is suitable for the skin to maintain its natural barrier.


    This product also contains parabens. If you are allergic to parabens, do not use Cetaphil cleanser.

    Where to Buy Cetaphil Cleanser

    To buy this dermatologist-recommended cleanser, you can go to drugstores, clinics, or supermarkets. In addition, you can also order online through e-commerce sites. Of course, be sure to check the product’s authenticity.

    If there are any side effects during use, please quickly consult a reputable medical facility.

    Learn more about Skincare and Cleansing here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Sue Kua, MD


    Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Oct 10, 2022


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