Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser User Reviews

This paper is confirming the idea that a good, gentle cleanser can become an important part of a rosacea skin care regime.

According to the study, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is both well tolerated by the rosacea sufferers tested, and can also improve rosacea symptoms.

I really like this cleanser and have used it for several years now. It is mild and even though it doesn’t lather it seems to cleanse well enough for my needs. Just use plenty of water and a good pump of the cleanser and then it seems to work quite well.


The effect of Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser on the skin barrier of patients with rosacea.

Cutis 2006 Apr; 77(4 Suppl):27-33, Draelos ZD., Dermatology Consulting Services, High Point, North Carolina, USA.

A good skin care regimen is a critical part of rosacea treatment; however, care must be taken to choose nonirritating products because individuals with rosacea tend to have sensitive skin, and irritants can trigger a worsening of symptoms.

This study examines the use of Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (a nonalkaline nonirritating cleanser) in patients with rosacea. To eliminate the confounding effects of various treatments, the cleanser was studied for a 2-week period in the absence of rosacea therapy following a 2-week washout period in patients with mild to moderate rosacea.

During the washout period, patients were asked to cleanse twice daily with Dove Sensitive Skin Bar. During the 2-week study period, patients were monitored for skin barrier function through transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and corneometry; patients also were monitored for rosacea severity. Thirty patients were enrolled. No significant increase in TEWL was demonstrated at any point during the study, indicating that the gentle skin cleanser did not damage the skin barrier. Additionally, the cleanser was shown to maintain skin hydration.

Furthermore, a post hoc statistical analysis suggests there was a significant reduction (P<.05) in investigator-assessed rosacea severity on the cheeks, forehead, and nose at the end of week 1 and on the cheeks, forehead, and chin at the end of week 2 compared with the end of the washout period (after 2 weeks of cleansing with Dove Sensitive Skin Bar).

The mild nonirritating action of the gentle skin cleanser was supported by the lack of adverse events and the tolerability shown in the study. There were no increases in erythema, scaling, dryness, stinging, burning, or lack of smoothness in the skin during the 2-week study period, despite the fact that patients were not being treated for their rosacea during the study.

These results indicate that Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser may be a good choice for the cleansing part of a total rosacea skin care regimen.

Gentle Skin Cleanser Ingredients

The list of ingredients from the Cetaphil Cleansers website are ;

  • purified water,
  • cetyl alcohol,
  • propylene glycol,
  • sodium lauryl sulfate,
  • stearyl alcohol,
  • methylparaben,
  • propylparaben and
  • butylparaben

The Australian website for Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser has in the past offered Free Samples of Cetaphil, but the cost at your local pharmacy is not exorbitant.

See also the following post from Dr. Sy in the Highlights:

Cetaphil liquid and cleansers with alcohol and sodium lauryl sulfate

Cetyl alcohol & stearyl alcohol both belong to the family of “fatty alcohols”. They are used in products as skin conditioning agents, emollient, viscosity increasing agent (thickener), emulsifying agents, stabilizer, surfactant. If you feel the raw material for both (& other fatty alcohols) in your hands, you’ll find them to be thick and greasy.

So, why do some rosaceans react to liquid cleansers containing cetyl alcohol etc while others don’t? My guess is the ff. 1) The culprit is probaly not cetyl alcohol but may be the percentage amount of sodium lauryl sulfate in the formulation. SLS is the main cleansing agent in soaps & cleansers. It is very effective but, above a certain percentage, it can cause irritation in some people with delicate sensitive skin.

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Your Review

So the experts tell us that a gentle product like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser should be a good choice for rosacea sufferers. How says you? Would you recommend it to fellow sufferers who are seeking a cleanser that they can tolerate?

Worried about alcohol and SLS in this cleanser? read this for some more info – Cetaphil Liquid Cleansers with Alcohol and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Further Reading

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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14 Reader Comments

  1. lovy says:

    Is it ok that cetaphil also has SLS in it, for rosacean?

  2. Amy says:

    I can not tolerate Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser in the slightest. Not only does it aggravate my rosacea, but it instigates terrible patches of excema, which I normally do not have. I try to avoid any products with sodium lauryl sulfate and I can not imagine calling a product that includes SLS appropriate for sensitive skin.

  3. Jenn says:

    After using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, flushes and feels like a sunburn.

  4. Jodie says:

    I have been using Cetaphil for about 10 years now and it seems to be the only cleanser that doesn’t cause my skin to react. I have tried many products and reacted to all. When I go back to Cetaphil everything settles down again. It removes my make up easy too.

  5. I stick with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser because it continues to be mild and helps me keep my skin hydrated (when followed by a moisturiser of course). It is nice that it is easily available and seems to work well for many rosacea sufferers. Also some do still report negative reactions.


  6. matet says:

    I just love using cetaphil gentle skin cleanser on my face really suitable for my sensitive skin. I am using it for three months already after I suffer from severe acne and it does not irritate and serves at the same time as moisturizer because it does not dry my skin. Although I have lots of whiteheads but i just leave them because they disappear naturally when i cleanse my face with cetaphil(just don’t prick them). Thanks to my dermatologist for recommending this non soap cleanser. By the way I’m from the Philippines.

  7. Comment via facebook page.

    “Just discovered this a few weeks ago…best products I have ever used so far. I use the cleanser on my face etc, and the moisturizer, and my skin hasn’t reacted at all. I’m currently on long term antibiotics that make my skin photosensitive and if I’ve missed a bit with sunscreen and it gets a bit red, Cetaphil is also soothing for that too. Very happy because up to this point no products have had no skin reactions except this one”

  8. Nadia says:

    I’ve had good results with Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser. Those with sensitivity to Sodium Laurel Sulfate may wish to try this instead.

  9. Comment via Facebook page.

    “Tried this although a bit concerned that it contained SLS but no reaction at all and I have at times very sensitive skin. I would recommend this. Can anyone tell me why SLS gets such bad press as I use a couple of cleansers that contain this ingredient and they don’t cause a problem?””

  10. Comment from fb page.

    “Yes, what I use now!! Have hyper pigmentation, all lightening / brightening soaps irritate my rosacea. Found Cetaphil, love it, never irritates!”

  11. lynn says:

    I have been using cetaphil cleanser for a year now and love it. It was recommended by my dermatologist. Doesn’t tighten my skin like soaps do. I have suffered rosacea for years and also have occular rosacea which is controlled well with doxycycline tabs. Also using Finacea gel for a year too. I find my flushing not as bad. Thinking of trying cetaphil moisturiser at night to moisturise my skin. I have oily skin so don’t want add oil to it. Hopefully this works as well as cleanser.

  12. pamela ap says:

    I’m very disappointed with this wash. I was previously using the Cetaphil Cleanser (purchased from Costco) but didn’t feel like it was strong enough to clear up my face. I now use the Citrus Clear Acne Face Wash and for the first 3 uses, my skin felt so clean, especially after the very first use. The second night, even better. Its not strong like proactiv, which makes my skin so dry – its just perfect for someone who has acne like me, cause it keeps the zits away, and got rid of the existing ones that I had.

  13. Helen Clements says:

    I use the Cetaphil gentle cleanser but it now has New and Improved on the bottle and no longer contains harmful parabens. The new and improved ingredients are far better and much gentler. I now use this morning and night to cleanse my face.

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