Friday, December 30, 2016

Is Cetaphil OK to use as my facial cleanser?

If you are looking for an inexpensive product that does a good job of cleansing and is the correct pH for your skin, give Cetaphil a try. You can usually find it at any grocery or drug store in America. There is no guarantee that it will work for you, but it’s a good start. It is inactive (synthetic) and doesn’t cause reactionsfor most people. That said, I have had several people contact me after trying Cetaphil and reacting to it.

If Cetaphil does not work for you, consider finding pH papers (see links below) so you can test any cleanser on the market to make sure it will be pH balanced at the very least. Cetaphil is certainly not the only cleanser, but it is easy to find and inexpensive, and that is why I continue to recommend it.

I know that you recommend cleansing with Cetaphil, but believe it or not it makes my skin rashy. You also talk about pH balance. Do you have a list of cleansers that you recommend? For some reason I cannot seem to find a cleanser that will get me back to the clear skin I have always had.

This client has heightened sensitivities, evidenced by her inability to use an inert (inactive) product like Cetaphil. Still, I have had several people tell me Cetaphil bothered their skin, and therefore they couldn’t use it. Perhaps in another publication I will indeed list popular and commonly found products, cleansers included, along with a pH test for each one. But for now, I highly recommend purchasing the test papers and finding cleansers you can use based on your own test results. This way you can buy products that are easy for you to find, that you like, and most importantly that are the proper pH. 

With that said, a cleanser is not going to “get you back to the clear skin you have always had.” Clear skin, if you are prone to problems, involves so much more than using an appropriate cleanser. Hormones rule the oil glands and are affected by stress, diet, and your skin care habits. Please read through this blog and if you have them, my books too, to get general as well as specific information about how to truly create healthy skin (for a lifetime).

Cetaphil does contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a soap derivative found in many cleansing products. It is doubtful you will find it in higher-grade milk cleansers, for instance. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with sodium lauryl sulfate*, it is not the best ingredient for the face. If you find you have problems using Cetaphil, it may be this particular ingredient that your skin finds disagreeable. Still, if you are looking for an inexpensive cleanser, Cetaphil is a good choice.
*If you lookup sodium lauryl sulfate you can find alarmist arguments about why you shouldnt use it. I am not in that camp, but perhaps some of you reading this article disagree with me. In life and especially in skin care, I choose my battles. The use of sodium lauryl sulfate simply is not one of themfor me.

I realize a lot of this article talks about some ill effects of Cetaphil, but in general I have found that most people can use it without issue. When I was writing Timeless Skin I used an entire bottle of Cetaphil, forgoing my normal (and favorite) Yonka cleanser. It took several months to get through the container, and I found Cetaphil to be good at surface cleaning without drying or otherwise adversely affecting my skin. This is why I feel free to recommend it. Give Cetaphil a try and see how it works for you.

For more information, see: