Cetaphil is definitely one of the most common cleansers that I find my new clients using. It is a deceitful product and most think that it is a “pretty good” cleanser and gentle for the skin. At one point, years ago, I used this cleanser too. Now that I know better, I would never recommend it to anyone and I always get annoyed when I hear that a Dermatologist has told my client it is good for the skin. Below is an excerpt from a blog post that I found about Cetaphil. She explains it better than I can.
Why Not Use Cetaphil?
I cannot even begin to tell you how many people I have spoken to who have been recommended to use this cleanser, for their so named ‘sensitive’ skin concerns. I would love to share my professional knowledge regarding the Cetaphil cleanser formulation, with specific regard as to what it is actually doing for your skin – and the topic regarding ‘sensitive’ skin is one best left for another day!
There are a multitude of reasons why skin breaks down, creating inflammation – otherwise known a ‘sensitivity’. For a cleanser that is advertised worldwide by Galderma as “developed by dermatologists especially for sensitive skin, [this] soap substitute preserves your skin’s natural protective oils”. I’m quite adamant that they have missed their mark… totally!
Cetaphil is loaded with the emulsifier sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), one of the most overused synthetic skin cosmetic ingredients that actually strips your skins natural lipid barrier as it ‘cleanses’ your skin. This surfactant is very unpopular with every serious skin therapist as its effect renders your skin more susceptible to external irritants, increases internal inflammation as your skin immune cells become overagitated, heightening redness & possible breakout as it negatively impacts your natural pH. Otherwise known as your ‘acid mantle’, our natural pH balance is our first line of defense that protects our skin in numerous ways, including against invading microbes. I do think it is pretty odd that Galderma call their cleanser ‘pH balanced’ – as, yes, the actual entire formulation inside the bottle may be – but as soon as there is contact with skin it completely interferes with our pH. In reality there no balance there at all!
Some skins will hide the presentation of inflammatory symptoms better than others, although it is important to note that it IS happening, whether you can immediately see and feel it, or not. This is what alarms me about so many products like this, and why I feel compelled to share!
SLS is used because it is cheap and easy to synthetically manufacture. You can find SLS in body washes, shampoos, toothpastes, cleansers and in cleaning products. These are all high contact products, which is a scary thought. I have certainly easily and affordably chosen to limit or eliminate my daily exposure to this ingredient!
Written by Pia Kynoch