Review Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – Fragrance Free | pH Balanced

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

This is one of the cult favourite skincare product loved by sensitive skin types. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a Dermatologist-Recommended cleanser for dry and eczema-prone skin types. I got this during the winter months when my skin was more on the combination & drier side. Read on to know my thoughts on this much-raved cleanser.

Product Description:

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a mild, non-irritating formulation that soothes skin as it cleans. In fact, it’s gentle enough for a baby’s delicate skin. Designed specifically to work for all skin types, it is a simple, yet highly effective way to care for your skin.


Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Ingredients


As you can see, this has Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), a foaming ingredient that is known to irritating and striping on the skin. But this cleanser barely foams up, it is neither drying on the skin due to its formulation. SLS forms the 3rd ingredient and before that, we have fatty alcohols – Cetyl Alcohol which is an emollient that provides moisture to the skin, and Propylene Glycol which is a humectant that retains moisture. It also has Stearyl Alcohol which is yet another emollient fatty alcohol. (P.S: Fatty Alcohols are much different than Drying Alcohols in skincare and are not as bad as one might think). Apart from that, the cleanser has two of the controversial paraben preservatives.

Overall analysing the ingredients, it doesn’t really have “to-die-for” skin-beneficial ingredients. But the cleanser has more moisturizing ingredients than cleansing agents. That’s the reason why the cleanser is very gentle despite containing SLS.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser has a pH of 5.5 which is the optimal skin pH.

Price & Quantity: Rs. 237 for 125 ml.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Packaging

Packaging: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser come in a simple white plastic bottle packaging. I have the one with a flip-top cap while bigger sizes do come with a pump dispenser. The bottle is spill-proof and is very compact & travel friendly. The bottle has got the necessary information about the product on its backside.

Color & Texture: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a translucent white lotion-like product with a medium consistency. It’s neither runny nor thick.

Fragrance: The cleanser doesn’t have added fragrance and it is Fragrance-Free. I don’t smell anything at all.

How do you use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser?

  • Ideally take a doll up of the cleanser and gently massage on the face for 30 seconds, rinse with water and pat dry.
  • You can also use the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser without water to remove light makeup. After massaging the cleanser on the skin, swipe a cotton pad across your face to gently remove impurities.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Consistency

My Experience:

This is definitely a very gentle cleanser. It doesn’t foam at all, barely produces one or two bubbles. Unless I see the ingredient list, I wouldn’t have believed it containing SLS. The cleanser feels very rich and emollient while massaging that it doesn’t feel like a cleanser at all. If you are new to non foaming cleansers, it is going to take some time for you to get a hang of it. The cleanser rinses off easily and doesn’t leave any slippery residue. The cleanser is able to remove dirt & impurities very well. It leaves the skin clean, hydrated, smooth and soft to touch. There is no stretchy feeling and I can easily wait for a while to finish off the rest of my skincare routine. The cleanser leaves the skin comfortable and calm. This can be used both day and night by all skin types, even oily skin. This would make a perfect cleanser for the colder days. I love that this doubles up as a body cleanser. Someone with eczema and dry skin will be benefited a lot from this cleanser.

Overall, I liked using this. Although I don’t like the fact that it contains sulphates & parabens, I am very much satisfied with the performance of this cleanser. It’s a very gentle non-foaming cleanser which leaves the skin balanced, smoother, softer and comfortable.

Is Cetaphil Facial Cleanser good for acne?

The cleanser alone won’t do much for acne. It doesn’t really have any acne treating ingredients too.


But this definitely helps with dryness caused to due acne medications like Accutane, tretinoin, benzoyl peroxide, AHA’s. So if you have been using strong actives to treat your acne, this will be a great cleanser to not aggravate your skin condition further.

The packaging says it’s non-comedogenic, but according to CosDNA, SLS and the fatty alcohols are supposed to be acne triggering ingredients. But then, not everybody breaks out from them. Just use the CosDNA database as a pinch of salt and nothing more. The cleanser has got a very minimal ingredient list, do check if you are allergic to any of these, if not it should be fine using this on acne prone skin. I have acne prone skin and the cleanser hasn’t broken me out.


  • Available in various sizes.
  • Fuss free packaging.
  • Good pricing.
  • Gentle non-irritating formula.
  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • Doesn’t dry out the skin.
  • Leaves the skin hydrated, soft & smooth.
  • pH balanced and fragrance free.
  • Can be used on face and body.


  • Contains sulphates & parabens.
  • It doesn’t foam up, so people who are used to foaming cleansers will have to get used to using it.

Rating: 4.5/5


Would I recommend? Yes, it’s a good cleanser that doesn’t strip off the skin from its natural oils. But then it contains SLS and Parabens. If you are looking for an alternative cleanser which is very similar to the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, being gentle & hydrating but without sulphates & parabens and with slightly better ingredients, I’ll recommend getting the La Roche Posay Tolerine Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. This has Niacinamide, Panthenol and Glycerin that makes it more better than Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

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