Galderma Laboratorium Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser 16 Oz (SF1483494) Reviews

Galderma Laboratorium Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser 16 Oz (SF1483494)

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Cetaphil: It's Slimy! It's Disgusting! It Works!

Oct 22, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Non-drying, non-comedogenic, inexpensive

Cons:Feels slimy, doesn't foam, takes time to adjust to it

How wonderful it is to have perfect skin. Never greasy, never dry, my perfect skin has microscopic pores, and not a blackhead or zit in sight.

NOT

I can dream, can't I? The truth is, I have terrible skin. As a teenager, my face fought a valiant battle against pimples, and lost. As an adult, my face yields more oil than OPEC; My hands are as dry as prunes. I've been fighting my skin's natural tendencies for about 15 years now, and along the way, I've learned a lot about skin care products. I've learned to be skeptical of the expensive ones; it's not that they never work, it's that more often than not, they contain the same ingredients as much cheaper products.

I have found a few moisturizing gems at the department store, such as Chanel's Rectifiance Nuit, Clinique's Special Hand and Body Lotion, and Esteé Lauder's Fruition. In my search for cleansers, though, a cheap, drugstore brand has the edge: Galderma's Cetaphil.

First Impression
I tried Cetaphil for the first time more than ten years ago. My skin was breaking out, and my mother took me to a dermatologist who prescribed Retin-A. Since Retin-A is very drying, the doctor recommended Cetaphil. Cetaphil is a soap-free cleanser, so it does not exacerbate the dryness caused by Retin-A and other acne medications.

I bought a 16 ounce container, and used it exactly once. As a kid with oily skin, I expected a cleanser to be foamy and strong, and to strip away every trace of oil from my face. Cetaphil felt more like a moisturizer than a cleanser. It didn't foam up at all, no matter how much I swirled it around my cheeks. While it did remove my make-up, it left my face feeling slimy.

Second Try
When my pimples came back in college, the doctor at the campus infirmary prescribed a stronger, gel-based form of Retin-A, which dried my skin like crazy. It actually hurt. On my next visit, the doctor recommended Cetaphil, and gave me a sample. He also suggested that I use it for several days; since I was used to sronger cleansers, my skin might not feel clean after washing with Cetaphil, but it would if I just gave it some time. Since I was a "starving student" and Cetaphil was about $8.00, he gave me a couple of travel size samples.

I took the doctor's advice, and used Cetaphil until the samples ran out. Then I bought a 16 ounce container again, and it lasted forever. My college roommates loved to make fun of the stuff, which has the look and consistency of a fluid that women do not generally produce. Ahem.

Cetaphil: It Ain't Soap
Soap has a low pH; its alkalinity can be very irritating to dry skin. Cetaphil has a neutral pH, like water. It is also free of dyes and perfumes, and is non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog your pores. It removes make-up and dirt, but does not strip your skin of its natural emollients. The "clean" skin you feel after washing with soap has lost those natural emollients, and according to my first dermatologist, may even over-compensate by producing extra oil!

Cetaphil Vs. Chanel
As my skin improved, I stopped using harsh medications, and switched my focus to cleansing and exfoliating. I went back to Soap, and used Clinique's Mild Facial Soap. I'm not a big fan of bars, though.

In my search for a tube of magic, I found Chanel's Précision Lait Tendre. At $25 for five ounces, this stuff is a bargain by Chanel standards, and it works well. It doesn't lather; you massage it over your face and eyes, and then rinse or tissue off. It removes every ounce of make-up without clogging your pores or stinging your eyes. It gently gets your face clean without stripping away your skin's natural emollients. It's a lot like Cetaphil, but a little less slimy.

At $8.00 for 16 ounces, Cetaphil is literally one-tenth the price of Chanel's Précision Lait Tendre. They are equally gentle and effective, but this dramatic price difference gives Cetaphil the edge.

Who Should Use Cetaphil?
According to the Galderma web page, Cetaphil was originally formulated for dermatologists as a cleanser to give patients using drying medications. If you have naturally dry skin, you will love Cetaphil. Even if you have oily skin, you may find, as I have, that your skin need not be stripped dry to feel clean.


Recommend this product? Yes

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