Cetaphil – Gentle Skin Cleanser – Dissecting the label

Today we’re going to take a look at a cleanser that is fairly frequently recommended by dermatologists. This was a brand that I had heard of even before I got into the cosmetic industry. And that is saying something because prior to working in the cosmetic industry, I didn’t pay attention to any brand of personal care product. I just used whatever happened to be in the bathroom.

Anyway, let’s take a look at Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

LOI – Cetaphil

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben

Talk about a straightforward formula! This are certainly no superfulous ingredients in this product. The 1% line is pretty easy to guess and it is almost certainly between the Stearyl Alcohol and the Methylparaben.

Kudos to Cetaphil for embracing the Formula Minimalist startegy.

What the Ingredients do

There really isn’t much to this formula but let’s analyze it.

1. Water – Solvent
2. Cetyl Alcohol – Opacifying, thickening, moisturizing
3. Propylene Glycol – Humectant, foam supressant
4. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – Cleanser
5. Stearyl Alcohol – Opacifying, thickening, conditioning
6. Methylparaben – Preservative
7. Propylparaben – Preservative
8. Butylparaben – Preservative

Formula Commentary

It really is amazing that a formula so simple could be the basis for such a significant brand. SLS is one of the harshest detergents you can use but when you mix it with propylene glycol and fatty alcohols, the irritation is mitigated and the product can be sold as a “gentle skin cleanser”.

The formula has no dyes or fragrances so I’m certain dermatologists like that, but why they would recommend it, I do not know. It says it was originally created by a dermatologist so perhaps that is the reason.

This is a nice formula and shows that a simple formula can still be a best seller.

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