Cetaphil Men Daily Face Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 appears to be identical to the brand's Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15, right down to the price, pump-style packaging, and size. The only difference seems to be in the name, but from our viewpoint, there was nothing overtly feminine about Cetaphil's original Daily Facial Moisturizer that would cause men to look elsewhere for sun protection.
Unfortunately, whether you opt for the "Men" version or not, neither formula matches up to some of the best facial moisturizers with sunscreen out there (including many at the drugstore). What's holding it back is a lower-than-average SPF rating and lackluster array of beneficial ingredients—which is why this only earns a two-star rating. There are no standout ingredients to speak of; the majority being beneficial emollients and some preservatives, with the vitamin E antioxidant tocopheryl acetate near the end of the list.
We suspect most men will appreciate this product's lightweight, lotion texture that isn't greasy, and it's fragrance-free, which is always a plus for healthier skin, but guys may not like the bit of sheen this leaves behind. We should note that the broad-spectrum synthetic sunscreen actives (avobenzone and octocrylene) included do have the potential to irritate very sensitive skin.
The SPF 15 rating disappoints because the prevailing recommendation is that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater, with SPF ratings between 25 and 30 falling into the acceptable range. See the More Info section for additional details on minimum SPF levels, as well as how we rate Daytime Moisturizers with Sunscreen.
Bottom line: Cetaphil Men Daily Face Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is merely an OK daytime moisturizer. It can provide broad-spectrum sun protection, but its SPF rating and overall lack of exciting ingredients proves disappointing. You can find much better options (whether at the drugstore or beyond) on our list of Best Moisturizers with Sunscreen.
Sunscreens Rated SPF 20 or Lower: A growing body of current research has demonstrated that it's better to use a sunscreen rated SPF 20 or greater to ensure adequate defense against the sun's aging UV rays. SPF 20 or lower is an option—and certainly better than no sunscreen at all—but only if you're willing to apply liberally and your skin will be seeing five hours of daylight or less.
While this sunscreen will provide the SPF number on the label and has UVA-protecting ingredients, no sunscreen with an SPF lower than 20 will rate higher than two stars in Beautypedia. For more information on our criteria for rating sunscreens, please visit the Best Sunscreens section of the site.
Applying an SPF 15-rated sunscreen under a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB cream that offers broad-spectrum SPF 25+ will take far better care of your skin. This layering approach ensures your skin gets sufficient sun protection even if you're not applying liberally.
How We Rate Daytime Moisturizers with SPF: "Daytime Moisturizers with Sunscreen" are differentiated from ordinary sunscreens as formulas that make direct anti-aging or other cosmetic claims by the brand, such as "deep moisture" or "redness-relieving." Claims like "combats free radical damage," "protects and firms," "improves skin texture" or others that insinuate benefits beyond what a standard sunscreen formula provides.
Daytime Moisturizers with SPF are judged based upon whether they provide broad-spectrum sun protection, their SPF rating, potential for irritation, packaging and aesthetics. They must also meet the same standards as an anti-aging moisturizer—the inclusion of beneficial antioxidants or other ingredients to back up the claims of improvements in signs of aging on skin beyond what sun protection alone provides. For more detail on how we rate this category of products, see the Best Daytime Moisturizers with Sunscreen section of Beautypedia.
This familiar, widely distributed skin-care collection is manufactured by Galderma, the same company that markets the prescription products Differin and MetroGel. Given the dermatology heritage of Galderma, it's surprising the Cetaphil line hasn't advanced beyond the basics. Yes, most of what's available is a safe bet for those with sensitive skin!
If you're in search of simplicity, this is a good line to consider. We should note that many of the formulas omit more complex anti-aging ingredients, but they can always be used alongside a serum or treatment of your choosing.
Strengths: Inexpensive; mostly fragrance-free products; affordable and widely available; offers complete ingredient lists on its website; the sunscreens offer sufficient UVA protection.
Weaknesses:A few formulas could be updated with more complex ingredients, but forgoing that there is a lot to like here.
For more information about Cetaphil, call (817) 961-5000 or visit www.cetaphil.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!