Gentle Cleansing Antibacterial Bar

4.50 fl. oz. for $ 5.49
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Brand Overview

Cetaphil's Gentle Antibacterial Cleansing Bar is a standard bar cleanser with the antibacterial active ingredient triclosan. The brand says it can effectively cleanse skin and it's right. The problem is that the ingredient needed to keep this cleanser in bar form could cause issues of its own, which is why this earns our lowest, one-star rating.

The major selling point of this particular cleansing bar is that it contains the antibacterial ingredient triclosan, the idea being that it can help fight acne. There isn't a lot of research demonstrating triclosan's effectiveness against acne-causing bacteria, but it has the potential to be a good first line of defense when acne is the concern.

However, in a bar cleanser like this the ingredients holding the cleanser in bar form won't reduce acne and may make it worse. Though this is labeled as "non-comedogenic," what keeps this in bar form (sodium tallowate), has a high fat content, which could be a problem for breakouts.

There's also the issue that while there are gentle cleansing agents included here, there is also sodium cocoate, which can be drying and irritating to skin.

Because of this, we don't recommend this cleanser, and suggest instead one of the better options on our list of Best Cleansers.

  • Contains triclosan, an effective antibacterial ingredient.
  • Contains some gentle cleansing ingredients.
  • Contains sodium tallowate, which could be a problem for breakouts.
  • Contains the potentially drying and irritating ingredient sodium cocoate.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Bar none, Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Antibacterial Bar is the one to keep in the shower. Its non-soap formula offers effective cleansing for all skin types, and is gentle enough even for dry and sensitive skin.

Active: Triclosan (0.3%), Other: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoate, PEG-20, Sodium Chloride, Masking Fragrance, Sodium Isethionate, Petrolatum, Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylate, Sucrose Cocoate, Titanium Dioxide, Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium Etidronate. May contain Sodium Palm Kernelate

Cetaphil At-A-Glance

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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