Cetaphil's Moisturizing Lotion has a no-frills, straightforward name, and is a no-frills, straightforward product as well. This lotion can certainly make skin feel softer, but it lacks a more sophisticated ingredient list, ultimately making it an average, two-star product when it comes to really being able to moisturize skin.
True to its claims, Moisturizing Lotion is lightweight, and easily dispensed from its pump-style bottle (it also comes in a smaller squeeze tube). It absorbs quickly into skin, and thanks to some emollients (such as glycerin), will make skin feel more moisturized. There is only one antioxidant, though (vitamin E), and this lacks some great additional emollients and anti-irritants that could help to soothe skin.
We should point out that while Cetaphil claims this lotion is fragrance-free, it contains farnesol, an ingredient whose chief function is adding fragrance to a product (Source: International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, 11th edition, 2006, page 864). This shouldn't be an issue for most skin types, but it is something to consider if you have very sensitive skin.
One final note: Cetaphil claims this product is "non-comedogenic," which it claims means that this won't clog pores. Non-comedogenic is largely a marketing term, with no real indication of how a product will affect your skin. See More Info for details on non-comedogenic claims in skincare products.
Ultimately, while this isn't a bad moisturizer, it's just not as good as many other options, including quite a few at the drugstore. You can find those other options on our list of Best Body Care Products.
- Lightweight lotion absorbs easily into skin.
- Emollient ingredients will make skin feel moisturized.
- Lacks a more sophisticated ingredient list to truly moisturize dry skin.
- Not completely fragrance-free as claimed.
Under the conditions of this study, 100% pure concentrations of ingredients were layered five times per application over a period of two weeks, without cleansing the skin at any time. The manner in which these tests were conducted is not remotely similar to how we use skincare or makeup products—plus very few products are formulated with 100% of any one ingredient. What really determines whether an ingredient present in your skincare or makeup products is likely to trigger a breakout is how much of the ingredient is present in the formula and what else you apply as part of your skincare routine.
The researcher largely credited for developing the concept of comedogenic, Albert Kligman, said as much in his 1972 study, "Acne Cosmetica":
"It is not necessary to exclude constituents which might be comedogenic in a pure state. The concentration of such substances is exceedingly important. To exile such materials as lanolin, petroleum hydrocarbons, fatty alcohols, and vegetable oils from cosmetics would be irrational. What is ultimately important is the comedogenicity of the finished product (Archives of Dermatology, 1972)."
Last, the terms non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic are not regulated so they're not beholden to any agreed-upon standards. Any product, from the richest cream to the thinnest lotion, can use these claims and not have to prove they really don't clog pores or trigger acne breakouts.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion is specifically formulated to soothe your chronically dry skin. Once applied, your skin feels soft and smooth. It is non-greasy, nonirritating and noncomedogenic (won't clog pores), leaving you feeling more comfortable in your own skin.
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.