Woah there, it looks like your browser is out of date.

To get the best experience, please update your browser.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Reviews (6816)
Q&A (184)
Photos (173)
Emily O.
Emily O.
Marietta, GA

37 reviews

Cetaphil saved my life. Anyone who gives this product only one star probably doesn't have the most perfect skincare routine. I had the worst acne ever; I tried to use Proactiv but it left my skin so dry and parched, even after moisturizing, as if I was barraging my skin with chemicals. This stuff is so gentle on my face. The biggest thing for me is that I have extremely oily, acne-prone skin. Proactiv and other cleansers, including Clean & Clear, used to strip the oil from my face - giving it that squeaky-clean feeling, you know the one that harsh cleansers give - and my face would overcompensate, even with a moisturizer, breaking me out even more. When this stuff goes on, it removes my makeup when I forget makeup remover, and in addition, gives my face that clean feeling, but not the squeaky-clean feeling - as if it's only removed enough dirt and oil to make my face clean, but not chemically stripped my face of all of its natural oils. Skincare is very personal and particular, and I know that in order to get rid of my acne I needed the whole nine yards - a cleanser, a mild chemical exfoliant, and a moisturizer. If you don't use the right moisturizer for your skin or you don't exfoliate, do not blame Cetaphil. It's just a cleanser - it's designed to clean your skin, not do anything else to it. That's what a full skincare routine is for, not to mention sticking to your skincare products is extremely important and it takes a couple of weeks, even a couple of months to see extreme differences with any product. With this cleanser, a glycolic acid exfoliant peel (to lift peeling skin without iritating my acne scars with a physical exfoliant like a scrub), a proper moisturizer, AND sunscreen during the day, you can see magical results after a long time.  The only thing I'm not too fond of is the medicinal cherry artificial fragrance, which is kind of strong and not pleasant. However, when I rinse it fully in the shower or while washing my face it doesn't become a big deal. This product absolutely saved my life, and I would recommend it to anyone who had the same horrible skin problems that I did. I haven't had a breakout in months because of this product's place in my skincare routine.
karen c.
karen c.

24 reviews

I have a history of moderate acne and normal to oily combination skin. When I first discovered that most drugstore cleansers for normal to oily skin were over-drying and irritating my skin, I searched for an alternative. At the time, there was not much to choose from--almost every oily-skin cleanser was an acne cleanser with either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and harsh detergents. Beggars can't be choosers, and Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser became my go-to. Fast forward to now, and there are many more choices for somebody like me. Now that I have been able to try other cleansers, I see how terrible Cetaphil actually is.

Let me start with the fragrance--a "masking fragrance" that supposedly obscures the natural scent of the ingredients. The masking fragrance is a clean soapy scent, but not particularly pleasant when used on the face. Fragrance is fragrance, and this product is not fragrance-free, period.

Next is the irritation it causes. It doesn't matter how I use it--thick and concentrated or lathered with some water to thin it out. If I use this product daily, my skin condition degrades day-by-day, becoming increasingly sensitive. Even after taking a break from this product, when I resume, I get burning around my nostrils on day one, which is usually my indication that something is not going to work out for my skin type.

Finally, may I ask, "Normal to Oily"? Really? This product does not balance my skin, and if I use it in the AM, I am far oilier than if I use something like Paula's Choice Skin Balancing cleanser. In practice, I think it is really a cleanser for normal to slightly-dry skin.

The plusses, and the reasons I did not give only one lippie, is that this cleanser is really great at removing regular (not long-wearing) makeup with one wash. Also my skin feels clean but not overstripped when I use it. Bottom line, I am using the rest of my stash as a hand wash, and won't be repurchasing.
Naomi D.
Naomi D.

93 reviews

This is the most gentle yet effective cleanser out there! I have a number of face washes in my rotation, but I find this one is amazing when paired with my clarisonic. I tend to use my tea tree face wash by the Body Shop when my skin is breaking out, my Purity one step facial cleanser to take off makeup remover or when my skin is feeling super oily (this product tends to be drying if used daily), and the frothy face wash by Origins when I need a deep clean. Still, this is the one I return to again and again because it's suitable for my skin whether it is feeling extra oily or extra dry and never strips my skin nor leaves any weird residual feeling that some products tend to leave. It's great on the body too since it's fragrance free and my body tends to react more negatively to fragrance than my face. I'm almost out and I'm super sad about it; I know that out of all of my cleansers, this is the only one that I will repurchase again without question.
Megan W.
Megan W.
Mount Vernon, GA

348 reviews

I have used this product countless times. I love the product, process, and I love the outcome! However, something I can't deny is I hate spending so much money on skin cleaners! Where I live, I can never seem to find a medium sized bottle. All they have is the large and the price on that runs well over 10$ a bottle. BUT I have found a solution. It seems like everywhere that I go, I see the nameless bottles that are "Compare to Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser"... most people walk past it b/c they think it doesn't work as good. I decided to be different and purchase that product just to test it out, to see what the true difference was. My conclusion was that those off brands are the exact same as the brands with a label on it. We are buying high-end products n spending extra money on LABELS! I DECIDED TO ALWAYS SHOP CETAPHIL LABEL-LESS! Best decision I ever made. I got the same product for a way cheaper price. PS YOU CAN FIND IT A DOLLAR TREE FOR $1.
María A.
María A.
Raleigh, NC

20 reviews

Confession: I fall asleep in my makeup more often than not. Like probably 90% of the time. I usually don't wear foundation but there's enough concealer and blush at least to warrant a nightly wash.

I have to be careful what I wash my face with because most cleansers and washes cause me to develop small bumps, itchy and almost like bug bites, a couple of them on each of the main areas of my face. They go away in a couple of hours usually but it's a nuisance, and scratching my face isn't cool.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is my favorite face wash by far, and pretty much the only one I use. I switch it out ever so often with Shea Moisture's Coconut and Hibiscus Bar because my skin and hair "adapt". I remove my makeup with coconut or jojoba oil (sometimes followed by a Garnier Fructis wipe, if I wore foundation and contoured) and finish with Cetaphil in the shower.

I follow up in the winter, when my skin in driest, with their moisturizer.
Des S.
Des S.
Riverside, CA

15 reviews

This cleanser is a good deal but it's not for me. I purchased a mini bottle of this at Ulta, just to try it out and I liked it, but didn't love it. The smell is very strong & off putting. It reminds me of elderly lady perfume. As far as a cleansing product, it does clean my skin and take off my makeup however it doesn't leave that crisp, squeaky clean feeling that I like. (I guess that's a good thing because it means it's not stripping my skin completely but I still prefer squeaky clean.) I appreciate cleansers that are one step because I despise using makeup removers, so in that regard, this was great. I won't be purchasing a full size of this though because it did give my skin these irritating, unsightly bumps on my forehead and cheeks. I guess my skin didn't like it, which is odd because usually my skin isn't picky. If you have bullet proof skin and enjoy overly floral, odd smelling cleanser than this may be for you.
Alyson M.
Alyson M.
Catonsville, MD

49 reviews

I tried this product after I got my nose pierced because the piercer I went to recommended using a gentle face wash until the piercing healed to prevent it from healing improperly and irritating the fresh piercing. I had heard a lot of great things about using Cetaphil and knew it was a good gentle product. That being said, when I actually used it, I was not impressed at all. Yeah it's gentle and it didn't irritate my piercing at all which I appreciate, but I have really oily, acne and blackhead prone skin and I feel like this cleanser didn't adequately clear my pores when I used it on a daily basis. I was still breaking out regularly while using it which would cause me to use more product to cover up acne and cause my pore clogging to get worse. I guess if you don't wear makeup regularly and have dry to normal skin it would work well for you, but for people with oily skin this is a big thumbs down.
Sarah D.
Sarah D.

130 reviews

Only recently did I start making a more proactive effort to rid myself of toxic chemicals, in my beauty products, as well as in cleaners for my house etc. Parabens are highly toxic to the body, especially for women. This has three of the worst kinds of Parabens in it, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, and Propylparaben.
It may take some time breaking away from such highly used carcinogens such as this (I've come to find it everywhere) and go all natural, but it makes all the difference. I have since moved on to something organic, and I do not need to be concerned about harm to my body like with this product. There are lots of great all natural face washes out there that are gentle on the skin without cancer causing agents like BHT, BHA, Parabens, etc. For those who are label conscious this is a good site to refer to; skindeep site, and the Environmental Working Group, as well as the one mentioned above.
courtney p.
courtney p.

21 reviews

i picked up cetaphil because my boyfriend recommended it to me, and swore by this face wash that it was good. i used it for a week and my face broke out tremendously in white heads and small acne bumps/dots all over my face. i stopped using it and immediately went back to my previous acne face wash acne free so it can clear my skin again. i just wanted something to cleanse my face but wasn't technically an acne face wash. i did not like the outcome of this product! i woke up every morning to my forehead speckled in oil and new breakouts. he said it was bringing out all the impurities but i was too scared to continue to see the end result. it didn't dry my skin, it actually helped with my really bad dry skin. i might go back to this when my face is clean and clear to see if it was helping or ruining my skin with the many breakouts but definitely not anytime soon.

✕ do not recommend!!
Amanda H.
Amanda H.
Las Vegas, NV

13 reviews

Cetaphil is the holy grail of the Drug Store skin care products!!! I accidentally discovered Cetaphil when I was traveling and Forgot my overnight toiletries. I found a small jar of it in the travel size section in a gas station, I was desperate and figured what the heck it has to be better than hotel bar soap on my face. 😊 Not only was it better than the hotel bar of soap but hey it was better than my $40 facial cleanser! It's a little strange at first the cleanser is the same consistency of conditioner Ans as your washing it doesn't feel like your face getting clean but once you wash rinse it away and Pat your face dry.. Your skin will be left hydrated and so soft! It is definitely a great product at an affordable price and available at just about drugstore or grocery store... It's definitely worth a try!
Ines J.
Ines J.
Baton Rouge, LA

82 reviews

Is this good for sensitive skin?
Kathleen L.
Kathleen L.
Albany, NY

19 reviews

Will this cleanser help fight acne even though it's supposed to be more gentle?
Michelle L.
Michelle L.
Pittsburgh, PA

100 reviews

Everyone says its amazing! is it good?
Mica O.
Mica O.
Pontiac, MI
Is this good for dry/oily skin
Raysha L.
Raysha L.
North Bergen, NJ

45 reviews

On the packaging, it says this product can be used as a gentle mask as well. Has anyone tried this?

Join now to gain access to over 14 million product reviews, free full size samples, and the latest product news.

Get Started

Are you a Brand or Agency? Contact Us