Alternate Universe: Cetaphil

I’ve decided to do a series on tumblr called “Alternate Universe” where I will discuss the holy grail products that editors and beauty junkies have come to know (often on a first name basis), then provide a relatively cleaner alternative, and in some instances provide a clean, budget alternative so everyone has an option. To start, let’s tackling Cetaphil.

Product: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Price: $9

Claim to fame: The $9 drugstore cleanser is heralded as the #1 dermatologist prescribed brand in the US, known for it’s gentle, non-irritating formula suitable for even the most sensitive skin. It is non-alkaline, non-comedogenic, and fragrance free. And it promises to soften as it cleans.

Iffy: The simple formula has 8 ingredients: including 2 alcohols, SLS, and 3 parabens. Take out the number 1 ingredient, water, and you’re left with propylene Glycol, an alcohol used in skin conditioning.

Cleaner High End Alternative

Product: Ren Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel
Price: $32

Why it’s similar: A gentle, pure cleansing gel similar in consistency and effectiveness to Cetaphil. Also known to sooth and soften skin while similar gentle foaming action removes dirt and debris. Creates a more luxurious, spa like experience due to higher grade of ingredients including rose petals, aloe, and lactic acid. Incredibly calming, soothing, and gentle.

Iffy: Main difference is this is scented with natural rose essential oils and 100% natural parfum – so do check for sensitivity issues. Ingredients list contains Phenoxyethanol, which can be just as bad as parabens.

Cleaner Economic Alternative

Product: Mychelle Pure Harmony Cleanser
Price: $11

Why it’s similar: Formulated for sensitive skin with a lightly foaming formula that gentle washes away impurities without causing irritation. It might be just slightly more expensive than Cetaphil but for the $2 difference, you get these types of wonderful nutritious ingredients: Sea Buckthorn, Barberry Fig, Green Tea, and Honeysuckle.

Iffy: There are a few alcohol ingredients in here. Some of the chemicals including 
 Dicaprylyl Ether and Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, are actually low risk emollients/conditioners according to Environmental Working Group, so it seems pretty solid!


1 Comment

  1. April 14, 2013 / 3:40 am

    i much prefer CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser to Cetaphil…not clean, but same idea as Cetaphil yet has no alcohol or irrtants – amazing for the most sensitive of skin! still, contemplating trying a “clean” cleansing balm to see if I get a better cleanse…

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