Millions of people worldwide suffer from adult acne.
It affects every age, gender and skin type.
Just because you have sensitive skin doesn’t mean you cannot have acne-prone skin also.
We’ve already did a full comparison between Cerave vs Cetaphil.
But, is Cetaphil good for acne?
People with sensitive skin have the toughest time finding products that can help their acne.
Many of the ingredients in acne products have irritants, chemicals, fragrances or scent/ harsh smells which can make sensitive skin types get more inflammation.
Some are able to find products on their own which can help their skin, others have more serious breakout issues compounded with acne scars and need the help of a dermatologist.
What is acne?
Acne is an inflammatory condition that affects not just the skin’s surface, but also hair follicles and sebaceous glands.
They can appear on your face, especially the T zone (forehead, chin and nose), and body, such as chest, back and arms.
When dirt, oil (sebum) and dead skin cells on skin’s surface clog pores, that causes comedonal acne.
This type of acne consists of blackheads (open comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones).
When bacteria gets trapped in your pores along with dirt and oil, this leads to inflammatory acne lesions.
This type of acne consists of papules, nodules and cysts.
Inflammatory lesions are the ones that can lead to acne scars.
Acne can be caused by various factors:
- Genetics – Acne tends to run in families (1).
- Hormones – During puberty, androgen hormones surge which exacerbates acne. Also the stress hormone cortisol will worsen breakouts.
- Environment – Good hygiene is important to prevent breakouts. Keep your face clean and moisturized. Keep your towels, pillowcases, cellphones, masks and any other things that come in contact with the skin on your face clean. Good hygiene can make a huge difference. Clearer skin will be a reality.
- Medications – Some medications like hormones or steroids can cause breakouts.
- Diet – It is best to stick to low carb and low dairy diets since these foods may worsen acne (2).
What is Cetaphil?
Cetaphil products are a great choice for all skin types and certain skin concerns, such as eczema and acne (3).
The company has been around for over 70 years.
They make products for each of the 5 skin types: normal, dry, oily, sensitive, and combination skin.
In fact, they are the number one doctor recommended skincare brand for sensitive skin types.
However, they also have products for oily skin types too.
I personally use many Cetaphil products in my daily skincare routine.
Also, as a dermatologist, I recommend many of their products to my patients.
Because acne is a very common skin condition, Cetaphil has products specifically formulated to treat current acne and to prevent new breakouts.
With the help of Cetaphil, you can clear acne and prevent new acne from forming.
Cetaphil products are budget friendly and can be easily found in the drugstore or ordered on amazon.
If you have amazon prime, you can get free shipping on many products. If you have trouble finding a product at the drugstore, you can ask your pharmacist for help.
Is Cetaphil good for acne?
Does Cetaphil help with acne?
Cetaphil makes several products that can help with pimples and oily-prone skin/combo skin.
They have many products to choose from so that you can create your own personal gentle routine to improve your skin complexion.
1. Cleansers are an important part of everyone’s skin care regimen. Cleansing twice a day to remove dirt, oil, toxins, impurities and bacteria from the skin will stop them from clogging your pores, which is critical to prevent a breakout. Daily use of Cetaphil cleansers and moisturizers can help clear breakouts and are easy to add to your skin care regime.
2. Moisturizers are necessary for people with acne breakouts, just as they are for people with dry skin. It seems counterintuitive, but it is true. If you do not moisturize acne-prone skin, it will produce more oil, worsening your acne. However, you need to use a non-comedogenic oil-free moisturizer so you do not clog your pores.
3. Clay masks are an easy add on to your skin care regimen and a great way to clean your pores while removing excess oil from your face and prevent pimples. They can also help to exfoliate dead skin cells that can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.
Which Cetaphil cleanser is better for acne?
Cetaphil has several cleansers and face washes which you can choose from to help with your acne.
They will all remove dirt, oil and dead skin cells.
It is important to select one based on your formulation preferences (cream, lotion, or gel) and skin type. All of these are good for daily use. The best Cetaphil cleanser is the ones that is right for your skin type.
Cetaphil pro dermacontrol oil removing foam wash
This is a great foaming cleanser for oily, sensitive skin.
It removes dirt and skin oil without drying out your skin.
It contains zinc to soothe your skin and glycerin to hydrate it. It is pH balanced, paraben free and hypoallergenic.
This cleanser is foaming to cleanse your skin of pore-clogging debris.
Ingredients: Water, Zinc Coceth Sulfate, Glycerin, PEG-75, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Zinc Gluconate, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Benzoate, Masking Fragrance, Disodium EDTA.
Cetaphil’s gentle cleansing bar
This formulation is good for dry to normal, sensitive skin.
This is a unique soap free bar that defends against the 5 signs of skin sensitivity: weakened skin barrier, irritation roughness, tightness, and dryness.
This antibacterial cleansing bar gently soothes while it cleanses.
This gentle cleanser is paraben free and hypoallergenic — nice bonus, huh?
Ingredients: Sodium Cocoyl lsethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Stearate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, PEG-20, Masking Fragrance, Petrolatum, Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylate, Sucrose Cocoate, Titanium Dioxide, Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium Etidronate. May also contain Sodium Palm Kernelate
Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser
This creamy cleanser works well for dry to normal, sensitive skin.
It utilizes micellar technology to cleanse while hydrating with a powerful combination of glycerin, niacinamide and panthenol.
This soothing cream lathers and rinses well.
This gentle skin cleanser is paraben free, oil free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic to avoid damaging the skin’s moisture barrier.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Pantolactone, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid
Cetaphil daily facial cleanser
The perfect gel-cream consistency of this daily facial cleanser is formulated for combination to oily, sensitive skin.
It foams well to effectively clean your skin, and hydrates it with niacinamide, panthenol and glycerin.
It is paraben free, oil free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic.
This cleanser has skin conditioners that do not strip the skin of its natural protection. This one is also very good for rosacea.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Pantolactone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Masking Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid.
Cetaphil gentle clear clarifying acne cream cleanser
This Cetaphil acne cleanser works best for acne-prone, sensitive skin.
This gentle but effective formula contains the active ingredient salicylic acid to help avoid acne in the first place by unclogging pores and exfoliating dead skin cells (4, 5).
Salicylic works to help clear breakouts and fade acne-redness on the face.
It also contains white tea/white tea extract (camellia sinensis leaf extract) and aloe (aloe barbadensis leaf juice) to soothe the skin.
Avoid eye area.
This cleanser can be a little drying so be sure to follow up with moisturizer. However, this product is also one of the best BHA formulas around.
Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid 2.0% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Distearyl Phthalic Acid Amide, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Isopropyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract.
Which Cetaphil moisturizer is better for acne?
Cetaphil offers countless acne moisturizers (thanks Cetaphil) to help acne-prone skin.
It is best to choose one based on your skin type.
They are all paraben free, oil free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic, and they all improve skin barrier function to reduce sensitivity.
Cetaphil pro dermacontrol oil absorbing moisturizer SPF 30
This lightweight, oil free Cetaphil dermacontrol moisturizer hydrates while absorbing oil with Micropearl technology.
The Cetaphil pro derma control also contains sunscreen that protects against harmful UVA/UVB rays without irritating the skin through the use of Oleosome technology.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 7% Inactive Ingredients: Allantoin, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDT A, Glycerin, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine (Ceramide) lsopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Panthenol, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Polysorbate 61, Potassium Sorbate, Silica, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sucrose Tristearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethanolamine, Water, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Gluconate
Cetaphil moisturizing cream
This rich cream helps dry, sensitive skin by providing long lasting 48 hour hydration without clogging your pores.
It addition to panthenol (vitamin b5), niacinamide (vitamin b3) and glycerin, it also has almond oil to help improve dryness and barrier function.
This product has a gentle cream-to-lather formula.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Peg-30 Stearate, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pantolactone, Dimethiconol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Propylene Glycol, Disodium Edta, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid
Cetaphil moisturizing lotion
This lightweight formula is great for dry to normal, sensitive skin.
It provides 48 hour hydration without clogging your pores.
It is packed with niacinamide, panthenol, glycerin and avocado oil to hydrate and restore skin barrier function to the skin.
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Pantolactone, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Alcohol, Citric Acid
Cetaphil daily facial moisturizer SPF 35
This non-greasy, fast absorbing moisturizer can be used for dry to normal, sensitive skin.
It effectively hydrates the surface of your skin while providing a sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
The sunscreen ingredients in this moisturizer are titanium dioxide, which is a physical blocking sunscreen.
Physical blockers are gentler for sensitive skin than chemical ones.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 7%, Oxybenzone 6%, Titanium Dioxide 5.7% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Cyclomethicone, Stearic Acid, Dimethiconol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Xanthan Gum
Cetaphil daily oil-free hydrating lotion
This lightweight lotion is designed for combination, sensitive skin.
It hydrates with hyaluronic acid and glycerin to lock in moisture for a long time (24 hours).
Hyaluronic acid has the unique ability to absorb large amounts of water and draw it into the skin to hydrate it.
Ingredients: Water, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Homarine HCI, Sodium PCA, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Erythritol
Cetaphil gentle clear mattifying acne moisturizer
This lightweight moisturizer is made for acne-prone, sensitive skin.
It contains salicylic acid to help fight acne, botanicals to soothe and hydrate the skin, and kojic acid and licorice to brighten your complexion, remove discoloration, and improve your skin tone.
This is an excellent acne treatment moisturizer.
Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid 0.5%Inactive Ingredients:Water, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Sodium Polyacrylate, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Polysorbate 60, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, Phenoxyethanol, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Zinc Gluconate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Morus Alba Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Bisabolol, Safflower Oil/Palm Oil Amin opropanediol Esters, PPG-5-Laureth-5, Sodium Hydroxide, Kojic Acid, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Disodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-11, Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin
How can Cetaphil mask help acne?
Cetaphil Pro Dermacontrol Purifying Clay Mask product line is specifically formulated for oily sensitive skin to deep clean your pores while hydrating and brightening your skin.
Kaolin and bentonite clays remove dirt, dead skin cells and excess surface oil to leave your skin with a matte finish, smoother texture and less pimples.
Apple fruit extract helps to hydrate your skin.
Cucumber seed extract works to brighten dull skin.
Glycerin, shea butter and avocado oil hydrate the skin without clogging your pores.
It is paraben free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic. It also defends against the 5 signs of skin sensitivity.
How to use Cetaphil cleanser?
Cleansers are the first product you should use in your daily skin care routine.
It is important to cleanse your skin twice a day, morning and night, with Cetaphil skin cleanser as well as after working out or sweating.
You need to remove the dirt, oil, dead skin cells, impurities, debris, toxins and bacteria that accumulate on your skin while you are sleeping and also throughout the day while you are working.
Take a small amount of cleanser or face wash and gently massage it into your skin.
Then rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel.
Only use lukewarm water as hot water can damage the barrier and lead to dehydration.
In addition to a clean towel, it is also important to keep your pillowcases clean as well.
How to use Cetaphil moisturizer?
This is your final skincare layer to apply.
You should moisturize your skin twice a day with an oil free moisturizer, like Cetaphil, that will not clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts.
It is best to apply it to damp skin right after cleansing to lock in the moisture.
You need to wear sunscreen during the day, so you could choose a daytime moisturizer with SPF and a different one for nighttime that does not have sunscreen.
You can apply a small amount with your fingertips and gently massage in to the surface of the skin.
How to use Cetaphil mask?
You can apply a clay mask up to 3 times a week, as tolerated to reduce excess oils, unclog your pores, help prevent blemishes, and give your face a matte finish.
Masks can be applied at night after cleansing your face for 10-15 minutes.
Make sure to moisturize after removing the mask while your face is still damp.
Final thoughts on is Cetaphil good for acne
Good skin care is just as important to acne sufferers as good medications are.
If you do not take proper care of your skin, the medications won’t work well on blemishes.
Give Cetaphil skin care products a try. Make sure to choose the right Cetaphil product for your skin type.
The best Cetaphil products are the ones that work best for you.
If you are still having trouble finding the best face wash or other products to help your skin, do not give up.
Cetaphil also has other products such as serums, spot treatment, retinoids, etc.
You can always consult with your dermatologist, who is an expert in skin care and can help give you advice for clearer skin.
If you have a severe case, you will need prescription strength products with acne fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide (6).
The sooner you get your pimples under control, the less likely you are to have permanent acne scars.
1. American Academy of Dermatology website www.aad.org
2. Smith RN, Mann NJ, Braue A, Makelainen H, Varigos GA. The effect of a high-protein, low glycemic-load diet versus a conventional, high glycemic-load diet on biochemical parameters associated with acne vulgaris: a randomized, investigator-masked, controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007;57:247-256.
3. Cetaphil website www.cetaphil.com
4. Baumann L (ed) 2015. Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients. McGraw-Hill Education, NY.
5. Draelos ZD (ed) 2005. Cosmeceuticals. Elsevier Inc, NY.
6. Zaenglein AL, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016; 74: 945-73.