Saturday, 3 September 2016

Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion

Apologies for the stock photo. I'm not at home.

Well you did ask. :)

Describe the brand in five words.
Affordable. Recognisable. That's about it.

What is it?
'Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion is specifically formulated to soothe your chronically dry skin. Once applied, your skin feels soft and smooth. It is non-greasy, non–irritating and non–comedogenic (won't clog pores), leaving you feeling more comfortable in your own skin.'

A moisturiser. Although I've talked about the term 'non-comedogenic' before. It's meaningless and unregulated, so take no notice of that.

Who is it for?
'Chronically dry'. I personally don't think this would be enough for a 'chronically dry' skin - and it also isn't hydrating enough to do any harm to an oilier skin. 

What’s in it?
Purified Water, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Macadamia Nut Oil, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Farnesol, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid

What's not in it?
mineral oil

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?

The alcohols listed are fatty alcohols, not 'booze' alcohols (just fyi) that are traditionally drying. They are all halal.*

*I am regularly asked about halal alcohols. This comment was not a joke.

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Man made.

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?

How does it smell?
It claims to be fragrance free, but it contains farnesol, most commonly used to fragrance products/hide smelly products whilst still technically claiming to be 'fragrance free'. It's also used in pesticides (in much higher %s obviously) but that's neither here nor there. *face to camera*

How does it feel on the skin?/Absorption rate?
Feels light and moisturising, absorbs easily.

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
It's a moisturiser so last before SPF/makeup.

How long before you should see results?
It will hydrate immediately.

How long did I test it for?
I won't personally use it, but I've tried it, been aware of it and advising on it for years.

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?

What’s good about it?
It contains glycerin as a second ingredient, which will moisturise. Also contains panthenol and macadamia nut oil to hold moisture in the skin, although for the price and where it's listed, it won't be a high %.

What’s not so good about it?
It's not awful, but it's a very basic formula, the farnesol may cause you an issue (being fair, equally it may not). 

Works well with?
You can stick a moisturiser on top of anything. It should act like a coat.

What’s the website like?
As yesterday, it's what you'd expect, but it's irrelevant really as everyone will buy this from their drug store/chemist/supermarket.

Would I purchase/repurchase?
Probably not. Again, there are products out there that are as affordable and more pleasant to use without using functionality/efficacy.

Similar products?

*no affiliate links and I am not affiliated with CeraVe in any capacity. Worth a mention. ;)

See my full disclaimer here:

The views expressed on this site are the author's own and are provided for informational purposes only. The author makes no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than herself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.


  1. I've only ever used this while on accutaine/isotretinoin/roaccutaine oral tablets. Did the job. Love/hate relationship. I used it on my second blast of accutaine and I couldn't believe that my skin didn't peel like the first time. So I recommend while on accy but that's it. However I've no idea if there are any better nicer more expensive alternatives. Any idea please Caroline as I'm possibly being put on accutaine again on Tuesday and as someone new to your tribe my produce are all aimed at acne busting. Please can you recommend a complete cleanse to moisturising routine or brand? I was thinking MV organics. Thanks for all your wisdom it has changed my life. I appreciate the posts it must take so much time out of your life to educate us lot. Xx

    1. I know you're asking for Caroline's input but I was thinking I'd throw in my 2 cents. I have never tried MV organics but I've heard such great things about it and it's on my "when I'm no longer a poor student, things to buy" list, haha.
      I've been using the La Roche Posay toleriane ultra and while there's no other benefit than moisturising it does that really well I think. I should say I haven't been on accutane but I have been on Retin-a and I have dry skin as it is and it helped out a lot! I tried the LRP hydraphase legere and it just wasn't "hydrating" enough. Cicaplast is also really good when the peeling is getting out of hand. I don't think Caroline has ever said anything about the toleriane ultra specifically but as far as I can tell from the inci list it's okay. And she has recommended LRP moisturisers before in general. Basically what I'm saying is this is my experience don't kill me if Caroline hates it, haha. ( I don't think she does, but I'm covering all my bases here)

    2. Thank you lovey, I've a sample of the toleraine on its way so I'll give it a go. I went with isotrex gel in the end. Hope your poor days are soon over xx

  2. Wow, Americans really like their big bottles of mosturisers. Anyway, Cerave is way better, as a brand, than Cetaphil. For the same price range, they offer more than basic, mediocre products.

  3. Hi Caroline,

    I just wondered if you could do a post/cheat sheet on skincare and backpacking/travelling? I'm sure there are loads of readers starting gap years etc. who would love your advice. I'm going to South America for 8 weeks, and am trying to decide what skincare to take with me as space is at a premium. Alas, I am 35 not 19 so my skin needs a bit more help, particularly at high altitudes. At home I use a classics Hirons routine (balm cleanser, glow tonic, floral spray, oil serum, hydraluron, moisturiser, sunscreen), but don't think I can take enough flannels with meow bring all those bottles. However I hate the idea of wipes for 8 weeks! Any advice would be gratefully received.

    1. I'd love this too, great question! I'm going to south America for 3 months and will need products for the rainforest, high altitude and freezing southern Patagonia...

      I'm 29 and have been following the Hirons technique for a while, with great results, so I don't want to ruin all my hard work (and skin!).

      When I'm away for a week or so I decant the products in muji pots and that's fine but I'm not sure how well they'll last over 3 months. Also, like you I'm tight on space and don't want to lug around a heavy bag. :)

    2. See Caroline's cheat sheet on festival skincare. The same advice would apply to travelling.

  4. Hi Caroline, you suggested neutrogena for oily skin, would you recommend any particular ones from them or are they all suitable? Thank you for your continued wisdom x

    1. Just check the inci list and avoid mineral oil if you can x

  5. After one really bad winter, my skin was dry for the first time ever (I usually have oily skin), none of my products were working and my skin was getting worse. Then my friend told me to try Cetaphil as she as eczema, which left her with dry patches! And wow did cetaphil products help! They hydrated my skin, leaving it so soft!

    1. Good. I'm happy for you and your face! :)

  6. Thanks for the info. I bought a bottle of the CeraVe hydrating cleanser, but have been waiting to finish the Cetaphil first. I guess I should be tossing the rest of the bottle then? Anyone have any hacks for unused Cetaphil other than as a face wash? lol

    1. Yep. You can use it to get rid of head lice. Only thing I've ever used it for when my kids were little. Works like a charm. Seriously. Google it. And...if it kills lice do I really want to put it on my face?

    2. Some readers yesterday were using it to shave their legs :)

  7. Replies
    1. I get asked all the time about halal alcohols!

  8. My son's allergist recommended CeraVe over Cetaphil. I find it sinks in quicker & lasts a bit longer when my son's excema is slightly flared. The cleanser from CeraVe rinses much cleaner & leaves no sticky feeling behind. And I appreciate that it had no nut oils in in. My son has severe allergies including dairy & nuts. I know that nut oils can be very moisturizing but I appreciate a product that works well without those ingredients.

  9. My mother-in-law always wants to bring me something when she comes to visit from Ireland, which I take advantage of since she can get a lot of things we don't have here in Denmark. I had her bring me this and the cleanser after Dr. Sam Bunting recommend it. I hated them both but they are the first things my step daughter has ever used regularly, before she would use a make-up remover and nothing else. This is definitely better than nothing.

  10. I used CeraVe body lotion after a friend said she had great results with it. I started using it and ended up with bumps on my legs that seemed to be clogged pores or hair follicles or something. I stopped using it and they went away after a few weeks. I haven't dared use that brand again. Who knows what it might do to my face.

  11. I don't trust any product with dermatologist tested on it these days. Never found one that works. Soap & Glory do nice cleansers/moisturizers that are reasonably priced but I don't think any moisturizer does the job well unless you exfoliate first and I keep it simple with the Body Shop body polisher.

  12. I can't believe you used the word halal!!! Bloody hell woman I LOVE YOU����

    1. Honestly, people think I'm joking but I get asked!

  13. Hi Caroline im 14 with normal/dry skin. i usually get a few spots a month and have small blackheads on my chin, nose and forehead. In the recent weeks my skin has been breaking out quite badly (the worst its ever been) and I'm breaking out on my cheeks which never happens, i tend to get spots on my chin and forehead usually not my cheeks. i have spots on my chin and forehead as well. on my forehead i get blackheads and then they turn into whiteheads. i don't know whether its the products I'm using or from hormones but I've only just started reading your blog and have realised i need to change my skincare routine. can you recommend a cleansing balm that won't leave my skin dry after washing (like my facial wash does) but won't break me out or clog my pores. I've done research and feel overwhelmed with the amount of cleansing balms there are. i understand they can be quite expensive so i don't want to waste my money by buying the wrong one. also I'm on a budget so under £20 would be ideal but if you feel i would benefit more from a more expensive one i would buy it. also could you recommend a toner and moisturiser? thank you

    1. Hi. Look at brands like La Roche Posay, Avene and Una Brennan in Boots. It's hopefully just hormones. x

  14. Did you use the word to get census figures on Muslim followers😂 Too funny if you did as im sure it worked 👏 "The only alcohol I take is in my toner"

    1. No it's a real concern for some. It wasn't a joke.

  15. Caroline you are within a whisker of 100,000 subscribers! Congratulations on the milestone. I adore your blog, religiously follow all your advice and the sanity and humour of your vlogs have saved me on more than one occasion! Oh, and PS, my 24 year old flatmate thinks you're "a babe" xxx

  16. Hi Caroline, I've been reading your blog for a few years now and your advice has helped my skin no end, so thank you! I'd found a routine/products that worked for me consistently, but recently my skins seems to have become reactive and keeps flaring up in itchy, red, hot patches across my cheeks, jaw, neck and over my eyes. I find taking an antihistamine/relaxing reduces it, but once it calms down those patches of skin are SO FLAKY. For days on end after the skin there feels scaly/tight & just peels and flakes - nothing i have tried seems to help it. What could i try? I don't know whether to exfoliate/use acids on it to try and get rid of the flakes, or just moisturize/hydrate? On top of this, products I usually use with no issue burn on application on those areas (e.g. vichy aqualia thermal/hylamide/chanel hydra beauty lotion). ANY help would be so great, I am at a complete loss with it. x