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Why Not Use Cetaphil?

Written by Pia Kynoch on November 27th, 2015.      0 comments

Beauty Therapy NZ News & Articles with SpaBeauty NZ

Great question!

I cannot even begin to tell you how many people I have spoken to who have been recommended to use this cleanser, for their so named ‘sensitive’ skin concerns. I would love to share my professional knowledge regarding the Cetaphil cleanser formulation, with specific regard as to what it is actually doing for your skin – and the topic regarding ‘sensitive’ skin is one best left for another day!

There are a multitude of reasons why skin breaks down, creating inflammation - otherwise known a 'sensitivity'. For a cleanser that is advertised worldwide by Galderma as “developed by dermatologists especially for sensitive skin, [this] soap substitute preserves your skin’s natural protective oils”. I’m quite adamant that they have missed their mark… totally!

Why not use Cetaphil cleanser Spa & Beauty Therapy Articles
In an interesting formulation addition, Cetaphil is loaded with the emulsifier sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), one of the most overused synthetic skin cosmetic ingredients that actually strips your skins natural lipid barrier as it 'cleanses' your skin. This surfactant is very unpopular with every serious skin therapist as its effect renders your skin more susceptible to external irritants, increases internal inflammation as your skin immune cells become overagitated, heightening redness & possible breakout as it negatively impacts your natural pH. Otherwise known as your 'acid mantle', our natural pH balance is our first line of defense that protects our skin in numerous ways, including against invading microbes. I do think it is pretty odd that Galderma call their cleanser 'pH balanced' - as, yes, the actual entire formulation inside the bottle may be - but as soon as there is contact with skin it completely interferes with our pH. In reality there no balance there at all!

Some skins will hide the presentation of inflammatory symptoms better than others, although it is important to note that it IS happening, whether you can immediately see and feel it, or not. This is what alarms me about so many products like this, and why I feel compelled to share!

SLS is used because it is cheap and easy to synthetically manufacture. You can find SLS in body washes, shampoos, toothpastes, cleansers and in cleaning products. These are all high contact products, which is a scary thought. I have certainly easily and affordably chosen to limit or eliminate my daily exposure to this ingredient!

Cetaphil also contains three different parabens: methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Parabens are considered by some to be generally safe to use, although the biggest issue for your skin is that parabens can act as an allergen - for a skin with heightened sensitivity that is not the type of cell stimulation you really need! Because of this, let alone negative health implications, I always recommend that all my clients, especially those with hyper-allergic skin, avoid products with parabens. Add it to the SLS list!

The primary reason your dermatologist or doctor may have told you to use Cetaphil is that Galderma (the huge pharmaceutical conglomerate that produce Cetaphil) sponsor a huge number of medical conferences, lunches and soirees around the globe. They provide a lot of money to medical organisations and research groups, seducing professionals with their well worded advertising and gifts. Galderma also send out extraordinary numbers of free samples to ensure they are constantly present in the offices of skin professionals. They are clever marketers! Certainly not clever skin ‘carers’.

I guarantee that very few of the skin professionals actually suggesting this cleanser to their patient have taken enough interest in the product to really check the ingredient list carefully. Assumptions are made by many people around the globe, it is not only unsuspecting consumers! At the end of the day many doctors and skin derms are there to treat skin disorders and diseases the best way they know how – by relieving the symptoms that are presented to them on that day, generally with prescription medication and/or suggestions for products that have been suggested to them by pharma companies. There is often little desire or commitment to find out the underlying CAUSE of the skin issue presenting, or for finding out what is really in the skincare products they are recommending. I’m sure many of you can attest to this - I have heard it far too many times in my practice.

The difference when you see a qualified Beauty Therapy skin therapist is that we are skin experts – training specifically and intensively on the skin and the skin alone! We understand ingredients and their impact on the skin. We understand the layers of the skin and what these layers need to work to their optimum. We adhere to Corneotherapeutic principles & use skincare products that reflect this.  
Beauty Therapy Skin Expert Pia In my professional opinion Cetaphil’s reputation as a 'gentle' simple cleanser is ill-deserved and I would not even classify it as a skinCARE product. Galderma say they are committed to the future of dermatology – I for one am scared of the future they envisage for skin... I’d rather stick with feeding my skin the ingredients that are designed to work WITH its function, not against it!

This article was written by Pia Kynoch,
Owner & Principal Therapist at
Verve Beauty & Paramedical Skin Wellness.

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