Summary: An effective and gentle moisturizer that is best reserved for night-time use. Safe for acne-prone skin and can be effectively combined with acne topicals to diminish drying effects. May be too greasy for some skin types.
Any acne regimen is ineffective without the proper use of moisturizer. When I was prescribed a course of treatment that consisted of Retin-A in 2008, my doctor suggested using Cetaphil. It has since been two years and going, and despite some of the downfalls that this product has, it has treated my skin well. The Cetaphil moisturizer, much like the company’s other products, comes in a no-frills container with all the details front and center. This particular moisturizer comes in two different sized containers, a 8 fl oz dispenser and a 16 fl oz one. To be perfectly honest, I have difficult envisioning any use for the larger container if a person is merely applying it to their face. A tiny amount goes a long way with this product and you will be struggling to finish the bottle within a year.
My major gripe with moisturizers has always been that characteristic overpowering fragrance. This is not something most of us want to use on acne prone skin. For one, we might not personally prefer the smell. On a more important note, it might trigger some adverse effects. Any additive you can leave out of an acne product makes for that much more suitable for sensitive skin. The Cetaphil moisturizing lotion excels in this department. It has no detectable smell and therefore makes it more lucrative for both sexes.
Coming out of the bottle, Cetaphil looks much like any other moisturizer. It has that characteristic white and slippery consistency. If you rub it between your fingers some, you get the indication that it’s not as lightweight as indicated on the front of the product. When I first used it, I was a bit disappointed about how it went on my skin. It just didn’t seem to want to absorb. To this day every time I apply the product, it seems to leave behind a greasy film on my face regardless of how hard I try to work it in or how clean my face is before applying it.
There is a bit of a discrepancy in that some have observed the exact opposite effect. It seems that the product is more suitable for certain skin types. What I can tell you that it does an excellent job hydrating the skin. Since it should be primarily used at night (anything used in the morning should have some SPF), the shiny film that it leaves behind won’t bother most people. From my experience, even though it may not be fully absorbed by some skin types, it doesn’t really interfere with the function of any acne medications you may apply over it. To be safe, you should always wait 10-15 minutes to let the moisturizer set before applying any acne medications over it. Talk to your dermatologist if you’re unsure. Also, be sure to clarify whether they want you applying moisturizer before or after using a topical retinoid. The former is usually preferred to prepare the skin for the drying effects of the medication.
I won’t be the first to tell you that you get instant gratification after using this product. Since my skin has been sensitized by the acne topicals I’ve been using, its feels very tight and dry within minutes after washing. The moment I apply the Cetaphil, the irritation goes away. I’m not a fan of the greasy sheen that it leaves behind, but the product sure does get the job done.
You may end up with some slick-looking skin in the morning. However, you can rest assured that it will feel plenty moisturized. Fortunately, some Cetaphil cleanser should get your skin looking as good as new.
Finding the best price for the Cetaphil Fragrance Free Moisturizing Lotion can be a daunting task. Many stores sell the small size for $10 or more. It’s usually a better idea to shop online and buy the product in bulk (some sites sell packages of two or more). Yes, it will take you some time to finish even the first container, but it is well worth saving the money and having the product on hand.