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· Bestsellers: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

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Bestsellers: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
by Dorothy


Even looking at this photo brings me back to the mid-1990s, my junior high years. (The packaging has changed, but not that much.) My mother owned a copy of Paula Begoun's Blue Eyeshadow Should Still Be Illegal, and I flipped through it regularly. Paula Begoun loved Cetaphil. It was neither oily nor sudsy: it was a thin, gloppy translucent liquid with almost no scent, no irritating ingredients to speak of (and this is how Paula Begoun evaluated products -- by the ingredients), no gimmicks, no inflated price. She had, as far as I know, no financial stake in the company; she just loved the product.

So my mother used Cetaphil, and I used Cetaphil. Even my brother, who was maybe seven years old at the time, washed his face with Cetaphil because it didn't sting when it got in his eyes. I think my mother still uses it, but I have moved on. Cetaphil was gentle, yes, but it left an unpleasantly slimy film on my skin. It didn't remove makeup well. It probably didn't make my teenage acne any worse, but it didn't help, either. Despite claims that it rinsed clean with water, it really required a washcloth to remove. It didn't really moisturize, nor did it really clarify. All in all, it was mediocre.

It may well be that Cetaphil stood out in the skincare market of the early nineties. I'm too young to know for sure. I do know that I used it for years and it never particularly impressed me, and by now there are many other gentle, unscented cleansers on the market. I can't imagine going back to it at this point.

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