The A-Z of Cetaphil Ingredients: What you need to know

Anyone who’s dealt with dry, painful or damaged skin will tell you that finding a skincare regime that works can be tough. Making sense of the sheer volume of ingredients, treatments and remedies on offer can be even harder.

That’s why this Skin Awareness Month, to help Aussies better understand and care for their skin’s health, we’ve compiled a handy list of common (and some not-so-common) ingredients used in Cetaphil products. Carefully formulated by our scientists to be safe for sensitive skin, Cetaphil’s range utilises powerful ingredients to protect our skin and help it stay healthy.


Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient also commonly known as retinol. Vitamin A helps to reduce the signs of ageing like wrinkles, pigmentation and blotchiness. You can find it in Cetaphil’s Rich Night Cream.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is used in skin care products as a base for hydration. Its benefits come from a combination of Vitamins A and B, folic acid, enzymes, proteins, amino acids, good fatty acids and triglycerides which work together to soothe irritated skin and lock in moisture.

Try it in Cetaphil’s Ultra Gentle Refreshing Body Wash, and Cetaphil Baby Moisturising Bath & Wash for the kids.

Vitamin B5

Also known as panthenol, Vitamin B5 is used in serums, moisturisers and cleansers, as it can help to maintain our skin’s elasticity and softness by attracting and retaining moisture.

To discover the power of vitamin B5, choose from Cetaphil’s Gentle Foaming CleanserDaily Exfoliating Cleanser and Gentle Foaming Cleanser for your face; Moisturising Lotion for your face or body; and Ultra Gentle Refreshing Body WashUltra Gentle Body Wash Refreshing Scent, or DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion for your body.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, but we humans don’t naturally produce it. The water-soluble essential vitamin is abundant in fruits and vegetables like oranges, capsicum, broccoli, spinach and strawberries.

Vitamin C protects our skin against pollutants (think exhaust fumes or allergens) and harmful weather conditions. It’s also a powerful hydrator that can help to reduce dryness, brighten the complexion, even out skin tone, and increase collagen production. Find it in Cetaphil’s Rich Night Cream (ascorbyl palmitate).

Citric acid

Citric acid is an AHA that occurs naturally in citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges. It differs slightly from other AHAs in that it also has antioxidant properties.

Citric acid is predominantly used in skincare to balance the pH of products. It’s a natural astringent, meaning it can help to dry out excess oil and can have an exfoliating effect on the skin.

Realise the benefits of citric acid in Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleansing WipesDaily Exfoliating CleanserGentle Foaming Cleanser and Rich Night Cream for your face; Face Hydrating Eye Cream-Serum for your eyes; Moisturising Lotion for your face and body; and Ultra Gentle Refreshing Body Wash, or DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion for your body.


Dimethiconol is a type of silicone which helps moisturisers to spread easily across the skin and form a protective coating, while still allowing skin to breathe. This ingredient helps moisturise even the most sensitive skin and can be found in Cetaphil’s Moisturising Cream.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant found in plant-based seeds, nuts, oils, fruits and vegetables, as well as in our skin.

When applied topically, this hard-working ingredient protects the skin against pollution and environmental stresses (AKA “free radicals”). Experience the nourishing effects of Vitamin E in Cetaphil’s Gentle Foaming CleanserGentle Skin Cleansing Wipes and SPF50+ Ultra-light Lotion.


Although many people think an emollient and a moisturiser are the same thing, they aren’t – an emollient is one of the ingredients in a moisturiser. Emollients are the part of your moisturiser that keep your skin soft and smooth. Emollients help skin to feel more comfortable and less itchy which is why they are commonly found within eczema products. They keep the skin moist and flexible, helping to prevent cracks by producing an oily layer over the skin surface which traps water beneath it.

The resulting restoration of the skin’s barrier function by emollients helps prevent penetration of irritants, allergens and bacteria thereby helping to reduce the symptoms of eczema prone skin. A good skin care routine using emollients can soothe, moisturise, and protect the skin.

Cetaphil Pro Eczema Prone Skin Restoring Body Wash is emollient rich, as well as being soap, lanolin, paraben and fragrance free.



Glycerin is one of the most-common ingredients in skincare and cosmetics and is used widely across the Cetaphil product range. It is found naturally in the skin and is a key ingredient for skin hydration. It acts like a sponge, drawing moisture from the air and slowing down the evaporation of moisture from your skin.*

A humectant derived from animal fats or vegetable oils, glycerin has been shown to effectively hydrate our skin’s outermost layer and protect against irritants. It’s usually coupled with hydrating agents known as occlusives that attract and retain water. 

For your face, find it in Cetaphil’s Daily Exfoliating CleanserGentle Foaming Cleanser, Face Hydrating Eye Cream-SerumDaily Hydrating LotionRich Night Cream and Daily Facial Moisturiser. For your body, choose Ultra Gentle Refreshing Body Wash or DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion to realise the benefits of this hydrating ingredient. For both your face and body, find it in Moisturising Cream.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant (a substance that retains water) that occurs naturally in our skin, eyes and joints. Depending on the molecule size, it can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, making it a powerful hydrator.

When applied topically, hyaluronic acid can increase our skin’s suppleness, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help our skin retain all-important moisture. Find it in Cetaphil’s Face Hydrating Eye CreamDaily Hydrating Lotion and Rich Night Cream.

Natural chamomile

Chamomile has natural skin calming benefits which means it can help soothe skin and irritated scalps. Cetaphil Baby Shampoo is especially formulated to be gentle enough for newborn's and baby's skin, including natural chamomile.


Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B-3 that protects skin from environmental stressors like pollutants and harsh weather. It also promotes production of keratin (a protein that keeps our skin firm and healthy), retains moisture by supporting our skin’s lipid barrier, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Try it in Cetaphil’s Hydrating Eye Cream-Serum with Hyaluronic Acid.

Organic calendula

Calendula can be used to relieve many types of skin conditions that may cause dry, itchy, or irritated areas. It helps soothe itchiness and discomfort associated with skin irritation and excess dryness.

Cetaphil Baby Advanced Protection Cream contains organic calendula for instant soothing and protection against skin irritation, ideal for parents with children under two years old.

Shea butter

Shea butter is fat that’s extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. It has high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids which makes it a great ingredient for smoothing, soothing, and conditioning your skin. Shea butter doesn’t contain chemical irritants known to dry out skin, and it doesn’t clog pores making it appropriate for nearly all skin types. When used for its moisturising effects, shea butter can help restore lipids and rapidly create moisture. This restores the barrier between your skin and the outside environment, holding moisture in and reducing your risk of dryness.

A number of products from the Cetaphil Baby range are specially formulated with shea butter including; Cetaphil Baby Massage OilCetaphil Baby Daily Lotion and Cetaphil Baby Advanced Protection Cream.

Sunflower Seed Oil

Sunflower Seed (Helianthus Annuus) Oil is high in linoleic acid which helps to replenish, strengthen and soothe the skin. Sunflower Seed Oil is especially beneficial for skin that is dry and sensitive, as it has a naturally calming effect.

It can be found in Cetaphil’s Moisturising Cream, suitable for the face and body, which has been carefully formulated with ingredients such as this which is deeply hydrating for dry skin.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) Oil is another exceptionally hydrating ingredient found in Cetaphil’s Moisturising Cream for face and body. It is loaded with skin-nourishing fatty acids like linoleic acid and oleic acid. Sweet Almond Oil is classified as an occlusive helps to promote healthier-looking skin. Occlusives are moisturising agents that work by forming a protective layer on the surface of your skin and create a barrier to prevent moisture loss.

Try Cetaphil products infused with almond oil including Cetaphil Moisturising Cream and Cetaphil Baby Moisturising Bath & Wash for the kids.

*Fluhr J, Darlenski R, Surber C. Glycerol and the skin: holistic approach to its origin and functions. British Journal of Dermatology. 2008;159(1):23-34