Moisturizing Cream
16 fl. oz. for $15.99
Last Updated:07.08.2015
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Moisturizing Cream is a thicker version of Cetaphil's Moisturizing Lotion. The brand says it can moisturize even the driest skin with its blend of emollients and humectants, and it absolutely can do that. Unfortunately, because of its packaging it earns only an average, two-star rating.

This rich cream's most standard packaging (the one you'll see most often in stores) is a large plastic tub with a screw-top lid. There's a lot to like about it the formula: First off, it's fragrance-free, which is beneficial for all skin types, but especially very sensitive, dry, or eczema-prone skin.

This also includes a lot of beneficial emollients, like glycerin, petrolatum, dimethicone, and sweet almond oil. All will serve to soften rough, dry patches of skin, and help repair its barrier so that damaged skin can begin to heal.

The problem, is that this is, as mentioned, packaged in a jar. There is some vitamin E in the formula (listed in the ingredients as tocopheryl acetate), but it won't remain stable long after you open the jar because it will be exposed to light and air. Jar packaging also presents a hygiene problem because with each use you're dipping your fingers in the jar, introducing bacteria that stresses the product's preservative system (see More Info for details on why jar packaging is not ideal for many skincare ingredients).

Note: Cetaphil also sells Moisturizing Cream in a 3-ounce tube which, while not as cost-effective as the large jar, is a far better way to package this formula. The tube version earns three stars and our recommendation for dry to very dry, sensitive skin; the far more common jar-packaged version keeps its two-star rating due to the packaging.

  • Fragrance-free.
  • Contains proven beneficial emollients that will moisturize skin.
  • Packaged in a jar, which isn't the best for its ingredients.
More Info:

Jar Packaging: The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.

The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).

One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).

Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream contains a superior system of extra-strength emollients and humectants clinically proven to bind water to the skin and prevent moisture loss. The result is long-lasting relief for even severely dry skin. The non-greasy formula is excellent for hands, feet, elbows, knees, and any other areas that require intensive moisturization.
Water, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, PEG-30 Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide.
Brand Overview

Cetaphil At-A-Glance

This familiar, widely distributed skin-care collection is manufactured by Galderma, the same company that markets the prescription products Differin and MetroGel.  Given the dermatology heritage of Galderma, it's surprising the Cetaphil line hasn't advanced beyond the basics. Yes, most of what's available is a safe bet for those with sensitive skin!

If you're in search of simplicity, this is a good line to consider. We should note that many of the formulas omit more complex anti-aging ingredients, but they can always be used alongside a serum or treatment of your choosing.

Strengths: Inexpensive; mostly fragrance-free products; affordable and widely available; offers complete ingredient lists on its website; the sunscreens offer sufficient UVA protection.

Weaknesses:A few formulas could be updated with more complex ingredients, but forgoing that there is a lot to like here.

For more information about Cetaphil, call (817) 961-5000 or visit www.cetaphil.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Not suitable for face

The Petrolatum in this made my face break out terribly. Its been an year and I still have the scar. But other than that, its very hydrating for rest of the body. Thank you for sharing all the awareness. I am very eager to hear you thoughts on Charlotte Tilbury products.

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Doesn't enrage the eczema

My child has eczema and usually his elbows, hands, and backs of knees are so itchy he scratches himself bloody. This cream is one of the few that doesn't exacerbate his itchiness, including some recommended by his allergist. We've had good results recently with Argan Oil (straight up!) and lately with CapriClear spray (because he hates the feeling of EVERY thick lotion we've tried) but this is what we come back to first after failed experiments in skin care.

Reviewed by
Soothes very dry areas.

A great basic product for dry skin. Suitable for combo skin also. Non-greasy and surprisingly matte for such a thick cream. I apply as a last step where needed over my other antioxidant and sunscreen products, and at night on dry areas after Retin-a. Seems to "seal in" the other products and prevent drying out. This cream is the only product I have ever used that can correct the dry, flaky areas, while not making oily-prone areas worse. Also very good around eyes.

Reviewed by
Game Changer

This cream has transformed my skin and I've tried them all. It works well on my face (no breakouts) and on my body and on my dry feet. LOVE it. I used to use PC Recovery Moisturizer for my face and it was fine. But I found this and it works just as well at a fraction of the cost. I'm counting on my serum and boosters to give me the antioxidants and good stuff for my skin.

Reviewed by
Good for Dry Skin

In addition to its jar packaging, Cetaphil Moisturizer also comes in a three ounce tube, and this is what I use as a daytime moisturizer (over my serum) on my dry to very dry and sensitive skin.. It protects my skin and keeps it moisturized, so my skin feels good all day. I would prefer to use state-of-the-art products, but I usually can't because they're either not sufficiently moisturizing and/or they irritate my skin.

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