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.
- Contains proven beneficial emollients that will moisturize skin.
- Packaged in a jar, which isn't the best for its ingredients.
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!)