Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash
8 fl. oz. for $14.79
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:12.30.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This is a good, lightly fragranced cleanser for normal to oily or combination skin. Cleanser such as this (and there are many) are great for acne-prone skin because they don’t over-cleanse but instead remove excess oil and rinse without leaving a residue. This contains zinc gluconate, an ingredient that has been studied in comparison to antibiotics for managing acne. The research on this ingredient was done with oral supplements, not topical application via a cleanser, so it’s a stretch to state it applies here, too. However, zinc Gluconate has anti-inflammatory activity that can be helpful for reducing redness from acne, though it would be best used in a leave-on product (Sources: Archives of Dermatological Research, December 2011, pages 707–713; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, January 2011, pages 59–66; European Journal of Dermatology, May-June 2005, pages 152–155; and Dermatology, Volume 203, 2001, pages 135–140).

In terms of the “oil control” portion of the name, this cleanser cannot control oil beyond simply washing it from the surface of skin, just as any well formulated cleanser like this can do.


Cetaphil DermaControl™ Oil Control Foam Wash is designed to cleanse oily and acne-prone skin. It is clinically proven to gently wash away excess oil produced by acne-prone skin, along with impurities and makeup — all of which can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.


Water, Zinc Coceth Sulfate, Glycerin, PEG-75, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Zinc Gluconate, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Benzoate, Masking Fragrance, Disodium EDTA.

Brand Overview

Cetaphil At-A-Glance

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

Weaknesses:No state-of-the-art moisturizers; the original Gentle Skin Cleanser is a dated formula that isn't nearly as elegant or efficacious as many other water-soluble cleansers.

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, but it's disappointing that their SPF-rated products utilize active ingredients that can be a problem for sensitive skin. A mineral-based sunscreen would be a welcome addition for a line that stresses its value for sensitive skin!

We'd have expected the company to keep pace with the latest research into what it takes to create a truly great moisturizer, but that hasn't occurred either, and it could be done while still keeping the products suitable for those with sensitive skin.

As for their original Gentle Skin Cleanser, it is no longer one we recommend. Why? Although we were a champion of this cleanser for years (back when hardly anyone knew about it and good water-soluble cleansers were scarce), the formula has become dated and just isn't worth strong consideration over several other cleansers at the drugstore.

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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Only thing that takes off my waterproof mascara

This is absolutely the only product that can remove my waterproof mascara (Maybelline Falsies line). Even eye-makeup remover can't take this stuff off... I really hope they don't discontinue the cetaphil foam cleanser.

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