We made it to the weekend! I am gonna be busy making MORE Fissure King today, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to rant at you about cleansers. Specifically, cleansers to avoid. So many of you write me asking what to do with your badly behaved skin, and most of the time, the culprit is your cleanser. Using a cleanser that is too intense will result in your skin being stripped of its natural moisturizing factors. At that point, your skin will then kick sebum production into overdrive to replace what is being taken out, which can lead to blackheads, congestion, and even full on nasty breakouts. In addition to this awesomeness, a too strong cleanser will dry your skin out, which can lead to sensitivity issues. This is how you get skin that is ‘dry and oily.’

I’m gonna split my rant into two parts. In this one, I’m gonna talk about the lie that is Cetaphil. The next one will be about how you should never use Dr.Bronner’s or any other castile soap or baking soda on your skin, so gird your loins.

Many of you have written and told me that you are using Cetaphil as a cleanser. You have told me that you thought it was a good mild face wash. It is often recommended by dermatologists, and so the world has (mistakenly) assumed it is good to use. I had a derm tell me to use it for my ichthyosis. Let’s look at the description under the photo, shall we? ‘A mild, SOAP-FREE cleanser that SOOTHES AND HYDRATES as it cleans.’ There is not one word of truth in that statement. Here are the 8 ingredients in Cetaphil (Dirty 13 ingredients in all caps): water, cetyl alcohol, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE, stearyl alcohol, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN, BUTYLPARABEN.

Right away, I hope you noticed that 5 of the 8 ingredients are ones I tell you to avoid. But let’s dig deeper. The ad says it’s a ‘soap free’ cleanser, yet it contains sodium lauryl sulfate, a potent surfactant and degreaser. SLS is, in fact, a crazy strong ‘soap,’ so Cetaphil is def not ‘soap-free.’ With SLS as the surfactant/cleansing agent, this product is already going to f**k up your skin by stripping it. But let’s keep going. Besides SLS, it also contains 3 different parabens. Parabens have a decent breast cancer link, and for that reason, I tell you to avoid them. Going further, we find propylene glycol. PG isn’t super nasty on its own, it just has a high potential for irritation and causes skin dryness from long-term use, LOL. In this formula, what worries me most about it is its ability to function as a penetration enhancer for other ingredients. A penetration enhancer will open a path to deeper skin layers. If your product has lots of awesome, healthy ingredients, that’s super. But if your product is full of dangerous ingredients, giving them an all-access pass to deeper skin layers is a bad idea. So having PG in this formula just adds another dimension to its shittiness.

Please don’t use this cleanser unless you have to. It is not going to ‘soothe and hydrate,’ it’s going to create problems for your skin. It’s perceived ‘mild and gentle’ qualities are derived from marketing executives, not facts based on the properties of the ingredients it contains. It belongs in a dustbin, not on your face or body. #themoreyouknow

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