sebamed vs cetaphil

Sebamed Vs Cetaphil: Which Is Best For Babies, Dry Skin, Acne & More

If you suffer from sensitive skin, you know how much effort and consideration is needed when selecting which product to use and avoid disaster.

Luckily there are now several sensitive-skin product options on the market. Two of those brands are Sebamed and Cetaphil.

These brands are both medicinal skin-care brands that are made specifically for sensitive skin. Sebamed and Cetaphil are both chosen to treat and soothe sensitivity because of the carefully-picked ingredients they use. 

Although these brands offer similar benefits, there are differences between them. So, let’s talk about Sebamed VS Cetaphil and which brand reigns supreme for sensitive skin. 

First, the main differences between these brands are:

  • Sebamed has scented products, while all Cetaphil products are fragrance-free.
  • Cetaphil is soap-free, while Sebamed has a pH value of 5.5.
  • Cetaphil products have no lather, Sebamed on the other hand, lathers on the skin.

Sebamed Vs Cetaphil: 4 Main Differences

sebamed vs cetaphil for baby



Cetaphil is made with all-natural products like Aloe Vera and Vitamin B5. Additionally, the first listed ingredients in Cetaphil products are water and Cetyl Alcohol, which might sound rough but it is a non-irritating ingredient that moisturizes dry skin.

Isopropyl Alcohol, however, a rougher ingredient, is also found in Cetaphil products, specifically cleansers, because it removes impurities and also kills microorganisms.  

Cetaphil cleansers also contain Lauryl Sulfate or SLS, which can cause irritations if overused.

Also, Stearyl Alcohol is used as a moisturizer and can be derived from both stearic acid and coconut or vegetable oil. This ingredient can soothe and condition your skin.

Unfortunately, Cetaphil also includes Paraben, which is now being linked to forming cancer in the body


The first two ingredients in Sebamed are water and Olefin Sulfonate. Olefin Sulfonate is simply a cleansing agent which works by dissolving oil molecules and compounds in water.

SLES is another ingredient that is also included in the product. It is a detergent just like SLS that is found in Cetaphil. However, SLES is thought to be safer than SLS.

Additionally, SLES is just like a foaming agent to cleanse your skin. To make sure your skin stays moisturized, Panthenol is also used here, and it will act by binding water to your skin.

Another ingredient used is Glycol Distearate, which is simply an emollient and has a high foaming capacity making it a popular ingredient in cleansers.

Like Cetaphil, Sebamed has moisturizing ingredients like Saccharide Isomerate that binds water to the skin. Additionally, there is Allantoin that is used here to soothe and protect the skin.

Finally, there is Glycerin which is an emollient that keeps your skin hydrated, supple and prevents dryness.

Unlike Cetaphil, Sebamed uses a fragrance in their products, which might be irritating to sensitive skin. Therefore, people should spot test these products before using them.


The difference in price for these brands depends on the product you are buying, but overall Sebamed is considered more expensive than Cetaphil


Cetaphil’s cleanser has a watery consistency which results in a clear cream and gel. As mentioned, Cetaphil is unscented, so there are no relaxing scents, but it can be used with or without water.

On the other hand, Sebamed’s consistency is thick with a green gel-like density. Also, there is a powdery scent. The cleansing cream is easy to apply and massage into the skin and can be applied to both the body and the face. 

Based on their individual consistencies, Sebamed may be easier to apply. However, Cetaphil is lighter, which is better for sensitive skin. Furthermore, it can be used with or without water, unlike Sebamed. 


Cetaphil cleansers leave the skin feeling smooth and clean after use, unlike dry or stiff like regular face or body washes. However, since Cetaphil cleansers do not lather, they are not efficient for completely removing heavy makeup.

Like Cetaphil, Sebamed is not so good at removing makeup either. But, it does work well with removing dirt and oil from the skin, and it is a bit more effective with makeup from my experience.

The main difference between these brands in their performance is that Sebamed lathers, but it will need water to be completely clean, unlike Cetaphil. 

Sebamed Vs Cetaphil Body Wash 

As mentioned, none of the Cetaphil products are scented, which makes it better for sensitive skin as there is a lower risk for skin irritation. Sebamed on the other hand is scented.

However, if you like to have a lathery body wash, then Sebamed is for you. Cetaphil body washes are cleansers, not soap, which means the washes do not lather.

Furthermore, Cetaphil Body Wash can be used without water as it is more of a cleanser than a soap. Since Sebamed lathers like soap, you will need to use it with water. 

Sebamed Vs Cetaphil for Baby 

As both brands are great for sensitive skin, this makes them perfect for babies. Additionally, they both have no harmful chemicals and are soap-free.

However, for a better clean, you may prefer to use Sebamed instead of Cetaphil. Sebamed has a high pH which is best for cleansing, and it does not strip the moisture from the baby’s skin while keeping it clean at the same time. 

Furthermore, Sebamed is recommended by dermatologists for babies with dry skin. Also, Sebamed is soap-free which means it won’t irritate the baby’s eyes.

Another reason why Sebamed is best for babies is it has herbal extracts that can make your baby’s hair stronger and healthier.

Sebamed Vs Cetaphil for Acne

Cetaphil Facial Cleanser offers a basic acne treatment because it cleanses the face without removing the essential oils. Also, all of the Cetaphil moisturizers are non-comedogenic, which means they won’t block your pores.

However, Cetaphil is so gentle on the skin it can be used as part of the daily regime for acne-prone skin, but it can not be used as the sole treatment. 

Sebamed, on the other hand, is specifically designed for eczema, pimples, acne, and blackheads. It also moisturizes, heals, and helps with skin elasticity. Because of this, Sebamed is more suited to treat chronic acne. 

Who Is Cetaphil Good For

Although Cetaphil and Sebamed are both for sensitive skin, Cetaphil is best for persons with highly sensitive skin as it does not have any fragrance.

Who Is Sebamed Good for

As mentioned, Sebamed does have fragrance, unlike Cetaphil. Furthermore, Sebamed is heavier and foamier.

That being said, Sebamed would be suited for persons who want to use a product for fairly sensitive skin but still want to have the feel of using soap. 


Cetaphil and Sebamed are pretty equal contenders. Their main differences are the fragrance and foaminess.

Although both of these brands stay away from harmful products, there have been some conversations about the use of Paraben (found in Cetaphil products) which has been linked to causing cancer.

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