Cetaphil Restoraderm Body Wash and Moisturiser
Price: Body wash: £15.99, Moisturiser: £19.99
Available from: Boots and other pharmacies
Suitable from: 3 months
Initial Reaction: To start, a disclaimer of sorts: if you’re looking for products and solutions to a serious skin condition, anecdotal evidence from a single source is a poor substitute for clinical evidence derived from large-scale tests. I’d advise you to look at clinical trial evidence and to talk to your doctor for accurate information on how to best treat any medical condition. I’m going to talk about my own (excellent) experience with Cetaphil – what works for one child may not necessarily work for another.
Having said that… I was very keen to try Cetaphil Restoraderm. My youngest son, who is around 18 months, has had eczema since he was around four months old. His skin isn’t often scaly these days, but he is still very dry over most of his body. The worst problem is that he scratches a lot (perhaps out of habit now) and so he creates scabs that don’t get a chance to heal properly before he’s scratched them again. We’d tried lots of creams – mainly a prescription emollient with occasional steroids, but also Dream Cream from Lush, E45 and a couple of other brands. Our main problem was finding something to use in the bath – we got a prescription bath oil, but I didn’t like that as I found it made the bath very slippery and unsafe for the whole family, which outweighed the positive effect on his skin. I’d tried various ‘mild’ body washes, but I found that anything soap-based is very drying to his skin, even if it claims to be extra mild and suitable for the smallest babies.
Pros: Based on that, I absolutely loved the Cetaphil body wash. It lathers and rinses off like a soap-based body wash, so I felt that Charles was getting a ‘proper wash’. But it wasn’t drying. His skin was left soft, and perhaps had a very thin coating of product, but nothing like what you’re left with after ‘washing’ with an emollient. It has lasted extremely well too – we’ve been using it for a couple of months and there’s still some left.
The moisturiser was brilliant for us too. It’s light and relatively easily absorbed, but moisturises very effectively. It was a great balance between the moisturising effects of a thicker cream, and a thinner lotion where his skin just ‘drinks it up’ – but with Cetaphil he wasn’t dry and itchy again straight away like he can be with lighter creams.
We found that when we started using these products, the improvements were noticeable almost straight away. Within a week, his skin was looking better than it had in months. His redness and itchiness calmed down a lot and we were really delighted. He scratched less, which meant that we all slept better and his scabs and inflamed areas had a chance to heal.
Cons: The main con for me with Cetaphil is the price. I’d love to be able to add these products to our regular skincare routine, but for £20 a bottle for the moisturiser, I just can’t do it given our family budget at the moment.
Apart from that, I really can’t think of anything – they worked brilliantly for my child.
Value for money? This is a tricky question for me. I’m no expert on skincare and I don’t know anything about the costs of developing this sort of product, or the ingredients that go into it. I’d like to think that they’re charging a fair price, and we certainly found the products extremely effective. If I could afford to buy them again, I would.
Overall Reaction: I found that by the time we reached the end of the Cetaphil Restoraderm body lotion, Charlie’s skin wasn’t looking as brilliant as when we first started. Our experience is that this happens with any cream – it seems that the change of product works really well at bringing things under control, then as his skin gets used to something new it gradually gets less effective. But I’d stress that this happens with every cream we use, which is why we generally rotate between a prescription emollient, Dream Cream, prescription emollient again then something cheaper.
Having said that, the Cetaphil was definitely the best of any of the creams we’d tried. The improvement in his skin was substantial and lasted for weeks. The moisturiser was a great balance between rich and not too heavy, and the body wash was just the product I’d been looking for – moisturises, but lathers. In terms of effectiveness, I can’t fault it. The only reason I haven’t given it 5/5 is the price.