Cetaphil Antibacterial Cleansing Bar Ingredients

Bar Soap Suds

MackoFlower/iStock/Getty Images

Cetaphil's consumer website claims its antibacterial cleansing bar is suitable for dry, sensitive skin and is non-comedogenic and antibacterial with added deodorant benefits. Cetaphil's antibacterial cleansing bar contains 19 ingredients.

Active Ingredient

The active ingredient in Cetaphil's antibacterial cleansing bar is triclosan in a 0.3 percent concentration. Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It binds to enzymes present in bacteria and inhibits them from participating in fatty acid synthesis, the process that makes the bacterial cell's membranes.


Emulsifiers keep water and oil-based substances from separating in the finished cleansing bar. Sodium stearate, PEG-20 and sodium isostearoyl lactylate are all emulsifiers present in the Cetaphil antibacterial cleansing bar. Stearic acid is also present, a chemical that “A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients” says does double duty as an emulsifier and a cleanser.


Cetaphil's antibacterial cleansing bar includes two ingredients used as emollients, drawing water to the skin and keeping it there. Petrolatum, a substance derived from oil byproducts, locks moisture into the skin. Sucrose cocoate acts as a moisturizer and a cleanser, according to “Milady's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients.”


Cleansers are the agents that bind to dirt and grease, allowing it to wash away from the skin more easily. Cetaphil's antibacterial cleansing bar contains four regular cleansers: sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium tallowate, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate and sodium cocoate. Sodium cocoate is also noted as an emulsifier, according to “Cosmetics Unmasked.” The label for Cetaphil's cleansing bar states the formula may also contain sodium palm kernelate, a cleanser and an emulsifier.


Two preservatives are found in Cetaphil's antibacterial cleansing bar. Petasodium pentetate and tetrasodium etidronate keep the cleansing bar from degrading over the course of its shelf life by preventing metal ions from bonding with the components of the soap.

Other Ingredients

Water is an ingredient in Cetaphil's cleansing bar and is partly accountable for its texture and viscosity. Sodium chloride, or table salt, is included in the cleansing bar as a thickening agent. Sodium isethionate, a chemical “A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients” identifies as a lather-boosting agent, is also present. Titanium dioxide adds white pigmentation to the formula, as noted by “Milady's Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary.” Cetaphil's cleansing bar also contains what is listed as “masking fragrance,” a mixture of scents designed to give the product an inoffensive odor.