While Cetaphil is not the most luxurious lotion in the world, nor the most costly, it is something I have gone through a lot of at my house. I have used much less since I started making my own lotions, but I still use it from time-to-time when I want an unscented moisturizer.
I don’t spend nearly as much money on it as I used to, but I wanted to try to duplicate the recipe just the same. It’s fun, educational, and rewarding to do!
When duplicating a product, the first step is to get a list of the ingredients. I found this list of ingredients for Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion at Makeup Alley:
Aqua (water), Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Persea Grattisma (Avocado) Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Crosspolymer, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ceteareth-20, Citric Acid, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Levulinate, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearyl Alcohol, Tocopherol Acetate.
The next step is to chart these ingredients out and figure out what each contributes, and approximately how much of each was used. I also determined which phase each one goes into, and which ingredients I have on-hand that I will use in place of some of them.
|3||Hydrogenated Polyisobutene||Oil||Oils||3.0%||Macadamia Nut Oil|
|4||Cetearyl Alcohol||Thickener||Oils||3.0%||Cetearyl Alcohol|
|5||Avocado Oil||Oil||Oils||3.0%||Avocado Oil|
|6||Acrylates / C1-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer||Emulsifier||Oils||3.0%||Polawax|
|7||Benzyl Alcohol||Preservative||Cool Down||0.5%||Liquid Germall Plus|
|8||Caprylyl Glycol||Preservative||Cool Down||0.5%||Liquid Germall Plus|
|10||Citric Acid||PH adjuster||Water||0.5%||Citric Acid|
|13||Sodium Anisate||Preservative||Cool Down||0.5%||Liquid Germall Plus|
|14||Sodium Levulinate||Preservative||Cool Down||0.5%||Liquid Germall Plus|
|16||Stearyl Alchol||Thickener||Oils||0.5%||Behenyl Alcohol|
|17||Tocopheryl Acetate||Antioxidant||Cool Down||0.5%||Vitamin E|
Step Three is to use this list and write a recipe. At the same time, I also added some columns to figure out the cost per ounce and total cost of each ingredient – this is because I wanted to see if I saved any money making this versus buying Cetaphil.
Recipe: Possible Dupe of Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
Cost per oz
|Macadamia Nut Oil||3.0%||8||0.26||$0.50||$0.13|
|Cool Down Phase|
|Preservative: Liquid Germall Plus||0.5%||1||0.04||$1.15||$0.05|
|Vitamin E (T-50 Tocopherols)||0.5%||1||0.04||$5.90||$0.26|
I made this lotion last night. I made it just like any other lotion: (Measure, Heat, Combine, Blend, Cool). Then I let it cool off overnight.
If you want the full list of instructions on how to make lotion, see this post.
So what’s the cost analysis? Well, I definitely saved money! When I divide and multiply to get everything equivalent in terms of ounces / cost – it comes out that my dupe costs $2.61 for 16 ounces, while Cetaphil costs $9.59 for 16 ounces. Thats about a third of the cost!
|Product||Cost||Oz||Cost Per oz||Cost for 16 oz|
|Cetaphil (at Target)||$9.59||16||$0.60||$9.59|
Does it work as good as Cetaphil? I won’t know until I go through a bottle of it, but so far it smells and feels similar. It should work well, as it contains many of the same ingredients (or similar ingredients).
I compared them side by side on my skin and I couldn’t tell you much difference at all. It does seem like my dupe soaks in a little bit faster, and I am not getting any “soaping effect” that I sometimes get from using Cetaphil. (The “soaping effect” is when a lotion turns white when you try to rub it into your skin, and then it takes a long time to sink in).
I hope you enjoyed this little analytical recipe. You could, of course, modify it and add fragrance, but I left it fragrance free because sometimes I don’t want a scent.