Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar Vs. Antibacterial: A Comparison

Cetaphil is a well-known skincare brand that produces a variety of cleansers and moisturizers for different skin types. Two of their most popular products are the Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar and the Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar Soap.

But what are the key differences between these two products and which one is better suited for your skin?

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureDeep Cleansing BarAntibacterial Cleansing Bar
Main purposeCleansing dirt, oil, makeupKilling bacteria
Key ingredientGentle cleansing agents0.3% triclocarban
Skin typesAll, especially dry or sensitiveOily, acne-prone
HydrationContains hydrators like vitamin E and aloeNo extra hydrators
UseFace and bodyHands, body, face
ResidueRinses cleanRinses clean
LatherCreamy, rich latherLight foam
SafetyDermatologist-tested, non-comedogenicDermatologist-tested

Overview of Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar

The Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar is a gentle, non-drying cleanser that is formulated for all skin types. It contains a mild cleansing agent that effectively removes dirt, oil and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.

Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar
Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar

Some of the key features of the Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar include:

  • Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • Contains vitamin E and organic aloe vera to soothe and condition skin
  • Can be used on face and body
  • Rinses clean without leaving residue behind
  • Gentle enough for sensitive skin
  • Dermatologist-tested and approved

The Deep Cleansing Bar has a smooth, creamy lather that leaves skin feeling soft and refreshed after cleansing. It is an excellent choice for those with normal, dry or sensitive skin who want a gentle everyday cleanser.

Overview of Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar Soap

Unlike the Deep Cleansing bar, the Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar Soap contains antibacterial ingredients to kill germs and bacteria on the skin. The main active ingredient is triclocarban, an antibacterial agent commonly found in hand soaps and body washes.

Here are some key features of the Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar:

  • Contains 0.3% triclocarban to eliminate bacteria
  • Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic
  • Rinses cleanly without residue
  • Can be used on face, hands and body
  • Dermatologist-tested for gentleness

This bar is designed for those who want the bacteria-fighting benefits of antibacterial soap in a gentle formula suitable for dry or sensitive skin. It provides a light lather and leaves skin feeling softened and smooth after rinsing.

Pros & Cons Of Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar


  • Effective at removing dirt, oil and makeup without stripping or over-drying skin
  • Gentle enough for daily use on all skin types including sensitive
  • Hydrates as it cleans due to emollients like vitamin E and aloe vera
  • Non-comedogenic and oil-free formula won’t clog pores
  • Can be used on both face and body
  • Leaves skin feeling soft and clean without tightness or residue
  • Ideal for dry, sensitive, normal, oily and combination skin types


  • Does not contain antibacterial ingredients to kill germs
  • May not remove waterproof makeup as effectively as some foaming cleansers
  • Has a moisturizing effect which some people with very oily skin may not like
  • Scent-free formula lacks the fragrance some people enjoy in a soap

Pros & Cons Of Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar Soap

Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar Soap


  • Contains antibacterial triclocarban to eliminate bacteria on skin
  • Just as gentle as regular Cetaphil bar for sensitive skin
  • Rinses clean without leaving residue behind
  • Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic formula
  • Can be used on face, hands and body
  • Dermatologist-tested to be non-irritating
  • May help prevent body acne on chest/back


  • Not designed for cleansing dirt and makeup (use a separate cleanser)
  • Contains the antibacterial agent triclocarban which may contribute to antibiotic resistance
  • May dry out skin with prolonged use
  • Not necessarily better than regular soap for hand washing
  • May still leave bacteria behind that could contribute to infections
  • Has medicinal smell that some may dislike

Key Differences Between the Bars

While both Cetaphil bars are gentle enough for daily cleansing, there are a few key differences:

  • The Deep Cleansing Bar is a soap-free cleanser designed to remove surface dirt, oil and makeup without stripping moisture from skin.
  • The Antibacterial Bar is primarily intended to kill bacteria. It is not as effective at cleansing away dirt and oil.
  • The Deep Cleansing Bar contains emollients and humectants to condition skin. The Antibacterial Bar does not.
  • The Antibacterial Bar contains 0.3% triclocarban while the Deep Cleansing Bar is triclocarban-free.
  • The Deep Cleansing Bar has a richer, creamier lather compared to the light foam of the Antibacterial Bar.
  • The Antibacterial Bar has a medicinal smell from the triclocarban while the Deep Cleansing Bar is fragrance-free.
  • The Deep Cleansing Bar is ideal for dry, sensitive, normal and combination skin. The Antibacterial Bar may better suit oily, acne-prone skin.

So in summary, the Deep Cleansing Bar is better for cleansing and hydrating while the Antibacterial bar is better for killing germs and bacteria. Most people are better off using the Deep Cleansing Bar for day to day facial cleansing and body washing. However, the Antibacterial Bar may be a good option for hand washing or showering if you want the added antibacterial protection.

Also Read: Choose Between Philosophy Pure Grace And Amazing Grace.

Which Cetaphil Bar is Best for You?

If you have dry, sensitive skin: Choose the Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar. Its ultra-gentle cleansing coupled with hydrating and soothing ingredients make it ideal for those with easily irritated skin.

If you have oily, acne-prone skin: The Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar may be a better fit since it contains bacteria-fighting ingredients while still being non-drying. Use a separate non-comedogenic moisturizer.

If you wear a lot of makeup: Go with the Deep Cleansing Bar. Its mild yet effective formula removes makeup and impurities without the need for harsh scrubbing or soap. Follow up with your regular cleanser.

If you want an all-over body bar: Either Cetaphil bar can work for showering or bathing. The Deep Cleansing bar may be preferable since it moisturizes as it cleanses.

If you have sensitive skin but want antibacterial benefits: Try using the Antibacterial Bar only on hands and body, while using the Deep Cleansing Bar on your face.

No matter which you choose, be sure to patch test before applying to your whole face. Introduce it slowly and discontinue use if any irritation occurs. With its dermatologist-trusted formula, Cetaphil is generally safe for even delicate complexions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Cetaphil deep cleansing antibacterial?

No, the Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar does not contain any antibacterial ingredients. It is formulated to gently remove dirt, oil and makeup without disrupting the skin’s protective moisture barrier.

Is Cetaphil soap bar antibacterial?

The regular Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser bar soap is not antibacterial. However, Cetaphil makes an Antibacterial Cleansing Bar that does contain the antibacterial agent triclocarban to kill bacteria on the skin.

What is Cetaphil antibacterial soap used for?

Cetaphil Antibacterial Cleansing Bar can be used like any regular antibacterial soap to kill germs on the skin and hands. Its gentle formulation makes it safe to use on the face and body without irritation, but it is not as moisturizing as the regular Cetaphil bar.

Which Cetaphil soap is best?

For most people, the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser Bar (Deep Cleansing Bar) provides the best balance of effective cleansing and gentle hydration. It can be used safely on all skin types. The Antibacterial Bar contains drying antibacterial ingredients and is only necessary for those concerned about bacteria on their skin.

Also Read: Is Cetaphil Deep Cleansing Bar Better Than Gentle Cleansing Bar?

The Bottom Line

While both Cetaphil cleansing bars are gentle enough for daily use, the Deep Cleansing Bar is the better choice for most people. With its hydrating ingredients and ability to remove impurities without stripping the skin, it is ideal for dry, sensitive skin and effective as part of a double cleansing routine.

The Antibacterial Bar offers bacteria-removal benefits but may be too harsh and drying for long-term facial use for many skin types. Still, it can be handy for hand washing or body cleansing if antibacterial properties are desired. Ultimately, choose the Cetaphil bar that best matches your skin type and needs.

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