AmLactin vs Cetaphil | Which Body Lotion Solves KP?

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: January 15, 2024

As a skincare editor, I'm often asked how AmLactin and Cetaphil lotions compare - especially for addressing extremely dry, flaky skin. While both brands can improve hydration, AmLactin goes a […]

As a skincare editor, I'm often asked how AmLactin and Cetaphil lotions compare - especially for addressing extremely dry, flaky skin. While both brands can improve hydration, AmLactin goes a step further to exfoliate and smooth rough skin texture.

The main similarity between AmLactin and Cetaphil is that they both contain humectant ingredients like glycerin that draw moisture into the skin. However, AmLactin also includes the star ingredient lactic acid - an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates by chemically breaking down dead skin cells.

This makes AmLactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion better for addressing rough, bumpy skin conditions like keratosis pilaris ("chicken skin"). The 12% lactic acid clears the harmless but unsightly bumps by gently exfoliating to reveal smoother texture. Cetaphil Restoraderm Eczema Calming Body Moisturizer hydrates dry skin but lacks exfoliants to unclog pores and resurface.

For severely dry hands and feet, AmLactin Rapid Relief Intensely Hydrating Cream contains a 20% concentration of lactic acid to slough off calluses and thick, scaly skin. When layered under gloves or socks, it reveals noticeably softer texture overnight. Thick Cetaphil creams hydrate parched hands and feet but won't exfoliate away rough skin.

On the face, AmLactin Daily Facial Lotion provides gentle daily exfoliation with lactic acid and ceramides to retain moisture. It’s ideal for flaky and uneven texture. Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Moisturizer hydrates without exfoliating so it won’t smooth rough bumps as effectively but is less irritating.

When comparing ingredients, AmLactin excludes common irritants like fragrances, dyes and parabens making their formulas suitable for sensitive skin needing exfoliation. Cetaphil relies on chemical emollients and humectants to hydrate, which some may find irritating, but their creams are still very gentle.

Based on user reviews, AmLactin receives rave reviews for dramatically improving rough, bumpy skin texture thanks to powerful yet gentle lactic acid exfoliation. Cetaphil is beloved for providing non-greasy hydration that calms dryness and sensitivity without irritation. But it doesn’t provide the same skin-smoothing results as AmLactin.

The biggest downside to AmLactin is the strong lotion-y scent from the lactic acid that some find off-putting. Cetaphil products have little to no scent. And while both brands are affordably priced for their categories, AmLactin lotions cost about $1-2 more per bottle than Cetaphil.

In summary, those dealing with extremely dry, rough, bumpy skin with conditions like keratosis pilaris will benefit most from AmLactin's effective chemical exfoliation. For standard dryness without special skin concerns, Cetaphil hydrates without irritating sensitive skin. But if you want both exfoliation and moisturization, AmLactin is a top choice.

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Article written by Tom Qiao
Tom is the founder and editor of TheDermDetective.com where he applies his decades of personal experience with skincare problems like acne and acne scarring to provide readers with practical advice and product recommendations.

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