Cetomacrogol cream

Easy-to-read medicine information about cetomacrogol cream – what is it, and how to use it safely. Cetomacrogol cream is an example of an emollient (moisturiser).

Type of medicine Also called
  • Emollient
  • Moisturiser



  • healthE® 
  • healthE Non-ionic cream®
  • Sorbolene with glycerin® (cetomacrogol with glycerol) 
  • Dermasoft sorbolene cream® (cetomacrogol with glycerol) 

What is cetomacrogol cream?

  • Cetomacrogol cream is a non-greasy emollient or moisturiser, used to treat dry skin conditions such as eczema.  It is sometimes combined with glycerol (or glycerine), which enhances the moisturising effect.
  • Cetomacrogol cream is also used as a base for the preparation of other creams.
  • When applied to the skin, cetomacrogol works by providing a layer of oil on the surface of the skin, which traps water beneath it and prevents water evaporating from the skin surface. In this way it helps to retain moisture on the skin and reduce dryness. Read more about emollients and moisturisers.
  • Gycerol (or glycerine) increases the water holding capacity of the skin, thus increasing the hydrating effect.  
  • Cetomacrogol cream does not contain any perfumes, or sodium lauryl sulphate which can irritate the skin.    

How to use cetomacrogol cream

  • Wash your hands before applying cetomacrogol cream.
  • Apply generous amounts of cetomacrogol cream on the skin several (at least 3 to 4) times a day or as required.
  • Apply cetomacrogol cream all over the body, including the face.
  • It is best to apply cetomacrogol cream immediately after washing, bathing or showering, while the skin is still damp.
  • Apply cetomacrogol cream in a downward motion, in the direction of hair growth and gently massage into your skin. Avoid rubbing.
  • Do not put your hands into the pot, tub or jar of cream when removing for use. This will contaminate the cream. Instead, use a clean spoon or spatula to scoop out the required amount of cream and place onto a clean plate or paper towel. Some people put the cream in a pump bottle to reduce contamination.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, cetomacrogol cream can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Signs of sensitivity or an allergic reaction such as red, itchy skin. This may be confused with a flare up of the eczema or dermatitis
  • Tell your doctor  

Learn more

Emollients and moisturisers Dermnet NZ
Emollients for eczema Patient Info, UK
Emollient and barrier preparations NZ Formulary

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Last reviewed: 09 Feb 2016