Review: Mario Badescu Products (Skincare line for combination skin)

/ Wednesday, December 26, 2012 /

 I was fortunate enough to receive a bunch of samples from Mario Badescu. I've heard and read lots of good things about this brand's products and decided to try it out myself.

Mario Badescu provided me with a bunch of products, several of which I really liked, and others which still worked well.

I used each of the products (except for one) for at least 2 weeks. I'll review every one of the products shown in the picture above.

Enzyme Cleansing Gel - Suitable for all skin types, this cleanser features "papaya and grapefruit extracts" which function as "alpha hydroxy acids". The number of ingredients in this product (see below) was stunningly very few and had lots of awesome benefits. The ingredients list also features glycerin (a humectant) in a very prominent proportion (it is the second ingredient listed), and is also a great ingredient. Methylparaben is also present, which may discourage some people, but as shown in these articles (1, 2, 3) they aren't that bad, and are actually helpful for preserving the longevity of the product. according to the website, this product retails at $12 for 8 oz, or $20 for 16 oz. Pricey but lasts a long time (a little bit in the sample jar lasted me 2 weeks).

INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water (Aqua),Glycerin,Papaya (Carica Papaya Fruit) Extract,Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis Fruit) Extract,Monomide,Triethanolamine,Methylparaben


Special Cucumber Lotion - Suitable for combination and/or oily skin types, this toner offers a soothing toning solution featuring cucumber, known for its soothing properties. It also has a small list of ingredients. Isopropyl alcohol is listed in the ingredients, but then again (1) it is also in a lot of other toners, (2) is featured in a much smaller percentage than many other toners, and (3) is not actually that bad in products (see articles 4, 5, and 6). This product is also pretty pricey ($15 for 8 oz, $26 for 16 oz, or $45 for 32 oz) but a little lasts a long time. Seriously. I've been using the little container of the sample for about 3 weeks, and I still have a lot of it left.

INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water,Isopropyl Alcohol,Nonoxynol-9,Boric Acid,Cucumber Extract


Ceramide Eye Gel - Pricey - $18 for 0.5 oz, but comparable to other eye gel/eye cream prices. A cursory glance at the ingredients list shows that the product has cholesterol, glycerin, and silicone, which are good moisturizers, humectants, and can help fill in/smooth out wrinkles. "Herbal extract" seems like somewhat of a fluff term because one doesn't know what herbs are used in the extract, but I guess herbs are present in the product. Urea, which is an emollient product, is also listed in the list. Parabens are also present, but then again, as listed in the articles linked above, they are actually beneficial.

INGREDIENTS: Ceramides (and) Cholesterol,Herbal Extract,Water,Glycerin,Silicone,Propylene Glycol,Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Methylparaben (and) Propylparaben,Triethanolamine


Strawberry Facial Scrub - Good for all skin types, sold at $15 for 4 oz. This product is truly the epitome of the mantra "less is more". A tiny amount (size of a pea) is good enough to cover your entire face. It is a very creamy product that contains strawberry seeds for exfoliation (desquamation in scientifically correct terms). The instructions state to use it 2-3 times weekly, but I felt that the scrub was a bit too creamy to use so often. I would use it about once a week. The product claims to "unclog pores and prevent blackheads", but I haven't seen my blackheads diminish or pores to get unclogged solely because of this product. Overall, I think this product would be better for normal skin types or dry skin types.

INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water,Stearic Acid, Strawberry Extract, Seamollient,Propylene Glycol Dipelargonate,Polyglycol Ester,Myristate DEA


Drying Cream - Good for all skin types, sold at $14 for 0.5 oz. Once again, a little goes a long way. This is a very dry cream that you just put onto your pimples to get rid of pimples. A cursory glance notes that this product features aloe (soothing), zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (also ingredients for sunscreen protection), colloidal sulfur (for combating acne) and propylene glycol (a controversial ingredient in some "natural" deodorant products that do not contain aluminum). I used this product over my pimple areas (on the edges of my face, T-zone). Despite the rave reviews I've seen, sadly this product did not work for me, even after about 2 weeks of application. I was pretty disappointed that it didn't work - didn't even dry up the pimples, much less get rid of them. Oh well. Overall, I think this would be an interesting product to try, although I don't think I'll be purchasing the full-sized version any time soon.

INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water, Zinc Oxide,Aloe, Beeswax,Cetyl Alcohol,Lemon Extract, Colloidal Sulfur,Ervol,Octyl Palmitate,Ichthammol,Polysorbate 80, Titanium Dioxide,Polyglycerylmethacrylate (and) Propylene Glycol


Cucumber Tonic Mask - Good for combination, oily, and sensitive skin types. This product is a kaolin clay mask that you smear onto your face. It reminds me a lot of Queen Helene's Mint Julep Masque, except that this product uses cucumber in lieu of the mint that Queen Helene's uses. It dries out VERY quickly - even though on the instructions stated on the Mario Badescu website state that you're supposed to wait 15-20 minutes before rinsing off, it literally dried after about 2 minutes on my skin. This product, however, definitely smoothed my skin out and was a lot less irritating than the Queen Helene product (perhaps because it has cucumber in lieu of mint) - at least it didn't sting. I actually liked it a lot. A 2 oz container of this costs $18.

INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water, Kaolin,PVP, Wheat Starch, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Sorbitol,Polysorbate 80,Cucumber Extract

Collagen Moisturizer, SPF 15 - Good for combination and sensitive skin types. I tried this sunscreen out for about a week. It seriously is one of the finest, most easily applied sunscreens I've ever encountered. It glides on easily and is absorbed easily by the skin. It also doesn't feel terribly icky or sticky. The problem is that this product does not provide adequate UV protection - just look at the ingredients list! How can UVA and UVB rays be covered by this? I personally feel I would need a more comprehensive sunscreen than this. (2 oz for $22)

INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water,Protol, Cottonseed Oil, Octyl Methoxycinnamate,Stearic Acid, Collagen,Cetyl Alcohol,Triethanolamine,Sodium Benzoate,Propylparaben

Final impressions - overall, almost every one of the samples lasted a long time, at least 2 weeks' worth of supply. Isn't that amazing - these little jars of stuff can last so long? If the jars of stuff could last so long, think about how long the full-sized product would last!

The cool thing is that Mario Badescu offers free samples of their products to just about anyone! (Click here for the link) Simply sign up for an account with your e-mail address and fill out your skincare profile. The company will mail you free samples customized for your skin type. Isn't that awesome?

Have you ever tried Mario Badescu products? If so, what was your impression of them? Leave a comment!


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