Hydra-C Ultra-Light Matifying Fluid
1.6 fl. oz. for $23.95
Last Updated:12.31.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This is a very good, lightweight and absorbent mattifier for those with oily, breakout-prone skin. All of the pieces come together perfectly to create a product that's fluid, fragrance-free, silky, and capable of keeping excess shine in check, at least for a few hours (and remember, the fewer products you layer with this the better it will work).

This cannot protect skin from the elements (it's not moisturizing and doesn't provide any sun protection) nor can it reduce oil production, as this function is governed by hormones. However, it can help control surface oil and allow makeup to last longer. This earned its rating not just for its matifying abilities but also because it contains a good mix of antioxidants, anti-irritants, and skin-repairing sodium hyaluronate.


This invisible matifying fluid enriched with hyaluronic acid acts as a breathable barrier to protect against the harsh elements, nourish the skin, normalize oil absorption and reduce sebum production. Result: skin is left feeling incredibly soft, deeply hydrated, regenerated and matified.


Aqua/Water/Eau, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate/VP Copolymer, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Allantoin, Zinc Gluconate, Algae Extract, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Dimethicone, Oleth-10, Isohexadecane, Xanthan Gum, Triisostearyl Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bis-Vinyl

Brand Overview

Marcelle At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; Marcelle provides complete ingredient lists on its Web site; drugstores that retail this brand provide testers, including makeup testers; almost every product is fragrance-free; some good cleansers and makeup removers; impressive eyeshadows; great lipsticks and lip glosses.

Weaknesses: The hypoallergenic claims are misleading because this claim isn't regulated and there are no standards governing its use; formaldehyde-releasing preservatives not recommended for those with sensitive skin; the anti-acne products are mostly alcohol, which is damaging to skin and can increase oil production, making acne worse; dated moisturizer formulas; some greasy cleansers; a general lack of state-of-the-art ingredients; foundations with sunscreen do not provide sufficient UVA protection; average to poor mineral makeup; no shades for those with tan or darker complexions; mostly lackluster mascaras.

Nestled among the flashier lines filling the shelves and display cases in Canadian drugstores is this unassuming, attractively priced skin-care and makeup product line. The packaging is simple and the message clear: These are "hypoallergenic and perfume-free," ergo great for sensitive skin. In reality the claim that these products are hypoallergenic isn't accurate in the least—much like Almay—but that claim is Marcelle's major selling point.

First, the term "hypoallergenic" is not regulated; that is, there are no standards in place for that term so a cosmetics company can attribute hypoallergenic to any product they want, regardless of the ingredients. The second point is that even the most scrupulous company, even if it takes the greatest care about what ingredients it includes in its products, simply cannot know what your skin may be allergic to. Marcelle showcases the elimination of "perfume," (aka fragrance) but fragrance is not the only potential culprit in a cosmetic formulation. And third, allergic reactions are not the primary problems that a cosmetic can impart to skin. Irritation is far more pernicious and, indeed, many of Marcelle's products contain ingredients that have a high potential for causing irritation, such as alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (e.g., imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and Quaternium 15; one of their products even contains hydrochloric acid. (Can you believe that?!) Irritating skin-care ingredients not only cause free-radical damage but also lead to an increase in oil production in the pore and break down collagen.

Aside from the erroneous claims, Marcelle hasn't kept up to speed with their formulas in comparison to several other lines at the drugstore. You can easily find moisturizers from other lines that have far more elegant textures and formulas teeming with beneficial ingredients just not from Marcelle. Almost every product Marcelle sells is woefully out of date; their rudimentary formulas are akin to using a typewriter instead of a computer.

Color-wise, you'll find the foundation, concealer, and powder shade ranges are limited to those with fair to medium skin tones. Although it's great that the Marcelle displays provide testers for the makeup, much of it is better left alone. There are some high points, particularly the powder eyeshadows, lipstick, and lip glosses, but the mascaras are barely exciting, the pencils all need sharpening, and the powder blush fails to impress.

All told, Marcelle is best viewed as a line with a few sleeper products worth checking out at price points that won't stress most consumers' budgets, although a few dollars more will get you infinitely better options.

For more information about Marcelle, call (800) 387-7710 or visit www.marcelle.com.

Note: *All prices are in Canadian dollars.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Why is this considered not moisturizing?

Hey! Thanks for writing this review. I'm quite confused as to why it states this product is "not moisturizing" when the ingredients & composition are quite similar to dozens of products reviewed (that I've personally read) here on beautypedia that are considered moisturizing. Can you explain, please? What do you believe this product needs to be considered moisturizing? I'm taken aback and confused because there seems to be inconsistency :(. With gratitude, in God's grace, Ashley

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there! Sorry for any confusion; this product is chiefly a mattifier, and its core ingredients are absorbent, not moisturizing. The butyene glycol, glycerin, and silicone it contains have some ability to hydrate, but the dry-finish absorbenr silica that precedes them reduce this benefit to the point where most people with slight dryness will want to add a separate moisturizer underneath.

Good, but not as good as PC Shine Stopper

PC's is better, + paid $18 international shipping!

Reviewed by
The best product for oily skin on the market

I bought this product on Paula's advice in Beautypedia. Well, Paula was right! I used to use 3 blotting sheets an hour to keep my oil slick under control. With this product, I can go all day without blotting once. It feels light and gorgeous on my skin and makes my skin look absolutely flawless. I can not go without this amazing Marcelle product!

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