Marcelle's entry into the ever-growing BB cream market has some positive qualities, but ultimately is too problematic for us to recommend.
Before we get to the heart of why it received a poor rating, some history about BB creams: In short, it's just marketing hype. Generally, BB creams from Western cosmetics brands (mainly the United States and Canada) are similar to a tinted moisturizer, whereas BB creams from Asia are generally thicker and have a high SPF rating. BB creams typically provide sun protection, … but not always …, and may or may not include beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents. BB creams are not even remotely as revolutionary as they are made out to be, and there is certainly no consistency among products from different brands.
Marcelle's BB cream is essentially a lightweight tinted moisturizer that glides easily onto the skin for light to medium coverage. It's slight dewy finish doesn't settle into fine lines or pores, and it does a good job of evening out the skin tone.
There are two colors available, both of which are suitable for light to medium skin tones, although people with very light skin will find the lightest color is still a bit too dark for them.
The downfall of this product is its sun protection. Marcelle markets this product as an "anti-aging" BB cream, with SPF 20. However, the only active sunscreen ingredient is octinoxate, which protects against the sun's UVB rays, but doesn't provide enough UVA protection on its own, leaving your skin vulnerable to damage. For a sunscreen to provide true broad-spectrum protection, it must contain ingredients that provide protection against UVA rays as well. See More Info for details.
Although this does contain titanium dioxide, a mineral sunscreen (and cosmetic pigment) ingredient that can protect against UVA rays, it's not listed as an active, so you can't rely on it for UVA protection. Because this doesn't have the primary anti-aging benefit it should, we simply cannot recommend it. See our list of Best Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams for superior options.
- Lightweight formula applies easily.
- Evens out the skin tone.
- Doesn't settle into fine lines or pores.
- Lightest shade is not suitable for very light skin.
- Does not contain sufficient broad-spectrum sun protection.
This BB cream does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun's entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. The sun's UVB rays are what cause sunburn, and the SPF number reflects that protection, but there is no rating for the sun's silent, though more penetrating (and in many ways more damaging), UVA rays. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active" to ensure you are getting UVA protection: avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).
BB Cream Anti-Aging SPF 20, our latest expert step in the BB revolution! With its 10 in 1 multi-benefit, this BB Cream does is all for your skin and protects it from the dangerous effects of the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation thanks to an SPF 20. Use it alone as a tinted moisturizer; over your moisturizer to unify your complexion and reduce the appearance of blemishes, or apply as a make-up base under foundation for total coverage and improved stay-on power. Offered in shades suitable for a wide variety of complexions thanks to its self-adjusting pigments that transform and adapt to skin tone.
Active: Octinoxate 7.5%. Inactive: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Octyldodecanol, Titanium Dioxide, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Bis-PEG-PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Isopropyl Myristate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Xylitylglucoside, Mica, Iron Oxides, Poly (Glycol Adipate)/Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone Copolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Anhydroxylitol, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Isododecane, Talc, Xylitol, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Trihydroxystearin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Acrylates/Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Cyathea Cumingii Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Butylene Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Phenoxyethanol.
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.