Skin Type: Combination, Oily
You've heard of BB cream and CC cream—now, Marcelle's adding to the makeup alphabet soup with their DD Cream Daily Defense SPF 25. "What's the difference?" Well, it isn't like bra sizes, that's for sure! Just like BB creams, DD creams (at least those we've encountered) are pretty much tinted moisturizers dressed up with a different name. In this case, "DD" stands for "Daily Defense."
First off, this DD cream is fragrance-free, which is always good! It has a texture that is somewhat thick on first application, but quickly thins out for sheer coverage that evens out the skin tone. (If you're looking to cover up any imperfections, though, this is too sheer to do so.)
The two colors available are very natural-looking for light to medium skin tones, and this DD cream has an attractive mattifying effect that works well for combination to oily skin tones. It also wears well without emphasizing pores or fine lines.
This product's downfall is the sun protection. Marcelle calls this out 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.
The lack of UVA protection is a shame because otherwise, DD Cream Daily Defense SPF 25 is a great product. But if it doesn't offer broad-spectrum sun protection, we simply cannot recommend it.
Note: This DD cream also contains a small amount of platinum, which Marcelle says can "deflect the appearance of fine lines." That's just marketing hype, because there's little to no evidence that platinum has any benefit for skin, and while platinum jewelry is reflective, a dusting of platinum in makeup won't have this effect, and if there were any more than a dusting, this product would be way above this price point!
- Applies smoothly for sheer coverage to even out the skin tone.
- Shades are natural for light to medium skin tones.
- Has an attractive mattifying effect that doesn't highlight pores or fine lines
- Does not provide good enough broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Claims that the platinum this product contains can "deflect wrinkles" are overblown
This DD 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).
Active: Octinoxate 7.5%. Inactive: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Octyldodecanol, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Isopropyl Myristate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Illite, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Poly(Glycol Adipate)/Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Talc, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isododecane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Trihydroxystearin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Seedcake Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Seed Extract, Colloidal Platinum, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Butylene Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Phenoxyethanol,. May contain: Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides.
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.