01.02.2015
4
75
Ultra Cleansing Gel
Rating
11.8 fl. oz. for $12.95
Last Updated:01.02.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

True to claim, this really is an "ultra-mild" cleanser, though it's texture is closer to a lotion than a clear gel. The fragrance-free formula is best for normal to dry or sensitive skin, and it's fairly adept at removing most types of makeup.

Although this cleanser contains salicylic acid, no claim is being made for its ability to exfoliate skin or fight breakouts. That's a good thing because the amount of lower than what's needed for this to occur, while the product's pH is too high.

Ultra Cleansing Gel is absolutely able to respect skin's moisture barrier, meaning it won't leave your skin feeling dry or tight.

Pros:
  • Truly gentle, fragrance-free formula.
  • Easy to use and rinses cleanly.
  • Removes most types of makeup without drying skin.
Cons:
  • None.
Claims

An ultra-mild and non-foaming cleanser that gently yet effectively cleans the skin while respecting the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Ingredients

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Glyceryl Oleate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycereth-18 Ethylhexanoate, Allantoin, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Glycereth-18, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol

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.

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03.15.2015
great at getting it all off

Excellent cleanser. Doesn't irritate my eyes and my face feels clean and soft after i use it!! Really LOVE the smooth creamy consistency of this cleanser. Feels great as i gently massage my face during cleansing. I use this as an eye makeup remover also before an all over cleansing.

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Reviewed by
susan
02.08.2015
Great gentle cleanser

This is a great gentle cleanser, especially for the price. My husband and I both use it. It removes my makeup well, but I do have to work it on my eyes a bit to remove stubborn mascara (this cleanser does not irritate my eyes at all). An eye makeup remover would probably be easier, although I don't know if the type of mascara used makes a difference.

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Reviewed by
Lindsay S.
08.17.2014
update to my review

Amending my review after two months of use. Found this to be too heavy and not as good at removing makeup as I would have liked. Perhaps too rich for summer but I am much happier now that I have switched to La Roche Posay Tolerance Derma - cleanser.

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Reviewed by
Pamela
06.06.2014
Very good cleanser!

I purchased this at Shoppers Drug Mart, a 500 ml bonus, 12.95 (standard size is 350 ml) . I have extremely sensitive reactive combination skin after a severe chemical burn and this cleanser is truly gentle yet remarkably effective. Not a fan of non-foaming cleansers before but this rinses absolutely clean, with no residue, and leaves my skin very soft . I like the addition of salicylic acid, even if not exfoliating, I do think the small amount included does help keep this non-comedogenic.

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Pamela
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