Glycolic Acid Toner
8 fl. oz. for $18
Category:Skin Care > AHA Exfoliants
Last Updated:12.31.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Glycolic Acid Toner contains too little glycolic acid to exfoliate, plus the pH is not acidic enough, making this a “why bother?” product.


2% Glycolic Acid and Grapefruit Extract come together for exfoliating toner that refreshes and stimulates dry and congested skin. Helps reduce build-up that can cause skin to look tired and dull.


Deionized Water, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice) Gel, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Glycolic Acid

Brand Overview

Mario Badescu At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; the company includes complete ingredient lists on their website (though many of the ingredient lists don't follow FDA labeling requirements); most of the products are fragrance-free; a few good cleansing options.

Weaknesses: Repetitive, lackluster moisturizer formulas; terrible products for acne; the daytime moisturizers cannot be relied on for sun protection; poorly formulated exfoliants and scrubs; mostly irritating masks; boring toners; several moisturizers contain irritating ingredients.

Fashion magazines have been mentioning Mario Badescu products for some time, and in New York the Badescu salon has been around since 1967. Unfortunately for your skin, most of the products seem to be stuck in that era, when the state of skin-care knowledge was vastly different (meaning backward, simple, and naive) from what it is today. The company claims to use natural ingredients with advanced technology, but the formulas only support a small part of that assertion.

A tempting hook for this line is the number of celebrities and models who not only have facials and other services performed at the Mario Badescu Salon but also claim to use the products. We can't confirm whether or not celebrities really use these products, but even if there are some who do, plenty of other celebrities are using lots of different products, so that's no way to make an educated skin-care decision.

It probably goes without saying, or at least you won't be surprised when we mention it, that none of these products are natural in the least. They contain all the same old standard ingredients that show up throughout the cosmetics industry. The prices are more than reasonable, especially in comparison to other spa or boutique skin-care lines, but products that leave skin vulnerable to sun damage or cause irritation are never a good idea at any price. The sparse amounts of skin-identical ingredients, antioxidants, and anti-irritants included in the preponderance of products here is not in line with current skin-care science. The cleansers are unimpressive, the acne products are an irritation waiting to happen, and the AHA moisturizers either don't contain AHAs, don't have enough of the ingredient, or have a pH too high for them to be effective as exfoliants.

Several of the Badescu products contain an ingredient called "seamollient." As exotic as the name sounds, it's just a fancy term for water and algae. Given that the Creme de la Mer products also brag about algae—and charge an astronomical sum for it—if you want algae on your skin, you may as well put it there via the Badescu products for far less money. (Actually, algae is not the fountain of youth for anyone's skin, which is why its continuing popularity befuddles me.)

As consumers become more savvy about ingredients and insist on examining a product's contents before purchasing, it should be pointed out that the Mario Badescu products engage in a bit of deception by disguising their use of commonplace ingredients such as mineral oil and petrolatum with trade names. For example, rather than listing mineral oil or Vaseline in their products, Badescu uses trade names such as Sonojell or Protol. Further, and most distressing, is that doing this means Badescu's products fail to meet either FDA or European labeling requirements. This act of cloaking ingredients in trade names and ignoring FDA labeling guidelines doesn't help the consumer, though it does help the cosmetics companies make their ordinary products sound more mysterious and natural.

For more information about Mario Badescu, call (800) 223-3728 or visit www.mariobadescu.com.

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
Sort by:
Love it!

I've been using the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner for the past 5months. I'm halfway my second bottle now because I love this product so much!

Reviewed by
Fraulein Styla

I really wanted to love this product but it's terrible! My face burned the first time I used it (no acne) after I used it the next morning I woke up with two or three new zits! I wanted to attempt it again just to be sure because again I really wanted to love this product! But once again it disappointed and made my skin hurt and seemed to make my skin look dull and i literally looked like some had punched me for some reason it made under my eyes dark as well as around my nose area!waste of money

Reviewed by
Mixed Feelings

I hate this product - it burns like crazy, it has a weird consistency, I dislike the color, I dislike the packaging, it feels gross on my skin. But it works. I use this after a very gentle cleanser twice a day, and it keeps my skin clear. I've had better results with this than I've had with BHAs and overnight glycolic masks. I can't explain it. Worth a try.

Reviewed by
Caroline R
Very good

I have dry skin and very congested this past 2years. Tiny little bumps & white heads are always bothering my cheeks area and seem to never go away. Tried MB glycolic acid toner for 2 weeks and seriously my skin back to how it was 2 years ago! Clean & free from bumps & white heads. Couldnt be better!

Reviewed by
Valentine C
Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

PCWEB-WWW1 v1.0.0.405 8/2/2015 1:35:52 PM