Ultra Cleansing Gel

by Marcelle   
$12.95 - 11.8 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Face/Body Cleansers
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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.

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

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

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

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.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
  1. Pamela
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 17, 2014
    • Results
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    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.

  2. Pamela
    Reviewed on Friday, June 06, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    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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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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