DD Cream Daily Defense SPF 25
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?" 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 reason this product doesn't earn our highest rating is the sun protection. Marcelle calls this out as an "anti-aging" BB cream, with SPF 25. However, the prevailing recommendation that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater. This revised recommendation is due to the fact that most people are not applying sunscreen liberally enough to earn the stated level of protection on the label; therefore, a higher SPF rating will be more advantageous.
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 high enough broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Claims that the platinum this product contains can "deflect wrinkles" are overblown
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 leastmuch like Almaybut 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 Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.