Marcelle's entry into the ever-growing BB cream market has some positive qualities, but ultimately isn't the best option in a steadily-growing sea of options.
Before we get to the heart of why it received a poor rating, some history about BB creams: In short, it's just marketing hype. Generally, BB creams from Western cosmetics brands (mainly the United States and Canada) are similar to a tinted moisturizer, whereas BB creams from Asia are generally thicker and have a high SPF rating. BB creams typically provide sun protection, … but not always …, and may or may not include beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents. BB creams are not even remotely as revolutionary as they are made out to be, and there is certainly no consistency among products from different brands.
Marcelle's BB cream is essentially a lightweight tinted moisturizer that glides easily onto the skin for light to medium coverage. It's slight dewy finish doesn't settle into fine lines or pores, and it does a good job of evening out the skin tone.
There are two colors available, both of which are suitable for light to medium skin tones, although people with very light skin will find the lightest color is still a bit too dark for them.
The main reason it doesn't earn our top rating is its sun protection. Marcelle markets this product as an "anti-aging" BB cream, with SPF 20. However, for adequate sun protection, SPF 30 or higher is recommended.
Because this doesn't have the primary anti-aging benefit it should, we simply cannot recommend it. See our list of Best Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams for superior options.
BB Cream Anti-Aging SPF 20, our latest expert step in the BB revolution! With its 10 in 1 multi-benefit, this BB Cream does is all for your skin and protects it from the dangerous effects of the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation thanks to an SPF 20. Use it alone as a tinted moisturizer; over your moisturizer to unify your complexion and reduce the appearance of blemishes, or apply as a make-up base under foundation for total coverage and improved stay-on power. Offered in shades suitable for a wide variety of complexions thanks to its self-adjusting pigments that transform and adapt to skin tone.
Active: Octinoxate 7.5%. Inactive: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Octyldodecanol, Titanium Dioxide, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Bis-PEG-PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Isopropyl Myristate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Xylitylglucoside, Mica, Iron Oxides, Poly (Glycol Adipate)/Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone Copolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Anhydroxylitol, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Isododecane, Talc, Xylitol, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Trihydroxystearin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Acrylates/Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Cyathea Cumingii Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Propylene Carbonate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/Sebacate, Butylene Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Phenoxyethanol.
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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