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Mario Badescu Skincare — Are the ingredient lists truthful?

August 11th, 2014 · 6 Comments · Personal Care, Skin Care, Skin Products

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I wrote a review about one of my former favorite Mario Badescu products the other day — the Glycolic Acid Toner. I discussed how the company had changed the formulation from four all-natural ingredients to seventeen (with 13 new chemical ingredients). The last bottle I purchased contained only four ingredients, but when I was planning to purchase another bottle recently I noticed the change.

After being sad about the reformulated product, I started to reflect back on something. I wondered why the old formulation had always been a blue liquid, though it was composed of simply water, aloe vera gel, grapefruit extract and glycolic acid. Hmmm, I had never paid attention before. Curiously, the new formulation with 17 ingredients was also blue, but now listed “CI 42090 (Blue 1)” as an ingredient.

I wondered was this truly a new formulation or had we been lied to all along? Was this “new” formulation simply the real formulation that was only now being disclosed?

So, off to search on the internet I went. And imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon information regarding a 2013 class-action lawsuit brought against Mario Badescu Skincare. Can you guess what it was for? Yup…not disclosing the TRUE ingredients in two of their products: Control Cream & Healing Cream.


Click here to read about the lawsuit & settlement.
Click here to see the Healing & Control Cream settlement page (Note: no new class action members are being accepted).

After doing some more internet searches, I found several forum messages from Control Cream users that had had serious reactions to what they thought was a reformulated version of the Control Cream. However, somehow they had discovered that it wasn’t the new formulation that was causing their problems, it was because of an abrupt change from the formulation! The old formulation had contained an undisclosed ingredient: strong corticosteroids! Their skin was so used to the corticosteroids and without them (in the new formulation), their skin started to “freak out.”

“Injured by MB Control Cream Facebook page.

I was truly shocked to learn about the deception. After all, I had been using Mario Badescu products for years. Thankfully, I had never used the Control Cream or the Healing Cream, but what if they had also lied about the ingredients in the MB products I kept in my bathroom? As I wondered earlier, was the new Glycolic Acid Toner ingredient list just a full disclosure to cover their a$$&$ after they lost the class action suit?

All this was truly scary!  What in the world had I really been applying to my skin whenever I used Mario Badescu products?

If you think about it, it makes no sense for a company to go from a few all-natural or mostly-natural ingredients in some of their products and then suddenly completely change the formulations to include several chemical ingredients. Especially in 2014 when most companies are doing the exact opposite!

Something fishy is definitely going on. I, for one, will not be buying anymore MB stuff for the time being. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

When I have the time, I plan to call the company or visit their NYC location to see if I can get some of my questions answered. I will add an update if I obtain any additional information.

Do you use Mario Badescu products? Have you noticed a reformulation of your favorite product?

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Michelle

    I just read your article and it was as if I was reading my own words. I bought this a while back, thinking how great it was that it only contained for ingredients. After a couple weeks I realized the blue color must’ve come from something and so I contacted them. They told me it does contain the blue dye and that they were working on relabeling the product. This was a couple months ago.

  • Michelle

    I accidentally submitted the above comment early…

    I just went on the website to see if they had updated their ingredient listing and was shocked to see all of the new ingredients. I wouldn’t be surprised if those ingredients were in there all along and they just chose not to list them. This makes me so unbelievably angry! I’m trashing the remaining toner. Unbelievable!

    • Editor

      It is unbelievable, isn’t it? I thought that in the USA, by law, all ingredients had to be listed on the packaging. I was really surprised that Mario Badescu would mislead their customers in this way.

      • Min

        Yes, the FDA requires them to, but their company don’t follow FDA labeling, so technically we’re buying at our own risk. I’m not buying any of their products, who knows what other undisclosed ingredients they have in their other products. Oh, and they lie about animal testing too (they sell in China so they of course are engaged in animal testing, as China requires all cosmetic to be tested by animals before they call be sold there)

  • Andrea

    i just came across this site looking for information on formulation changes to one of my favorite products – the AHA body wash. My new bottle is a completely different formula and contains a bunch of new chemicals including colorings. I also just went to their website and saw product “reviews” have been taken down. Most definitely some shady dealings over at Mario Badescu. I have been a loyal customer for many years and now don’t know what to think, but I for sure will be looking elsewhere for replacement products!

    • Editor

      I am sorry to hear that the AHA Body Wash formula has also changed…or is Mario Badescu just finally being truthful about what it contained all along? I guess we will never know. I happen to still have a large bottle of the AHA Body Wash in my shower (about 1/3 full). It is the “old ingredient” list. After discovering the many formula changes over at MB, I stopped using it on my entire body. I only use it now when I am giving myself a pedicure, just in case.