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Cleansers - Mario Badescu - Enzyme Cleansing Gel

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rated 3.9(460 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.9
  • 69% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.8
  • Price: $$

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 10/5/2014 7:02:00 PM More reviews by CordulaM

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm Hair: Other, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Brown

**I found out I can't use Propylene Glycol, and possibly Butylene Glycol. It took a long time to figure out but that's the reason I can't use this product. It's one of the ingredients that's in there but was previously undisclosed. Not cool MB! I returned all my MB**

Alright, I've been itching to review this but gave it a lot of time. I am almost positive I bought and used this about 5 years ago but gave it to a friend because I thought it "didn't do enough". Full disclosure, over those past few years I have had worsening skin problems, partly due to product reaction, partly to over picking and also just my own changing chemistry (I guess, though BC didn't help so it's not a hormonal issue). I tried natural, oils, chemical, AHA/BHA, acne medications, prescriptions, etc. So long story short, there is no Holy Grail. Nothing can stop all my skin issues (mainly and lately hard bumps and whiteheads) but I've certainly had things make them worse. A few years to a few months ago my skin was all kinds of hell. Like, so bad I wouldn't leave the house, so considering that:

I really like this even though it's not a miracle, it's pretty close considering how many other products I've used that were either horrible or just missed the mark a little bit. Others that have been ok are not worth the price tags they come with when they are only just 'ok'. This is affordable, not drying (at ALL), not irritating (AT ALL!), and I think mildly helpful. For my skin, that's saying a lot!!

I love the smell of this, I get whiffs of it during the day even though it's not super strong or overly fake. I didn't realize why people said that until I used it for a while. I get it now. It is so fresh smelling and also makes my skin feel fresh. I don't feel filmy or tight like I have with other products.

No, it doesn't get make up off, but how little I've been wearing makeup I don't even care. I have used this morning and evening but have also used the Glycolic cleanser by MB at night, especially on days I wear makeup. I don't think either of those could be as great alone as both are together. I couldn't use the glycolic all the time since I'd probably dry out and over produce oil but using only this alone didn't help attack my bumps or clear acne. To be fair, nothing really does. My hope is that over time, it gets to the point where less bumps are created, less areas are picked at, etc. I haven't gotten cysts since using this, a few pimples but not cysts. The days of a painful face are so much less now than they used to be. My skin feels more toned and fresh as well, even though I still have some blemishes.

The bottle is nice, it comes out just the right amount. It's simple and effective in it's packaging and as a product. I'm going to continue to use this and not expect perfection, but improvement. So far it's the first to do so.

Update: I was in the store and noticed the ingredients list changed, it was a lot longer. I had called the company to ask why they changed them since that will effect a lot of peoples' skin, and they said they just 'repackaged and it should be the same effectiveness'. So I asked on the board and learned that they weren't transparent about their ingredients previously. I found out that they supposedly "didn't change the ingredients" they just are being more honest about it now. Those old ingredients listed on the old bottles apparently were a lie. They did that with practically every product. In a way, that's better than changing the actual formula because at least it won't change how it works for me, but a bit unsettling to learn that they were trying to dupe us.

So the real/new ingredients are:

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, PEG-8, Stearate, PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis Fruit (Grapefruit) Extract, Carbomer, Sodium Chloride, Parfum, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Triethanolamine, Diazolidinyl Urea, Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 15985 (Yellow 6).

A little scary. I just wanted to let you guys know. So the "new" one should be the same thing, but I'm on my first bottle so I can't speak of any difference I've seen. It just bugs me because I wanted a natural cleanser and I do wonder if some of these ingredients bother me.... I stopped for a few days to see if my skin changes in any way and I actually did get less pimples. So I'm not sure if this is just "ok" for me or my skin is just getting better, but it might just be that this isn't as amazing as I hoped it would be, even though I really wanted to love it. I added it back in, and if my skin worsens, then we know this has some problem ingredients and I won't repurchase.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 on 9/8/2014 4:48:00 PM More reviews by marcy93

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

The first few weeks of trying out this product was awesome-my skin was visibily more radiant and a lot of my acne scars seemed to have lightened up. But then I noticed that my pores were getting really congested and these tiny flesh-colored bumps were popping up. I continued using this for about a month until I switched to Purpose and, voila, just like that the bumps lessened. It sucks that this cleanser is the culprit because it's so gentle. On the upside, it does gently exfoliate the skin and didn't cause any major breakouts (although it didn't prevent any new ones) but there is something in here that has irritated my skin. Another thing I didn't like all too much were the unnecessary sparkles. Why?!

Also, I have super sensitive and reactive skin so this cleanser should be okay for anyone with the same issues! Such a shame it didn't work out for me.

UPDATE (9/21/14): Oh, man. I have to change the rating from a 3 to a 1. I continued using this cleanser figuring that I could deal with the bumps until I found a new cleanser. It wasn't until the previous night that I realized how weird my skin texture looked and realized that some parts of my cheeks were visibly irritated-almost raw looking. For those of you with sensitive skin, just avoid this altogether.

UPDATE (10/17/14): This is definitely going to be my last update for this product but this cleanser has totally wrecked my skin. Whereas I was previously dealing with light acne scarring when I decided to use this cleanser, it has left me with a ton of scarring thanks to the congested pores turning into whiteheads. It has also left me with a red blotch on my face. After discontinuing use of this cleanser, I stopped breaking out daily. Instead I was left with the aftermath: a ton of clogged pores that have either gone away on their own, turned into a whitehead, or have lingered. No fun. I'm not sure why this product is advertised as being safe to use twice a day-it has literally destroyed my skin! This experience has definitely turned me off to any Mario Badescu products.

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rated 3 of 5 on 8/8/2014 12:08:00 PM More reviews by Mc7814

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I was so excited when this arrived. BTW, Nordstrom is the best store ever!

The first time I used it was in the morning. Then I went on with my usual routine. I have combination By dinner time, my face was oily all over. This is the only product that changed in my routine, so it has to be it. I decided to give it more time though, it's only fair. Today I just washed my face in the morning and two hours later, it is shiny but not as oily. Some of the reviewers said there's mica in it, so could it be the mica? Nevertheless, it does leave my skin oily.

Can't vouch too much on the cleansing ability yet, so I'll update my review after a month. I tried it with my mia and it hurt a bit because there's no foam. I use the soft brushes so the brush is not the issue.

It leaves my skin soft and smooth afterwards, which are most likely effects of the papain and grapefruit, effects to be expected from both ingredients, so that part really does work.

It contains methylparaben, so if you're avoiding parabens, this is not for you.

Overall, it is okay. I would have given it four stars, except for the oily/shiny effects. Maybe my skin is still adjusting, but this is something to be aware of if you are thinking of trying it.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 8/8/2014 2:01:00 AM More reviews by LilMissMatched

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Just finished washing my face with this; (although I've had the bottle for several months and used it many times I wanted to experience it directly before writing a review so I would write the most accurate and honest review possible.)
It comes packaged like all Mario products: simple, not fancy but of quality, almost a clinical look. It squeezes out of the nozzle nicely...the product is plump, lucious, and supple, colored a pearlescent green, and the scent reminds me of nature, if that makes sense: fresh, clean and botanical.
It doesn't contain sulfates, and someone who MUST feel foamy lather in order to feel "cleansed" would not appreciate this product.
It feels lucious on my face. Not exactly creamy but just very lush, supple, smooth and silken. It contains alpha hydroxy acids to exfoliate rather than beads or granules that damage your skin. I rotate this with PanOxyl face wash because I have combo skin probe to breakouts and am a former sufferer of cystic adult acne...I have a clear face today with the following regimen: rotate twice daily: PanOxyl and Mario's Enzyme Cleansing Gel. I cleanse, tone with Proactive Solutions Toner (step 2) and follow with a light layer of Proactive Solutions (step 3) lotion in summer months. In winter months I use the Mario Badescu Moisture Magnet moisturizer.
I think this is a wonderful product for the price...$12 USD at Ulta can't be beat for the quality and the longetevity of this face cleanser. I bought it on a whim when at Ulta when looking for a gentle wash to use in conjunction with the strong PanOxyl, and I'm glad I did. I will repurchase because it is as good as a prestige brand at a reasonable price.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 8/5/2014 2:35:00 AM More reviews by Leahbambina

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I started using this cleanser about three days ago. So far my skin has felt squeaky clean. Having said that, my skin feels a bit tight after. I enjoy the light smell. The packaging could've been made more interesting but I suppose Mario Badescu's design is more inclined to be clinical. The price point is good.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 7/4/2014 7:04:00 PM More reviews by WormEatsBird

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have oily, acne prone skin that has hyper pigmentation "scars" from acne, yet I am prone to dryness from sulfates.

This is an awesome cleanser, I doubt this needs another review but whatever, I just love it so much.

When I first used it, it took a while for me to get used to it not having any foamy action (sulfates do not help anything get "cleaner") but after I rinsed, I had no tight dryness but my face felt "firm". It's the only way I can describe it, and my hyper pigmentation marks fade faster.

When I wear makeup I usually wash twice (I wear DW light) just to make sure it's All off - yet it never ever dries me out.

After a few weeks my black heads were going away and my clogged pores were shrinking. The ingredients are simple too - no unnecessary ingredients.
Note that it is NOT paraben free.

Plus, it is $12 at Ulta and you can usually use the $3.50 off coupon that you can print.

If you're on the fence about any of MB products you can also go on their website to do a free skin consultant or whatever and they will show you a list of recommendations, a few days later they will send am email asking if you would like samples of the products that were recommended, totally free!!!

I highly recommend this and this brand to everyone, reasonably priced and amazing customer service.

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rated 4 of 5 on 6/17/2014 8:23:00 PM More reviews by StupidUserNames

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is the first cleanser that has actually worked for my breakouts! I just ran out and I'm interested in trying another mario badescu cleanser. This cleanser is a gel it's pretty thick it doesn't lather but it does remove face makeup but not eye makeup also if used around the eye area it can sting your eyes. At first I didn't care for this cleanser but after using it up 3 months later my skin really cleared up I'm really happy to finally have a regimen that cleared up my acne. I will repurchase but first I want to try something else just to see what else is out there but if all else fails this is what I know works!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 3 of 5 on 6/5/2014 2:41:00 PM More reviews by karimonster

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Let me preface this by saying I have sensitive skin, but its only with certain products. My usual cleanser is the Clinique Mild Facial Soap in the morning and St. Ives Apricot Scrub for Blemishes with my Clarisonic Mia at night. I'm not the person who can only use Cetaphil, but for some reason certain things really aggravate my skin and I'm not sure if it's an allergic reaction to something or what. I got the sample of the Enzyme Gel and used it 3 times in addition to a few other Mario Badescu products. I noticed immediate burning and tingling after using the enzyme gel, but it wasn't super uncomfortable, I just thought maybe that meant it was working. It's now the 3rd day and I've discontinued use because I now have crazy irritated skin that is broken out and itchy. It is all along my chin which leads me to believe it may be another product for that specific issue since that is where I applied it, but my whole face has been hot and red since using these products. Unfortunately I'm not sure which product(s) is the culprit. Its probably my fault for bombarding my skin with all new stuff, but I heard Mario Badescu products were natural and gentle and didn't think it would cause such a big issue an issue. Lesson learned. As far as actual capabilities of this product I'm giving it a 3 because I tend to enjoy more of a "clean" feeling from my face washes. I like them to foam and really wash dirt away and this felt slightly like I had a little film on my face until I used the toner.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/25/2014 10:01:00 AM More reviews by Ccottam

Age: 19-24 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

Best thing to happen to my face, EVER. I can't stop talking about this cleanser. I had a lot of issues with under the skin breakouts, which never surfaced but were just little bumps under the skin. I had never heard about Mario Badescu until I was at ulta and a sales girl suggested I try it. Within a week, all of the under the skin bumps were gone! It left my skin smooth and soft. I use this morning and night, and moisturize after, not the most original regimen but my skin loves it. I don't use this to take off my makeup, I usually use a makeup remover wipe and then cleanse with this after. If you do take your face makeup off with this, you'll need to go ahead and cleanse again after. Which honestly just takes more work, and more product. I love that this packaging is so simple. It lets the product do all the talking, and keeps the cost very low. Mario Badescu, thank you for being amazing, and saving my face.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 5/13/2014 12:24:00 AM More reviews by suggrr

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Green

I'm on my third or fourth bottle of this, but I won't repurchase it again. I don't feel like this has enough cleansing capability to remove makeup, so I only used it in the morning or if I needed to wash my face in the middle of the day since it never stripped my face of moisture or made it feel dry. I don't think the fruit acids had enough power to do anything for my skin, though it did sting when I got it in my eyes. I like the simple packaging and the bottle is of rather good quality. If I remember correctly, my previous bottles did not contain Lauramide DEA, nor did the gel itself feel as slimy. This does also contain methylparaben (of note if you're avoiding parabens), it isn't tested on animals, and I notice a lot more of the pearly green shimmer I love in the bottle on my face and hands with this new bottle. This isn't my favorite Mario product, but I'd rate it a solid 2.75 lippies.

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