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Is Mario Badescu Bad For Your Skin?

  • Post category:Skin Care
  • Post last modified:May 28, 2024
  • Reading time:12 mins read

Mario Badescu is a well-known skincare brand that has been around since 1967. It has garnered a significant following, with endorsements from celebrities and influencers. However, the brand has also faced considerable controversy and criticism over the years. This article delves into the various aspects of Mario Badescu’s products, examining whether they are beneficial or harmful to your skin.

The Rise of Mario Badescu

Mario Badescu, a Romanian chemist and pharmacist, founded the brand in New York City. The company quickly gained a reputation for its simple, effective skincare solutions, often using botanical ingredients. Products like the Drying Lotion and Facial Sprays became cult favorites, endorsed by celebrities and beauty influencers.

Controversies and Legal Issues

Despite its popularity, Mario Badescu has faced significant legal challenges. In 2014, the company was sued for failing to disclose the presence of potent steroids in its Control Cream and Healing Cream. These products contained hydrocortisone and triamcinolone acetonide, which can cause severe side effects like skin atrophy, enlarged capillaries, and topical steroid withdrawal. The lawsuit was settled, but it left a lasting impact on the brand’s reputation.

Ingredient Concerns

Steroids in Skincare

The undisclosed use of steroids in Mario Badescu’s products is one of the most alarming issues. Steroids like hydrocortisone and triamcinolone acetonide can cause severe skin damage, including thinning of the skin, fungal growths, and severe withdrawal symptoms when discontinued. These ingredients were marketed as safe, botanical solutions, misleading consumers and causing significant harm.

Other Harmful Ingredients

Mario Badescu products have also been criticized for containing other potentially harmful ingredients. For instance, the Drying Lotion contains isopropyl alcohol, which can be extremely drying and irritating to the skin. The Facial Sprays, while popular, contain fragrance and other irritants that can cause allergic reactions and rashes.

Mixed Reviews from Users

Positive Experiences

Despite the controversies, many users swear by Mario Badescu products. The Drying Lotion, for example, is praised for its effectiveness in treating superficial pimples. It contains salicylic acid, sulfur, and zinc oxide, which help reduce inflammation and dry out blemishes. Some users also appreciate the hydrating properties of the brand’s night creams and facial mists.

Negative Experiences

On the flip side, numerous users have reported adverse reactions to Mario Badescu products. Complaints range from severe rashes and breakouts to long-term skin damage. The undisclosed steroids in the Control Cream and Healing Cream led to severe withdrawal symptoms for many users. Additionally, the presence of alcohol and fragrance in many products has caused irritation and allergic reactions.

Expert Opinions

Paula Begoun’s Review

Paula Begoun, known as the “Cosmetics Cop,” reviewed 60 Mario Badescu products and found that 55 of them received only 1 or 2 stars out of 5. Her team described the products as “incredibly irritating” and “horrible for skin,” citing false claims about product formulations.

Dermatologists’ Views

Many dermatologists advise caution when using Mario Badescu products, especially for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. The presence of alcohol, fragrance, and other irritants can exacerbate skin issues rather than resolve them.

Transparency and Ethical Concerns

Mario Badescu’s lack of transparency regarding its ingredients has been a significant point of criticism. The undisclosed use of steroids and the presence of other harmful ingredients contradict the brand’s marketing as a natural, botanical skincare line. This has led to a loss of trust among consumers.

Conclusion: Is Mario Badescu Bad for Your Skin?

The answer to whether Mario Badescu is bad for your skin is not straightforward. While some users have had positive experiences, the brand’s history of undisclosed harmful ingredients and mixed reviews suggest that caution is warranted. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, it may be best to consult with a dermatologist before using Mario Badescu products. Always read ingredient lists carefully and be aware of potential irritants.


Skincare is highly individual, and what works for one person may not work for another. While Mario Badescu has its share of loyal fans, the controversies and negative reviews cannot be ignored. It’s crucial to make informed decisions about the products you use on your skin, prioritizing transparency and safety above all else.

Mario Badescu’s products have both pros and cons. The brand’s lack of transparency and the presence of potentially harmful ingredients are significant concerns. However, some products, like the Drying Lotion, have garnered positive reviews for their effectiveness. Ultimately, the decision to use Mario Badescu products should be based on thorough research and consideration of your skin’s unique needs.


Is Mario Badescu good for your skin?

Mario Badescu products have mixed reviews regarding their effectiveness. Some users appreciate the hydrating properties of products like the night cream and facial mists, while others report adverse effects such as irritation and lack of promised results. The brand has faced criticism for using potentially irritating ingredients like fragrances and alcohols, which may not be suitable for sensitive skin.

What are the side effects of Mario Badescu?

Side effects reported by users of Mario Badescu products include skin irritation, dryness, and worsening of acne. The brand has also faced lawsuits for undisclosed use of steroids in some products, which led to severe side effects like skin atrophy, infections, and steroid withdrawal symptoms. These issues have caused significant concern among consumers about the safety of the products.

Does Mario Badescu have steroids in it?

Mario Badescu faced lawsuits for including undisclosed steroids, specifically hydrocortisone and triamcinolone acetonide, in its Control Cream and Healing Cream. These steroids were not listed on the product labels, leading to severe side effects for users. The company settled the lawsuits and removed the steroids from the products, but the incident has left a lasting impact on the brand’s reputation.

Does Mario Badescu spray break you out?

Mario Badescu facial sprays have received mixed reviews. While some users find them refreshing and hydrating, others report that the sprays can cause breakouts, likely due to the presence of alcohol and fragrances, which can be irritating to sensitive skin. The effectiveness of the sprays varies, and they may not be suitable for all skin types.

How did Mario Badescu respond to the lawsuits and negative reviews?

Mario Badescu settled the lawsuits related to the undisclosed use of steroids in its products, offering compensation to affected customers. The company has since removed the steroids from the implicated products. Despite these actions, the brand continues to face skepticism and criticism from some consumers and reviewers, who remain wary of its product formulations and transparency.