If you’re into skincare, you know that Mario Badescu is everywhere. Founded in 1967 by a Romanian chemist and esthetician in New York City (via Elle), the skincare line is popular with celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Lili Reinhart (via Elle). And because Mario Badescu products are affordable and widely available in popular shops like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Sephora, it has become a household name.
The brand’s most popular products, from its famous drying lotion to its rosewater and chamomile facial sprays, fly off the shelves and have received glowing reviews from both customers and dermatologists.
But beyond its pretty packaging and celebrity devotees, there is a dark side to the Mario Badescu line of skincare products. Some customers have accused the popular skincare line of destroying their skin — and in 2013, there was even a lawsuit filed against Mario Badescu for falsely advertising that its products contained only natural ingredients, via Morgan & Morgan. Instead of being botanically-based as the company claimed, Mario Badescu products were found to be full of steroids. And those steroids were damaging customers’ skin.
Some Mario Badescu skincare products contained steroids
In the 2013 lawsuit, investigators found that Mario Badescu failed to disclose the use of steroids in at least two of its products, including its beloved Control Cream which was pulled from shelves in Korea and the United States following an investigation (via Thought Catalogue).
Steroids like those can cause serious damage to the skin when used over long periods of time. According to Observer, steroid use can cause enlarged capillaries and, in extreme cases, skin atrophy. This means that skin can become thinner, causing it to perforate and tear easily. Tears in skin can lead to diseases, fungal growths, rashes, infections, and blisters that peel and ooze. And, it can be incredibly painful.
Additionally, when the brand was caught using off-label steroids in its products and was forced to remove them, some devotees of the skincare brand suffered from topical steroid withdrawal. According to Healthline, this occurs when you stop using steroids that your skin has become used to. You need more of the steroid to have the effect you’re looking for, and when you cease its use, your skin can “rebound,” meaning that your skin issues can reemerge — often worse than before.
Although steroids have been eliminated from Mario Badescu’s products, many remain distrustful of the brand. The team behind Beautypedia, which reviews and rates beauty products, is very critical of Mario Badescu’s line, which they believe is falsely advertised and irritating to the skin (via Observer).
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