Mario Badescu Review

About Mario Badescu

Mario Badescu Review

Mario Badescu is a skincare company that sells a range of products for all skin types. What sets it apart from comparable brands is how it provides personalized recommendations for customers through its online skin analysis tool, and by breaking out its products according to specific skin concerns.   

The company’s customer orientation has paid off in terms of widespread brand awareness. This Mario Badescu review found features on the company in a host of high-profile media outlets, including Allure, Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan, Living, People, InStyle, and Marie Claire, and the brand’s Instagram has a 663K following. 

This Mario Badescu review will give you an in-depth look at the brand, its bestselling products, customer feedback, promotions and discounts, and more to help you determine if these skincare solutions are the ones you’ve been looking for. 

Overview of Mario Badescu

Mario Badescu Review

Mario Badescu’s Romanian-born founder and namesake launched the brand from his Manhattan apartment in 1967. His refined European formulas soon caught on in New York society, and over the course of 50 years, the brand has steadily expanded its product line to include treatments for a whole range of skincare concerns.

Following the founder’s passing in 1983, the Mario Badescu brand and salon was acquired by Morise Cabasso, who has continued to operate it as a family business to this day. The company’s headquarters is now located in Edison, New Jersey, while the famed Mario Badescu skincare salon and spa continues to welcome visitors in New York City.

As you can see, this brand has come a long way from its origins as a household business—but has it held up to its high-quality standards after half a century? This Mario Badescu review will give you the skinny on that below, beginning with some of the top-line highlights of the brand.


  • Range of treatments that target all manner of skincare concerts, including acne, aging, dullness, oiliness, dryness, sensitivity, etc. 
  • Reasonable prices
  • All products are cruelty-free, and some are vegan
  • Helpful online skin analysis quiz on brand website that allows customers to filter products by concern and personalize their skincare regimen 
  • Instalment payment option available via Klarna
  • Free shipping for US orders of $45 and up
  • 3 free samples with every order
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Mario Badescu Review

Some long-established names in the skincare field have seen challenges in the past decade due to the increasing focus on clean beauty and wellness products.

In our Mario Badescu review below, we’ll see how this company has risen to the challenge by taking a look at some of its bestselling products.

Mario Badescu Review

As the brand has such an extensive line of products, this Mario Badescu review has plucked out some of its top sellers from different categories to give you an idea of what it brings to the table. Check out our individual product reviews below!

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner Review 

Toner is an important yet often underused element in skincare regimens: not only can it help remove any gunk that remains after you wash your face, but it can also even your skin tone and reduce signs of aging. 

The Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner combines the headlining ingredient with rejuvenating grapefruit extract and soothing aloe to reduce the size of pores and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Make this a regular part of your regimen by using it twice daily after cleansing for a more youthful and refreshed complexion.

Note that this is not recommended for people with sensitive skin or those experiencing acne breakouts; it can also increase your susceptibility to sunburn, so make sure to apply sunscreen if going outside after use. You can get this Mario Badescu toner for $18.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser Review 

Glycolic acid is well-known for its ability to exfoliate, remove impurities, and adjust the pH of the skin. The deep-action Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser gives your skin a high-powered purge while also calming it with gentle chamomile, marshmallow extract, sage, and St. John’s Wort.

This is some potent stuff, so it’s not meant for everyday use: apply it one to three times a week at maximum (the lower end of that range for dry skin, the higher end for oily skin). The Glycolic Foaming Cleanser retails for $16.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel Review 

One of the brand’s bestsellers, the invitingly mint-green Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel probably smells as fantastic and refreshing as it looks thanks to its delicate mixture of papaya and grapefruit. It works to remove nasties like oil and dirt, reduce dullness, and rejuvenate the skin by restoring brightness and moisture. 

Gentle enough to be your regular cleanser, the Enzyme Cleansing Gel can be used twice daily for optimal results. You can make it your new go-to for $14.

Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum Review 

Vitamin C is beneficial for your skin for a whole host of reasons, including promoting collagen production and fighting off harmful free radicals thanks to its antioxidative properties. The Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum combines this super-ingredient with sodium hyaluronate and soluble collagen to moisturize, smooth, and reinvigorate your skin for a more refreshed appearance. 

This serum packs a powerful punch, so just use it once every other day: three to four drops before bed will do the trick. Most effective for combination, oily, or dry skin, the Vitamin C Serum is $45.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion Review 

I remember I used to use something exactly like this, and it took the will to live out of any and all  acne I had on my face. The award-winning Mario Badescu Drying Lotion battles blemishes with its fast-acting combo of salicylic acid, sulfur, and zinc oxide, which takes the fight to your pimples while you sleep. 

And don’t think that this lotion is only for your face: acne or redness on your back, neck, and chest are fair game too. The brand uses very urgent all-caps to remind you to not shake the bottle in order to keep the formula properly settled—we’d also warn you that this stuff smells pretty bad, but trust us, it can work wonders. 

Get the Drying Lotion for $17.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray Review 

Summertime is the best of times, but the thing that sucks about it is that when it gets really hot, your skin can feel like it’s slowly melting off of your face. The bestselling Mario Badescu Facial Spray gives your skin a refreshing and nourishing dose of moisture with its soothing, revitalizing blend of rosewater, aloe vera, gardenia, and thyme. 

Ideal for all skin types of skin, this Mario Badescu spray can be used any time of day and as often as you need. You can also mix it in with your makeup application to give yourself some extra glow before you head out the door. 

The Facial Spray is just $7—and if you like how it works for your face, give a try to the Mario Badescu rose water body soap as well. 

Mario Badescu Whitening Mask Review 

Everyday stress and lack of moisture can sap the life from our faces—sometimes, it can even be hard to recognize the face staring back at you in the mirror. But here’s a mask that reveals more than it conceals: infused with vitamins and nutrients, the Mario Badescu Whitening Mask provides essential hydration for dry skin while evening out your skin tone. 

Packed with antioxidants and nourishing ingredients like grapeseed, licorice, mulberry, and olive leaf extract, this product is suitable for all skin types, and can be used 2-3 times a week for optimal results. Get it for $24.

Mario Badescu Lip Balm Review

We’re always concerned about what the sun can do to our skin, but do you know that those rays can also take a toll on your lips? The Mario Badescu Lip Balm works to protect and moisturize your precious pout with cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E. 

This is all-day, everyday protection, making it the perfect little companion to pop in your purse and have handy for whenever you need it. And if you want to lather some on overnight as well, no problem! The Lip Balm is $8. 

Is Mario Badescu Cruelty-Free?

Mario Badescu Review

So here’s the good news: these products are indeed cruelty-free, as neither the brand nor any third-party affiliates test them on animals. But this Mario Badescu review does need to inform you that that is pretty much the only major concession that the brand has made to the new consciousness about clean and ethical products.

At least Mario Badescu is upfront about this: on its FAQ page, it plainly states that its products are not organic, and that it only has a limited selection of items that could be considered vegan or gluten-free. It also helpfully offers to assist customers identify these items in its product line, so there’s that.

Is Mario Badescu Good For Pimples? 

Mario Badescu Review

From all indications, yes! The brand has many products to cleanse troubled skin, treat deep acne, and spot-treat pimples, as well as treatments like silver masks and serums to soothe and pamper acne-prone skin. 

For example, to cleanse skin suffering from a breakout, you could try the Acne Facial Cleanser. To deep-clean cystic acne (you know that acne that feels like a large bump under the skin, and that just won’t go away no matter what?), there’s the Buffering Lotion, while if you’re looking to spot-treat pimples that have come to a head, the Drying Lotion would be your go-to. 

Who Is Mario Badescu For? 

Mario Badescu Review

As this Mario Badescu review has already noted above, the brand carries products that target a variety of skincare concerns. If you click on “Concerns” in the main navigation bar on the website, you’ll see some of the issues that these items can address: acne, aging, dullness and discoloration, unevenness, oiliness, dryness, and sensitivity. 

Who this brand is not for, though, are those customers who are looking for clean, natural, vegan, and gluten-free skincare products. While certain items might fit under the second two categories, from what this Mario Badescu review has gleaned there are synthetic ingredients in nearly all of the brand’s products.

Comparison: Mario Badescu vs. Shiseido  

Mario Badescu Review

As we have seen, Mario Badescu is a well-established brand with a long history and an extensive product line. One of their competitors in the field is Shiseido. Founded in 1872, the Tokyo-based multinational is Japan’s largest cosmetics firm, and the fifth-largest in the world. Its product line encompasses skincare, body care, cosmetics, fragrances, and more.

Shiseido has acquired many subsidiary companies (including Dolce & Gabbana and Issey Miyake), unlike the still family-run Mario Badescu brand. The company also positions itself as a leader in sustainability and environmental consciousness, with an extensive section devoted to its efforts in this field on its website.

While that would seem to make this company more forward-looking than our spotlighted brand, this Mario Badescu review does need to note that all this progressive-type talk from Shiseido may be a bit of a case of greenwashing. For instance, as the brand sells products in China, this automatically means that these products must be tested on animals, as per Chinese law.

Also, the sheer size of the brand’s corporate empire inherently works against any thoroughgoing effort to make its manufacturing 100% clean and ethical. So on that basis, this Mario Badescu review has got to put the two brands on a par with each other in this regard.

But let’s move on to value-for-money matters now, because at the end of the day, company policies and practices are probably secondary to price and quality for the average shopper. Looking at comparable products from the two brands, this Mario Badescu review found that our spotlighted brand tends to come out ahead.

Let’s just take two products as an example: while the Mario Badescu Brightening Mask with Vitamin C will cost you $22, the Shiseido Brightening Gel Cream is sold at $88. So suffice to say that Shiseido’s products are generally much pricier than Mario Badescu’s. 

In the end, it all comes down to personal preferences, company missions, and budget. So, which brand will you go with?

Mario Badescu Reviews: What Do Customers Think?

Mario Badescu Review

It’s time for this Mario Badescu review to see what people really have to say about this brand and its products. We checked out customer reviews on the brand website, Amazon, and Sephora and plucked out representative comments to give you an idea of the kind of feedback coming Mario Badescu’s way.

On the website, the acne-fighting Drying Lotion scores 4.4/5 stars from 705 reviews. Customers were impressed by the fast-acting formula’s effectiveness, as per a comment from this parent: 

“My teenage son uses this when he has breakouts. He puts it on before he goes to bed and by the morning his breakout areas look 100% better. A must have product!”

This experience was pretty common across the board, to judge by the other reviews on the brand site. While a small minority of customers reported that the product did nothing for them, it was encouraging to see that the company responded to all of them with offers to help them find a product that might be more beneficial for their specific needs.

Over at Amazon, the Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea has an impressive 4.5/5 stars from 9,862 global ratings. Buyers were impressed not only by the spray’s refreshing qualities, but also by the way it fought against skin conditions like acne and oiliness.

This has helped my skin clear up and with the excess oil tremendously,” said one reviewer. “Plus, it smells amazing. Everyday, usually by lunchtime, my face would be shiny and slick to the touch with so much oil. My face has cleared up so much since using this, and my oil has FINALLY been under control for the first time I can remember.”

The Glycolic Acid Toner is another winner for the brand, pulling in 4.3/5 stars from 776 reviews at Ulta. Once again, users were over the moon about the product’s effectiveness against acne, oiliness, and signs of aging. Said one satisfied customer:

I’ve been using this at night for over 5 years, and I don’t see myself stopping. I’m in my late 20’s with oily combo/acne prone skin, and this really helps. I feel that it helps prevent fine lines, and it definitely helps texture and breakouts. It also makes my skin feel refreshed and balanced. Definitely recommend!”

Given the high marks from different websites and the very large number of overall reviews for the brand’s products, this Mario Badescu review can safely conclude that the vast majority of customers have found that the formulations live up to their promises.

Is Mario Badescu Worth It?

Mario Badescu Review

So after that great bill of health given to the brand by its users, it’s time for this Mario Badescu to address the (ethical) elephant in the room—which is that in 2013, the brand was successfully sued for using undeclared steroids in at least two of its products, which can cause considerable damage to skin when used for a long period of time.

That said, many people swear by these products, so if clean beauty is not a major consideration for you, then you may still want to try them out. It’s worth mentioning that the skincare line is cruelty-free and some items are vegan.

This Mario Badescu review encourages new customers to take advantage of the free samples offered by the brand. You can find a range of treatments for all different concerns on their website—whether that is oily, dry, sensitive, or aging skin. Plus, the online quiz can help you filter products to streamline the shopping experience.

Mario Badescu Promotions & Discounts 

Mario Badescu Review

On the “Offers” page of the brand website, you can see what promotions and deals the company is currently…well, offering! Keep your eye here to see what you can take advantage of. One ongoing perk is that customers can receive 3 free samples with every order when they shop directly through the site. 

Where to Buy Mario Badescu

Mario Badescu Review

Mario Badescu products are widely available. In addition to the brand website and the Mario Badescu salon in New York City, you can find them at literally thousands of stores worldwide—check out the “Store Locator” page on the website in case you don’t believe us!

To narrow things down, this Mario Badescu review has listed below the top ten easiest online and/or bricks-and-mortar retailers where you can find these products:

  1. Amazon
  2. Ulta
  3. Macy’s
  4. Nordstrom
  5. Anthropologie
  6. Urban Outfitters
  7. Saks Fifth Avenue
  8. Bloomingdale’s
  9. Sephora 
  10. Bluemercury


Mario Badescu Review

Where is Mario Badescu made? 

While the company states that all of its products are made in the US, it is unclear whether the manufacturing takes place at the company’s headquarters in Edison, New Jersey, or in affiliated facilities elsewhere. Still though, “made in the US” is always an encouraging sign. 

What is Mario Badescu’s Shipping Policy?

All US orders are shipped via USPS. The brand offers free shipping to all 50 states for orders of $35 and above; orders less than that amount will be charged a standard shipping rate of $5. Delivery typically takes 2-7 business days. Expedited shipping options are also available, with charges calculated at checkout.

International orders are fulfilled via FedEx. Shipping charges are based on the number of products ordered and weight of the package, and will be calculated at checkout. Standard delivery time is 7-10 business days.

What is Mario Badescu’s Return Policy?

Mario Badescu has a 30-day money-back guarantee (dated from the day of purchase) for items purchased directly from The item must be mailed back to the company with a copy of the invoice or receipt, as well as a note specifying whether you want a refund, an exchange, or store credit. Note that you are responsible for return shipping charges.

Returns require 4-5 business days to process, and another 5-7 business days before your refund is reflected in your bank statement. All returned items should be sent to the following address: 

Mario Badescu 

Attn: Ecommerce Returns Department

1150 King Georges Post Road

Edison, NJ 


How to Contact Mario Badescu

Got any questions that this Mario Badescu review didn’t address? You can contact the brand via the following methods:

  • Phone: (800) BADESCU or 212-223-3728
  • Contact form on brand website
  • Live chat on brand website

Check out similar brands you might like:

Ole Henriksen Review

Amorepacific Skincare Review

CLEARSTEM Skincare Review

No7 Skin Care Review

Ask the community or leave a comment


Customer Reviews

Leave a review

5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Stars

Ask the community or leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required