Marcelle Essentials: an ode to boring cleansers

The product: Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk

The cleansing: When you feel like you’re basically just smearing lotion on your face, you don’t expect said lotion to take off all your makeup… but this does. (I mean, it doesn’t take everything in the entire world off, but you honestly can’t expect a basic cleanser to remove your waterproof eyeliner – after all, that’s what makeup remover is for, right?)

The ingredients:

The moisture: I wasn’t a fan of cleansing milks before this one, but after just a week or two of using this exclusively, I can honestly say that my skin is noticeably less dry and patchy than it used to be. Add on the fact that this is scent- and silicone-free, has absolutely brilliant packaging (I’m a sucker for a lid that turns to lock), and is just under $15, and you have a winner.

The verdict?

I’m a bit like a thirteen year old girl for this one, and it’s the cute boy in the back of the classroom. Yes, it’s boring, and no, I don’t get to have fun with the foam and the bubbles and the squeaky-clean feeling, but my skin’s just been so damn happy with it.

Anyhow, the only explanation* is that this is an absolutely fantastic cleanser, and it’s well worth loving if you have normal/dry skin or a combination thereof!


*Not true; the alternate explanation is that Marcelle’s laced this one with heroin and I’m literally addicted to it. Somehow, though, I don’t think the CFDA would have approved that ingredient list.

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  • Arianne

    Oooh great review! I was looking for something to replace my Weleda one once it is finished, which is going to be very very soon.
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    • Oh my god, you HAVE to choose this one as the Weleda replacement (or I'm never speaking to you again). Have to! :p

  • callitbeautyblog

    boring cleansers. haha!

    i always have this expectation of cleansers to not only do wonders for my skin, but entertain me as well. but it's the boring ones that really do the job, no?
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  • Love this review! I also quite like your last statement! I may have to try this one! :D
    My recent post Lorac Multiplex Lipgloss Swatches and Review

  • Larie

    Haha, I like lids that turn to lock, too. It's the little things!
    My recent post Gleek Out Sephora by OPI- Mash-up

  • WendyD

    What are the ingredients?

    I've been loving Burt's Bee's Radiance cleanser lately. :D

  • Angela

    Oooo I bought this on a few months ago in the old packaging–it was on clearout because Marcelle was rolling out the cleansing milk in the new packaging–but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet because I keep buying new cleansers! Something to look forward after I finish my current cleanser, now that I know it’s worked well for you :>


      Not a huge fan of the old packaging, but it's worth the hassle! ^^

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  • Annabelle

    I tried this but it just didn't work with my skin. Every time I tried it, it left a greasy film/residue on the top of my skin which resulted in clogged pores….although to be fair, I do not have dry skin (which it's targeted towards – I have combination skin)…..maybe that's why?

    I'm sad this didn't work for me, but I'm glad you've found your HG!!! On the lookout for the next great product! :D

    • Aww, I'm sorry to hear that, Annabelle! I don't notice any residue at all with this one after I rinse it off, but maybe it is just a skin thing :(

      If I try something similar (but targeted at normal to oily skintypes), I'll give you a shout! : )

    • murt

      Do you use it with a washcloth? I find that I have to use cleansing milks with a washcloth to get all of the residue off.

  • Brenda

    I did buy this after your wonderful review and find it lives up to it all!

    BUT – i experience burning and redness on both cheeks down to my jaw when I use it! I have to put something on my face immediately to calm it. I'm still trying to figure out the issue. Any idea what might be the culprit? (I also have problems with MUFE Face and Body, the Body shop cucumber cleansing milk and Olay Quench lotion – i know it's a body lotion but I used to use it w/out issue on my face).

    • Oh dear!! Have you cross-referenced the ingredient lists for those, Brenda? A common ingredient (or even a couple ingredients of similar chemical structure) may be at the root of the problem!

      • Brenda

        Thanks for replying Rae! I have tried to cross reference but it's a bit overwhelming, having just started to have these reactions in the last year. I think it might possibly be alcohol contents in some and maybe cucumber extract (weird, i know) in the other two. Those are the only similarities I can identify. Have you heard of anything like that?

        • This is a bit of a shot in the dark, but you wouldn't happen to have (or have grown up with) eczema, would you? I've read that cetyl alcohol can sometimes aggravate it, possibly due to impurities in the raw ingredient — that could definitely be a factor!

          In terms of cucumber — I've never heard of it happening, but I wouldn't write it off, either. Allergies are allergies, common or not! :)