Marcelle Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream Review | What's the difference between a cream and a lotion?

marcelle ultra gentle moisturizer review

As an everyday consumer, it's pretty tricky deciphering the various lingo that gets thrown around when it comes to beauty products and it's one of the reasons why I started blogging product reviews. Although I know a lot more now than when I first started blogging, I wouldn't call myself an expert by any means as there is always something new to learn, especially with skincare! Case in point: TIL that there actually is a difference between a cream and a lotion!

While researching into the Marcelle Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream, I found that although Marcelle markets this product as a cream, most reviews seem to categorize it as a lotion. Does it really matter you ask? Well, it kinda does, but only if you're slightly anal retentive.

What I learned was that lotions and creams do serve the same purpose, which is providing moisture, and the best way to separate the two are by their differences. Lotions are thinner in viscosity and contain less oils, so they are suitable for more skin types and can come packaged in a variety of formats like pumps. Creams on the other hand, are typically thicker and more oil-based. Creams are best for those with more extreme dry skin, or for people who live in especially dry climates; since they're so thick, you typically see creams packaged in jars, although lotions could also come in a jar as well. Probably what most of us call face creams are actually face lotions, and while Marcelle is calling this a cream, by all criteria, the Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream is definitely not.

Now that we've got that cleared up, let's get back to the actual product! The Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream Lotion is described as a comforting moisturizer that protects skin from external stressors that can dry out and age skin. Compared to a lot of other products out there, the Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream is pretty straightforward and I appreciate the simplicity of its approach. A lot of other products make a ton of claims that basically all mean "hydration" so I like how Marcelle just cuts the crap and tells it like it is.

The Guts
The Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream is primarily made up of
  • Water
  • Isopropyl myristate - is a synthetic emollient that helps increase the penetration of ingredients into skin while reducing the oily texture of a product caused by other emollient ingredients. Unfortunately, those with oilier skins should beware of this ingredient as it is known to clog pores!
  • Glycerin - a common humectant (draws moisture into skin)
  • Glyceryl stearate - an emollient (seals moisture in skin) that creates a surface level barrier to lock in moisture, while also giving it a smoother appearance
  • Hydrogenated polyisobutene - an emollient that is commonly used as a substitute for mineral oil

Price & Packaging
For $18.95 you get a very sizable 50 ml squeeze tube. I like how the tube is very sleek, which makes it perfect for travel and the simple coloring and font is reminiscent of Marcelle's other skincare products.

Although other reviewers have all remarked that the Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream was very lightweight, I actually found this cream to be rather heavy. The first couple times I used the Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream, I applied it as I normally would, which is by applying a small dab to each cheek, forehead and then a larger dab to my neck, but I found that this was too much for me. Instead, what I found to work was to dispense a larger dab about half the size of my pinky fingernail between my fingers, then warm it between my hands before applying all over my face. Applying this way seems to keep my face hydrated all day without producing excess oil or shine. 

For the past few weeks, I've been using the Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream as a day cream, but I think I may actually prefer it as a night cream. This winter hasn't been that cold, relatively speaking, for Vancouver, so I haven't had to bust out the big guns when it comes to moisturizing and the Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream feels a tad too heavy for daytime, where I prefer lighter products that sit better under makeup.

As an experiment, when I went to Mexico recently, I tried using the Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream as my night cream since the weather was hotter there and I wanted something light, but hydrating, for the desert climate. When paired with a serum, the Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream was all I needed to keep my skin looking fresh and soft. 

marcelle face moisturizer review

The only downside to this cream is that having examined the ingredients, I'm now wondering if it's the culprit behind the recent breakout around my chin. If I get zits, it's usually around my time of the month and clogged pores can only exacerbate it. What's sucky about skincare is that it can be really tricky to isolate bad triggers, so I'm going to swap this one out of my routine and see if that has an effect. If it does, I will report back!

Final Verdict
Buy - the Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream is affordable, has good value and delivers on keeping skin hydrated and soft. I enjoyed the simplicity of this product and how it works well for both day and night-time use.

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