Orange Creme


The Mario Badescu salon has been a New York institution since it was founded in 1967. Many celebrities swear by their products, including Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow, Patti Hansen, and Jennifer Aniston. Yet when I lived and worked in New York, I never purchased any of their products. I never made the pilgrimage to the salon, though I would often peruse the Badescu counter at Henri Bendel’s. It wasn’t until I moved to Massachusetts that I decided to try their products. Ten years later, I have rediscovered how wonderful the Mario Badescu line is after a recent trip to Nordstrom’s. In my continuing quest for the perfect cleanser, the sales associate recommended the Orange Cleansing Soap from Mario Badescu for my dry skin type. For a mere $12 (and how often can one leave Nordstrom’s after only spending $12?) I decided to give it a go.

The Orange Cleansing Soap is a non-lathering cleanser, but it breaks down easily on a wet face so it’s more water-soluble than heavier cream or lotion cleansers. It bills itself as being mildly exfoliating, due to the orange extract, but I don’t see any evidence of much exfoliation when I use it. It is, however, a gentle but thorough cleanser that removes dirt and makeup well. And the best part is that it is completely non-drying. My face feels incredibly soft after I use it.

My skin has changed a lot since I first tried the Mario Badescu line ten years ago. Back then, I was battling chronic adult acne, and I tried a couple of different Badescu cleansers that, in hindsight, might have been too harsh for my skin. The Orange Cleansing Soap is not one of the “star” cleansers of the Badescu line, compared to the more highly touted Seaweed Cleansing Soap or Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, but it’s an unsung hero, and one of the hidden jewels of the line. This might possibly be my “holy grail” of cleansers.

Mario Badescu products are available online from and Nordstrom’s.


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