The History of Mario Badescu

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Mario Badescu is a legacy skincare brand with humble beginnings. It started as a go-to skincare destination for Manhattan’s elite and over time became a cult beauty brand beloved across the world.

It was founded by Romanian-born Mario Badescu, a visionary skincare specialist with a passion for beauty and innovation. He understood the uniqueness of skin and strongly believed in the importance of skin analysis and determining a client’s skin type before treating them.

With a background in chemistry and cosmetology, Mario left Romania in 1966 and travelled to New York. In 1967, he converted his two-bedroom apartment into a one-room studio, offering European-style facials by appointment only. It was at this 320 East 52nd street studio that Badescu’s facials began attracting some of New York City’s most influential women.

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Not content with the skincare formulas available at the time, Badescu began creating his own botanically based skincare line, focused on the philosophy that skincare products should be gentle, simple, and effective. His formulations featured a blend of organic fruit, vegetables, and plant-based ingredients to treat his client’s individual skin types and needs.

Like his facials, the Mario Badescu skincare line became an instant success and, for the rest of his life, Badescu continued to conduct research in his laboratory and test his innovative products in his studio with his loyal client base.

After Badescu’s death in 1983, Morise Cabasso acquired the brand, which he continues to oversee alongside his sons and three of his grandchildren.

Today, Mario Badescu’s 320 East 52nd street location is still in operation, having gradually expanded from the two-bedroom apartment into a 50,000 sq. foot space that serves as the brand’s headquarters, housing the brand’s corporate office, factory, and 36-room spa.

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The brand is available in more than 70 countries and has amassed an impressively large celebrity following that includes Bella Hadid, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kylie Jenner, Jennifer Aniston, Zendaya, Selena Gomez, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Suki Waterhouse, and Zoë Kravitz.

From cleansers and masks to serums and body lotions, Mario Badescu offers a large collection of products that range from £4 to £36 ($5 to $45). Bestsellers include the AHA Botanical Body Soap, Witch Hazel & Rosewater Toner, Vitamin C Serum, Seaweed Night Cream, Hyaluronic Eye Cream, and Gentle Foaming Cleaner.

Most impressively, some of Mario Badescu’s original and most iconic formulas remain at the heart of the brand’s product offering, having undergone just a few necessary tweaks to remove phthalates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. The most famous of these being the Drying Lotion, a spot remedy that has remained a best-seller for the brand for almost five decades.

Loved by beauty editors, celebrities, and professionals worldwide, the Drying Lotion is an award-winning on-the-spot solution designed to dry up surface blemishes overnight. It is formulated with salicylic acid, sulfur, and zinc oxide to absorb excess oil and unclog pores while you sleep.

Equally loved are the brand’s facial sprays and mists. Five facial waters sit in the collection, infused with skin-nourishing botanicals that include cucumber, lavender, coconut water, and sage.

The most famous is the inaugural Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs And Rosewater that launched in the 1980s. With key ingredients that include rose extract, gardenia extract, aloe vera, thyme extract, and bladderwrack extract, this nourishing facial spray boosts and hydrates to deliver radiant and re-energised skin.

Mario Badescu products are available at Nordstrom, Anthropology, ULTA, and Sephora in the US, and Boots, Space NK,, and in the UK. They are also available internationally at

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