MAC Cosmetics Green Gel Cleanser Review + Physical, Chemical, Marketing and Price Analysis

Heyyyy Beauties

MAC Cosmetics has a range of skincare products and today I am going to be talking about and fully analysing the Green Gel Cleanser.

MAC Green Gel Cleanser Description/Details

The MAC Green Gel Cleanser is a Foam cleanser that cleans the skin and gets rid of any debris and makeup, etc. it comes in a bottle tube and you squeeze the product out. The MAC Green Gel Cleanser contains 100 ml (3.4 US fluid ounces) of product and costs $35.00 AUD ($22.00 USD) per bottle.

How/When To Use

1• Wet skin and lather up a small amount of product with damp hands

2• Massage all over face with gentle circular movements

3• Rinse well with water

The Green Gel Cleanser is used at the very start of your skincare routine. If you do the double cleanse, use after you use an oil cleanser. If you don’t do the double cleanse you can use this as your sole cleanser.

Physical Analysis

I am going to go over a physical analysis including texture, consistency, packaging, smell, feel and how it works. I will then move on to the chemical and marketing analysis.


The MAC Green Gel Cleanser has a liquid gel consistency, as the name suggests. It is a gel, but is still liquid, it is like a thick-ish liquid.

The texture of the product is slightly sticky. When your rubbing it into your face, it has a gritty feel to it.


The smell of the cleanser is a faint, light smell. I can’t even identify it. It’s not very harsh though, which is good because I hate strong smelling products. The smell is kind of like a really really faint, plant smell.

Feel/How it Works

The MAC Gel Cleanser is a foam cleanser. When you massage it into the face, it turns gritty and sticky. As you keep rubbing it into and massaging the skin, the grittiness gets everything out and cleanses the skin.

After washing thoroughly and drying the face, the skin is soooooo soft. It is also fully cleaned, and has a refreshed feel. All the dirtiness from the day is gone.

Chemical (Formula) Analysis

The MAC Green Gel Cleanser has 29 ingredients in the formula- 27 ingredients in the base formula and 2 ingredients in the pigment list. The Cosmetic Analysis Database ranks the MAC Green Gel Cleanser as a ‘Bad/Not Recommended’ formula.

The Cosmetic Analysis Database ranks all individual ingredients in the formula into 5 categories based on safety and functioning- highly recommended, recommended, average, not recommended and to be avoided- and then returns an overall formula reading based on this.

The Bad/Not Recommended formula ranking of the MAC Green Gel Cleanser is a result of 7 to be avoided ingredients, 6 not recommended ingredients, 4 average ingredients, 10 recommended ingredients and 2 highly recommended ingredients.

I used this product multiple times before I checked the ingredient list and put it through the database, and to say I was disappointed is an understatment. I really loved the product, how it worked and how soft it made my skin, but there is no getting around the fact that the formula is horrible and contains way too many bad ingredients for me to continue use or recommend it.

ALSO, MAC seems to have a method in their madness. They will NOT list any ingredients for any product online, meaning you have to buy the product before you can see the ingredient list. If I seen the ingredient list before purchasing, I wouldn’t have purchased in the first place. I find this sneaky and I do not like it, nor do I like having to manually write lists ingredient by ingredient lol.

Note- I am unsure of the exact concentration of any chemical in the formula as companies are not required to disclose this.

So, I guess we will tackle the bad ingredients first, and then move on to the good. I usually start with the good but it’s not hard to see that the bad outweigh the good here, so we will start there.

The 7 Extremely Bad/To be Avoided chemicals in the formula include Tea-Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamide Mea, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, BHT, Magnesium Nitrate,

Tea-Lauryl Sulfate is an emulsifying, cleansing, surfactant and foaming agent that has bad characteristics such as irritating the skin and being toxic. It is also a carcinogen (cancer causing agent) and a nitrosamine agent. It does help to clean the body surface but when considering it’s negative characteristics, I would much prefer an alternative.

Cocamide Mea is an emulsifying, emulsion stabilising, surfactant, foam boosting and viscosity controlling agent. It is a carcinogenic ingredient, meaning it can cause cancer.

Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is a UV filter and UV absorbing agent that is hormonally active and can change genetic material. It can also cause skin allergies, skin irritation and is not UV stable.

BHT is an antioxidant and preservative agent that can damage fertility and is toxicologically suspicious. It can also cause skin allergies

Magnesium Nitrate is a mineral hair conditioning agent that is toxic. It is also a carcinogen and a nitrosamine agent.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is a preservative agent that is toxic, can cause protein and gene change and can build cancer causing nitrosamine. It also causes allergies and kills skin friendly bacteria.

Yellow 5 is a pigment ingredient that can release cancer causing nitrosamine. It can also cause allergies.

The 6 Not Recommended/Bad ingredients in the formula include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate,  PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Benzophenone-4, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Parfum and Blue 1.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a surfactant, cleansing and foaming agent that can make the skin porous, which can allow the absorption of hazardous materials. It is also irrelevant to the environment.

PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate is a emulsifying agent that irritates the skin, makes the skin porous thus allowing absorption of hazardous materials and is irrelevant to the environment.

Benzophenone-4 is a UV filter and UV absorbing agent that is hormonally active. It also frequently causes skin irritation and can cause allergies. Additionally, it is not UV stable.

PPG-5-Ceteth-20 is a emulsifying and surfactant agent that irritates the skin and leaves it porous. It is also environmentally irrelevant.

Parfum is a fragrance ingredient that can irritate the skin and can cause photoallergic reactions. It is also one of the 20 most common allergens. Note- A lot of brands use Parfum as a fragrance ingredient, so it’s not just MAC.

Blue 1 is a pigment ingredient that can cause allergic reactions.

So, to sum it up……….

There are 10 ingredients that can cause skin allergies and skin irritation including Tea-Lauryl Sulfate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, BHT, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Yellow 5, Benzophenone-4, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Parfum and Blue 1

There are 3 carcinogenic (cancer causing) ingredients in the formula- Tea-Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamide Mea and Magnesium Nitrate,

There are 4 toxic agents in the formula including Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Tea-Lauryl Sulfate, BHT and Magnesium Nitrate,

There are 4 Nitrosamine agents in the formula including Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Yellow 5, Tea-Lauryl Sulfate and Magnesium Nitrate,

There are 2 ingredients in the formula that can change genetic material including Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate and Methylchlorisothiazolinone,

There is 1 ingredient that can damage fertility which is BHT.

There are 2 hormonally active agents in the formula including Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate and Benzophenone-4

This really isn’t good. To have one toxic and carcinogenic agent is bad, but when you have various forms of these in one formula, that’s when your going wrong. As you can see, these ingredients are pretty much the worst of the worst as they have carcinogenic properties , can have dangerous effects on the body and can potentially mess with the endocrine system.

Obviously, these ingredients are present in low enough concentrations to be used and approved, but you do want to try and stay away from harsh ingredients like these. At the end of the day, your skin absorbes everything and the external ends up internal.

Also, some people may argue that it doesn’t matter what ingredients are in a cleanser since it is on your skin for a very short time before you wash it down the drain. However, at the end of the day it’s still going on the skin and can be absorbed and ingredient lists like these really turn me off. You want to be gentle with the skin and it’a best in the end to purchase and use products with no harsh ingredients like these.

Let’s now talk about some good ingredients in the formula for a bit.

The 2 Highly Recommended/Very Good ingredients in the formula are Tocopherol and Panthenol.

Tocopherol (Vitamin E) is a antioxidant and skin conditioning agent that prevents infection and promotes wound healing. It also moisturises, smoothes and maintains the skin in good condition, as well as removing small wrinkles and preventing damage to products by oxidation.

Panthenol is an antistatic and skin conditioning agent that reduces inflammation and promotes healing. It also holds and retains moisture, calms irritated skin and maintains the skin in good condition.

The 10 Recommended/Good ingredients in the formula are Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Pantethine, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Ethylhexyl Sallicylate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Chloride, Butylene Glycol and Citric Acid.

Glycerin is a humectant and solvent agent that draws moisture from the surrounding air into the skin, making it hydrated and smooth. Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a surfactant, cleansing and foam boosting agent that helps to clean the bodies surface, is tolerated by the skin and has a mild effect.

Pantethine is a emollient agent that smooths and softens the skin.  Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract is a emollient agent that has multiple beneficial effects such as softening, smoothing, refreshing, cleaning, clearing and tightening the skin.

Laminaria Saccharina Extract is a skin protecting agent that helps to protect the skin from harmful factors.  Ethylhexyl Sallicylate is a UV filter and UV absorber agent that protects the skin by filtering UV rays.

Sodium Cocoate is an emulsifying, surfactant and cleansing agent that helps to clean the body surface. Butylene Glycol is a humectant and solvent agent that holds and retains moisture.

All in all, while there is some beneficial ingredients, the bad ingredients outweigh the good ingredients.

The bad ingredients are toxic, carcinogenic, irritating and can interfere with the endocrine system. As I said, they are pretty much the worst of the worst, It’s just not worth it. I would rather use a cleanser that isn’t so harsh and doesn’t contain these ingredients. At the end of the day, the reason why people (and me) have a skin care routine is so that we can keep our skin beautiful and prevent damage. Putting products on my skin with harsh ingredients like this makes me cringe.

I was very disappointed because as I said I loved the product until I seen the ingredient list. It didn’t cause me any irritation and I did love it. I was so shocked upon seeing the formula though, and I really don’t think I will ever reach for it again. Also, MAC Cosmetics is a massive company with tonnes of money, so I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t use more beneficial ingredients and less dangerous, harsh and toxic ingredients.

Overall, I do not recommended this product, I just can’t… This is 100% based on the formula and ingredient list.

Marketing Analysis

Is this product marketed properly??

In order to assess marketing and the claims made, I looked up how MAC describes the product and then made up questions that would help me asses them.

MAC describes the product by saying……………

“A vibrant, skin-tingling cleanser with refreshing extracts of cucumber and algae. Concentrated formula gives full-on foam, yet is delightfully soap-free. A small amount of product leaves skin sparkling clean. The oil- and alcohol-free formula minimizes the appearance of pores and controls sebum production, leaving skin clear and smooth”

Claims MAC makes

• Reduces appearance of pores .    • Controls oil

• Refreshes skin .     • Oil-free

• Alcohol-free .   • Dermatologist tested

• Ophthalmologist tested .   • Non-acnegenic

Questions I Have After Reading Marketing

Does the formula contain cucumber and algae and what are their proper chemical names??? Do these ingredients have any benefits??

Cucumber is present in the formula as Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract. Cucumber Extract has multiple benefits for the skin including tightening, softening, cleaning and refreshing the skin.

Algae is present in the formula as Laminaria Saccharina Extract. Algae Extract is a skin protecting ingredient that protects the skin from external factors such as a free radicals (unstable molecules) that cause damage

MAC have accurately marketed the use of Cucumber and Algae in the formula.

Does the cleanser refresh the face??

I will say, the cleanser DOES refresh the face. It cleans it totally and makes it feel so soft and smooth. This claim is accurate.

Is the formula oil and alcohol free?

The formula does not contain any oil and alcohol based ingredients. MAC have marketed this claim correctly

Does the product reduce the appearance of pores and reduce oil??

I am unable to say if the product reduces the appearance of pores because it’s almost impossible to tell, and I am also not oily so I am unsure if it reduces oil either.

Is the product non-acnegenic?

The formula does not contain any comedogenic ingredients. Comedonegenic ingredients block the pores, contributing to blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t cause break outs, but I would say this claim is accurate for the most part.

All in all, all claims MAC have marketed are accurate. However, I feel like they left a LOT of information out. This is to be expected though. A company isn’t going to list any bad ingredients in their marketing strategy because then they wouldn’t sell the product. I don’t have much to say about their marketing, that’s not my concern.

Price Analysis

Is the product priced accurately??

$35.00 AUD – $22.00 USD

I think the MAC Green Gel Cleanser is priced fairly accurate. The amount of product you get for $35.00 AUD is really good and the bottle. The bottle will last forever because you only need a tiny bit each use.

Of course, I do think that the bad ingredients should lower the price, but $35.00 AUD for a MAC product is pretty good I guess.

Overall Thoughts/Conclusion

Overall, I loved the physical aspect of the product. Before analysing the ingredients, I was using it for weeks with no negative effects. It cleaned my skin thoroughly and made it feel so soft afterwards.

After reading the ingredient list and seeing how many negative, toxic, carcinogenic and skin irritating chemicals were in the formula, my opinion on the product changed completely. I really do not want to put such chemicals on my skin, even though I loved the product, I am not going to reach for it again. Instead, I am going to go on the hunt for a more gentle cleanser. The skin is extremely brittle, and you have to be careful of how harsh products are. Also, don’t forget that anything on the skin can be absorbed.

My problem is that companies with less money and resources than MAC Cosmetics can make formulas full of beneficial ingredients, yet MAC chucks a bunch of dangerous ingredients into one formula. I do not understand why they would not use alternative, safer ingredients. Also, as I said at the start, MAC do not publish ingredient list’s online and it”s not hard to see why. The only way you can check the list is to buy the product, and I think this is extremely sneaky for a company to do.

All in all, this product works good physically, but has an absolutely terrible formula and I DO NOT recommend it for this reason.

Main Points/Summary

Is a foam cleanser that removes debris, makeup and anything else from the skin. It thoroughly cleans the face.

• Contains 100 ml (3.4 fluid ounces) of product

• Consistency is a liquid gel

• Texture is gritty and sticky

• Smell is a light, faint smell I can’t identify, It’s not a harsh or annoying smell. It smells slightly of plants, but I can’t identify the smell.

• Very bad ingredient list full of toxic, carcinogenic and irritating ingredients. Ranked by the Cosmetic Analysis Database as a ‘Bad/Not Recommended’ formula.

• Marketing claims are accurate but a lot of information is left out.

• Pricing is fairly accurate

• Based on the formula and ingredients in it, I do not recommend this product.

I hope you babes liked this post, I haven’t seen an extremely bad formula like this for a while. Let me know if you have had any experiences, good or bad, with this product in the comments below babes!!!

Below are some links to my related posts and where to buy links xoxo

Links To My Related Posts

My Other Skincare Posts- My Skincare Category Page Link

My Other MAC Cosmetics Posts- My MAC Cosmetics Category Page Link

Where To Buy MAC Green Gel Cleanser???

MAC Cosmetics Online- MAC Cosmetics Online Site Link AUMAC Cosmetics Online Site Link USA

 Loveeeeeeee Always,



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