Marie Veronique is a skin care line founded by a former chemistry teacher who had a natural penchant to, well…experiment. The first time I heard about her line was when I was given a sample of Marie Veronique’s Cleanser and Face Screen to test.

The mini sample vials looked like they were part of a science project itself. Just from observing The Gentle Cleanser ($30 for 4 oz.) from the bottle, it seemed really watery and I was a little skeptical at just how effective it would really be. It’s free of sudsing agents and 100% vegan, containing calming jade, aloe vera, and a mash up of green and white tea (a source of antioxidants and also supports sun protection. We also find lactic acid, a gentle exfoliating alpha-hydroxy for glowing skin. Lemongrass essential oil, which I also think it mostly smells like, serves as an astringent. The smell actually made me a little nostalgic of a tonic from Origins I regularly used in college until I realized it didn’t do much for my acne-prone skin.

In theory, these should be an effective combination of ingredients; but realistically, I think it says more than it does. I tried the cleanser only a few times, and I felt like it was maybe too gentle for me. I felt it hardly did much at all actually, which made me feel like I had to keep using more until I found myself going in for the third application in one go. As it says, there are no suds, but I can’t say I grew attached to the thin, liquid consistency.

The UVA/UVB protecting Moisturizing Face Screen Plus ($45 for 2 oz) was a little better. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much from this either on first glance. It also has some exceptional contents, including its active ingredient sun-shielding zinc oxide. Jojoba oil and red raspberry oil (rubus idaeus) both contain natural sun-protecting properties — the latter even said to have as much as titanium dioxide. Meadowfoam seed oil is added to moisturize; sunflower seed oil and emu oil which both contain essential fatty acids that moisturize and condition the skin.

I was expecting a cakey, streaky application but I didn’t feel like it was either. Instead, it was lightweight and spread without being obvious. The color (being the light tint) wasn’t very close to my tan skin tone but it was sheer enough that you could barely tell. It also comes in medium tint or no tint. Wasn’t crazy about its strong medicinal smell, though. And for $45, it also costs a pretty penny for sun screen. As our reader Kira mentioned in our “Sun Protection Challenge” post last year, while it may be a great product (she says she loves it), it’s also probably more than I can regularly dish out on sunscreen!

Ingredients for the Gentle Cleanser

Camellia sinensis (green & white tea), Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera gel), vegetable glycerin, hydrolyzed jade, lactic acid, xantham gum, potassium sorbate, agave, colloidal oatmeal, rice bran powder, spirulina, marshmallow root, honeysuckle, adzuki bean powder, Rosemary oleoresin, Lavendula angustfolia (lavender) essential oil, Cymbopogron citrates (lemongrass) essential oil

Ingredients for the Moisturizing Face Screen

Camellia sinensis (green& white tea), zinc oxide, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba oil), Prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel oil), Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam seed oil), Helianthus annuus (sunflower oil), emu oil, Rubus idaeus (red raspberry seed oil), Elaesis guineensis (red palm oil), potassium sorbate, vegetable glycerin, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), allantoin, Cosmocil CQ*, lecithin, Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn oil), Calodendrum Capense (yangu oil), Lonicera japonica (honeysuckle), Rosemary oleoresin, xantham gum, Daucus carota (carrot seed) essential oil, Cistus incanus (cistus) essential oil, Lavendula angustfolia (lavender) essential oil, Curcuma longa Rhizome (curcuma) essential oil, iron oxides