ML Natural SkinCare Review

By Amy Thoma

Amy Thoma
Amy Thoma

Recently I had the chance to interview the founder of ML SkinCare, Sacramento’s own Dr. Steven Marcum and test out his new line of non-toxic, natural skin care.

A board certified anesthesiologist and microbiologist who works at UC Davis, Dr. Marcum created his initial product in his home after being horrified by the toxic chemicals he found in his wife’s expensive skincare.

Starting in his garage, he studied the properties of various natural substances like white tea, lavender, different kinds of oils and formulated a skin care line at a pretty reasonable price point.

He started giving bottles to test to friends and family around Sacramento who loved them so much, he decided to develop a full commercial product line.

The products come in an air free bottle to preserve their effectiveness and while the design on the bottles isn’t exactly cutting-edge, they look nice on the counter. And let’s be honest, that’s what really matters.

Full disclosure: Dr. Marcum gave me his products to test. That said, I’m extremely picky about skin care and have used every product under the sun, so I’d like to think my opinion is the same as if I’d purchased the skin care.

Foam Cleansercleanser

The lavender scented cleanser is great. It comes in a small bottle (small enough to pass TSA which is a big plus for me) that you shake to activate the foaming. Because the skin care is free of harmful agents and detergents, it separates each time you use it. This is not a big deal, just shake the bottle. Cleanser is the least important part of skin care since you rinse it off, but this one was up to the task. It hasn’t made my permanent rotation as I prefer Glosseier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser for its makeup removing super powers, but this one is an excellent option that smells great.

Hydrating Serum

Dr. Marcum’s serum is made up of a variety of antioxidant, free radical and aging-fighting natural ingredients. A couple of drops go a long way and I did notice that after a couple of weeks my skin looked a little brighter. Because he used natural ingredients, it’s probably not strong enough to fight really dark spots or lines, but it does brighten the skin and even out the tone. It’s also calming.

Moisturizing Oiloil

I have naturally hydrated skin. I drink a lot of water and trend toward the greasy side. Therefore, I found this step a little unnecessary and it made me shiny. However, I made my friend with dry skin try the moisturizing oil, and she loved it. Her makeup glided on easily over the top and she loved the smell. So, if you’re dry, go for it.

Smoothing Balm

I like the smoothing balm a lot. It’s just enough moisture without grease, and I like that the balm contains antioxidants that will fight off the impact of smog, UV rays, and other environmental hazards to the skin.


Overall, I think Dr. Marcum developed a good product and it’s great to have a buy local skin care option. I wish the products contained SPF since the absolute best thing you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen, but that’s the only major flaw I found I would definitely suggest anyone the set or individual products to a “buy local” Christmas gift.


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