Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum ($30.00) is my go-to for ultra hydrating spot treatment. Sometimes when I use acne treatment products, my skin dries out in certain spots, so to counteract the drying factor of many acne treatments, I always have this at the ready. I use it in conjunction with my usual moisturizer for an extra boost of hydration. I really feel like it “locks” in the moisture. According to Mario Badescu, the Hydrating Serum is good for all skin types, and it can be used as a lightweight hydrator for oily skin as well. A little goes a long way, so for me, the price tag is well worth it!
Mario Badescu Summer Shine Body Lotion ($10.00 for 6 oz. or $22.00 for 16 oz.) is a new favorite for all over body glow. One of my staple products during the warm months are shimmery body lotions, and while I love myself some shimmer, I am a bit particular about it. I like subtle shimmer, not a lot of glittery bits. I just want to see some extra sheen and va-voom added to my legs when I wear a dress or a sleeveless tank. Summer Shine is a moisturizing body lotion that feels weightless and sinks into skin quickly. I also find that it doesn’t seem to get all over my clothes, and it doesn’t feel sticky at all. I tend to prefer thicker lotions and creams for the body, but when it’s hot outside, thinner lotions like this one are more practical. I’m also a huge fan of the price tag on this product! I’d say a 6 oz. bottle will last you a good two months of regular use.
Mario Badescu Drying Cream ($12.00)
When it comes to small, flesh-colored acne, this is the king for me. Whenever I spot any that crop up, I’ll smear a little of the Drying Cream on the area before I go to bed. In the morning, they’ve totally vanished, and I mean vanished! I’m pretty skeptical about acne spot treatments, especially how their ability to work quickly, but this one delivers (at least for me).
In fact, I noticed a few small fleshy bumps last night, put this on the area, and voila–no troubles this morning. I find this to be less drying than the Drying Lotion, which means I can use it more often and without fear of getting dry patches in exchange for clearer skin. (The Drying Lotion is fab, but I find I need to use it every other day or two to avoid drying my skin out too much!) This is also my go-to acne spot treatment if I “feel” one coming on.
Mario Badescu offers several acne spot treatments, and so far, I’ve liked all of them and found them to work on different types of acne. I know some of you would rather an all-in-one spot treatment, but in a way, knowing that each one is designed to work with specific types of acne makes me feel like they’re more efficient.
For $12 you got a big tub of Drying Cream–seriously, this will probably lose efficacy before you finish using it. I would prefer tube-packaging over an open jar, but it’s cheap enough where I don’t feel I’m breaking the bank rebuying it after a few months, you know? So any issue with packaging isn’t enough to keep me from loving this product.
Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion ($17.00)
The Buffering Lotion is formulated to help you cope with deep, cystic acne. It’s sulfur-based coupled with allantoin (helps with inflammation). Mario Badescu recommends using this before/after their Drying Mask as well. It’s good for combination and oily skin, and being normal-to-dry (and sometimes normal-to-barely-oily), it’s worked just fine for me.
What I like about the Buffering Lotion is it’s essentially clear. You shake it up, and put a drop or two on your finger, then massage over the blemish. You can lay makeup under or over it as you need to, so when you’ve got a painful bugger… you can treat him while you do your day-to-day activities. (Both the Drying Cream and Drying Lotion are less daytime friendly, if you’re actually leaving the house!)
I find I don’t use this very often, compared to the Drying Cream and Drying Lotion, which I use regularly. I think it’s because I prefer to treat mostly at night, and I’m often working at home for most of the day, so if I need to do some daytime treating, I’m not worried about pink patches on my face. (Though, I’m sure the UPS man wonder…)
It’s also harder to judge the efficacy of the Buffering Lotion simply because it’s treating nastier pimples that normally linger for at least a week, if not two (and sometimes take several days just to surface!), you know?
I personally suffer less from deep, painful pimples, too (less chances to try, LOL). However, the last time I had one, I would say that using this product in conjunction with the other acne spot treatments, it seemed like the painful pimple wasn’t painful for long and was gone within a week–which I was happy enough with. So it seems to work, but it’s not as quick as the other two, but it does have more work to do!
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17.00)
The Drying Lotion is designed to be used as a spot treatment. It uses a combination of calamine and salicylic acid. (So when my boyfriend called me “Calamine-face”, he was actually correct!) Mario Badescu makes several different acne spot treatment products, each designed to combat a different type of acne. The Drying Lotion works best on whiteheads.
Since the spot treatment is pink, this is not something you apply before you leave the house! The best time to apply is shortly before bed. I have dark sheets, so I don’t really notice it smearing off at all while I’m sleeping, but those with lighter sheets (or sheets you don’t want this stuff on), just lay down a towel. I do find that this treatment works better and more consistently than other over-the-counter spot treatments I have tried. I wouldn’t say that it completely gets rid of your pimple overnight, but it does significantly reduce what you have.
You apply this product by dipping a q-tip into the glass jar, going all the way to the bottom (where the pink stuff lives), and then pulling it out. Apply it to any spots you need to treat, and you don’t really worry about rubbing it in or anything. It’s pretty easy, and the product dries within a few minutes, and it doesn’t come off that easily–it’ll take more than an oops moment to do it.
The product does smell like some real deal medicine/chemicals. If you look at the ingredient list, you’ll see a lot of heavy hitters like isopropyl alcohol, calamine, camphor, sulfur, salicylic acid, and so on. It works, and it doesn’t aggravate or cause the area to get worse, so I have no cause to complain.
This product IS drying, so use it with some discretion. I wouldn’t advise constantly treating the same spot over and over again. I do want to say that most acne spot treatments are drying, as this is the way they typically work, by drying the pimple so it goes away. I use Mario Badescu’s Hydrating Serum, which is like a super concentrated, clear moisturizer, on any areas that I feel are overly dry. I don’t find I get dry patches or noticeable dryness unless I’ve used it three nights in a row on the same spot (hence why I’ve learned and can tell you it’s better to alternate!). Hey, you do some crazy things when you want to get rid of your acne!
Next up in our Mario Badescu reviews… Buffering Lotion!
Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion ($15.00)
After I use the Acne Facial Cleanser, I pat my face dry (with a towel used *only* to dry my face). I squeeze a little bit of the Special Cucumber Lotion onto a cotton round, and then I use apply it to my face. You basically apply it the same way you might remove makeup. I wait about 30 seconds or so, and then I splash my face with ice cold water.
The Special Cucumber Lotion is considered an astringent, which means it’s designed to dry up existing acne. It contains sulfur, which has been known to be used to help fight acne. I find this acts like my toner, and I like that it has alcohol in it, because it helps sanitize my skin. I don’t feel like this particular product is drying, either, despite having alcohol in it. It also doesn’t burn or sting on any healing or irritated areas on my face, which lends me to believe the alcohol content has been quite diluted (compared to grabbing your bottle of isopropyl alcohol from your medicine cabinet).
Again, Mario Badescu recommends that this product is best for combination and oily skin. I’ve had no issues with it drying me out whatsoever, and it doesn’t make my skin feel tight either. I don’t necessarily know if this is an essential step in my regimen nor if it’s actually doing the majority of prevention against acne or not. (It’s hard to know since I’m using multiple products as a system vs. just one product.) Like the cleanser, it costs the same and will last you just as long, so I’m willing to hedge my bets and keep using it.
Next to be reviewed is their famous Drying Lotion…