Monday, March 2nd, 2009

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.

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

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!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

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!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

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…

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

It’s Mario Badescu Week here on Temptalia!! :) I’m finally reviewing the products that have taken my skin from omg-total-pizza-face to minimal acne/near clear. In just a week, I saw a noticeable difference; within two and a half weeks, it was 80% cleared. After a full four weeks, it was at 90% clear. I’d say I’m around 93% clear these days, with some minor flesh-colored bumps (still figuring those out, sigh!). But I think we can chalk the residual acne up to diet, hormones, or stress (or a combination thereof) for now.

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser ($15.00)

This acne cleanser is designed to help prevent and heal your existing acne by using a salicylic acid-based formula. The product also contains aloe vera and chamomile to help reduce acne inflammation. First, I have to comment on the overall cost effectiveness of Mario Badescu products. This cleanser goes for $15 for 6 oz., but I can tell you right now that I fully expect my bottle of cleanser to last me at least three months (used both AM and PM), if not five or six, but I’ll be conservative. $5 a month? I can swing that for the sake of my skin!

It’s kind of a gel-based cleanser, but it isn’t super thick or anything. It is better for combination and oily skin (as recommended by the website), but I have normal-to-dry skin (drier after using acne products, surprise, surprise!). My skin does, however, get normal-to-oily towards the end of the day most of the time. It’s clear, and you only need a pea-sized drop to cleanse your face.

The cleanser doesn’t smell medicinal, but it doesn’t really smell medicinal. I think you can scent some of the chamomile from it at best. I don’t particularly look for a cleanser that smells good or bad, I just need it to do its job (I’d prefer no perfume in a cleanser, actually!).

I do find it removes makeup quite well, especially when used in conjunction with my Clarisonic. Whenever I wear heavy eye or lip makeup, I do make a point to remove makeup in those areas with a makeup remover wipe or Lancome Bi-Facil (on a cotton round). This helps ensure I don’t smear a bunch of eyeshadow and mascara all over the rest of my face, which is what would happen if you just did an all-over-cleansing, you know?

This cleanser does not foam up very much. In fact, I might even call it non-foaming, actually. One thing I notice is my skin is clean after using it, but I don’t get any residual tightness of skin. (You can always test a cleanser’s efficacy by taking a makeup remover wipe or toner on a cotton round and going over your skin — either will pick up dirt and makeup leftover.)

How do I use it? I run warm water, then splash my face to dampen it. I apply a pea-sized amount into my fingers, then apply it to my face. I use my fingers to gently massage the cleanser all over my face for about ten seconds or so. I run my Clarisonic through water for half a second, and then I use the Clarisonic over my face for two minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat my face dry.

My Mario Badescu skincare routine revolves around:

1) Cleansing with Acne Facial Cleanser
2) Toning with Special Cucumber Lotion
3) Oil-Free Moisturizer in AM/Hydrating Serum in PM
4) Buffering Lotion/Drying Lotion/Drying Cream (I pick one) as spot treatment as needed
5) Drying Mask 1-2x a week as needed

I will be reviewing the entire Mario Badescu skincare system I used to help restore my skin over the next week, and I will be reviewing in the order that I use the products! Stay tuned :)

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Lush Coalface Cleanser ($10.95 for 3.5 oz.) is a solid bar that has licorice root as its main ingredient (supposed to help the skin “heal naturally”) and powdered charcoal to exfoliate the skin.  The first noticeable characteristic of this product is it has a distinct smell.  I couldn’t quite tell you what it is, but I know some find it unpleasant–it’s kind of like out in the woods, around the campfire kind of scent.  I’m not one of them, but it’s not a scent that I’m going ga-ga over either!  Regardless, the scent doesn’t linger–it rinses off as soon as the product does.

I find Coalface to work really well at reducing acne breakouts.  It’s great for oily skin, especially because it can be a little drying on the skin.  If you find it drying, make sure to follow-up with a good moisturizer or try a toner.  Coalface gives me that “squeaky clean” feeling at the end, which is not really my bag, but often I follow with Sweet Japanese Girl so that “squeaky clean” feeling is minimal.  The product lathers up really well, and the gritty charcoal powder bits are rough enough to really get your scrub on.

Overall, I really like this product, and it’s definitely part of my shower time routine! Have you tried Coalface?

Here’s the ingredient list… Continue reading →

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