Review: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and Buffering Lotion

The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and Buffering Lotion review title image. Behind the text box is a phot of each of the lotion bottles.

I have heard so many good things about the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion but it always seemed expensive to just give it a go even if it is some wonder product as I’ve had so many failed acne treatments that I thought it might just join the pile. Then I saw this set in the Beauty Bay sale with two Mario Badescu products, the Drying Lotion and the Buffering Lotion and thought I’d give it a go. Both of these products are cruelty and paraben free.

From the description on these two lotions they’re aimed at targeting different types of acne, or different stages in acne anyway. The Drying Lotion basically does what it says and uses a combination of ingredients, including clay, to sit on the skin overnight and dry out any spots. The Buffering Lotion is supposed to help large under the surface bumps, to calm them and reduce their appearance.

I was intrigued to see how these two would work and if the Drying Lotion was the wonder product everyone seems to say it is as, at nearly thirty, I still haven’t found the perfect products to help my acne prone skin when it’s having a bad time.

I haven’t heard much about the Buffering Lotion but it sounded like the two together might work well on the two kinds of spots I seem to get. I tend to get small surface bumps, which are annoying but nothing that bad and just a bit itchy and can be sort of tamed by a few products out there, but the cystic acne (or technically nodulocystic acne though I don’t know the difference) is the worst. The kind that sits there under the surface for weeks or possibly months and looks angry and red and just hurts and throbs whenever your skin moves. I was hoping that one of these could help with that, at least a bit.

The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. The top is off and it shows the two layers of the product

I’ll start out with the Drying Lotion, I’d heard so much about it I was hoping it would be a wonder product. When you get it you can see that there are two obviously different layers. There’s a pink clay looking layer at the bottom and a clear layer on top, if it’s been shaken these mix but you have to wait for them to separate to use them. You are supposed to get a cotton bud and dip it into the pink sediment at the bottom, lifting it up through the alcohol smelling clear layer and then apply the pink to the specific spots. This is actually very easy to do and it probably one of the easiest to control spot treatments I’ve used. You also get a light pink spot that slowly dries like a clay mask so you have obvious marks where you’ve been and there’s no worrying about missing a spot.

As my skin is sensitive these alcohol based spot treatments are often so drying that they’re uncomfortable but I didn’t have any problems with that. A lot of the spots I’ve tried this on have been on dry patches of skin and still no tight feeling so I’d say this does seem like it will work for all skin types.

The only thing is I found it doesn’t do that much to a lot of my spots, the small under the surface ones that sit there still sit there and it doesn’t do anything for the larger cystic acne. I did find that it helps with white heads though, or tiny spots that are almost about to go. I did find that it’s actually quite hard to get rid of the pink dot at times, on dryer skin it takes a lot of scrubbing or washing and that doesn’t help with any irritated patches.

The Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion bottle. It is open, showing the dropper end you use for application.

As I said, I haven’t really heard of the Buffering Lotion but, for me, that is the best of the two. I bought it thinking I’d use it on smaller under the surface bumps and it would help but it seems to work amazingly well on my cystic acne. These normally last for weeks depending on where they are and how deep but within a few days to a week of using it every night this has brought them to the surface, or the ones I’ve had so far and they weren’t the biggest so it would probably take longer with larger ones. It’s not the best looking thing when you wake up with a giant white head where the acne was but it feels so much better than the throbbing under the skin.

I will say that I’m not sure about the science behind it, if this is how it works for everyone, or even if this is what it’s supposed to do, just what it has done for me the past few months of using it. Also it’s probably worth mentioning that on the bottle it says nothing about how often you should apply it, just how you do it, but on the site it says to only do it every other night so maybe I’ve been using it more than it’s meant to be used but it seems to work like that for me and I’ve not had any bad side effects from it.

The bottle of Buffering Lotion in the foreground with a black saucer and drops of the liquid on it underneath
This stuff is so thin it’s hard to photograph well but it’s almost like a milky water consistency

I guess I should say a bit more about the product here as well, not just how great it is. It comes in a bottle and, like the Drying Lotion, it separates if you leave it standing. However, this one is supposed to be mixed so make sure you shake it just as you’re about to use it. It comes in a squeezy bottle with a small hole at the top where you can drop the liquid out. It’s very thin though so be careful when you start using it as it can end up dropping on the floor. This one you’re supposed to apply with your finger onto the area you want to treat after cleansing your skin. It seems like it’s such a thin layer that won’t do much but it has quite a strong alcohol scent that makes it feel like a lot of spot treatments I’ve tried.

This Lotion is supposed to be for oily or combination skin and I guess I do fall into the second category, but I tried it on dryer patches and it didn’t do much to dry them out too badly. It did leave them slightly dryer feeling but not the tightness or flakiness of something that really dried it out. Just don’t use it on broken skin, both of these will sting for a while. It’s not unbearable, just I’d say avoid it if possible, which I know isn’t always possible when it comes to acne prone skin and spot treatments.

The two Mario Badescu bottles next to each other. On the left is the drying lotion and on the right the buffering lotion

These bottles do seem small, they each hold 29ml, so are expensive per ml when they each cost £16. However, they are going to last ages, It’s been over a month of using them pretty much every night and another six weeks of now and then when I was testing to see if my skin would react and yet it looks hardly touched. I have finally learnt that skin care is something that, to me, is worth spending the extra money on for a specialist product. Or at least it can be, if it works for you.

After having tried both of these for three months I think I have a pretty good idea of how they work for me. I can also say that these will last me ages, especially the Drying Lotion. I think that, as they will last me a long time, even the full sized ones would be worth it to me if they work for you. I’m on the fence when it comes to the Drying Lotion, I’ve tried using both it and the Witch Hazel I like from Boots and I don’t see much of a difference with the outcome. I can see myself getting it to use alongside the Buffering Lotion though as I did find that on the cystic acne using the Buffering Lotion to get it to rise to the surface and then using the Drying Lotion did seem to work a bit better as it does dry it out a bit more.

The Buffering Lotion, however, is definitely going on the top of my spot treatments go to list. I haven’t had something that works so well and so quickly for these before. Maybe I’m reading the wrong blogs but I don’t know how I didn’t know about this product before and how I haven’t seen it mentioned alongside the Drying Lotion.

These may seem expensive, and I would agree that they are just to try out, but if they work they’re worth every penny to me. As someone who’s gone through a list of acne treating products and spent money that seems to go down the drain I was sceptical but if you can find a gift set, especially in the sale, I would recommend giving them a go if you suffer from acne.

I will say that I know that everyone’s skin is different, so if you’ve tried these products and found that they worked differently for you I’d love to hear from you and please leave a comment. I know some of the products I swear by other people with similar skin don’t like and some other people’s holy grail acne treatments didn’t touch mine so it’s always good to hear from others and maybe there’s something you guys could recommend that I could try that might have a similar effect, especially if it’s easier on the wallet!

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2 thoughts on “Review: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and Buffering Lotion

  1. I’ve been curious about the Drying Lotion for a while but I’ve read mixed reviews. For surface blemishes, I like the La Roche Posay Effaclar. I find the only thing that helps the cystic acne to be Benzoyl Peroxide. I just looked up the Buffering Lotion (you’re right, haven’t heard about it), and it contains Niacinamide and Zinc Oxide. Interesting – those are supposed to help with scarring and healing. I’ll have to give it a try!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have a look at the la Roche Posay one. I tried Benzoyl Peroxide but it hasn’t worked for me. I don’t know why the buffering lotion doesn’t seem to be posted about much but I’ll definitely be buying it again at full price when this one runs out.

      Liked by 1 person

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