Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Product Review: Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion and Anti Acne Serum

Posted Jan 07 2009 12:00am

Thank goodness I wrote up a few drafts before the end of the year! I'm still unpacking and buying things that I forgot I needed (like trash cans, cleaning supplies) and other stuff I didn't know I'd need (like monstrously huge curtain rods and drapes for the windows). I'm hoping to have a majority of my stuff unpacked before the end of the weekend, because I need to make sure I have office clothes and everything else I need to start my new job on Monday. My Google Reader is packed with feeds from all of your blogs, and I can't wait to catch up with everyone from the past week!

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion

The Buffering Lotion is a product aimed at anyone who suffers from painful, cystic acne - those pimples that form under the skin, making the area red and tender. More often than not, these types of pimples do not form a whitehead, so extraction can be extremely painful and can lead to scarring. This sulfur-based treatment soaks into the skin to treat the pimples more effectively.

Price: $17 for 1 oz.

Availability: online ( and select retail stores (such as Nordstrom)

Packaging: transparent plastic bottle with screw-on lid; tip of bottle has a pointed dropper to dispense product

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Isopropyl Alcohol, Sodium Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Hydrolyzed Serum Protein, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Pyridoxine, Niacinamide, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, Allantoin, Biotin

Directions: Apply to cystic pimple after cleansing face, before makeup application. Best when used before and/or after Drying Mask

Application/Wear: The Buffering Lotion is very runny, as you can see by the photo. Prior to using it, you should shake the bottle to mix up the solution, as it can settle in the bottom. Due to the runny/watery consistency, I found it more effective to put a few drops of the Buffering Lotion on a Q-tip, and applied the Q-tip to any cystic pimples. Since most of my breakouts were around my eyebrows and forhead, I didn't want to risk any of the solution dripping into my eye if it was applied directly from the bottle, or if there was a drop on my finger. 

There is a strong smell of sulfur after initial application, but once it dries/gets absorbed into your skin, there isn't much of a smell. In the morning I would cleanse my face and applied the Buffering Lotion to pimples before putting on moisturizer. At night I would apply the Buffering Lotion after taking off makeup and before applying any night creams or treatments. 

Within 2-3 days the pimples completely disappeared - the areas that were affected were no longer red and/or tender, and no extraction was necessary. Prior to using this product, I would have to wait weeks for a cystic pimple to go away, sometimes extracting them when I knew better, and dealt with the scabbing and scarring that took even longer to heal. 

Pros: It definitely worked for me - my cystic pimples went away within days of using the Buffering Lotion (twice a day for at least 2 days). There were no side effects of using the product, and my skin did not have to suffer from painful pimples or lengthy healing times. 

Cons: You have to be vigilant to use the Buffering Lotion as soon as  you can see or feel a cystic pimple forming under the skin. If the pimple has gone untreated for a few days, the Buffering Lotion is not as effective to remove the pimple. The packaging is a bit simple for the product, but most Mario Badescu products don't have fancy packaging. 

Overall: This was definitely worth the $17 for me. If you're worried that the Buffering Lotion costs too much for just an ounce of product, you're only using 2-3 drops for a few days at a time - the bottle will last you a really long time. I bought the bottle some time in June, and you can see how little I've used since then (the lotion falls right below the top of the sticker label). If I ever ran out of the Buffering Lotion, I would definitely repurchase it for those occassional breakouts. 

Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum

The Anti Acne Serum is a salicylic acid gel meant to be used in conjunction with other acne treatments in the Mario Badescu skincare line. The serum helps to keep your skin smooth and adds a layer of protection between your skin and other products. 

Price: $20 for 1 oz

Availability: online ( and select retail stores (such as Nordstrom)

Packaging: transparent plastic bottle with screw-on lid; tip of bottle has a pointed dropper to dispense product

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Glycerin, Thyme Extract, Isopropyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Triethanolamine

Directions: Apply a thin layer onto skin after applying other acne treatments (Buffering Lotion, Drying Lotion, Drying Cream, etc.). Safe for sensitive skin. 

Application/Wear: The Anti Acne Serum is a light gel with little to no smell. As you can see in the bottle, it has a golden/yellow tint, but it is transparent when applied to the face. 

I applied the serum after spot treating with the Buffering Lotion, and then continued with my normal skincare routine (moisturizer, primer, makeup). At night I applied the serum after using the Buffering Lotion and Drying Cream, and before I applied my night cream. 

My skin did not react to the serum, and though it is supposed to be safe for sensitive skin, some people may have a reaction to the serum. The thyme extract is supposed to provide antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which will aid in healing acne by keeping the skin clean. I was not totally disappointed with the serum, but I wasn't overwhelmingly impressed by it either. 

Pros: Lightweight gel felt good on my skin in the summer and didn't cause any adverse reaction to my skin. 

Cons: I'm not sure if it really had any effect on my skin while I used it. I wasn't happy with the packaging - once you use about half the product, it gets difficult to get the right amount of pressure to squeeze the serum out of the bottle. 

Overall: I probably wouldn't purchase this item again, based on the fact that it didn't really do anything to improve my skin. I'm glad that it didn't make my skin any worse, but now that I've found better skincare products, my breakouts are less frequent - so I don't have a need for this product. 

A lot of people have a love/hate relationship with Mario Badescu products - some of their products can be hit or miss, like the Buffering Lotion (yay!) or the Seaweed Cleansing Soap (boo! I didn't like this at all). I'm already a fan of their Silver Powder and their Whitening Mask, and I plan on trying out a few of their other products...if I can stop myself from trying other things in the meantime!

The great thing about Mario Badescu is that they are generous with their samples - if you fill out the questionnaire on their site, a representative will contact you within a few days to discuss any issues you have with  your skin, and they'll send you a generous package of samples based on your specific skin needs. If you order directly from their site, you also get a few samples with your purchase. 

Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches