Beauty Rhi-view: Mario Badescu Skin Care

This isn't one of my traditional reviews because it's not for one product, but rather my experience with a particular company and their overall approach to skin care. I know it's long but if you're considering any new skin care please give it a read, these products seriously changed my life.

My ancestry has blessed me with the most frustrating complexion. I'm fair with BOTH pink and yellow undertones which makes finding foundation colors a bit challenging. To make it more complicated I'm naturally rather oily but thanks to the climate I live in I'm extremely dry for at least 8 months a year and then greasy in the T-zone. My skin is also quite sensitive and very acne prone, but we're not talking the really obvious and easily treatable whiteheads... I suffer from painful cystic acne in a very specific area. I had hoped that by the time I hit my 30's the acne would bid me farewell and I could focus on preventing wrinkles but it actually just changed tactics. My cheeks and jaw never used to break out and suddenly I was getting it there and even down onto my neck and chest!

I avoided photos as much as possible... this is why...
One of the first things I learned how to do in Photoshop was how to remove erupted pimples and clean-up redness. I've been embarrassed by my skin for so long I reached a point where I was desperate. I've tried products from Neutrogena, Cetaphil, Simple, Clean and Clear, and other drugstore brands with no long-term results. I found that some actually made it worse, while others only helped for a time before I'd get so dried-out and sore the resulting breakouts coupled with parched skin made me miserable. If you've ever experienced cystic acne you know not much helps and it can be excruciatingly painful.

I remember seeing advertisements in the 90's in the back of Seventeen magazine for Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion. But the price on it was (to my teenaged and broke self) far beyond my means to try. In my 20's I remember seeing Liv Tyler, an actress whom I've admired for her fair skin and dark hair like mine, proclaiming it a favorite treatment of hers. But it took me ages to finally reach the point I was willing to invest a considerable amount of money into my skin care.

The week I started using MB's products...
This past spring after the horror that was Simple ravaged my face I sat down and pulled up the Mario Badescu Skin Care website. At first I just wanted to find something to treat my acne. A fast fix to get rid of the misery that was living in my frustrating skin. What I discovered is that there's so much more to happy skin than an acne treatment. I took the skincare consultation after I read up on the products that I thought would best suit me and found that they have a very handy tool to side-by-side compare products. They are definitely more expensive (about double on average) compared to drugstore brands so I wanted to be sure I made educated selections. The site made it easy to decide which products to invest in.

Yes. I consider the fact that I'm spending this much $$ on this brand to be an investment. An investment in my happiness, well-being, and the future of my skin. For our budget they are expensive but if you read on you'll see why I consider them to be worth the extra expense.

With the crazy skin type I fall into I focused on finding products that would treat both regular pimples and cystic acne, balance my skin's moisture, cleanse/tone/treat without overdrying or inflaming my sensitive areas, and that would provide SPF protection. Every Mario Badescu product has a skin type code, which is also helpful if you want to share your products with your family. Since my husband falls into the Oily range I chose a cleanser for both it's being for All skin types and that it contained no SLS (which my skin HATES).

If you want an idea of what you're looking at they even have their products broken down into a Regimens section that I found immensely helpful! Make sure you look at the lefthand sidebar to see more specific groupings. Only you can decide which products are most likely to work for your skin type but for the sake of telling you how I feel about my choices and to show you how they've worked for me please read on...

Morning Routine:

• Wash with Enzyme Cleansing Gel
• Apply Buffering Lotion to my 'Diamond Zone'
• Apply Drying Cream to any whiteheads (&/or chest acne)
• Apply a layer of Aloe Moisturizer (SPF-15) all over face on dry* days

* or I'll apply a light mist of Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System on oily mornings

Night Routine:

• Wash with Enzyme Cleansing Gel
• Apply Seaweed Cleansing Lotion all over
• Apply Buffering Lotion to my 'Diamond Zone'
• Apply a VERY thin layer of Aloe Moisturizer (SPF-15) all over face
• Spot treat any raised blemishes and whiteheads with Drying Lotion


• Once a week or less, exfoliate with Strawberry Face Scrub
• Once a week apply Strawberry Tonic Mask, let sit for 20 minutes and rinse
• As needed, apply Healing & Soothing Mask either all over for 20 minutes or on particularly bad spots a little bit on each overnight

I've sampled a few other products and like them and will definitely be sampling more when I need to reorder. I love that you can choose 3 samples with your order. It's let me try the exfoliants in particular which I need but often leave me parched and sore. I'll be switching to the Almond & Honey Face Scrub once I run out of the Strawberry, I find it's gentler and makes my skin glow.

Do I still break out? Well yeah, I do. Just not as frequently—I'm a woman prone to hormonal break-outs at specific times—or as wide-spread. At the moment I'm actually treating two painful cystic blemishes on my chin but since starting to use Mario Badescu's products I've had an experience I've not had since before puberty... I've been completely zit free for a whole day!!! If you've been a constant acne sufferer you know just how much that can mean to a person. I actually took pictures of my bare face to share for this review on that day.

Can you believe that? Not a blemish in sight. Even the areas on my cheekbones that tend to be red were calm and only a little pinker than they should be. I don't even feel compelled to pull out my Photoshop skills to soften those dark circles because my skin looks so great! What do you think? Big improvement from that humiliating photo up top isn't it?

So, overall breakdown comes down to this... Mario Badescu's products are a bit expensive if you're on a drug-store budget like I am. Yet, the results for me have been so dramatic that I will not be using anything else for a very long time. Sometimes it's worth spending more money and considering that our skin is our largest organ it makes sense to treat it well.

I love that there aren't a massive amount of ingredients in them, though some do have ones I try to avoid like SLS. If you have sensitivities be sure and read the ingredients carefully. My hands-down favorite product is the Aloe Moisturizer. It's perfect for someone like me who has such a crazy combination of skin troubles and a family history of skin cancer because it has SPF and is so gentle. Now that I'm able to manage my acne and overall skin issues I think I'll start looking into something to treat/prevent wrinkles. I'm looking forward to loving my skin for decades to come!

Thanks Mario Badescu Skin Care for making me cry some seriously happy tears over my glowing, happy complexion days—something I'd not known since the days I was too young to know any better.

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