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Mario Badescu Drying Lotion vs Buffering Lotion

August 20, 2015

Mario Badescu makes two killer pimple busting products, Drying Lotion and Buffering Lotion. Actually they have a whole range of pimple and acne targeting products – but I’m focusing on these two today.

I’m a long time user of the Drying Lotion to clear up any break outs, and I’ve recently added the Buffering Lotion to my ever expanding collection of products. I thought it was time for a run down of each product, and to discover which one reigns supreme!

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
A spot treatment made of salicylic acid and calamine that separates into two distinct layers when left to settle.
How To:
There’s a bit of a learning curve with this product. You don’t want to combine the two layers, instead you want to dip a cotton bud into the bottle and cover it in the pink calamine solution. Then you need to dab it over your pimples and leave it to dry. It is going to be bright pink and very obvious – there’s no way of covering it in makeup! For this reason I tend to put it on overnight and wash off any residue in the morning. Results: I honestly think this product is a miracle worker. Although they say it’s for whiteheads, I use it on basically every kind of break out. It really helps to shrink down big pimples, and it makes whiteheads and smaller blemishes almost completely disappear. It’s magic!

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion
A potent lotion designed to treat outbreaks of deep cystic acne. Made from B vitamins, amino acids and herbal extracts.
How To: Like the Drying Lotion this settles into two layers, but with this product you want to shake it up to combine everything. Then use your fingertips to apply it to cleansed skin. It’s quite a watery texture, so I kind of tap it into my skin to make it stay in place. This one dries pretty much clear, so even though the instructions say to use it overnight I have worn it during the day under makeup.
Results: I do find that it helps to shrink big pimples slightly, but nothing drastic. I have recently had a few cystic style pimples, and while I do think wearing this during the day helped reduce their size I don’t find myself reaching for it over my beloved Drying Lotion at night.

The Verdict: My favourite of the two is absolutely the Drying Lotion. Honestly this should be an essential item for every blemish prone person in the world. However, the downside is that you can only wear it at night, which is the one advantage the Buffering Lotion has. The Buffering Lotion does an okay job, but it’s nothing that special. Go for the Drying Lotion and just make sure you’re sleeping alone when you use it!

Skin Care

My Top Five Serums

August 3, 2015

I’m obsessed with serums.

People often wonder why they need to use a serum. What’s the point? Why not just moisturise? What do serums actually do? Well in general, a serum targets any skin conditions that you are concerned about, while a moisturiser provides more general hydration.

I usually use serum in the morning and one at night, switching between my arsenal of products. I cleanse, apply my serum, and then moisturise. Then I can apply makeup and get on with my day or head straight to bed.

A note about my skin: I am prone to pimples and blackheads, have a few little fine lines around my eyes but nothing too serious, and although I get oily throughout the day my skin is really quite dry.

These are the serums in my regular skincare rotation. I’m only writing about the products I actually use – there are plenty of serums that I’ve tried and discarded along the way!

Aspect Serums

Aspect Jungle Brew
This is my number one, my holy grail, the best serum ever invented for people with pimples, acne, blackheads and blocked pores. It is an antioxidant and antibacterial oil free serum, which contains special ingredients from the Amazon rainforest to regular oil production. I get regular extraction facials and my beauty therapist put me onto this. I see huge improvements in my skin when I am using it regularly, so I try to use it ever night before bed. The only downside is that costs over $100 AU – and you’re not going to find it cheaper overseas because it is an Australian product. I will use this until I die or my skin clears up permanently. I’m on my third bottle.

Aspect Retinol Brulee
I believe that it is never too early to start using anti-ageing products. Think of them as age-prevention. Retinol is the best anti-ageing ingredient out there, and it also helps to fight pimples. Aspect Retinol Brulee combines retinol (vitamin A) and Lanablue (blue algae extract) to help smooth out the skin. Unlike other retinol products I’ve used in the past there are no weird side effects, and it absorbs easily. I usually apply this in the morning, and only use it maybe twice a week. I feel like it makes my skin firmer and tighter, and improves my general complexion.

Aspect Extreme B17
Noticing a theme here? This is yet another Aspect serum that I use regularly. I tend to think of my skin as oily, but in actual fact it is quite dehydrated and it responds to my bad moisturising habits by creating more oil. My beauty therapist recommended this serum to help balance that dehydration. It’s also recommended for pigmentation, sun damage and acne scars. It really helps my skin to glow and feel plumper and smoother. I use it in conjunction with either the Retinol Brulee or Jungle Brew.


La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+  
When I can’t afford Jungle Brew (like at the end of a pay cycle) this is my alternative pimple targeting serum. It reduces imperfections, unclogs pores and mattifies the skin. I’ve had good results from this product, but it doesn’t quite match up to the wonders of Jungle Brew. But on the plus side it is cheaper and available at Priceline. If I didn’t know about Jungle Brew I would think this was the absolute best imperfection clearing serum around.

Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect
This cult serum is pretty much the most popular anti-ageing product in the UK. The original formula went viral after a British TV show showed that it actually reduced the appearance of wrinkles, and this is the newer and more potent formulation. Yes I bought into the hype when I was in England. But here’s why I like it – a lot of anti-ageing products are very heavy and pore clogging, which isn’t great for those of us who get regular breakouts. This serum contains salicylic acid which helps to clear up imperfections, as well as Matrixyl 3000 Plus and antioxidants for the anti-ageing side of things. It’s great for those of us in the “still getting pimples but also terrified of the first signs of ageing” category. As far as I can tell, in Australia this product has been repackaged as Serum 7 Beauty Serum.

Spill – what are your favourite serums? Let me know in the comments!

Skin Care

How To Get Rid Of Keratosis Pilaris

July 24, 2015

Do you get those little hard bumps that look like chicken skin all over your arms or legs? They actually have a name, keratosis pilaris or KP, and they are tricky to get rid of! While there’s no cure, as a lifelong sufferer of KP or “chicken skin” I have discovered a few treatments to help reduce the bumps and get silky smooth skin – at least for a little while!

Keratosis pilaris kind of looks like permanent goose bumps. The bumps are generally skin colour, white or red, and while they can itch for some people usually they’re not noticeable. They’re caused by keratin building up and blocking the opening of the hair follicle, resulting in a hard little bump. Luckily the only thing they’re harming is your self confidence – they aren’t going to cause any long term damage.

There’s no way to totally banish them forever, but there are a few methods that will help tame your bumbs and keep them at bay. With all of these methods being consistent is key. If you stop for a few weeks you will notice your KP creeping back and ruining your life once again.

Exfoliating And Moisturising
The easiest way to reduce the appearance of your keratosis pilaris is to get into a really good exfoliating and moisturising routine. This means really scrubbing down in the shower using exfoliating mitts, an exfoliating shower gel or a really grainy scrub. I like to use a coffee scrub like Frank or one of the many imitations. Then follow up with a nice thick moisturiser.

For minor KP outbreaks this might be all you need to do, and you can use products that you already have at home.

Dry Body Brushing
I’ve had a lot of success with dry body brushing. Before I hop in the shower I stand in the bathroom and spend a minute or so brushing my legs and arms. I read somewhere to brush towards your centre to increase blood circulation – to be honest I have no idea if that really does anything, but the act of brushing definitely does help to manually exfoliate your skin.

I just use a really simple Manicare brush, you can get expensive body brushes which I’m sure do an amazing job but I’m happy with my cheapie. Then rinse off in the shower and apply a moisturiser afterwards.

AHA Treatments And Creams
Creams and lotions that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHAs) can really have a big impact on your KP. These chemical exfoliants soften the skin and help dead skin cells to fall off.

While you’re probably familiar with chemical exfoliants for your face, there are also body lotions and serums packed with AHAs! A nice moderately priced option is Palmer’s Anti-Ageing Smoothing Lotion, which doesn’t mention keratosis pilaris in the name but does contain AHAs. Or you can purchase targeted products like DermaDoctor’s KP Duty. I’ve actually used this one and while it is pricey it does work incredibly well! My legs were silky smooth… until I ran out of it of course.


If your KP is really bad and doesn’t respond to any kind of simple treatment, you can go and see a doctor and see what they recommend. I have not explored this option, but if you have please let me know in the comments what your doctor recommended!