Mario Badescu Drying Cream


280 reviews

64% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$$


Aqua (Water,Eau), Zinc Oxide,Cetyl Alcohol,Cera Alba (Beeswax,Cire d'abeille),Polysorbate 80,Glycerin,Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Titanium Dioxide,Propylene Glycol,Sulfur,Oleth-10,Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil,Huile Minérale),Ichthammol, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein,Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Starch,Arctium Lappa Root Extract,Cysteine, Niacinamide, Panthenol,Nasturtium Officinale Flower/Leaf Extract,Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice,Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Biotin,Arginine,Leucine,Lysine,Tyrosine,Valine,Glutamic Acid,Cellulose Gum,Polysorbate 20,Maltodextrin,Zinc Chloride,Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer,Pyridoxine HCl,Parfum (Fragrance),Sodium Chloride,Methylparaben,Propylparaben

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This is honestly my HG acne product, I can't live without it now.

So to describe my acne, it comes and goes and it's usually just red bumps, luckily nothing cystic. This stuff is awesome though. I just apply a thick layer over the spot for about three nights and I can 99% guarantee that the size will have dramatically reduced. It doesn't sting like other products to, and actually I don't find it dries out my skin although when I'm using this on certain areas I make sure to moisturise the rest of my face.

I have a lot to thank this cream for, now I'm left with just scarring which in my opinion is better because there's treatments and options available and it can be covered up easily with makeup.

This seems to be marketed as a concealer too, but I'm not sure how it would work unless you were the exact same skin tone as this cream. My skin is NC35-40 depending, and it looks weird even rubbed in. Also it's a dryer paste consistency so it stands out under makeup.

All in all, long-ish review yes but this is definetely worth checking out. It's cheap (£12.50 I believe), helps acne, easy to use and you get a lot of product compared to what you actually need to use.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I've given this the highest ratings overall and for packaging. I also have the buffering lotion and may review that later but for me the Drying Cream is essential in my pimple busting kit.
I have been using this for around 10 year and it never fails me. As you can see if you read my other reviews, I tend to review and recommend my HG products because review-writing takes time and I really want to let you all know what is tested and true for me.
I battled adult acne from around the age of 18 to 33, when I had a baby. I still get cystic under-the-skin pimples (though rarely now) and whiteheads (also relatively rarely now, maybe one a week?) but over the years I battled very bad acne I tried it all.
To kill pimples I've used prescription medication, oral and topical, proactiv, acids, Mario Badescu, tea tree oil, weird clinical treatments, masks, bleach, charcoal, you name it I've tried it.
This drying cream is aimed at whiteheads and for me it works every time. You put it on overnight and the next morning the whitehead will have shrunk or disappeared, less red, and essentially on its way out. Do it for a couple nights and it's gone! No picking, no scarring, no weeping face that you can't cover with makeup. Generally a painless treatment (except it smells sulphurous, which I'm used to). The buffering lotion is aimed at cystic acne and I also find that to be effective. You can layer both. You're supposed to be able to put this over a whitehead you've picked but the weeping doesn't mix well with it. For that I used a medicated powder I got from the chemist.
I have a small tub of this that's lasted forever as I don't need much and don't need it for my full face. It says use sparingly but I pile it on over the pimple and it's fine. When I say pile it on, I mean I literally scoop some out and spackle it on like a mm thick. It dries.
Because you use so little it's inexpensive overall.
I think it's the sulphur in this which makes it work. Like with other products I've recommended, I cannot say why this is effective compared to other products, I just know it works for me and has done for many years in all conditions and even as my skin has changed. Give it a shot! You may need a couple nights but it's worth it for not creating scars that do more damage than good.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Red, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Green

This works well, but it can get a little clumpy. I bought it for my son, who battles severe acne constantly. My son prefers $7.00 De La Cruz 10% Sulfur Ointment over this because this has a bit of a zincy, pasty feel. Personally, I love this, because it works beautifully as a neutralizer/concealer on and around my nose. It is "drying" but, unlike benzoyl peroxide, it doesn't cause irritation and burning. It works 10x faster than salicylic acid on my skin, and salicylic acid doesn't work at all for my son. Drying Cream is a great buy!


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I rarely review products but this one was so good that I felt I should review it. To keep it short and to the point, this stuff WORKS! I mean works like nothing I've ever used before....and I've tried every cream, toner, wash, you name it to clear the nasty little bumps all over my forehead. I put a little on after I let my moisturizer sink in at night, rubbed it in really good and in one night the bumps were 50% less the next morning! On night 2 I woke up to almost completely clear perfect skin! It didn't dry me out like ever other acne treatment and the results were so fast I could hardly believe it. Anyway, this stuff has been like a miracle product in clearing my forehead acne/bumps!


Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Relaxed, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I dont know if my skin is now immune to sulfur or this product just does not work.

I have had this product on my vanity table for almost 3 months now and I have been using it to treat "young acne" in hope it would dry the acne and leave no scar.

I never dries the acne but rather skin around the acne until it becomes flaky I could actually peel it off. The bump would stay as well as the "head" of the acne. Eventually it would leave a halo mark on my skin after I pop the acne because it just wont dry off.

I only use this at night after moisturizing leaving it overnight.

Am I using it wrong?


Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I can't believe I have never reviewed this. I have actually read all 200+ reviews for this product as I recently pulled a several years old tub out of my stash to use in desperation from a recent break out and couldn't remember why I stopped using it. I'm going to address what I feel are the main complaints about it and my opinions.

Smell: it smells like sulfur which if you have never used it, can smell like rotten eggs or a book of matches. If you are used to sulfur, it shouldn't be a huge deal. I personally have a sensitive nose, my friends call me the hound, I can tell you what you ate for breakfast. I also suffer from headaches caused by scents. That being said, the smell doesn't bother me, and no one has ever complained about it to me, but it does last a while. Some people smell the ichthammol in this, which smells like car tires or something similar. That is the runny brown stuff that may separate and sit at the top which a few people have had issues with. (Mario says just stir it up). I've never seen it separating though personally.

The container: it's in a tub. Most people don't enjoy this aspect. I imagine it was chosen because the consistency of the product is so thick that it would be impossible to get all of it out of a tube. This definitely would not work with a pump. Tubs can be unsanitary, if you are not a good hand washer, or if you have long nails or fake nails, then you should use a toothpick, qtip or spatula to remove the product.

Consistency: dry. Super dry. I've had many samples of this (I picked one free sample up every time I bought the drying lotion which is hg for me) and eventually I bought an actual full size of it which has lasted me years. But even new, they were all extremely thick and dry. I don't have anything to compare them with except maybe clay. It's very hard to spread. But the product is called drying cream, so I'm not going to complain that it's dry. Some people have said this product is creamy, so ymmv but I've never seen it creamy. I've never had a problem with it wiping off while I'm sleeping. Eventually it gets drier and drier in the tub but it still works. If it's solidified, you can try to add a little water to bring it back to life (in your hand not in the jar because, germs). I've had my full size jar for years without it becoming solid but the samples seem to dry up after a few months, especially if you leave them open by accident like I did a few times lol.

Causes a rash?: not for me. some people maybe be sensitive to any one of the ingredients. A lot of people have sulfur allergies. Lemon can be very irritating and it usually is for me but not in this product. The other ingredients may cause a problem for you. Here are the ingredients:
Deionized Water (Aqua), Zinc Oxide, Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice) Gel, Cetyl Alcohol, Lemon (Citrus Medica Limonum) Extract, Colloidal Sulfur, Ervol, Octyl Palmitate, Ichthammol, Polysorbate 80, Titanium Dioxide, Polyglycerylmethacrylate (and) Propylene Glycol.

Does it clog pores? Does it cause more acne?: I don't know. I can only tell you everyone's skin is different. I have oily skin and large pores all over my face. This product has never made anything worse for me. It has never clogged my pores or caused more acne.

Concealer really?: this can only be used as a concealer if you are extremely pale, which I can get away with if I don't have a tan. I am fair to light skinned. Medium in the summer.

Does it work: yes, for me it works. It works best on those bumps I tend to get on my forehead or temples which are usually from hair products or face wash or something that is clogging my pores or irritating me. Those bumps respond to nothing except time, or this. It also works for me when a product or food causes me to get what I call a whitehead rash. This is when you get a lot of teeny whiteheads that are in clusters usually between my eyebrows, and in the area where people get smile lines (don't know what the area is called). These whiteheads can sometimes be itchy, they are very easy to pop but they come back what seems like immediately and more pop up each day until my skins irritation/allergy reaction naturally stops which for me is about a week or more. I feel like popping them just makes them spread so if they are tiny enough I leave them alone. I get these usually from chemical sunscreens, products with irritating essential oils (ironically just like this product has haha), or when I eat food I'm allergic to.

How I use it: overnight as a spot treatment, it works best if you rub/work it in well, it needs to really have contact with the pimple from all angles. I have used it over larger areas with a thinner layer sometimes if I have a bunch of tiny pimples or bumps. This usually shows improvement overnight but may take a few nights. This product is best used consistently. I have personally seen it dissolve small whiteheads (pus filled pimples) completely with one or two applications, which is amazing to me. It can be drying, if you keep applying in the same spot day after day.

Would I buy again or recommend?: I have and will continue to do so.

11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

This is a great product to address whiteheads. This cream works in a matter of days to resolve my whiteheads. It is sulfur base, so there is a faint smell..but not horrendous. I apply after my moisturizer. It is tinted, on my fair skin it has a mild concealer effect. Then I top it off with primer and makeup and I'm good to go.

works well on clearing whiteheads
not too pricey, jar will last a long time (I get almost 6 months out of one jar)
concealer for fair gals
NO salicyclic acid or benzoyl peroxide so safe to use to treat acne in pregnancy.

sulfur odor
jar is not the most hygienic packaging, tube would be better.
it a paste like consistency that had to blend in

UPDATE: I have switch from applying in the morning to applying at night. Works even better for me at night. I do my usual skin routine. Finish off with my Argan oil. Just prior to retiring for the night a smear a thin coat of the Drying creme to any sites of whitehead and let it work over night. My T-zone hasn't looked this good since before puberty.

TIP: apply OVER your moisturizer to prevent excessive drying/scaling of the skin.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Beware of this product. It clogged my pores and I had to go through a long process to undo it's effects. I used this for about 3 months before I realized it was causing me to have more acne. I bought this as a recommendation that the company gave me after I filled out a survey about my skin on their website. It does help control oil, so I put it on the areas of my skin that were oily. However, in the process of controlling oil, it also clogged my pores and gave me cystic acne. At first, I kept using it with high hopes. When my skin kept getting worse, I stopped using it and only used it around my nose and mouth area, where I was the most oily. At this time, I was getting very bad acne on my cheeks, where I had previously applied the product. I didn't make the connection that this had caused my acne. I went through a long process to unclog my pores on my cheeks, but I was still getting acne around my nose and mouth area. I finally stopped using it completely. Finally, after my skin purged, I no longer got pimples. I believe it was this product that was clogging my pores. Yes, it absorbed oil, but I would rather be oily than to have painful, cystic, under the skin acne.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I was really hoping this would be my miracle cure so I tried it countless times on small little pimples and on big cystic ones, with varying amounts and over/under different moisturizers. Since it also has a strong surface smell, I find the recommendation from Mario Badescu to use it as a concealer under makeup to be somewhat unreasonable as I wouldn't want anyone to think I stink and only used this at night.

Unfortunately, it never did anything to improve the condition of my dehydrated-normal acne-prone skin and would actually make it worse, making my skin redder where it was applied. This made my blemishes more prominent, the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do.

This product didn't work for me at all, but as with all skincare products your mileage may vary, especially if you have a good track record with sulfur.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I think this product is a bit of a joke because I started using this supposedly as it's meant to banish spots by drying them out and reduce the acne breakouts, especially my pimples which can get quite bad at times. A couple of days into using it I just felt it wasn't really doing much at all, my skin as a result felt dryer, except by spots were just getting slightly more flat but in actual fact the spots were pretty much still there and still looked bad! Over time the acne never really appeared to be clearing, just more flatter but visible. It wasn't getting to my route of my acne, instead I decided to give it up because the more times I used it the results looked very minor. I'm starting to think these types of things don't worked on the skin. When I found something called biocurrex, I actually don't have to apply anything to my face, it just seems to work on the inside when I take this powder in a drink, and that seems to do the trick more than products like these ever seem to do! I've definitely noticed more changes which for someone like me with acne skin, it really boosts my confidence!

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