Mario Badescu Drying Cream

Mario Badescu makes a dizzying array of skin care products–seriously, whatever your skin complaint, this company addresses it–and everything it makes is cruelty free.

This Drying Cream is a miracle of those of us whose main skin concern is acne. I use lots of Mario Bacescu acne products (I’ve already reviewed the facial cleanser and healing cream), but this might be my favorite. I put it on zits to minimize their appearance and shorten their duration. The zits go away quickly (maybe 2-3 days depending on when I start using the cream), and during that time the zits are less red and swollen.

The cream is a light green color, which helps to minimize the red inflamed skin. This cream is also super duper thick. Like caulk or plumber’s putty. I’m trying to think of an example not from home improvement, but that’s clearly where my head is at. Anyway, it’s really think and cakey, so you only need a minuscule amount.

Side note: I hate it when people say “Oh yeah, this eye cream is $1,000, but you only have to use a little bit, so this .01 ounce jar will last years!” That is usually complete bullshit. Also, I really don’t want to be thinking about if I’m using the appropriate, not-too-much-but-not-too-little amount of product when it’s 3 AM and it’s all I can do just to scrape off my make-up and splash some water on my face. So trust me when I say that at $14, this .5 ounce jar is expensive, but you really will be able to use it for a year. I’m worried that mine will expire before I use it up, and I use it almost every day.

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser

Mario Badescu makes amazing (plant-based and cruelty-free) products that treat acne. I’ve had positive results from every Mario Badescu product I’ve tried. But I actually didn’t expect to like this acne facial cleanser when I bought it. It’s got salicylic acid, which I’ve tried before to combat acne and found to be ineffective (I’ve found that benzoyl peroxide works much better for me). Luckily for me, I was wrong about this cleanser. It’s probably because I use it in combination with a benzoyl peroxide cleanser (Carley’s Clear and Smooth Acne Treatment).

What this cleanser does for my skin is wonderful. It’s thick and gel-like out of the bottle, so you don’t have to use much to make a good lather on your face (unlike some cleansers that are like water and you end up using tons of it to feel like it’s doing anything). That gel-like consistency is from the aloe vera gel it’s made with (the third ingredient on the list). The aloe vera is really soothing to acne-inflamed skin, and the salicylic acid smoothes rough patches. After I’ve used this product, my skin feels soft and looks less ruddy. I follow up with Mario Badescu’s Special Cleansing Lotion “C”, which also treats acne (I’ll devote a post to that later).

Mario Badescu Healing Cream

Mario Badescu is a skin care company that makes outstanding acne treatment products. They also make anti-aging products and general skin care cleansers, but I have only tried their acne line. And it is amazing (and cruelty free).

My favorite product in the line is the Healing Cream. It’s a sulfer-based thick cream that you apply to inflamed, flaking skin. It speeds the healing process, reduces swelling, and prevents scarring. So if you’ve ever overdone it on the spot acne treatments (or did any home surgery and made turned a normal-looking zit into a throbbing, painful, dry zit, this is the stuff to use to correct your mistakes. You can also use in on skin irritated by razors, depilatories, or sunburn. I used it on an area of skin that was left dry and flaking because I left a depilatory on for too long, and it really soothed the pain and cleared up the dryness after a couple days. It was a life saver.

The Healing Cream is currently out of stock on the Mario Badescu site, but I’ve had good luck finding it at Ulta (on the shelves–not available on Ulta’s site). Mario Badescu products are also sold at Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor.

Plastic Microbeads in Your Body Scrub are Killing Marine Life

Nice uplifting title, right? Unfortunately, it’s true. And it’s a great reason to buy all natural body washes.

This article explains how those tiny plastic beads are washed into the ocean where they do not biodegrade and instead get eaten by wildlife. This article describes the phase out of microbeads in all Unilever products by 2015. So the good news is that cosmetic companies are becoming aware of the problem of plastic in our oceans. But the bad news is that they’re not exactly on the fast track to solving the problem.

Which means it’s up to the consumer to be informed and buy products that contain only natural ingredients. Below is a list of some of my favorite body and face scrubs that do not contain plastic beads and are also cruelty-free. Feel free to comment with your favorites!

Body Scrubs

Face Scrubs

Carley’s Clear and Smooth Acne Scrub

To kick off my product review, I chose one of the first great cruelty-free beauty products I ever tried. I bought my first bottle of this acne wash in 2007 on eBay. I have pretty bad acne, and it’s gotten worse since I recently went through some, ahem, hormonal changes. This scrub, which is a true exfoliating scrub with benzoyl peroxide, keeps my acne mostly at bay. I use it every night (and when I skip nights, I really notice a difference), and I love it. A note: Because it contains benzoyl peroxide, it will bleach clothing. I always dry off my face with a white towel.

Carley’s sells a bunch of other great beauty products, like moisturizers and make-up, some of which I will review on this site. Everything they make is all natural, made in the USA, and cruelty-free. Check out their store at I promise you will not be disappointed!