Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is a cult-favorite skincare treatment known for its acne-fighting abilities and drying out pimples overnight. It’s a best-seller because it’s a quick, easy and efficient acne treatment. Depending on your budget, it can also be a bit pricey.
So I have put together this list of dupes, or alternatives, that are less expensive than Mario Badescu. These eight Mario Badescu Drying Lotion dupes will give you similar results as Mario Badescu’s drying lotion, but with a cheaper price tag.
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First, let’s take a look at what makes Mario Badescu Drying Lotion so popular.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is an award-winning topical spot treatment that is used to treat problem skin. It targets your current pimples and breakouts by drying out the skin, and it works quickly overnight so you can wake up with smaller blemishes in the morning. And since it’s only applied at night, this product won’t interfere with your makeup during the day.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is the original drying lotion and has such a great reputation because it works. You can also use it on your neck, chest, and back, too. It uses effective actives to draw impurities out of your skin and reduce the look of blemishes and spots.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion Key Ingredients
- Calamine: You may think of itchy skin when you hear the words “calamine lotion.” While it does help itchy skin, calamine also helps with skin irritation and has soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Plus, it has astringent and antiseptic properties.
- Camphor: Helps reduce inflammation, itching, and pain.
- Sulfur: Did you know that sulfur has been used to treat acne and other skin conditions since the time of Egyptian ruler Cleopatra? Sulfur is antibacterial and antifungal and helps exfoliate the skin, which reduces those pesky blemishes. Although sulfur has that strong, noticeable rotten egg scent, it is a popular acne treatment.
- Zinc Oxide: Not only an excellent sunscreen that protects the skin from harmful UV rays, but zinc oxide also provides natural relief to the skin and is used as an anti-inflammatory ingredient in many products. This 2013 study determined that zinc oxide offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, and it may even decrease sebum (oil) production.
- Glycerin: Glycerin is a humectant that helps the skin retain moisture, absorbs water from the air, and, when applied to the skin, helps hydrate dry patches.
- Salicylic Acid: Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid, or BHA. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, which means it can penetrate through the oil in your skin and help clear out pore-clogging dirt and oil to reduce blackheads and blemishes. Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, salicylic acid is an essential tool in your arsenal to help reduce breakouts. This study found that salicylic acid was less drying than benzoyl peroxide and better tolerated over time.
NOTE: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion should not be shaken. Dip a cotton swab into the pink sediment that has settled at the bottom of the bottle and apply it to your surface blemish. Let it dry and go to work on your skin overnight, and wash it off in the morning.
Please note that you should not use this treatment on broken skin or the area around your eyes or lips.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion Ingredient List
This spot treatment contains Isopropyl Alcohol, Aqua (Water, Eau), Calamine, Camphor, Sulfur, Zinc Oxide, Talc, Glycerin, Salicylic Acid, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion Dupes
Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Spot Treatment Mask is a medicated spot treatment mask formulated with 10% sulfur. It targets blemishes and breakouts with high-strength sulfur, which absorbs sebum and dead skin cells that can clog pores and make acne and breakouts worse.
This is a rinse-off treatment, so once it dries, you can rinse it off your face instead of leaving it on overnight like Mario Badescu Drying Lotion.
Zinc PCA helps to draw out impurities in the skin, reduce excess sebum, and reduce the look of redness while hydrating the skin. Tea tree and manuka oils are antibacterial and help clarify and purify the skin.
Turmeric root extract has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant benefits. Plus, it helps to regulate sebum production.
Bye Bye Blemish Acne Drying Lotion is an on-the-spot treatment that helps to balance the skin overnight. It penetrates pores to remove impurities for brighter skin with improved clarity.
This Mario Badescu dupe has many of the same ingredients, such as redness relieving sulfur, BHA salicylic acid which targets clogged pores, zinc oxide to absorb excess oil camphor to reduce inflammation.
You apply it the same way as Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion by dipping a cotton swab into the pink sediment and applying directly to surface blemishes.
AcneFree Therapeutic Sulfur Mask is a 3.5% sulfur acne treatment mask. It penetrates pores to dry and clear blemishes, reduces excess sebum production, whiteheads, blackheads, and prevents future breakouts.
The sulfur in this mask helps to unclog congested pores and reduce the look of pore size for clearer skin. Sulfur is one of the more gentle acne treatments, so although it can be drying, it can be used by most people with sensitive skin.
The mask also contains vitamin C, copper, and zinc to remove dead skin cells and clogged pores for healthier-looking skin.
Vitamin C brightens and helps improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation by regulating melanin (the pigment in the skin). Copper improves skin texture and skin tone, while zinc PCA helps to reduce excessive sebum in the skin.
The mask starts out as white and turns blue to indicate that it is working. Bentonite clay absorbs excess oil and leaves a matte finish on the skin.
Derma E Sulfur Spot Treatment is a concentrated spot treatment that draws out impurities to clear blemishes and reduce skin redness. It targets breakouts, blackheads, and cystic acne and is loaded with acne-busting and soothing actives.
This Mario Badescu dupe contains similar ingredients as the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion: Colloidal sulfur minimizes sebum, helping to unclog pores and reduce acne. Salicylic acid travels deep into the pores, helping to unclog congested pores and kill acne-causing bacteria. Zinc oxide reduces irritation, and calamine calms the skin.
Tea tree oil helps to remove acne-causing bacteria. Niacinamide provides anti-inflammatory and anti-acne benefits. This study demonstrated that a 4% niacinamide gel is as effective as 1% clindamycin gel in treating acne.
Aloe vera, witch hazel, allantoin, and bisabolol (from the chamomile plant) soothe and calm the skin.
Like Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, you should not shake the bottle. Dip a cotton swab into the pink sediment and apply directly on blemishes in your PM skincare routine. Derma E notes that if needed, you can gradually increase usage to twice a day.
Vichy Normaderm S.O.S Acne Rescue Spot Corrector contains 10% sulfur, glycolic acid, and niacinamide to reduce the size and severity of current acne blemishes. Plus, it prevents new blemishes from forming.
Sulfur targets bacteria and helps exfoliate the skin. Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant that improves skin turnover, helping to remove pore-clogging dead skin cells, dirt, and debris. Niacinamide balances oil production while protecting the skin’s delicate skin barrier.
The formula is oil-free, alcohol-free, and suitable for sensitive skin.
Glossiva Drying Lotion clears out pores by dissolving oil and debris. This Mario Badescu dupe targets cystic acne, blackheads, and whiteheads as a spot treatment designed to work on a targeted area of your skin.
Use it overnight to stop a pimple in its tracks before it becomes inflamed and red. Just like Mario Badescu, you can use it on your face, neck, chest, and back.
It is unclear if the concentrations are the same, but this skincare dupe contains the exact same active ingredients as Mario Badescu Drying Lotion: Calamine, Camphor, Sulfur, Zinc Oxide, Talc, Glycerin, Salicylic Acid.
Salicylic acid targets inflammation and redness. Sulfur clears out clogged pores, bacteria, dirt, and debris while absorbing oil. Camphor relieves itchy skin and skin irritation while calamine dries out pimples.
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Amire Blemish Drying Lotion is an acne spot treatment for teens and adults that helps reduce pimples, cysts, blackheads, and whiteheads. It can also be used on back acne, fade acne scars, and reduce the look of pores.
This overnight treatment has a quick-drying formula designed to shrink most whiteheads overnight. It uses salicylic acid to fight inflammation and oily buildup. Colloidal sulfur helps unclog pores and dry the surface of your skin. Zinc oxide helps calm and soothe your skin. Camphor is an anti-inflammatory and reduces itchiness.
Like most of the other Mario Badescu dupes, apply this blemish treatment with a cotton swab, and don’t shake the bottle!
Majestic Pure Acne Drying Lotion uses colloidal sulfur to help treat pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and acne scars.
It contains most of the same active ingredients of Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, like colloidal sulfur, zinc oxide, salicylic acid, camphor, and iron oxide. (It doesn’t contain glycerin like Mario Badescu).
Perfect for oily skin, this drying lotion uses time-tested ingredients that work to shrink unsightly pimples overnight. Apply it with a cotton swab dipped into the sediment at the bottom of the bottle. You don’t shake this bottle before application.
Directions indicate that you can use it two to three times a day.
Final Thoughts on Mario Badescu Drying Lotion Dupes
While Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is an effective overnight treatment to shrink acne and pimples, you don’t have to pay so much for very similar options that will provide just as good results. These skincare dupes also use many of the same active ingredients as Mario Badescu drying lotion, so they get similar results, too.
You have your pick of overnight treatments or sulfur masks that target existing acne and pimples and fade the look of acne scars. As with all skincare products, be sure to patch test before applying them to your entire face.
For the overnight sulfur treatments, always remember, don’t shake the bottle!
Thanks for reading!