It took me so long to write my first review on a (beta hydroxy acid) BHA product, and I don’t know why. The most known BHA is salicylic acid, and it’s simply one of my favourite acids. I like azelaic, lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids the most. Don’t mention mandalic acid, in my opinion, it’s quite useless, unless maybe when you’re pregnant, and you can’t use many products.
Everyone who has or had acne used salicylic acid at some point; for me, the first encounter with salicylic acid was in the form of Clearasil pads – harsh and full of alcohol, we all know them. They are old and good, but I wouldn’t prefer to use them on a daily basis. The reason why salicylic acid is so popular as an acne treatment is that it does not cause much irritation. Contrarily, it can help with redness and inflammation. It is also oil soluble, meaning it can go through sebum deep into the pores. I like BHA both in a toner form and a wash-off form. My preferred BHA toner type product is Stridex Strength Medicated Pads. I like using them simply because they deliver the advertised results without any irritation. I use Stridex pads in the red packaging, the strongest version available (I guess), which is used in medical tests. They must be good then.
It’s not surprising that this product is used in medical trials. These pads contain simple ingredients; something that you find in dermatological products. This product contains fragrance and menthol. For me, there’s nothing more annoying in a product than menthol, though there isn’t much of it here. The product doesn’t give me a weird lasting sensation, which makes me feel every blow of the wind that comes across my face. Here the menthol dissipates pretty quickly. Also, the amount of fragrance in this product is limited to the minimum; I honestly don’t sense any. The other potentially irritating ingredients are the surfactants used in this product (Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Xylenesulfonate), but they don’t irritate me as these type salts do in cleansers. Perhaps sodium borate could also be irritating, but I am fine with all of these in this product.
Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Salicylic acid 2.0% (w/w), Inactive Ingredients: ammonium lauryl sulfate, ammonium xylenesulfonate, citric acid, DMDM hydantoin, fragrance, menthol, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, purified water, simethicone, sodium borate, tetrasodium EDTA (From amazon.com in alphabetical order after the active ingredient.)
I can honestly recommend this product to anyone who looks for an acid product that brings results. Perhaps people with very dry and sensitive skin types would not enjoy it as much; for this reason, there’s a gentler version. However, everyone from acne-prone to normal/combination types will be fine. I would say that after using these pads for two weeks, you will see first results like fewer pimples, blackheads, and less oily skin. Obviously, this product alone won’t help with a severe acne problem, but it’s a great addition to any routine. It can also help anyone who gets occasional spots. I am really pleased with this product, it’s cheap and does the job. What else can I ask for?
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