Review: Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner

Long time no post! ( I’ve been very busy with my Etsy shop, and between sewing orders and mousing/typing at work my hands have been hurting again. sigh.)

Anyway I wanted to write about the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid toner, since I bought it in April 2011 and I feel I’ve had enough time to give a substantial review. :)

I first found about Mario Badescu years ago through their magazine ads, most notably their famous dual-layered drying lotion.

Sometime last year I was working through my subscriptions in my Google reader and someone had posted a link to FREE Mario Badescu samples through the company site, so I decided to try it out!

(Here’s the link)

In order to get the free samples you have to answer questions about your skin type and they will recommend a series of products for you. I don’t guarantee you’ll get the glycolic acid toner in your sample set though, since the samples you’ll receive depend on the answers you give them. But nonetheless if you aren’t familiar with the brand it will be an inexpensive way to try their products out.

My skintype is a combination type: dry cheeks, oilier nose and chin that isn’t overly sensitive to products. Before my current regimen I had a pimple maybe once a month or so. In my teen years my skin was much oilier and acne prone. Thankfully my skin has become much more manageable and I’m so glad those days are over!

In a few weeks after completing the questionnaire I received 6 little bottles and containers of samples as well as an extensive product guide. And in my little sample kit I received a tiny bottle of the blue Glycolic Acid toner.

From the Mario Badescu website:

A Solution For Wrinkles and Pigmentation. Formulated with 2% Glycolic Acid and Grapefruit Extract which work together to exfoliate, refresh and stimulate dry and congested skin. Helps reduce discoloration from old acne scars as well as build-up that can cause skin to look tired and dull. Alcohol free.

For: Dry or Sensitive Skn

HOW TO USE: Twice daily after cleansing, pat skin dry and apply lotion dampened cotton by wiping in an outward direction until cotton comes up clean. Avoid eye area. Follow with moisturizer or night cream.

INGREDIENTS: Deionized Water (Aqua),Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice) Gel,Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis Fruit) Extract, Glycolic Acid

I tend to get clogged pores around my nose and chin and I really feel that this toner has helped significantly.

How I use it:

AM: When I wake up in the morning, I use the toner in place of washing my face. I swipe my cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin with a toner-soaked cotton pad; I feel it gets rid of any oiliness and dirt nicely. Although its meant for sensitive skin, I *do* notice a bit of stingy-tingliness but it goes away after about a minute or so. After this I apply my moisturizer plus sunscreen.

PM: After washing my face in the shower, I apply it the same way before my nightly moisturizer.

I haven’t seen any results on my acne scars honestly, both old and new. I don’t feel like the glycolic acid is strong enough to make that kind of change. The amount of redness in my skin has not changed either.

But  for oil control, reducing dry flakes, and reducing the frequency of my breakouts, I think it works wonderfully!

Where to buy it: Mario BadescuNordstrom, CVS Beauty 360

Price:  $18 for 8 oz


  • Not alcohol based, therefore not drying
  • Only 4 ingredients
  • Helps keep my skin clear
  • Skin texture feels smooth and keeps flakies at bay
  • Good at removing oil and dirt


  • A bit pricey for toner
  • A tiny bit sticky due to the aloe ingredient, but I don’t mind it
  • Packaging is simple and not pretty
  • A little bit of stinging after applying
  • Probably won’t lighten older acne scars

Rating: 5 stars

Since my breakouts have been less frequent, I have to say that this is my HG toner.  Clear skin is priceless!

♥ E&I