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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Review: New Stridex Naturally Clear Alcohol-free Pads

Admittedly, I haven't used a Stridex product in years. But when I posted about this new product back in May, I have to admit it's been on my radar and I was just waiting for a good coupon and sale to come along. Finally I got a good coupon from the Sunday paper a while back, and then I spotted this product on sale at Vons, so I picked it up for about $2:

Stridex Naturally Clear Alcohol-free Pads (retail: around $6, 70 pads)

I have very oily skin and I also suffer from TOTM acne (not severe, but a few blemishes once a month) so I thought this would be a perfect, gentle product to use to combat flair-ups. As you can see from the label, the ingredients are "98.8% Natural" and it also contains 1% salicylic acid. Hey, that's not a lot of beta hydroxy acid (most standard over-the-counter acne treatments with BHA contain 2%), but I still liked the idea of using a convenient pad right after I wash my face, or whenever I feel the urge, so what the heck, right? Plus I like that these pads contain ingredients such as pomegranate, white tea and soy, and of course they're also alcohol-free. According to the Stridex website, "Stridex offers the only medicated acne pads that are alcohol-free. Ordinary pad brands still contain alcohol at levels ranging from 34 to 55 percent of their formulas."

I've been using this product for around two weeks, once a night or once every other night, after I wash my face. Here are my thoughts so far:

It's been hot here in San Diego, but even so, this product has not dried out my face in the slightest. It doesn't feel tight or dry immediately after application, and it never feels that way throughout the course of the night or into the next morning. BUT, if you have dry skin, your results could be very different.

These pads are SATURATED with product. I mean, they are sopping wet. I tried to illustrate that in the collage above. The biggest problem for me is that once I start working the pad into my skin, it starts to form a LATHER! Literally, if you look closely, you'll see the bubbles on my arm. On my face, it looks like I'm literally washing my face with soap once I start using one of these pads. In my opinion, one pad holds enough product to clean about three faces, so it feels like a waste when you throw one of these pads away because there is soooo much product left to use. It's just impossible for me to use all of the product during one single application. I'd have to swipe the pad over my face for 30 minutes in order for that pad to eventually dry out.

I like that the pad is nice and big (about two inches across and two inches long) and that there is a smooth side and also a textured side. The fragrance is nice--sort of botanical--and it's not strong at all. Also, these pads do not in any way sting my face and I haven't experienced any irritation in the slightest. In fact, my face tends to look a bit smoother and glowing in the morning when I use one of these pads at night. It also seems to have helped a rather large blemish that I currently have on my cheek (sorry, not gonna photograph that!) by gently drying it out. My blemish diminished in size after my first night of using these pads, and I do believe the decrease in size was more significant than if I had not used the pad at all. I can't speak to its claim to help clear up blackheads though, because I still seem to have the usual amount of blackheads around my nose area.

One thing I dislike about this product (other than the over-saturated pads) is the feeling of my skin after I use them. These pads tend to leave a sticky film on my skin after use, and that sticky feeling doesn't fade throughout the night. In fact, the next morning I can still feel a slight stickiness to my skin.

All in all, my feelings are mixed about this product. On the one hand, I enjoy the gentle, alcohol-free treatment. During that "special" time of the month, I can see myself reaching for these when my skin needs some extra help. But if you suffer from more severe acne, the gentleness of this product might not be enough for you. Also, beware of the over-saturated pads! Also beware that these do leave a sticky film on my face. I can't say with certainty that you'll have this experience too, but it's something to consider.

I don't know if I'd repurchase these, but I do have to say that they're a heck of a lot more convenient to use than the typical spot-treatments I use when I have a flair-up. And compared to the Stridex pads I used many, many moons ago, they're a huge improvement.

Have you used Stridex Naturally Clear Pads? What do you think of them?


  1. I'm a tad confused... Are they toner soaked pads or cleansing pads??

  2. Wow, there sure is a lot of fragrance in those! I agree, bot enough BHA. I also don't think this is good for dry skin, it includes a lot of betaine, an absorbent clay.

  3. I have endocrine problems, and an effect of this is that any kind of zit or blemish is a very, VERY rare occurrence for me. Thus, I've never used these and probably never will. :) If I ever do get bad acne, though, I will keep these in mind!

  4. i actually bought this after you posted about it awhile ago. it's cleared up my skin complexion wise, but i'm still getting pimples. and i hate the smell because it's like i'm slathering old teabags on my face. the lather is annoying but i dab off the excess and then use toner.

    i actually prefer the stridex sensitive with aloe. it's cheaper and worked better for my skin with no annoying smell.

    anyways, thanks for turning me onto stridex! it's really helped my complexion...everyone thinks i'm 12 again!


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