There was definitely a time when I was reviewing acne treatments on a regular basis, and in the last year or so I’d found a couple of products that worked really well for me and I kind of quit because I just wasn’t trying a lot of new things anymore. Well, recently when I went to the drugstore to pick up more Stridex Maximum Strength 2% salicylic acid treatment pads but found they were out of stock, and so I ended up looking around at other options. I bought what looked to be a comparable option from Noxzema, which are these Ultimate Clear Anti-Blemish Pads with 2% salicylic acid and cost $5.99 for 90 pads.
These are 1000% not a replacement for the Stridex Maximum Strength pads. I tried to use these a few times a week for something in the area of 6 weeks before I decided to quit, and my general conclusion is that these are horrible.
They’re very strong in alcohol so the solution dries super quickly (which I totally understand can be very satisfying if you have skin that’s breaking out), and they also are a very rough-feeling pad, plus they include eucalyptus, camphor, and menthol. So, the texture of the pads scratches the skin, the alcohol stings, and the eucalyptus/camphor/menthol actually burns my eyes and sinuses when I get the pads close to my face.
It’s kind of shocking how different two products that sit next to each other on the store shelf and boast the same active ingredient and concentration can be. But I’ve found precisely one salicylic acid pad worth buying again and again, and it’s the Stridex Maximum Strength ($4.19 for 55 pads). I don’t like the Sensitive Skin version, and I don’t like any of the competitors I’ve tried, including these by Noxzema. It leaves me wondering why it’s so hard for brands to get this thing right.
Have you had a different experience? Do you have a favorite salicylic acid treatment? Let me know!