Empties blog posts are a rarity for me. I’m constantly buying and trying new products so I always have a 12+ products in use at any given time. Also, it’s not like I start using them at the same time so they’re all at varying points of fullness/emptiness and I’m not the type of person to hang onto empty bottles. Whenever I use a product up, I toss the bottle into the trash or recycling bin, so I rarely have anything worth showing at the end of the month. Honestly, I’m in awe of YouTubers who have huge bins full of empties each month. That’s impressive. I feel like it takes forever for me to finish anything up.
This month, though, I made an effort to hang onto my empties because there are a couple of items here worth reviewing albeit briefly.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser (6 oz, $16): This is the cleanser that Mario Badescu recommends for all skin types and is supposed to address dull, congested skin. It’s a lightly foaming, clear gel cleanser that is crazy similar in consistency and scent to public restroom hand soap.
Dry skinned people are told to use it only 1-2 times per week but I used it every morning on my face in the shower and I didn’t find it too harsh or drying. Of course, immediately following my shower I always gently blot my face and heavily moisturize on damp skin, so perhaps that’s why I didn’t experience any negative effects.
I can’t say that I really noticed it doing anything for my skin one way or the other. I mean it wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t bad either. It’s definitely strictly a face cleanser and not a makeup remover though. You’ll need to use a separate product to take your makeup off. It’s an okay cleanser but I wouldn’t repurchase.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate,Aqua (Water,Eau),Cocamidopropyl Betaine,Cocamide MEA, Glycolic Acid,Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract,Hypericum Perforatum Extract,Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract,Althaea Officinalis Leaf/Root Extract,Achillea Millefolium Extract,Sodium Chloride,Parfum (Fragrance),Propylene Glycol,Methylparaben,Propylparaben,Diazolidinyl Urea
Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil (2.2. fl oz, $26): This is basically argan oil plus a slew of other ingredients that have been emulsified into a squeezable, creamy consistency. The main draw of this product is the convenience factor. No need to mess with droppers or worry about spillage. Simply squeeze some out of the tube and it liquefies back to oil-form when it makes contact with your skin. It also has a fresh, tangerine scent that I personally enjoy. Would I repurchase? No. It’s a nice product and I like the ease of use but not enough to shell out another $26. I would only buy it if I knew I was going on a trip soon; it’s fantastic for traveling.
Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil Ingredients: Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil**, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit**, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate**, Beeswax**, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)**, Glyceryl Dibehenate**, Tribehenin**, Glyceryl Behenate**, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Oil**, Tocopherol, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil**, Abyssinian Oil (Crambe Abyssinica) Seed Oil**, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil**, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract**, Soybean Glycerides**, Linoleic Acid**, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil** Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter**, Aleurites Moluccana Seed (Kukui Nut) Oil**, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil**.
Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil (1 fl oz, $14.95): Now this product I would repurchase and have already. I think I’ll do a separate blog post on it, that’s how much I like it. For now, I’ll say that it’s lightweight, absorbs into the skin easily, comes in a glass bottle with a dropper and, best of all in my opinion, it’s completely unscented.
I use it morning and night: 3 drops mixed into my regular face lotion applied on slightly damp skin.
It’s a bit pricey for the drugstore but considering that Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil (1.7 fl oz) retails for $48, the Physicians Formula version is a steal. Plus, Physicians Formula is constantly on sale at the drugstore and there are often coupons right on the packages. I managed to find a Buy 1 Get 1 Free sticker on one package, stacked it with a sale and ended up getting two bottles for $4 and change. Hard to beat that!
Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Ingredients: Argania Spinoza (Argan) Kernel Oil
Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid (4 oz, $24): For keeping my skin clear, I’ve never been able to use products with benzoyl peroxide (too drying) but my skin reacts really well to anything with salicylic acid.
This product is a watery, liquid solution that you pour onto a cotton pad and apply to your face. I love how this product is devoid of fragrance and alcohol and it really does an excellent job of keeping my skin clog/blackhead-free. It also seems to have a calming effect on the redness on my face which is an added bonus. The only issue I have is I feel like I go through this product really quickly.
If I had cash to spare I would repurchase but right now I have my money earmarked for other things, so I’ve had to search for cheaper alternatives. It’s really great though. If you’re interested I’ll leave my referral link here which is good for $10 off any order for new Paula’s Choice customers. I’m not a special snowflake or anything. Anyone who registers a free account on Paula’s Choice’s site gets a referral link to share with friends automatically.
Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid Ingredients:
Active: Salicylic Acid 2% Inactive: Water, Dipropylene Glycol (slip agent/penetration enhancer), Pentylene Glycol (slip agent), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Glycerin (skin-identical ingredient), Sodium Hyaluronate (water-binding agent), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin (anti-irritants), Panthenol (skin-conditioning agent), PEG/PPG-17/6/Copolymer (solvent), Methyl Gluceth-20 (skin-conditioning agent), Glycereth-26 (thickener), Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane (skin-conditioning agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Sodium Metabisulfite (stabilizer), Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent).
Stridex Maximum Pads (55 pads, $4.49): This is the alternative that I’m currently using in place of the Paula’s Choice toner.
The Stridex pads get the job done (they keep my pores clear) but aren’t as gentle as the Paula’s Choice. Although the pads are alcohol free, they contain fragrance and menthol which are skin irritants, so unfortunately they don’t do anything for my redness. They don’t worsen the redness but they don’t help either.
However, I really love the pads which are textured on one side and smooth on the other; they’re good for applying the salicylic acid solution to the skin and also for gentle, manual exfoliation.
I also love that these pads are soaked with solution. They literally sit in a little pool of toner, so every pad, even the ones at the very top are always dripping with product. Even when you get down to the very last pad in the container, it’s still swimming in solution. I’m not one to waste product, so when I’ve used up the Stridex pads I continue to use the remaining solution with clean cotton pads of my own until all the leftover liquid in the jar is gone.
I use the Stridex pads at night after cleaning my face and one jar of 55 pads (plus the extra liquid in the jar) lasts two months for me which is pretty good in my opinion. I would definitely repurchase the Stridex pads. In fact I have a few boxes on standby already.
Stridex Maximum Pads Ingredients:
Active: Salicylic Acid (2%) Inactive: Amino Methyl Propanol, Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance, Menthol, PPG 5 Ceteth 20, Water (Purified), Simethicone, Sodium Borate, Tetrasodium EDTA
Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl (14.1 oz, $3.99): Last but not least, my only non-skincare empty of the month.
I really enjoyed this spread but it’s definitely light on the gingerbread cookie flavor and heavier on the cocoa. I love chocolate, though, so I was cool with that but a (mainly) chocolate spread isn’t particularly interesting or special, so I wouldn’t repurchase. If I want chocolate I would rather buy one of Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Bars.
In my opinion, compared with the Cocoa Swirl, the regular (smooth or crunchy) Cookie Butters are more worth it. Nevertheless, the Cocoa Swirl spread is tasty and sometimes when I wanted a sweet treat I’d just eat a spoonful of the spread plain.
I actually made an amazing layer cake using the last half of the jar. I nuked the spread in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it and make it easier to spread, then sandwiched it between two vanilla sponge cakes, and “iced” the entire cake with whipped cream. Yum.
Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl Ingredients: vegetable oils (canola oil, palm oil), sugar, speculoos 29% (wheat flour, candy sugar, vegetable oils and fats [palm oil and fat, canola oil, coconut oil and fat], cane sugar, soy flour, invert sugar syrup, raising agent (sodium bicarbonate), cardamon, nutmeg), fat reduced cocoa powder 8%, emulsifier (lecithin), natural vanilla flavor, hazelnuts, cocoa butter.