by Kimberly Yang

The Monthly Edit: May Skincare

Take a peek at which skincare products we’re using this month.

Mario Badescu how to get glowing skin

Last month was all about fixing winter skin—and now that it finally feels like spring here in NYC, we can fully commit to the Glow-with-a-capital-G. (For our colder-climate peeps who are still feeling the effects of winter weather, check out our guide on how to recuperate your skin and revive your complexion here!)

These are the skincare products we’re using to achieve that effervescent, spring-has-sprung glow:

Acne Facial Cleanser

Before you keep scrolling, this face wash isn’t only for acne skin. Combination skin—especially come spring and summer—can benefit from this too. During this time of the year your skin can get a little temperamental. As it adjusts to the warmer weather, combo skin tends to experience increased oiliness, T-zone congestion, and the occasional pimple or two.

So, rather than sit and wait for all that to happen, get ahead of the game. Take preventative measures by incorporating the Acne Facial Cleanser into your daily regimen. Its Salicylic Acid content is what helps keep skin in check. Exfoliating properties of Salicylic Acid enable it to deep clean and help dissolve pore-clogging impurities known to lead to breakouts or blackheads. And though this cleanser is incredibly effective at promoting clarity, it’s gentle—which means skin won’t feel dry or tight.

Cucumber Cleansing Lotion

It’s cooling, it’s clarifying, it’s Cucumber. And before we make you sick with alliteration, two things:

  1. Cucumber boasts natural astringent and tightening properties that make it a must-have for clarifying combination, oily skin.
  2. Those mysterious things floating around in your bottle aren’t so mysterious. They’re slices of real Cucumber. J

A.H.A. & Ceramide Moisturizer

This lightweight, multi-tasking moisturizer hydrates and boosts brightness. Ceramides soften and smooth as Lemon and Lemongrass work to rejuvenate dull skin while diminishing the look of discoloration.

Herbal Hydrating Serum

Think of the A.H.A. & Ceramide Moisturizer as your brightening base and the Herbal Hydrating Serum as your glow-getting topper. Apply this water-light gel wherever you need extra hydration or want to give your complexion a dewy finish—like around the nose and apples of your cheeks.

Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater

Mist on clean skin before moisturizer, then mist again after makeup for even more radiance. Like I said earlier: We’re going full throttle with this glow-getting theme. All. Or. Nothing.

And it doesn’t stop here.

Enzyme Revitalizing Mask

Let this be your mid-week pick-me-up and weekend spa treat. Perfect for dull, tired skin in need of a major boost, this mask does exactly what its name says it does: revitalize. For those who like instant gratification, this is a must for your glowing skin regimen.

Summer Shine Body Lotion

Sometimes you just want that extra oomph. This is it: It’s pure, tropical deliciousness that’s been infused with a fine shimmer…which means it lives up to its name and then some. With a subtle golden glimmer and a hint of summer vacations to come, Summer Shine Body Lotion is exactly what you need to achieve that glow (or when you need a pick-me-up).

We love applying it wherever the sun would naturally hit our skin: the front of our legs, top of the shoulders, down the arm, and décolletage.



by Nicole Darmanin

Mario Badescu Facial FAQs

Planning a trip to Visit the Mario Badescu Facial Salon in NYC?

Here’s what to expect!

Plus: FAQs, tips, and a few anecdotes about the Mario Badescu Facial and the salon that has been the heart of the brand for 50 years!
Mario Badescu Salon front desk
What exactly is a “Mario Badescu Facial”?
The classic European Facial at the Mario Badescu Skin Care Salon consists of a steam, deep pore cleansing (aka extractions), and hand selection of treatments chosen for your skin type.
What kind of facial should I book?
Our goal is to make sure that your facial addresses your individual needs. Because of this, we strongly suggest that everyone book the standard “European Facial”. This appointment will allow time for any special treatments that you would like to add on. While we know that the Gold Mask sounds amazing, it may not be what your skin needs right now. This is why we suggest selecting any add-on treatments after your aesthetician has the chance to evaluate your skin and make suggestions.

Will my visit to the Mario Badescu Spa be a Zen-like experience?
Yes and no. This is a tricky question. I’ve first-hand had hundreds of barely coherent conversations with post-facial clients who are sleepily floating their way out of our doors after their Mario Badescu facial. Even more guests have told me that they’ve fallen asleep during their treatments. However (insert record scratch), there are a few things to consider. Our number one priority is to help your skin look its very best. There are many spas where the main goal is to help you relax. I really like those places. Those places are lovely. I even visit them myself. . .when I need to relax. When my skin is rebelling, the Mario Badescu Salon is the only place I go.
Why might a Mario Badescu facial not feel very Zen-like? Firstly, extractions pinch. Secondly, our bustling salon has been a skin care institution on Manhattan’s East Side for 50 years. That’s five decades of solid problem-solving skin care. And five decades of growth, in a residential building, in New York City–do you see where I’m going here? We’ve grown into every available square foot and currently have 37 treatment rooms. In fact, when we are completely booked we accommodate over 150 facials a day!
That’s a lot of clients (not to mention aestheticians, skin specialists, managers, and housekeeping staff) coming in and out of our door. There are some days when we are positively BUZZING and the activity is palpable. I absolutely love the energy and seeing all of our amazing clients (many of whom we know by name, hi guys!), but at those moments I probably wouldn’t describe the atmosphere as perfectly peaceful.

Who is your best aesthetician?
There isn’t one. Not what you wanted to hear? I know, but hear me out.
The salon has many aestheticians on staff and each and every one of them has their own loyal following who thinks she is the best. If you happen to have a friend who is a regular client at the salon, we suggest asking for a recommendation from them. Since they know your personality, they may be able to do a great job playing matchmaker!
How often should I have a Mario Badescu facial?
The general advice we give is to come in every 4-6 weeks. However, if you are working one-on-one with an aesthetician, they may customize a different plan for you.
Mario Badescu facial room detail
How far in advance do I have to book my appointment?
For weekend or evening appointments, I suggest calling two weeks in advance for the most options. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give us a try if you need an appointment with less notice; you’ll just have the best chance of getting the exact appointment time that you are hoping for if you book further out.
For daytime appointments during the week, you can usually snag an appointment same-day.

Where exactly is the salon?
The Mario Badescu Skin Care Salon is housed on the ground level of a residential building on Manhattan’s East Side. The address is 320 East 52nd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues.
The salon is tucked away with our only signage being a plaque on the left side of the building’s entrance. Once you enter the building, there is a doorman who can point you in the right direction.

No facial? No worries!
You don’t have to be booked for a facial to come visit Mario Badescu’s flagship location. We have lots of customers who come to shop for products and get our in-house staff’s expert product recommendations. Fun fact: This is the only place that carries the entire Mario Badescu Skin Care line. So, please visit, don’t be shy. We’d love to meet you!

by Nicole Darmanin

Best Face Moisturizer for Your Type

Your choice of moisturizer can make or break your skin care regimen. Bold statement, I know, but I’m standing by it.

The way I see it, moisturizer is pretty much the porridge of skin care—you know, like from Goldilocks? If a face cream is too rich it can cause blackheads and breakouts. If it is too lightweight, it will leave your skin feeling dehydrated and tight. To win a coveted spot in your medicine cabinet it has to be just right, doesn’t it?  I can stick it out to the end of a bottle of cleanser that isn’t quite right until I try a new one. Heck, I’ll use pretty much any eye cream until I hit the bottom of the jar, but if I suspect that my face lotion has caused one single pimple . . .mmm, bye.

face moisturizers for every skin type

Because of this, I’ve created this guide to help you navigate our assortment. Keep reading to find the one that is “just right” for your individual skin type: 

Very Dry
Complex Moisturizer with Vitamin E SPF 20: Everything that dry, delicate skin needs in one place. Creamy, comforting moisture, antioxidant Vitamin E, and sun protection make this classic formula a long-time favorite of our most loyal customers.

Hydrating Moisturizer with Biocare & Hyaluronic Acid: For when you want the same cushiony formula as the Complex with Vitamin E without the sunscreen. Hyaluronic Acid adds moisture-binding muscle to help soften even the driest skin.

The Moisture Magnet SPF 15: Dry skin? This is your go-to. This best-selling formula thoroughly hydrates without sitting heavily on the skin and shields you from the harmful rays of the sun.

Cellufirm Moisturizer: Peptides, Collagen, and Vitamin E work to boost hydration levels . . .and your youthful appearance!

Hyaluronic Moisturizer SPF 15: Hyaluronic Acid helps to hydrate dry areas and SPF 15 protects.

Honey Moisturizer: This super-sweet, mid-weight formula sinks right in and uses Honey Extract to soften and hydrate.

Collagen Moisturizer SPF 15: A favorite of the staff at Mario Badescu’s New York City Salon, this feel-good staple contains Cottonseed Oil to replenish any dry bits without adding too much moisture to areas that lean oily.

Buttermilk Moisturizer: This classic was originally formulated by Mario Badescu himself, and is perfect for those who need replenishment but prefer the feeling of ultra-lightweight formulas. Lactic Acid helps up your glow factor.

Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 17: This tried-and-true go-to never disappoints. If you have combo/oily skin, this is a must.

A.H.A. & Ceramide Moisturizer: Keep it light and bright, literally. AHAs gently brighten while this lightweight formula imparts just the right amount of moisture to combo/oily skin types.

#MBSkinTip: Not into ultra-rich night creams? Try A.H.A. & Ceramide, Honey, or Buttermilk as part of your PM regimen.

Oily and Acne-Prone
Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30: We love this 3-in-1 formula that combines reparative Green Tea, oil-free hydration, and broad spectrum sunscreen.

Oil Free Moisturizer: The perfect boost to restore balance to oily and acne-prone skin.

Very Oily/Acne-Prone (and everyone else)
Herbal Hydrating Serum: Ok, this is technically a serum, but I’m including it in this post because it is my secret weapon for keeping my notoriously persnickety skin happy and hydrated. Herbal Hydrating Serum can be applied alone to the very oiliest skin types. It can also be used on any skin type in conjunction with any moisturizer. Herbal Hydrating Serum is a win for everyone.


Now that we have that sorted, where did those bears go?

by Kimberly Yang

What’s the Difference Between Drying Lotion, Drying Cream & Buffering Lotion?

Congrats! You’ve come to the right place for fast-acting, clear skin solutions. But with not one, but three spot treatments in front of you, which of these Mario Badescu products will work best for your breakouts?

mario badescu drying lotion review buffering cream

Whiteheads? Use Drying Lotion.

Drying Lotion is the original, award-winning product that targets pimples while you sleep. It was formulated by Badescu himself in the 1960s and has since taken top shelf in medicine cabinets around the world.

Here’s how Drying Lotion works:

  1. Whatever you do, don’t shake the bottle. It’s tempting—it’s the first thing most people do when they see it—but Drying Lotion is meant to work as a bi-phase solution.
  2. Dip a cotton swab into the pink sediment. Here’s a tip: use the smaller, fine-tipped cotton swabs for more precise application. It’ll grab less product too, which means your bottle will last you a little longer.
  3. Apply the product directly to whiteheads. Think of Drying Lotion as a tiny pink mask for every pimple. Leave it on overnight and wash everything off come morning. Voila!

Small bumps and pimples? Use Drying Cream.

Drying Cream is specially formulated to target and dry up those clusters of small bumps and blemishes. After you’ve cleansed and toned your skin, pat a small amount of the cream on those breakouts. The powerful Sulfur and Zinc Oxide formula works to clarify troubled areas so skin appears smoother and clearer the next morning.

Large and painful, under-the-skin bumps? Use Buffering Lotion.

These are the kind of bumps that hurt to the touch and feel deeply rooted in the skin. Because this type of breakout doesn’t come to a head, they require a little extra care. Enter Buffering Lotion, a unique solution to these blemishes.

Unlike most spot treatments, Buffering Lotion isn’t a paste or gel-like product. Instead, it’s super thin and water-y in consistency, which enables it to sink quickly into the skin and target problems at the root—so don’t be alarmed when you first start using it!

For starters, do shake the bottle: you want the white sediment to mix with the liquid so it turns milky-white in color. For every spot you see, squeeze one drop onto a clean fingertip and gently pat it onto the blemish.

(Need all three solutions? Get our Acne Repair Kit and save.)

…so what’s the Anti-Acne Serum¸ you ask?

Anti-Acne Serum isn’t a spot treatment. It’s a super lightweight gel that’s designed to re-balance skin and promote a clearer complexion. Here’s how: Salicylic Acid (a powerful beta hydroxy acid) helps rid the skin of pore-clogging sebum and dead skin cells—which when left to accumulate, leads to breakouts—and allows Thyme Extract to clarify pores.

It’s easy to use too. Apply nightly on breakout and blackhead-prone areas to keep skin looking clear for the long-run.

.   .   .



by Kimberly Yang

The Monthly Edit: How to Fix Winter Skin

Winter left us high and dry—literally. So while we wait for warmer weather and the snow to finally melt, we’re in recuperation mode: think at-home mini facials with our favorite masks, glow-boosting serums, and taking the time to exfoliate every nook and cranny so flaky, dry skin is a thing of yester-year.

Here’s how we’re going to fix winter skin:

spring how to fix winter skin


We’re going to up the ante on our cleansing game. We love a good, creamy cleanser, but to help whip skin back into shape, Enzyme Cleansing Gel is the face wash for the job. Fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) break down that accumulation of dulling dead skin cells and surface impurities, leaving skin looking brighter and smoother to the touch.

And to maintain that fresh-faced complexion, exfoliate up to three times a week. (If you’re dry, aim for one to two times a week. If you’re oily, exfoliate two to three times a week.) Strawberry Face Scrub is our April go-to that’s equally indulgent as it is effective. Real strawberry seeds are included to gently buff as Strawberry Extract gives skin an antioxidant boost—which means skin is never left feeling dry or tight.


Don’t underestimate the power of toner in a #glowup routine. Glycolic Acid Toner takes top shelf this month.

Dehydration and months of harsh, winter weather can exacerbate the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration, which is why we’re reaching for a powerful anti-aging toner. Glycolic Acid not only works to dissolve pore-clogging impurities (which can build up when we get oilier in response to warmer weather), but also works to soften the look of fine lines and minimize the appearance of discoloration. If glowing, youthful skin is #goals, regular exfoliation and an AHA or BHA-infused toner are the key to success.

#MBSkinTip: Listen to your skin. If you’re feeling a little dry or sensitive, give your skin a break from exfoliating products and instead, focus on hydrating your skin.


Here’s a little #MBSkinTip from an insider: Add a few drops of Herbal Hydrating Serum before or after your favorite moisturizer and you’re guaranteed a hydration boost that leaves your skin fresh and dewy.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you have to. The texture is incredibly unique, for starters: it’s this cooling, water-light gel that immediately sinks in. As you blend it, you’ll notice just how much smoother and rejuvenated your skin feels (thanks to a blend of invigorating botanicals and skin-softening Ceramides) as you blend the serum in.

Here are a few more reasons why we love Herbal Hydrating Serum.


Fixing winter skin and prepping it for warmer, spring weather is a delicate balancing act. You need to do something about the dryness and dullness, but you also have to address the pore congestion and increase in oil production.

Your solution? Multi-masking.

There’s a myriad of combinations with all the masks at your fingertips. Start by checking out our guide on which mask is best for your skin and take note on concerns you want to target for each area of your face.

New to multi-masking? Look closely at your skin and you’ll notice that some parts of your face are drier or oilier than others. Then, prescribe accordingly. For example: If your T-zone area (middle of forehead, nose, front of cheeks) are prone to congestion but your cheeks are looking dry and dull, use a clay-based mask on the center of your face (like our Cucumber Tonic Mask) and a hydrating mask (like Enzyme Revitalizing Mask) everywhere else.


Three words, one product: Vitamin C Serum. (Need more convincing? Here are a few reasons why this baby has been a non-negotiable staple in my regimen for the past five years.)