Mario Badescu Silver Powder Review – Beautiful With Brains


mario badescu silver powder review

Can I be honest about Mario Badescu Silver Powder here? The name Silver Powder makes me think more of a scammy concoction some snake oil salesman whipped up in his kitchen than a professional skincare treatment to unclog pores. But if it works, I’ll take it. Does it? Work, I mean. Here’s the truth about Mario Badescu Silver Powder, so you’ll know if it’s the real deal to treat acne or if it’s better left on the shelves of Sephora…

Key Ingredients In Mario Badescu Silver Powder: What Makes It Work?


They key ingredients in Mario Badescu Silver Powder are kaolin and calcium carbonate, two oil-absorbers. Here’s the deal: when your skin pumps out too much oil, the excess gets stuck in the pores. Here, it mixes with your dead cells and other crap to form clogs. If there’s an infection, you get pimples. If not, you “only” get a blackhead or a whitehead.

Remove the excess oil and no acne shows up. That’s a job for oil-absorbers. Kaolin and calcium carbonate soak up excess oil, preventing it from clogging your pores. But – and this is a big but – they can’t remove all the gunk that is already inside them. You need salicylic acid for that.

Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is Key To Spot-Free Skin


Wait, what the heck is a sunscreen filter doing in Mario Badescu Silver Powder?! Turns out, zinc oxide is more multitasking than you give it credit for. Zinc Oxide ain’t here to protect your pimples from the sun. It’s here because of its  whitening, thickening, and lubricating properties.

The catch? High amounts of zinc oxide can sometimes clog pores. It doesn’t happen often but if you’re one of the few people who have this reaction to zinc oxide, Silver Powder ain’t the best pore unclogging treatment for you.

Related: Is Zinc Oxide The Best UV Filter Ever?


It’s a white powder. Nuff said. Seriously, I can’t describe it better than this.


It’s fragrance-free. Like all the best skincare products. Fragrance is the most irritating ingredient in skincare and has no place in your lotions and potions, if you ask me (which I guess you are, if you’re reading my blog).

How To Use It

Here’s how Mario Badescu says to use the powder:

  1. Dip a water-dampened cotton pad into powder OR: collect a small amount of the powder.
  2. Mix with water to create a paste.
  3. Press on shiny t-zone.
  4. Wait 10 minutes.
  5. Remove with toner. 

Use 1-2 times a week.

It’s a bit of a pain to ask me. I prefer a Salicylic Acid exfoliant I can just pat on and stays on the skin for hours. But if you don’t mind the process, go ahead.


Mario Badescu Silver Powder comes in a white jar. I usually don’t like this kind of packaging, but for a powder it’s ok. There’s not as much risk of bacteria contamination or formula spoilage.

Want a cheap skincare routine for acne-prone skin that really works? Subscribe to the newsletter below to receive “The Ordinary Acne Skincare Routine” cheatsheet:

Performance & Personal Opinion

Mario Badescu Silver Powder is a one trick pony. It absorbs excess oil alright, but that’s all it does. Don’t get me wrong. Soaking up as much excess oil as possible is an important job. Too much sebum is one of the factors that contribute to acne. But it’s not the only one.

You know where I’m heading with this. It’s a handy tool to have in your anti-acne arsenal, not the silver bullet that will rid you of acne forever. Actually… let me rephrase that. It’d be a handy tool to have in your anti-acne arsenal if it weren’t so damn messy to use.

You have to mix the powder with water and getting the right consistency can be tricky. Add too much water and the mixture becomes so runny, it’ll slide right off your face. Use too little and it’ll be so thick, it won’t adhere well to the skin. I think I’m sticking with clay masks.

review mario badescu silver powder

How Does Mario Badescu Silver Powder Compare To Other Mario Badescu Anti-Acne Products?

Mario Badescu has literally an arsenal of anti-acne products. But they’re not all created equal. Which ones are worth getting and how do they compare to Mario Badescu Silver Powder? Do you need all of them or only a few? Let’s find out:

  • Mario Badescu Anti-Acne Serum ($20.00): This isn’t a serum. It’s a salicylic acid exfoliant that unclogs pores to prevent and treat all forms of acne. Use it only every other day. Available at Beauty Bay, Blue Mercury, Mario Badescu, Sephora, and Ulta.
  • Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion ($20.00): It claims to treat blemishes under the skin, but only salicylic acid can do that and it ain’t here. This lotion soothes skin, but there are better products around. I don’t recommend it.
  • Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($18.00): The active ingredient’s here is sulfur. It’s the fastest way to get rid of pimples I’ve come across so far. But it’s drying. Use it on pimples only. Available at Beauty Bay, Boots, Cult Beauty, Sephora, and Ulta.
  • Mario Badescu Drying Mask ($20.00): A mask with kaolin and sulphur to absorb excess oil and shrink pimples. It works wonders, but it’s drying. Use it on pimples only, never on clean skin. Available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, Mario Badescu, and Ulta.
  • Mario Badescu Drying Patch ($18.00): I don’t recommend patches. For starters, the glue that makes them stick to your skin can irritate it when you remove them. Plus, there’s not enough of salicylic acid, a pore-unclogging exfoliant, to do the job.
  • Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask ($20.00): This mask is a mixed bag. It has zinc oxide to protect skin, kaolin to absorb excess oil, and oatmeal (yes, oatmeal!) to soothe irritations. But it has some natural oils and fragrant extracts that may be problematic for acne-prone skin. It’s best for people with minor acne. Available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Mario Badescu, and Ulta.

What I Like About Mario Badescu Silver Powder

  • Fragrance-free
  • Helps to absorb excess oil

What I DON’T Like About Mario Badescu Silver Powder

  • Messy to use
  • It’s not enough to treat acne on its own

Who Should Use This?

It’s a clay mask, so it’s suitable only for oily and acne-prone skin that produces excess oil. If your skin doesn’t produce excess oil, it’s just not for you.

Does Mario Badescu Silver Powder Live Up To Its Claims?

Suitable for all skin types. It’s NOT suitable for dry skin. Why would you use something to absorb excess oil if you don’t have any excess oil?!
Mix the oil-absorbent powder with water to create a paste that removes oils, dirt and blackheads whilst minimising and smoothing pores. It can remove excess oil and some dirt, but it can’t get rid of blackheads.

Price & Availability

$12.00/£12.00 at Cult Beauty, Mario Badescu, Sephora, and SpaceNK

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

If you’re the DIY type on the lookout for an oil-absorber to keep your pores free and pimples from coming back, Mario Badescu Silver Powder may be worth the hassle for you.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Clinique Acne Oil Control Cleansing Mask ($30.00): A clay mask with kaolin and soothing agents to absorb excess oil and reduce inflammation. Available at Boots, Clinique, Sephora, and UIta.

Have you tried Mario Badescu Silver Powder? Share your experience in the comments below.

Calcium Carbonate, Kaolin, Zinc Oxide



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay in Touch

To follow the best weight loss journeys, success stories and inspirational interviews with the industry's top coaches and specialists. Start changing your life today!


Related Articles