The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is the Lamborghini of acne treatments: It’s incredibly powerful, looks pretty cool, and doesn't come cheap — a tiny 1-ounce bottle costs $17. Whether they’re drying lotions or another form of acne treatment, the best Mario Badescu Drying Lotion dupes contain several of the same unique pimple-fighting ingredients, but cost far less than the original.
And it’s those unique ingredients that make the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (and its cheaper alternatives) such an effective acne treatment. The signature formula contains seven key ingredients (plus some other things, like water): camphor, sulfur, zinc oxide, talc, salicylic acid, glycerin, and calamine lotion — aka the pink sediment settled at the bottom of the bottle, which you must resist the overpowering urge to shake. This powerful elixir provides a combination of pore-clearing, oil-absorbing, skin-soothing effects that dry up pimples and reduce redness and inflammation overnight.
That said, MBDL isn’t actually the best choice for all consumers all the time. According to the brand, MBDL only works on surfaced pimples and whiteheads, and it’s not super effective on cystic acne and blackheads. It also may not be the most efficient choice if you’re hoping to treat breakouts that take up more real estate on your face or body.