Stridex Essential Soft Touch Pads
Stridex's anti-acne Essential Pads feature some great ingredients to help fight breakouts, in a form that's convenient and easy to use. The problem is that these pads also include some ingredients that can make acne worse.
Each pad is soaked in a solution that contains 1% salicylic acid as its active ingredient. Salicylic acid is one of the gold standard topical ingredients for treating oily skin and breakouts, and the 1% concentration is a good starting point for those new to this ingredient.
Stridex says what sets these pads apart from their counterparts is that they contain vitamins C and E and that they don't contain alcohol. OK, that's encouraging…but there's a catch: Vitamins C and E are great additions (they're antioxidants that help soothe skin), they're not present here in great amounts, and the jar packaging means they won't remain stable or effective once the container is opened (see More Info for why antioxidants need to be kept away from both light and air).
Another issue is that even though this formula doesn't include alcohol, it does contain fragrance and menthol, both known irritants. The irritation they trigger could lead to even oilier skin and more breakouts, the last thing you want if you're buying a product like this (see More Info for irritation's connection to acne).
See our list of Best Acne & Blemish Treatments for anti-acne products that effectively treat breakouts, are free of known irritants, and contain additional soothing ingredients.
- Contains an effective amount of salicylic acid for treating acne.
- Jar packaging will not keep the vitamins contained in this formula stable.
- Contains irritating ingredients that could increase oil production and breakouts.
Not being gentle to skin can increase oily skin & breakouts: Using harsh, irritating ingredients or cleansing brushes with stiff bristles is a serious problem for all skin types, especially for those with oily, combination, and acne-prone skin.
Research has clearly established that when skin is irritated, the oil gland at the base of each pore is stimulated to make more oil, creating a perfect environment for breakouts, white bumps, and clogged pores to get worse.
Using a product that is gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin—this is true even if you cannot see or feel the damage taking place.
It is also vitally important to use products that research has shown are beneficial for oily skin, clogged pores, and breakouts. The gold standard over-the-counter ingredients for these concerns are salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2016, pages 25–30
Journal of European Dermatology and Venerology, May 2014, pages 527–532
Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, pages 433–438
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, April 2011, pages 41–53
Dermato-Endocrinology, January-March 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, page 764
Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422–427
Stridex has long been a staple of the anti-acne section of drugstore skincare aisles, offering a small but well-known range of products designed to treat and prevent breakouts. The star ingredient in most of its offerings is salicylic acid, the gold standard when it comes to treating blemishes, and all its products are alcohol-free. Unfortunately most contain other ingredients (such as menthol and fragrance) that could lead to skin irritation, which can worsen breakouts.
For more information about Stridex, call (888) 784-2472 or visit www.stridex.com.
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