Stridex Maximum Soft Touch Pads
Stridex's Maximum Pads are pitched as a powerful and easy way to treat acne breakouts without the irritation of alcohol. While those claims are absolutely true, they don't tell the whole story, because these pads aren't gentle. The solution they're steeped in contains some other not-so-great ingredients no one's skin needs.
First, the good: Maximum Pads come soaked in a solution whose active ingredient is 2% salicylic acid. Long considered a powerhouse when it comes to treating acne, the 2% concentration means this does stand a good chance of reducing oiliness and breakouts. True to the brand's claims, these pads don't contain drying alcohol, which is great news since many acne treatments include alcohol in their formulas.
Alcohol was nixed, but other irritants are still here, and those include fragrance and menthol. While they're not present in the highest concentrations, they can trigger irritation, which could lead to increased oiliness and breakouts (see More Info for details on the connection between irritation and oily skin).
For anti-acne products that effectively treat breakouts and are free of potential irritants, see our list of Best Acne & Blemish Treatments.
- Contains an effective amount of salicylic acid for treating acne.
- Contains potentially 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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