DIY January | Make Your Own Drying Lotion (Mario Badescu Dupe)

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The dreaded January blues. Even the most prepared find themselves dragging their feet through this awful month. Unlike Christmas, January brings upon us motivation, dedication and self-improvement. Whether or not we admit it to ourselves, we all make a little promise, come the new year, to better our lives.

January is not only the month of self-improvement, but for many it’s the month of financial strain. In other words – we’re all broke as shit after Christmas. Even the most financially secure feel the pain post crimbo; which is why I’ve dedicated this month to ‘DIY January’. A four week stretch of DIY beauty/well being products; which you can cook up at home for a fraction of the retail value. Not only do they offer the chance for us to look after ourselves a little better, but they’re completely natural and purse friendly.

Kicking starting ‘DIY January’ is my take on the infamous Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. A highly coveted acne treatment; which promises to zap zits overnight with a mere swab of a cotton bud. Loved by women all over the world, including some very famous faces, this is one of those wonder products; which should be included in everyone’s skincare regime regardless of how frequently they get a breakout. It’s not the most expensive product on the market, but at £14.00 for 28ml it can become a pretty expensive habit.

Upon inspection of its cute glass bottle, I notice that the core ingredients are fairly limited. Calamine and Salicylic Acid play integral parts in sucking out the crap from your blemish whilst soothing the surrounding area. This got me thinking – why am I not able to make this at home?! I’ve had Calamine lotion sitting in my bathroom cabinet for as long as I can remember (torturous childhood memories of chicken pox just came flooding back to me). All I need is a little astringent, a fancy little bottle and I’m good to go.

What you’ll need:-

Calamine Lotion
Tea Tree Oil
Water
Storage container
Mixing bowl or empty water bottle

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There’s really not much to it is there? I mean, who doesn’t have Calamine Lotion in their bathroom cabinet?! Ok, if you’re under the age of 40 you probably don’t and you probably don’t know the benefits of this pink-hued stuff. Let’s take a look at the ingredients shall we? –

Calamine Lotion – A topic medication made up of zinc oxide, ferric oxide, phenol and calcium hydroxide. Used for a combination of aliments, its most common use is for soothing irritated skin i.e. chicken pox and sunburn. What it’s not known for is its effective treatment of acne. Calamine lotion soothes the redness and reduces the inflammation of acne due to its zinc oxide ingredient. Its astringent-like action reduces the outbreak of acne by absorbing the excess oil produced by over-stimulated sebaceous glands.

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Tea Tree oil – Used widely across Australia, this pungent yet powerful essential oil is derived from the plant Melaleuca Alternifolia. Tea Tree’s anti-bacterial properties makes it a powerful ingredient for drawing out impurities from a blemish. However, much like its smell, the oil itself is powerful and needs to be diluted with a little water in order to avoid burning the skin.

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All of my ingredients/tools were purchased from Superdrug for a total of £5.89, that’s a saving of just over £8 compared to the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. If you haven’t got a Superdrug close by, don’t worry, all of these ingredients can be easily found in pharmacies and other beauty supply stores. I would advise, however, to use a smaller sized bottle than I did. I picked up this empty 100ml bottle thinking it would make for the perfect size, without realising that my cotton buds (q-tips) weren’t long enough to reach the sediment from the bottom.

Method:-

1. Grab empty container and remove cap
2. Give your Calamine Lotion a good shake in its own bottle and add to the container. Only fill about 1/3 of the way. Allow a few minutes for the pink sediment to settle to the bottom of the bottle before continuing.
3. In a separate mixing container, mix together 2 parts Tea Tree oil and 1 part water. Add as much or as little as you like as long as you keep the ratio the same.
4. Proceed with adding this oil/water mixture to your container of Calamine Lotion. Slowly does it – you don’t want to erupt the sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
5. Don’t shake the bottle (like I did), but allow for the sediment to completely settle and for the oil/water to separate from the pink sand.

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From this point on, your mixture won’t look like it’s separated much. The pink, fluffy concoction will resemble a sort of milkshake. Don’t panic. I had to allow mine to settle for around two days before it resembled the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion!

Much like its designer counterpart, when you get a spot coming along you simply grab a cotton bud, fully submerge it into the solution (so that it grabs a little pink sediment and a little oil) and apply directly onto the affected area. This is to be kept on overnight to awake to a completely dried up spot with no scarring of any kind. You must keep the solution out of direct sunlight and, if maintained, will keep for over a year!

Does it work as well as the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion? Yes it does and the ingredients; which I purchased could make a further 3 bottles! That means that for £5.89 I could make 2 years worth of drying lotion in comparison to a 28ml bottle at £14; which would probably only last me 6 months with continuous use. Bargain? You can bet your face on it!

Here’s a link to the ingredients/tools; which I used:-

Calamine Lotion – here

Tea Tree Oil – here (but you can get bigger bottles from Amazon)

Empty container – here (again, try searching on Amazon for smaller bottles, unless you have abnormally large q-tips. Keep the container clear, you’ll want to see the solution is separated at all times)