Conditioning Acne Scrub
6 fl. oz. for $6.29
Last Updated:10.21.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Another day, another anti-acne product whose formula may mean well but ends up harming skin due to the irritants it contains. In the case of this scrub for acne (and keep in mind scrubbing skin is not going to eliminate acne; in fact, it can worsen it), the irritants include fragrant bergamot oil, menthol, and fragrance. All of these can make breakouts worse and encourage skin's oil glands to produce more oil (see More Info for details).

Although this scrub is medicated with anti-acne ingredient salicylic acid, its benefit is rinsed from skin before it can do much good. Without the aforementioned irritants, this would be a decent scrub for those times when extra cleansing is needed (the formula contains cleansing agents) but please, if you're struggling with acne, skip the scrub and use a well-formulated salicylic acid (BHA) leave-on exfoliant instead. Our favorites can be found on our list of Best BHA Exfoliants.

  • Leaves skin smooth and soft.
  • Rinses easily.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Acne cannot be scrubbed away.
  • Contains irritating ingredients that can make acne and oily skin worse.
  • Cannot prevent pimples because the active ingredient is quickly rinsed from skin.
  • Absolutely not "gentle enough to use every day"!
More Info:

Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).


A scrub gentle enough to use every day, Stridex Conditioning Acne Scrub delivers Single-Step Acne Control®. It treats your complexion, helps prevent pimples, and leaves skin looking and feeling clean, smooth and refreshed.


Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (2% w/w) (Acne Treatment), Inactive Ingredients: Acrylamide Copolymer, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Citrus Auranitium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance, Glycerin, Honey, Lauryl Glucoside, Malpighia Glabra (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Maltodextrin, Menthol, Mica, Polyethylene, Purified Water, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopheryl Acetate.

Brand Overview

Stridex At-A-Glance

Strengths: A couple of benzoyl peroxide options that are fragrance- and irritant-free.

Weaknesses: All the pads with salicylic acid contain irritants such as menthol, alcohol, or witch hazel; poor cleansers; no oil-absorbing products; no effective AHA or BHA products.

Long a drugstore staple in the anti-acne section of skin-care products, Stridex, like so many lines aimed at blemish-prone skin, has yet to offer an effective range of products. None of the options with salicylic acid are advisable due to the presence of needless irritants, and the cleansers share the same problem. The only bright spot is that Stridex offers two benzoyl peroxide products. They both include 2.5% as an active ingredient, an amount many will find successful, and these are effective, irritant-free, and affordable. Otherwise, this line is seemingly convinced that the path to clear skin involves lots of menthol. If menthol were an anti-acne ally, this line would be a slam-dunk—but it isn't. There isn't a shred of research showing menthol has any benefit for skin, for blemishes or for any skin type. Using these products with their injurious irritants will only hinder skin's healing process and worsen the inflammation seen in most cases of acne.

For more information about Stri-Dex, call (888) 784-2472 or visit www.stridex.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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