Stridex Maximum Strength Pads

I recommend these pads to people all the time, and I think they're one of the best budget skincare products around for anyone suffering from blackheads or spots. I hunted them down on Amazon after reading countless glowing reviews on American beauty sites, and within a just a few days of use I realised that my skin had found its soul-mate.

These pads contain 2% salicylic acid, a BHA that in high concentrations is effective enough to tackle warts, corns and gross thick foot skin, but in lower concentrations does an amazing job at gently dissolving build up of skin cells, dirt and sebum in pores. For this reason, salicylic acid is used in a lot of products aimed at treating mild to moderate acne but often in concentrations too low to be really effective, or in conjunction with highly astringent ingredients (which might temporarily help to dry out oily, acneic skin but ultimately will disrupt skin balance and do more harm than good). Stridex pads contain some ingredients that definitely have potential to be irritating (such as menthol, which is wholly unpleasant if it gets too close to your eyes), so proceed with caution if you're especially sensitive, but they're one of the gentler options I've tried.

My skin is prone to congestion (if I skip my AHAs/BHAs for a few days my whole face ends up covered in bumpy blocked pores) and these pads are the most effective thing I've found to keep it looking smooth. I have the infuriating issue of being prone to spots and blocked pores but simultaneously having dry, sensitive skin with occasional rosacea flare-ups. Most products strong enough to cope with the former will aggravate the latter, and vice-versa. It's a catch-22, but the Stridex pads are gentle enough to use on my skin while also preventing blocked pores and other problems I tend to experience from the rich creams I need.

I use the Stridex pads immediately after cleansing a few nights a week. As they contain an acid it's not a great idea to follow with another AHA/BHA product, but retinoids are fine as long as your skin's used to them. Just wipe a pad onto clean dry skin, give it a couple of minutes and then follow with whichever serum/oil/moisturiser you normally use (don't skip that last part, moisturising is important after putting on even a mild acid like this one!).

Stridex pads are incredibly inexpensive at at £4.77 for 55 from Amazon . Having loved First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads I recently tried their Blemish Patrol Pads, which contain the same active ingredients as Stridex. At £22.00 for 60 from FeelUnique I expected to be wowed but disappointingly they felt similar on application and produced the same effects in my skin - undeniably brilliant but I regret paying the extra.

This is one of those deeply satisfying times when the budget option really is the best.
Follow me on Bloglovin' and Twitter to keep up to date with new posts!


  1. I must try these out!! They sound like exactly what my skin is needing at the moment x


    1. They are fab, just one of those no fuss products that really gets the job done! x

  2. I use to use these every day. They were my go to acne treatment!

    ♥ Crystal

  3. I've never heard of these bad boys before, but I'm heading over to Amazon right now to find out more haha my skin has gone terrible recently!!