mario badescu silver powder review

Can I be honest here?

The name Silver Powder makes me think more of a scammy concoction some snake oil salesman whipped up in his kitchen than a professional skincare treatment to unclog pores.

But if it works, I’ll take it. Does it?

Work, I mean. Here’s the truth about Mario Badescu Silver Powder

What’s In Mario Badescu Silver Powder?


They key ingredients in Mario Badescu Silver Powder are kaolin and calcium carbonate, two oil-absorbers.

Here’s the deal: when your skin pumps out too much oil, the excess gets stuck in the pores. Here, it mixes with your dead cells and other crap to form clogs. If there’s an infection, you get pimples. If not, you “only” get a blackhead or a whitehead.

Remove the excess oil and no acne shows up. That’s a job for oil-absorbers. Kaolin and calcium carbonate soak up excess oil, preventing it from clogging your pores.

But – and this is a big but – they can’t remove all the gunk that is already inside them. You need salicylic acid for that.

Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is Key To Spot-Free Skin


Wait, what the heck is a sunscreen filter doing in Mario Badescu Silver Powder?!

Turns out, zinc oxide is more multitasking than you give it credit for. Zinc Oxide ain’t here to protect your pimples from the sun. It’s here because of its  whitening, thickening, and lubricating properties.

The catch? High amounts of zinc oxide can sometimes clog pores. It doesn’t happen often but if you’re one of the few people who have this reaction to zinc oxide, Silver Powder ain’t the best pore unclogging treatment for you.

Related: Is Zinc Oxide The Best UV Filter Ever?


It’s a powder. Nuff said.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

You have to mix the powder with water.

Want a cheap skincare routine for acne-prone skin that really works? Subscribe to the newsletter below to receive “The Ordinary Acne Skincare Routine” cheatsheet:

Performance & Personal Opinion

Mario Badescu Silver Powder is a one trick pony. It absorbs excess oil alright, but that’s all it does.

Don’t get me wrong. Soaking up as much excess oil as possible is an important job. Too much sebum is one of the factors that contribute to acne. But it’s not the only one.

You know where I’m heading with this. It’s a handy tool to have in your anti-acne arsenal, not the silver bullet that will rid you of acne forever.

Actually… let me rephrase that. It’d be a handy tool to have in your anti-acne arsenal if it weren’t so damn messy to use.

You have to mix the powder with water and getting the right consistency can be tricky. Add too much water and the mixture becomes so runny, it’ll slide right off your face. Use too little and it’ll be so thick, it won’t adhere well to the skin.

I think I’m sticking with clay masks.

review mario badescu silver powder

Who Is This For?

Oily and acne-prone skin.

Who Is This Not For?

Dry skin.


Mario Badescu Silver Powder comes in a white jar. I usually don’t like this kind of packaging, but for a powder it’s ok. There’s not as much risk of bacteria contamination or formula spoilage.

Does Mario Badescu Silver Powder Live Up To Its Claims?

Suitable for all skin types.It’s NOT suitable for dry skin. Why would you use something to absorb excess oil if you don’t have any excess oil?!
Mix the oil-absorbent powder with water to create a paste that removes oils, dirt and blackheads whilst minimising and smoothing pores.It can remove excess oil and some dirt, but it can’t get rid of blackheads.

Price & Availability

$12.00/£12.00 at Beauty Bay, Sephora, and Ulta

Do You Need It?

If you’re the DIY type on the lookout for an oil-absorber to keep your pores free and pimples from coming back, Mario Badescu Silver Powder may be worth the hassle for you.

Dupes & Alternatives

Have you tried Mario Badescu Silver Powder? Share your experience in the comments below.


Calcium Carbonate, Kaolin, Zinc Oxide