Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner - review


I've been busily testing the products from my Mario Badescu Anti-ageing Kit and the first one I'm going to review individually is the Glycolic Acid Toner, because it's the first product in the kit that I opened and the one I've been using the longest.

It's been in rotation for over two weeks now and I'm already halfway through the bottle (yikes), so it will no doubt be the first product I run out of. That seems to be a theme with me and toners: I love them but I get through them all too quickly!

My apologies if my photos aren't as sharp as they could be: I'm discovering that Mario Badescu products are rather hard to photograph. I think this has something to do with the green print, which doesn't stand out as much as the print on other products - my camera just wants to focus on something else. Annoying!

I've photographed the nozzle below. I like it because it's easy to use and it works: you just pull the nozzle up when you want to use the product and then push it down when you're done. No leaks, no fuss. Makes me happy : )

Mario Badescu claims/product details:
  • An exfoliating toner that refreshes and stimulates dry and congested skin
  • Contains 2% glycolic acid and grapefruit extract
  • Also contains the alpha hydroxy acid found naturally in papaya extract, to help accelerate skin cell turnover for younger-looking skin
  • Aloe vera is added to soothe your complexion
  • Helps reduce build-up that can cause skin to look tired and dull
  • Help soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles while smoothing the skin with its anti-ageing ingredients
  • Alcohol free
  • RRP $26 AUD for 236ml


This is a reasonable toner. It removes grime well and it's not too expensive, particularly considering the amount contained in the full-sized bottle.

Indeed, I'd gone into Mecca Maxima to buy this particular product, and when I saw that the anti-ageing kit included this and contained four other decent, travel-sized items and cost only $15 more, I thought I may as well buy that instead so I could get a better idea of Mario Badescu's products overall.

I'm glad I made that decision, especially because I don't like this toner enough that I'd be happy to have a full-sized bottle to finish.

On the product, it's a blue liquid with a light, pleasant scent. I'm smelling the papaya extract and it reminds me of the Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleanser I'm trialling at the moment, which I love because the smell is clean and refreshing.

I can tell that this toner doesn't contain any nasties because it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, and it makes a nice change from the toner I was using previously: that one contained alcohol, and my skin really hated it. It doesn't hate this one.

I have to say, though, that while I like this product and there's nothing hugely wrong with it, I don't think it has enough punch for me. Two per cent glycolic acid isn't going to get you very far, and I don't notice the kinds of benefits I would expect from that ingredient when it comes to this product.

Eg, I'm not noticing any brightening or resurfacing/exfoliating actions, and I don't think it's had any impact on skin clarity/congestion, dullness or fine lines.

I've broken out recently from another product I was using, and normally glycolic acid products would help manage that issue but this one hasn't helped. So I've reverted to my trusty Alpha-H Liquid Gold (which contains a higher concentration of glycolic acid) and even after two days I can see some impact from using the Alpha-H product.

All in all, there's nothing terribly wrong with this toner, it's just that I don't see any huge benefit to using it. It does remove that last layer of grime from the skin and it's pleasant to use, but I don't think it generally meets its claims and it's not one I would buy.

I'm glad I've tried it but I'm also glad that I'm halfway through the bottle so I can move on to something else soon enough.

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