Holy Grail Skincare for Clear Skin | Stridex Maximum Strength Facial Cleansing Pads Review

By Sarah - Friday, December 02, 2016


As someone who has oily skin, lives in a hot and humid climate, and wears a good amount of makeup almost everyday, I often find myself at the losing end when it comes to battling clogged pores and build up under the skin surface. Thus, I will take any oily skin tips! I do take pride in my skincare regimen for oily skin, such as my discipline to not fall asleep with makeup on and I do, in my opinion, cleanse my skin pretty well at the end of the day using my micellar water, cleanser and my Olay Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System.

However, all these steps cleanses only the surface of the skin and it does little to aid in the unclogging  of pores beyond the surface. To get all down and dirty there, we need a AHA (glycolic, lactic, malic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant and that brings me to my new found favourite.

I have seen the Stridex Pads floating around the internet and I finally decided to try the Stridex Maximum Strength Pads out when I needed a few more dollars to get free shipping on iHerb (who doesn't enjoy free shipping!). I got mine in the maximum strength of 2% salicylic acid, even though I wasn't too sure if my skin could handle it. They also have the option of essential pads for daily care and one for sensitive skin. However, after reading this post on PH levels and which one renders salicylic acid more effective, I decided to opt for Maximum strength over the other two options available. 


These are facial cleansing pads that help to remove oil, dirt and grim. Salicylic acid helps to cleanse pores by breaking down sebum clogs that block them. I have not tried salicylic acid before but really wanted to as I have read that it is able to penetrate oils better, thus making it more effective for oily skin. 


Side note, I have been using La Roche Posay's Effaclear Duo but I realised that the tiny bumps under the surface of my skin haven't been improving so I decided to try something else! 

These pads come in a jar - not so great when it comes to hygiene but I guess for facial pads, this is one of the best possible options there are. The pads are nice and moist (I really am unable to think of a better word to describe this) and they feel nice on the skin, without being scratchy or rough. 

After cleansing my face, I take one pad and glide it all over my face (avoiding the eyes). I tend to focus on my cheeks, where most of the clogged pores and tiny bumps lie. The instructions do say to leave it and apply skincare atop this. However, as a newbie to BHA and one with sensitive skin, I leave it on my skin for about 5-10 minutes before rinsing my face with water. I learnt this technique via this YouTube Video by Josh Collier and it is truly a great tip as I can get all the benefits of the exfoliation but without the potential irritation. 

As I was rinsing it off and my skin was not sensitised (from what I could see), I decided to use this for 3 nights in a row. Now, the recommendation is to not use it more than 3 times a day so once seems gentle enough. However, I've seen posts where if you're just starting out, doing it on alternative days would be a great way to explore the waters. But I decided heck, let's try this out for consecutive nights (yes, I am a rebel). 

My goodness, my skin has cleared up so much. I was really amazed and couldn't be happier. For the past few months, I've been battling these tiny bumps and acne on my cheek, chin and temple area and this is the first time I am seeing significant improvement. My pimples got smaller and they became less red. The tiny bumps pretty much disappeared. Also, the pores around my nose area appear smaller. Yes, yes and YES.

These pads do not contain alcohol, which is a great plus! I am really shocked to see how many skin care products contain alcohol as it can irritate the skin, dry out the skin surface and break down the skin's protective barrier. This, however, does contain fragrance and menthol, which are potential irritants to the skin. Thus, I highly recommend not leaving this on the skin overnight and washing it off after 5-10 minutes.

Here is the ingredient list:

Active ingredient: salicylic acid with acne medication. 

Inactive ingredients : ammonium lauryl sulfate, ammonium xylenesulfonate, citric acid, DMDM hydantoin, fragrance, menthol, PPG-5-ceteth-20, purified water, simethicone, sodium borate, tetrasodium EDTA

As this does have the potential to dry out the skin, I think I will be sticking to using this every alternate night instead. I doubt I will leave it on my skin for the night and will stick to rinsing to off after 5-10 minutes to prevent any potential irritation. If I decide to change the routine or if I notice any updates on my skin, I will update this post!


I got mine off iHerb in the larger pack of 90 pads and it was only SGD 9.94. Crazy affordable and I highly recommend you to try it out! They also have the regular size of 55 pads which goes for SGD 6.62. 

This is definitely going into my list of holy grail skincare products and I am glad that I decided to try it out. I do recommend this if you are struggling with the pursuit of clear skin, or are searching for acne remedies or acne care products. This is going into my list of top acne products and the best part is that is it really affordable considering it contains salicylic acid without alcohol.

Have you tried these Stridex Maximum Strength Pads? Do let me know if you plan to get it! 

Till then,


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