Today’s post is all about Stridex Pads Maximum Strength 

Prior to this red jar, I’d never tried any 2% salicylic acid treatment. Sick right? For someone with oily, acne-prone skin? 😳 I must have been living under the rock. JK, Glycolic & Azelaic acid were doing it for me.

Not until some months back in Lockdown, 2020 when I was on Adapalene (Differin) and cut down on chemical exfoliation. All in the name of experiment 🤦🏽‍♀️. Long story short, my pores couldn’t handle it no more so I had to seek a solution— hence Stridex pads🏺🧫

What is it?

A red jar containing soft-textured pads presoaked with 2% salicylic acid (SA)— an all-rounder in acne care.


Stridex Pads Maximum Strength Acne
Ingredient: Salicylic acid 2.0%
Inactive Ingredients: Ammonium lauryl sulfate, Ammonium xylenesulfonate, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance, Menthol, Phenoxyethanol, Purified Water, Simethicone, Sodium Borate, Tetrasodium EDTA.

A little bit about the active ingredient, SA, in case you didn’t know:

I call it an all-rounder because it targets the 4 major pathways that lead to acne.

  • Keratolytic (sheds dead skin cells both on the surface & within the pores of the skin)
  • Comedolytic (unclogs the pores, comedones aka white- & black-heads)
  • Anti-inflammatory (reduces swelling associated with acne)
  • Anti-bacterial (although it could use some backup in this department)

Who should use Stridex?

Anyone with oily, acne-prone skin looking to decongest their poresIt can also be used as after-shave to prevent & treat bumps. One swipe down and you’ll be shooketh! It can also be used on the scalp to tackle dandruff.

My Experience with Stridex 

Like I mentioned earlier, my skin was congested from playing safe with adapalene & not exfoliating  (pictures & more details here).

The moment I incorporated the Stridex pads into my routine, it helped tremendously with the oil control (its liposoluble property ). I was no longer waking up to a  shiny T-zone and my pores were not as visible.

Especially when paired with The Ordinary Niacinamide *chefs kiss* (sorry to those sensitive to Niacinamide)

How effective is Stridex when it comes to treating Acne?

Twice, this product has proved to be a rescue for pore congestion.

The first experience mentioned above. The second was when I traveled & didn’t use it for about 3 weeks. The moment I came back to this; 2 days later, I could see the improvement in pore visibility & closed comedones.


There’s a limit to its performance on acne! It didn’t treat the stubborn comedones, not even after consistently spot treating the area on a daily (don’t be desperate like me 🤦🏽‍♀️ or at least, moisturize properly if you must).

It didn’t do anything for papules (huge ones that feel like boil under the skin) either. Not surprised at this tho! Like I mentioned earlier, it’s best paired with another antibacterial- say topical azelaic acid or benzoyl peroxide or clindamycin…

When & How to Use Stridex?

2-4x a week depending on how much your skin can tolerate. Listen to your skin. There’s no black and white to this!

AM or PM: It doesn’t increase sensitivity to the sun like AHAs (glycolic acid & friends)

As leave-on therapy: After cleansing (washing) my face, I use one pad all over my face, wait for ~5-10 minutes before going ahead with hydrating toners, serums, moisturizers…

As short-contact therapy: I leave it on for ~30 minutes and rinse off before continuing with the rest of my routine.

This method plus 10% lactic acid does wonders for my skin in terms of exfoliation. In the morning, I can literally see the plugs shedding off.

⚠️ Warning: Please Don’t try this at home. I won’t be responsible for any irritation that occurs 💀

Stridex Pads Maximum Strength Acne ReviewPros:

  • Meets the keratolytic claims.
  • Good at decongesting the pores and sebum (oil) control.
  • Doesn’t contain drying alcohol.


  • Not effective enough in keeping breakouts at bay.
  • Doesn’t work well on stubborn comedones, pimples, papules…
  • Contains some not-so-great ingredients.
  • Potential skin irritants such as ammonium lauryl sulfate, menthol, fragrance.

How to fix this? Try the short-contact therapy described above to minimize potential irritation.

Tip (🔌: fc of

Don’t forget to moisturize & wear sunscreen while at it!


7,000 NGN for 90 pads. I was lucky to get one with a bonus (20 extra pads).

Been using this since April and I still have some left by mid-September (even after giving some pads to a friend).

Where to Purchase Stridex:

Nigeria: Beauty & Glamour
Global: Amazon

Will I repurchase?

Yes, if I don’t find a better BHA alternative.  It’s dirt cheap! I’m looking to try the famous Paula’s Choice BHA next.

Have you tried the Stridex pads before? What was your experience like? If no, what’s your favorite BHA?


Comments are closed.

Pin for later