"I wasn't entirely sold on this cult pimple product. Then I realised I was using it wrong."

Everyone remembers the moment they picked up their first bottle of Mario Badescu Dry Lotion.

Like taking the training wheels off for the first time or tasting your first sip of Moscato at 18 (minus a couple of years), there’s something truly magical about popping its pink, gooey substance on a pimple and watching it shrivel up.

There’s a good reason this unassuming bottle is one of Mecca’s top selling skincare products. According to bloggers, beauty editors and celebrities including Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and Zoe Foster-Blake, it’s pretty much the most effective ways to fight breakouts, and quickly.

The $24 product contains fast acting ingredients like salicyclic acid, zinc oxide and sulfur to draw out your spot and calamine to soothe and speed up the blemish’s healing process, and lasts for up to 24 months.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
Legit, this is magic in a bottle. Image: Mecca.

Sounds good, eh?

Only, when it was my turn to experience the Drying Lotion wonder, it fell a bit... flat.

Sure, the juicy, hormonal pimple on my chin was slightly less juicy, but that's not what I was promised.

I was promised a fast-acting formula that would help dry up my surface blemishes (i.e. ones with a whitehead) overnight, as per the bottle's teeny tiny writing.

It was then I realised I'd been using it wrong.

See, the key to the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion's success is its two-part formula. You'll notice when it's sitting on the shelf, the product separates into two distinct layers - a clear liquid on top and a baby pink, chalky sediment on the bottom.

Unlike an old jar of mayonnaise or sunscreen that's been sitting out on the sun for too long, this is exactly how the product is meant to sit.

According to the instructions, you simply dip a cotton tip through the clear liquid (alcohol) and into the sediment on the bottom (all the zit-fighting ingredients). Then, dab onto the affected skin after cleansing and moisturising right before bed.

That's better.
Dip in your cotton tip like so...
... Then dab a thin layer of this goodness on your pimple. Images: Supplied.

You must resist the temptation to shake the bottle. If you do, like I did, you're only diluting the products and holding yourself back.

This small detail makes transporting the product a bit tricky, as you'll need to wait for the sediment to settle before using. No stress, though. Just sit the bottle down on a flat surface and wait for the magical pink dust to settle.

If there's one thing you need to take away from this tale (other than not to shake your Drying Lotion), it's this:

Instructions are there for a reason.

Have you tried the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion? How did you find the product worked for you?