InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment
Murad’s InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment claims to improve pitted scars, scar texture and color after eight weeks of twice-daily use. It works to a certain extent but not without a formulary drawback that keeps us from rating it higher. And as with any such skin care product, it’s important to keep expectations realistic.
The all skin types formula is housed in an opaque pump bottle. The waterless, silicone-based texture has a silky, spackle-like effect when applied to surface irregularities, which includes pitted scars that can occur from acne. Since several silicone-rich primers offer a similar textural improvement, what counts here are the treatment ingredients.
Leading the pack is vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which appears to be present between a 5-10% concentration, enough to improve skin (and scar) color as well as enhance healing of all types of scars.
Vitamin C also helps to fade post-acne marks, those areas of discoloration that remain once a blemish is gone. Although often referred to as scars, they’re actually not related to scars and are instead a type of temporary color change that fades over time. Ingredients like vitamin C and salicylic acid can help those marks fade faster than they would on their own.
Speaking of salicylic acid, it’s here too, but the formula’s pH of 5 doesn’t permit optimal exfoliation to occur; salicylic acid needs a pH range between a pH of 3 and 4 to offer this benefit, although here it likely imparts anti-inflammatory benefit.
Also delivering anti-inflammatory benefits are three components of the Centella asiatica plant: asiaticoside, madecassic acid, and asiatic acid. Their calming effect assists skin’s healing process, although you still need to keep skin protected every day by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Working with the beneficial ingredients are vitamin E and an olive-derived antioxidants known as hydroxytyrosol. These are great addition not only for your skin but also to support the stability and effectiveness of the vitamin C.
The major disappointment is fragrance plus fragrance ingredients limonene and linalool. The scent is on the potent side, and it lingers on skin after this treatment has set to its super-smooth finish. What a shame, as daily use of highly fragrant products like this can trigger irritation that prolongs skin’s ability to heal.
On the upside, the good outweighs the bad here, landing it at an average rating, but it’s still disappointing to see a product come so close to being a slam-dunk only to miss the basket.
- Silky, spackle-like texture temporarily fills in surface irregularities.
- Vitamin C can enhance scar healing and improve skin color.
- Contains effective, natural anti-inflammatory ingredients.
- Vitamin E and olive-derived hydroxytyrosol support the vitamin C.
- Packaged to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable.
- Fragranced formula risks irritating skin.
- The salicylic acid (BHA) cannot exfoliate due to the product’s pH.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
Velvety-smooth resurfacing treatment instantly fills pitted scars and is clinically proven to minimize the look of scar size, depth, texture and discoloration in 8 weeks. BHA exfoliates, while a unique blend of highly purified centella asiatica and vitamin C encourages natural radiance and a healthier-looking complexion.
Strengths: A few good cleansers; a selection of well-formulated AHA products centered on glycolic acid; most of Murad's top-rated products are fragrance-free; the sunscreens go beyond the basics and include several antioxidants for enhanced protection.
Weaknesses: Expensive; no other dermatologist-designed line has more problem products than Murad; irritating ingredients are peppered throughout the selection of products, keeping several of them from earning a recommendation; the skin-brighteners are not well-formulated.
Dr. Murad was one of the first doctors to appear on an infomercial selling his own line of skin-care products, and quite successfully so, at least the second time around. This was largely because the company paid for independent clinical studies to establish the efficacy of Dr. Murad's products. There's no question that AHA products, when well-formulated, can be a powerful ally to create healthier, radiant skin. But in terms of independent clinical studies, we're skeptical, given that there are countless labs that exist solely to perform such studies in strict accordance with how the company wants the results to turn out. Murad certainly wouldn't mention in an infomercial that the clinical studies for his AHA products weren't as impressive as, say, those for Neutrogena's AHA products, or any other line for that matter. And what about BHA products? Clinical studies and testimonials may have prompted consumers to order, but the results from Murad's AHA products are hardly unique to this line.
Although this is a skin-care line to consider for some good AHA options, the majority of the products are nothing more than a problem for skin. Murad may have been one of the first dermatologist-developed skin-care lines, but by today's standards his line is deplorable. This is largely due to a preponderance of irritating ingredients that show up in product after product. Any dermatologist selling products that include lavender, basil, and various citrus oils plus menthol and other irritants doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. The same goes for Murad's overuse of alcohol and his preference for treating acne with sulfur, both factors that keep some of his otherwise well-formulated, efficacious products from earning a recommendation.
Yet what is most objectionable is the endless parade of products claiming they can stop, get rid of, or reduce wrinkles and aging. Regardless of whether dermatologists know best about lotions and potions, no conscientious doctor would or should be selling products using the ludicrous claims Murad makes. Most of the anti-aging products have the same hype, the same unsubstantiated claims, and the same exaggeration about the beneficial effects of ingredients that are often present only in the tiniest amounts, without even a mention of the standard or potentially irritating ingredients that are also present. Dr. Murads skin-care philosophy, stated on his Web site, includes the following statement: "Take all the necessary steps to achieve healthy skinincluding the right products, the proper nutrients (from both food and supplements) and positive lifestyle choices." That's an excellent piece of advice; the problem is that it is contradicted by Murads own products, most of which are far from the "right" options for all skin types.
For more information about Murad, now owned by Unilever, call (888) 996-8723 or visit www.murad.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.