MattEffect Blotting Perfector
MattEffect Blotting Perfector is made out to be oily skin's best kept secret due to its "translucent, liquid blotting formula" that can "instantly mattify, refresh and set." No doubt about it, this product does stop shine in its tracks, but the overall formula has some ups and downs that don't make it worth the ride.
You're instructed to lightly press the applicator puff into the cushion compact, then pat it into skin, concentrating on oily areas. The absorbent ingredients go to work immediately, leaving once-shiny skin matte. How long the effect will last depends on how oily your skin is, but on average, you can expect a few hours of relief.
MattEffect Blotting Perfector can be worn under or over makeup, or applied to bare skin. When applying it over makeup, tread lightly—getting too much liquid on the puff can disrupt makeup, so think sheer layers. Even with using a light hand, the liquid formula can slightly "lift" makeup, although thankfully it's only minimally (not enough to deter from using it).
MattEffect Blotting Perfector offers a unique alternative to setting powders and blotting papers for a couple of reasons: One, the finish is imperceptible rather than powdery (which is great for all skin tones) and two, it has a slight (temporary) blurring effect on the appearance of pores.
While all of that is great, the combination of fragrance ingredients in the formula warrants considerable concern. The lovely scent may seem sweet to your olfactory sense, but what it's doing to skin is anything but nice. In fact, this kind of irritation can trigger more oil production—ugh! (See More Info for the full explanation).
We really wish Murad had left the fragrance out. For those plagued by a perpetually oily complexion, MattEffect Blotting Perfector is tempting, but ultimately the formula is a gamble for skin so we're hesitant to recommend it. The absorbent formula can also be a bit much for sensitive skin so consider this carefully if you have easily aggravated skin.
- Instantly mattifies oily shine and keeps skin from looking greasy.
- Has an invisible, non-powdery finish, workable for any skin tone.
- Slightly minimizes the appearance of pores.
- Combination of fragrance ingredients can trigger more oil production.
- Can disrupt makeup if not carefully and lightly applied.
Using harsh, irritating ingredients is a serious problem for all skin types, especially for those with oily, combination, and acne-prone skin.
Research has clearly established that when skin is irritated, the oil gland at the base of each pore is stimulated to make more oil, creating a perfect environment for breakouts, white bumps, and clogged pores to get worse.
Using a product that is gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin—this is true even if you cannot see or feel the damage taking place.
It is also vitally important to use products that research has shown are beneficial for oily skin, clogged pores, and breakouts. The gold standard over-the-counter ingredients for these concerns are salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2016, pages 25–30
Journal of European Dermatology and Venerology, May 2014, pages 527–532
Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, pages 433–438
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, April 2011, pages 41–53
Dermato-Endocrinology, January-March 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, page 764
Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422–427
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-lighteners 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.