Rejuvenating AHA Hand Cream
Murad Rejuvenating AHA Hand Cream combines the skin tone-improving alpha hydroxy acid glycolic acid in a pH-correct formula that allows it to exfoliate while offering smoothing moisture to dry hands. Those are the highlights, and they're balanced out by some low points that make this hand cream difficult to recommend.
If you're wondering how much glycolic acid this hand cream contains, so were we! We contacted Murad and were told that the information is proprietary. Although we can respect that response, the research about glycolic acid's concentration to benefit skin is really clear, so we feel strongly consumers deserve to know if the product they're considering contains an effective amount or not.
Based on the ingredient list and our knowledge of skincare formulas, we suspect this hand cream contains between 3-5% glycolic acid. This range coupled with the pH of 3.8 means you can count on skin-smoothing, texture-enhancing exfoliation to occur, and this ably moisturizes hands without feeling too slick or greasy (but do keep in mind that without sunscreen this isn't a good hand cream choice for daytime use).
Murad peppered this hand cream with some intriguing antioxidants such as Tremella fuciformis, a type of mushroom that's a natural source of catechins, powerful antioxidants also prevalent in green tea.
On the downside, this hand cream contains only a small amount of innovative hydrating ingredients like trehalose and amino acids. Still, the core ingredients do a good job of softening dry hands.
We wish this hand cream didn't contain fragrance and fragrant sandalwood extract. Although these scents might please your nose, fragrance doesn't help skin—it can be a source of irritation which is why we prefer hand creams that are fragrance free, and you'll find those on our list of Best Hand Lotions and Creams.
One more comment: The opaque squeeze tube packaging is great for keeping this hand cream's light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use, but because the product is dispensed straight through the cap, closing this hand cream tends to leave excess product at the cap's opening. You'll need to swipe and apply that extra dab or deal with a cap that quickly become messy.
- Glycolic acid smooths skin texture and improves the look of spots.
- Moisturizes dry hands without feeling greasy.
- Contains some intriguing antioxidants.
- Contains fragrant sandalwood extract, which can be sensitizing.
- The twist-cap dispenser leaves extra product on the outside of the packaging with each use.
- Only has a tiny amount of interesting hydrating ingredients like trehalose and amino acids.
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.