First, there’s nothing special for blemish-prone skin in this daytime moisturizer. It provides broad spectrum protection that includes avobenzone for reliable UVA screening, but it’s lotion-like base formula isn’t capable of controlling blemishes as claimed. Or at the very least, this isn’t a one-stop solution for blemishes nor is it an inherently better choice than other lightweight moisturizers with sunscreen. This contains a couple of ingredients with potential anti-acne benefits, but their efficacy pales when compared to gold standards such as salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide. Still, it’s worth nothing that this product contains a formidable array of anti-aging ingredients, including retinol, vitamin C, and several antioxidants plus numerous water-binding agents. It would earn our top rating if it did not contain a tiny amount of fragrance ingredients known to cause irritation. The amounts aren’t a deal-breaker, but no question this formula would be better for normal to oily (or blemish-prone) skin without them.
This remarkable 3-in-1 moisturizer controls blemishes, boosts hydration and superior protection against age-accelerating UV rays to prevent wrinkles.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0%, Ensulizole 2.0%, Homosalate 5.50%, Octisalate 4.0%; Other Ingredients: Water , Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Polyester-8, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate , Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Retinol, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Dimethicone, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Zinc Gluconate , Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PVP, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Hydrolyzed Ceratonia Siliqua Seed Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Magnesium Carbonate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Corn Starch Modified, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Propyl Gallate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance
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. Murad’s skin-care philosophy, stated on his Web site, includes the following statement: "Take all the necessary steps to achieve healthy skin—including 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 Murad’s 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.
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