You’re not getting much product for your money, but housed in each of these tiny vials is a water-based exfoliant serum whose blend of glycolic and salicylic acid is, according to a representative from Murad, between 3% and 5%. Given the pH of 2.8, it definitely will exfoliate skin. The issue we have is that the 4% glycolic acid (AHA) and the approximately 1% salicylic acid it contains isn’t “intensive” in the least. A 10% concentration of glycolic acid would have been more “intensive.” In addition, a pH of 3.5 would have been adequate (and is within the pH range recommended for AHA products by the FDA), and without the extra irritation that results from a product with a pH of less than 3. Either way, the amount of AHA and BHA Murad used isn’t akin to what they use in an in-office AHA peel (where concentrations of glycolic acid typically range from 20% to 40%).
The bamboo extract in this product provides mild mechanical exfoliation as you wash this product away, but you could easily get the same mechanical exfoliation using a washcloth. This ends up being an effective AHA option that is needlessly expensive and not a substitute for the peels a doctor can perform. For a lot less money and beautiful results, without the need to wait and then rinse the product off, check out the various AHA options from Alpha Hydrox, Neutrogena Healthy Skin, and NeoStrata.
Murad debuts an at-home alternative to a professional service. A few minutes just three times a week results in skin that is smoother, brighter and more youthful. With the first application you will see and feel a difference in your skin. Continuous use leads to more visible results – better texture and tone, skin that is luminous and smooth. The benefits of a peel are combined with gentle microdermabrasion – chemical and mechanical micro-exfoliants doubles the resurfacing for twice the benefits. Reveal radiant youthful looking skin that is hiding underneath dull, dead skin cells. Use in the weeks leading up to a special occasion to get that perfect complexion or use every week for serious anti-aging benefits.
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycolic Acid, Galactoarabinan, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Myristyl Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Salicylic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Durio Zibethinus (Durian) Fruit Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Hydrolyzed Prunus Domestica, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sclerotium Gum, Myristyl Laurate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Steareth-2, Hydrolyzed Lecithin, Sucrose, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Agar, Algin, Chitosan, Disodium EDTA, PEG-8, Cyclohexasiloxane, Xanthan Gum, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Mica
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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