Intensive Wrinkle Reducer may be one of the most expensive AHA products around, though it’s definitely an effective one, containing at least 10% glycolic acid in a gel base with a pH of 3.2. The formula also contains several outstanding water-binding agents and plenty of antioxidants along with some good anti-irritants. It’s a suitable option for all skin types, but you don’t need to spend this much money to enjoy the benefits of AHAs. This product did not rate higher because it contains cinnamon bark extract and fragrance components that can be irritating to skin. Cinnamon has antioxidant ability, but its irritation potential when applied topically doesn’t help move this product to the top of the must-have list.
Formulated with a GlycoNutrient Complex and cinnamon extract to reverse the visible signs of aging. In three ingredient and clinical studies conducted by Murad and an independent lab, the blend of glycosaminoglycans, glucosamine, polysaccharides and linoleic and glycolic acids contained in the complex was proven to increase skin smoothness by 33% in two weeks and improve skin tone by 25% within eight weeks. Cinnamon extract helps regulate contributors to skin imperfections, such as free radicals and the proliferation of bacteria on the skin surface.
Water (Aqua), Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Sclerotium Gum, Stearic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glucosamine HCl, Algae Extract, Yeast Extract (Faex), Urea, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Durio Zibethinus (Durian) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PVP, Capryloyl Glycine, Sarcosine, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Polysorbate 60, Rice Amino Acids, Zinc Acetate, Sucrose, Chitosan Ascorbate, Panthenol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Lecithin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopherol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Lysine Lauroyl Methionate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polydodecanamideaminium Triazadiphenylethenesulfonate, Polyvinylalcohol Crosspolymer, Salicylic Acid, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Linoleic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, PEG-8, Xanthan Gum, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Citral, Benzyl Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Fragrance (Parfum)
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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