Were it not for a small amount of potentially irritating cinnamon bark extract, this daytime moisturizer with an in-part zinc oxide sunscreen would rate a Best Product. The sun protection is broad-spectrum and the matte-finish base formula is excellent for oily to very oily skin.
What’s more, the formula contains several antioxidants, including pomegranate, which is known to boost the efficacy of sunscreen actives. A small amount of cell-communicating niacinamide is included along with some anti-irritants, making this an overall well-rounded product that works beautifully under makeup.
Note: this begins thick, but don't let that alarm you: it softens upon blending to a smooth lotion that feels silky and leaves skin with a soft matte finish and barely discernible white cast from the zinc oxide.
Clinically proven formula reduces shine on contact and prevents excess surface oil build up by up to 78% for 8 hours. Oil-Control Complex helps regulate oil production while preserving moisture to provide a long-lasting matte finish. Willow bark extract helps manage breakouts and clear skin of impurities. Argan extract reveals smoother, softer skin.
Active: Ensulizole (1%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Zinc Oxide (3%), Other: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Bis-Peg/Ppg-14/14 Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Corn Starch Modified, Butylene Glycol, Chitosan Ascorbate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Farnesyl Acetate, Panthenyl Triacetate, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Extract, Serenoa Serrulata (Saw Palmetto) Fruit Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Capryloyl Glycine, Sarcosine, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Magnesium Carbonate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Dicaprylyl Ether, Niacinamide, Yeast Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Algae Extract, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Panthenol, Zinc Gluconate, Caffeine, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates Crosspolymer, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Biotin, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Propyl Gallate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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