This silky serum has a lot going for it, including its ability to smooth and hydrate skin while treating it to an impressive array of beneficial ingredients. Murad's formula combines some conventional antioxidants with a few atypical, yet effective, antioxidants which makes this product a unique entry in the serum category. Its price is beyond what you really need to pay, but the main reason this didn't earn a better rating is because it contains skin-damaging lavender oil. See More Info to find out why lavender oil is an ingredient to avoid. What a shame, as this has so much going for it (but again, you don't need to pay this much for a state-of-the-art serum).
One more comment: The collagen in this serum cannot fuse with the collagen in your skin. The molecular structure is too large to be absorbed into skin but even if it could penetrate, it would not know the difference between the damaged collagen and the healthy collagen—so it's a good thing that topically applied collagen can't be absorbed and potentially leave your skin looking lumpy and distorted.
Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products. (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
A fast acting, multitasking formula to fight wrinkles and loss of resilience by promoting healthy collagen and hydration levels.
Water, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Olivate, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Sorbitan Olivate, Butylene Glycol, Honey (Mel), Urea, Yeast Amino Acids, Trehalose, Inositol, Taurine, Betaine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Alaria Esculenta Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Sodium Hyaluronate, Collagen Amino Acids, Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Zinc Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Propyl Gallate, Polysorbate 20, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Linalool, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil
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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