This cross between a cleansing gel and a lotion is capable of removing makeup along with excess surface oil, just like many other cleansers. It also contains some good skin-soothing ingredients, which is helpful especially if you have acne.
The key anti-acne “selling point” for this cleanser is the claim that it uses a time-release technology to deliver acne medication to the skin for hours. There is nothing unique about this product except for that claim, which it cannot meet. This cleanser does contain salicylic acid, an ingredient that when used in a well formulated leave-on product can work beautifully to gently exfoliate skin. However, it's far less effective for exfoliation, if at all, in a cleanser. That’s because it's rinsed off before it can begin to work. If you are hoping for this cleanser to provide exfoliating benefits, think again.
Add to that the fact that this contains menthol (which, while rinsed from skin here, still has the potential to aggravate it), and this winds up being a cleanser that just doesn't live up to its claims. You're better off with one of the options you'll find on our list of Best Cleansers.
Has some skin-soothing ingredients.
Salicylic acid can't work to exfoliate in this formula as claimed.
Contains potentially-aggravating menthol.
This high-performance, anti-aging acne cleanser features sustained-release Salicylic Acid to help clear skin without over-drying. Amino Acids and Hyaluronic Acid help restore youthfulness. This adult acne cleanser continues to work even after rinsing it off your face.
Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 0.5%; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Retinol, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Silver Citrate, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Zinc Gluconate, Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch Octenylsuccinate, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Propyl Gallate, Polysorbate 80, Menthol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glycol Distearate, Steareth-4, PEG-150 Distearate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, 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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