This tinted foundation primer (the color is quite sheer and is described as a "universal shade") is medicated with the anti-acne ingredient salicylic acid. This active ingredient is great for acne-prone skin, but the amount in this product is 0.5%, barely enough to have an impact, and the pH is too high, which further negates the potential benefits. Sadly, the salicylic acid in here is wasted.
Other than the claims about fighting acne, this is an otherwise standard, silky-feeling primer that leaves an ultra-light matte finish those with combination to oily skin will appreciate. The matte finish won't provide hours of oil control, but it does a decent job keeping shine in check (assuming your foundation also has a matte finish).
Murad added some intriguing plant extracts, vitamin C, and skin-repairing ingredients, so this goes beyond many primers that are just a blend of silicones. Oddly, the company added mica, a mineral pigment that leaves a shiny finish, when most people with oily skin don't want more shine. You may or may not like this effect, so be sure to test this before purchasing. Like most primers (or, better yet, serums loaded with anti-aging ingredients), this helps foundation apply smoothly.
Control acne breakouts, reduce oil and minimize appearance of pores. Universal shade provides the perfect skin tone match.
Active: Salicylic Acid 0.5%, Other: Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Boron Nitride, Stearyl Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Seed Extract, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Polymnia Sonchifolia Root Juice, Maltodextrin, Lactobacillus, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Propyl Gallate, Polyurethane-40, Zinc Gluconate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Sorbitol, Proline, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Hydroxide, Mica, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
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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