12.19.2014
117
Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30/PA+++
1.7 fl. oz. for $60
Expert Rating
Community Rating (3)
Expert Reviews
Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No

This daytime moisturizer with an in-part avobenzone sunscreen is a very good option for normal to dry skin. Although not quite as impressive as some less expensive options from department store brands, this sits nicely in the GOOD rating column thanks to its lightweight yet creamy lotion formula that contains several antioxidants and some good skin-identical (repairing) ingredients. It is not rated higher because it contains a small amount of fragrance chemicals (limonene and linalool) known to cause irritation. Still, the amounts are very low and this has a barely detectable fragrance, so it remains a worthy pick if the expense won't keep you from applying this liberally (which is essential to get the stated level of protection).

This daytime moisturizer with sunscreen is suitable for breakout-prone skin and its satin-smooth, non-slippery finish works well under makeup.

Community Reviews
Claims

Powerful antioxidant-rich sunscreen shields and restores environmentally stressed skin, Blocks UVA/UVB rays to prevent sun and free radical damage. Improves skin’s barrier function to maintain optimal hydration.

Ingredients

Active:Octinoxate (7.5%); Homosalate (6.5%); Octisalate (5%); Avobenzone (3%); Oxybenzone (2%). Other Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Cocoglycerides, Lauryl Lactate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Phosphate, Urea, Yeast Amino Acids, Trehalose, Inositol, Taurine, Betaine, Phospholipids, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Pelvetia Canaliculata (Brown Seaweed) Extract, Ectoin, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Tripleurospermum Maritima Extract, Zinc Gluconate, Ethyl Linoleate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Xanthan Gum, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance, Yellow 6, Red 33.

Brand Overview

Murad At-A-Glance

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.

About the Experts

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See all reviews for this brand

Murad At-A-Glance

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.