This AHA exfoliant "peel" has an intriguing but ultimately disappointing formula. It contains glycolic acid (likely no more than 5%) formulated at a pH of 3.8 which means it will function as an exfoliant. That's surprising because the clay (kaolin) that precedes the glycolic acid in this product's formula typically renders a product more alkaline than acidic. Nevertheless, Murad found a way around this issue, but it still left us wondering why they used clay in a peel product. Needless to say, as this dries on skin it hardens a bit, like a clay-based absorbent mask.
This product contains several beneficial ingredients, including a form of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Anti-irritants and skin-lightning azelaic acid are also present, yet those ingredients are of most benefit when used in a leave-on product (Intensive-C Radiance Peel is supposed to be rinsed after 10 minutes).
Ultimately, what hurts this product's rating (and, potentially, your skin) is the inclusion of several fragrant oils known to be irritating. This peel also contains menthyl lactate, which is a form of menthol that feels cooling but can also be a source of irritation. In the end, this is yet another Murad product with a frustrating mix of helpful and problematic ingredients. Those looking for a gentle, fragrance-free peel with glycolic acid may wish to consider Paula's Choice exfoliants instead.
Actively smoothes and perfects skin to enhance luminosity; Reduces hyperpigmentation to restore clarity.
Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Synthetic Beeswax, Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethyl Ester of PVM/MA Copolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Urea, Yeast Amino Acids, Trehalose, Inositol, Taurine, Betaine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus Indica Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract, Azelaic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Butylene Glycol, Fomes Officinalis (Mushroom) Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Propyl Gallate, Zinc Gluconate, Methyl Diisopropyl Propionamide, Ethyl Menthane Carboxamide, Menthyl Lactate, Lauryl Laurate, Hydroxyethyl Behenamidopropyl Dimonium Chloride, Aminomethyl Propanol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ceteareth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Limonene, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil
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, call (888) 996-8723 or visit www.murad.com.