One of my favorite perks of attending esthetician school is having brands visit – we learn new facial and waxing techniques, and most importantly get free product samples. Recently we had a spa visit and their brand rep from Murad. I’ve admired Murad from afar in Ulta and Sephora but it’s never been in my budget to indulge in. For Christmas, my sister got me one of the sampler boxes from Sephora that had 2 Murad products and after the spa visit, I had another 2 free samples in my collection. Months later and I’m finally ready to review these products! Let’s get into it.
During the facial that the spa member showed us with Murad products she spoke very highly of the cleanser and after smelling it I understand why. I use this product as my water-based cleanser every morning and vibrant orange scent helps wake me up. The gel texture is lovely and doesn’t foam up but is still effective at removing makeup. The Essential-C Cleanser is ideal for any skin type but is more beneficial for those with normal or combination skin and those who suffer from hyperpigmentation.
The formula contains star ingredients like glycerin, panthenol, phospholipids, and allantoin. Their marketing boasts containing 3 forms of vitamins including A, C, and E. While I love the included vitamin ingredients I’m skeptical about their use in a cleanser. Personally, I think if you’re going to use tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, ascorbyl palmitate, or ascorbic acid this is best done with a topical treatment like an essence, serum or moisturizer. This allows a long-term penetration of the ingredients rather than the short contact that most people who don’t massage in their cleansers will experience.
Best for normal, combination or aging skin/ if you need a product to wake you up
Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Polysorbate 20, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Phospholipids, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Rice Amino Acids, Zinc Aspartate, Allantoin, Sodium PCA, Lactose, Cellulose, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Propyl Gallate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Limonene, Linalool, Orange Oil, Mandarin Orange Peel Oil, Basil Oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Galbanum Resin Oil, Fragrance, Iron Oxides (CI 77492)
Rapid Resurfacing Peel
This popular product definitely lives up to the hype. If I’m going to splurge on any Murad product in the future this would be it. My sample only contained 2 towelettes which I used up in 1 week (Tuesday night and Saturday night) without any additional exfoliation in between. I experienced soft skin with the most lovely glow, and minimal redness after using the peel. One downside of this peel is the awkward size of the towelettes, they’re very rectangular which makes it hard to use up the entire sheet so I applied a lot of the essence to my neck and chest as well.
Murad shares that this product contains a 10% blend of glycolic acid and vitamin C, which, for at-home use makes for a great starter chemical exfoliant. However, if you’re looking for a stronger product to assist with hyperpigmentation, PIH or acne scars I’d try finding a product with a larger percentage of glycolic acid. This peel is appropriate for all skin types, with the exception of sensitive due to the high amount of alcohol in the formula.
Best for treating yo self, a well-rounded chemical exfoliant for normal, dry, oily, aging and combination skin
Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Linoleic Acid, Punica Granatum Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Propyl Gallate, Lecithin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA
Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence
If there was ever a skincare product that could be described as velvety it would be this one. Taking a page from Asian Beauty (AB) Murad recently launched this essence. The product is meant to provide another layer of moisture after cleansing and toning which does so by being chalked full of all-star ingredient and a variety of fruit extracts. I personally love the texture and feel of this product; starts as velvet and instantly absorbs into the skin with a thin layer of hydration left behind.
Personally, I would never splurge on this product but I do this it would make a great essence if you’re not a fan of the typical essence texture. The formula doesn’t contain any water so it would be super easy to apply without any potential for a mess to occur.
Best for travel and those who don’t like the water-texture of traditional essences
Ingredients: Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, Yeast Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin Glycerin, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate Urea, Yeast Amino Acids, Trehalose, Inositol, Taurine, Betaine Tocopheryl Acetate Ascorbic Acid, Chitosan, Zinc Gluconate
Eye Lift Firming Treatment
This product was a fancy exclusive from Murad’s Professional line that I received during the spa visit. The gel eye treatment includes paper eye masks that are meant to be soaked in the treatment and applied to the under eyes during a facial. After using the treatment once I instantly decided to never use the treatment with the comically large eye masks which soaked up the entire treatment rather than my skin absorbing it all. Instead, I’ve been using one pump of the treatment under each eye and it’s provided a level of hydration I’ve never known was possible. While it hasn’t assisted with my dark circles (which is my main objective for eye treatments) my eyes feel firm and hydrated every morning which is actually a lovely feeling. If you’re ever at a spa and can receive any eye treatment using this product I’d highly recommend it, just maybe ask for it sans eye mask.
Best for tired people who have finally had the time to get a well deserved facial
Ingredients: Water, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Zinc Gluconate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Menthyl Lactate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Carbomer, Aminomethyl Propanol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin
Murad Product Overview
Obviously, each of the above products had a different purpose I wanted to share some final thoughts on the brand in general. Murad products perform very well and I believed are priced appropriately. While I personally would opt to get a facial with products that cannot be purchased commercially, such as Murad, but I love these for at-home care. Their ingredient lists tend to contain many common culprits like glycerin, vitamin A, C, and E, fruit extracts, amino acids, zinc gluconate, and allantoin – which are all honestly great ingredients to try out if you haven’t already. Here’s hoping that I can one day fit this brand into my skincare budget!
Have you ever tried Murad products? I’d love to know everyone’s favorite products!