Murad’s really been pushing their “clinically proven” Clarifying Cleanser by giving away generous samples to the prestige beauty sites to disperse to qualifying buyers. I’m such a sample slut, I made sure to qualify. I’m almost through the tube, having used it on and off over the last few months. Murad claims 92% of users experience a reduction in breakouts in the first three days. I must be one the 8% leftover. Peruse the ingredients and then we’ll chat some more…
Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 1.5%
Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Silver Citrate, Menthol, PEG-150 Distearate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch Octenylsuccinate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Polysorbate 80, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Methylisothiazolinone, Limonene, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Leaf Oil, Cymbopogon Nardus (Citronella) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Fragrance (Parfum).
As you can see, the formula relies on Salicylic Acid which ain’t revolutionary, but Murad claims to have improved the delivery by encapsulating the ingredient for slow release. Even if this is true, I’m doubtful a cleanser leaves enough of the spheres behind to make a meaningful difference. When it comes to face wash, I’m a firm believer that most of the beneficial stuff ends up swirling down the drain. The sudsy clear gel provides a menthol-medical experience – think luxury Sea Breeze. Some will find it drying as I do. When used with a Clarisonic, a few drizzles on the bristles creates a foamy face washing experience, but the suds can be quite irritating to the eyes. Personally, I prefer a gentler, simpler wash with fewer harsh ingredients.