Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Murad Acne Spot Treatment

My skin is sensitive to many anti-acne ingredients so I have found that many of them only make my skin even worse than the blemish itself.  When the cure is even worse than the problem, it ends up in a very frustrating problem and the problem made the one or two blemishes that I get each month a huge disaster instead of a minor annoyance.  Most of the acne treatments that I have tried will rid me of the blemish but make the area around it dry, red, and flaking; making the whole area even worse to conceal and worse looking.  I tried to get around that isse by applying the treatment only exactly to the blemish and it reduced the issue but still couldn't rid me of the problem all together.  I mentioned this problem to the sales associate at Sephora several months ago and she recommened that I try something completely different than the traditional acne medication ingredients. 

She recommened the famed Murad acne products, some of the best-selling and top rated skincare products in thie store.  The Murad line contains sulfur as an active ingredient,  a more gentle anti-acne ingredient that is said to be better for sensitve skin that doesn't agree with other ingredients on the market today.  I decided to give it a shot since it couldn't really be any worse than most of the other products that I have tried.  I decided to buy the Acne Spot Treatment to start out since my skin doesn't have enough blemishes to warrant the purchase of the full Acne line.

"A fast-acting formula that minimizes acne breakouts.  This targeted formula eliminates and clears active breakouts and helps speed healing on contact.  Clinically proven in over 90% of users to reduce blemishes in just four weeks.", states the Sephora website by way of a product description.  This sport treatment contains four major active ingredients: Sulfur, Salicylic Acid, Zinc Oxide, and Licorice Extract.  Sulfur is used to help control and prevent breakouts.  Salicylic Acid is used to help exfoliate dead skin cell buildup.  Zinc Oxide and Licorice Extract both help to reduce the redness associated with the blemish.  Most of my product reactions occured when using benzoyl perioxide so I was ok with the amount of salicylic acid in this product. 

So why is sulfur different than many of the other ingredients on the market and is it as effective as others?  I found my answer on acne.org.  Sulfur helps to promote the peeling and drying of the skin and also works the same as salicylic acid to promote cell turnover.  Any type of cream that is applied to a blemish will help to dry out the blemish (hence why many ladies still use toothpaste on blemishes) however sulfur appears to be a more mild active ingredient.  I can't state how it will work in higher amounts than a spot treatment, I have never used it in a mask or in any type of face wash (nor do I think that I really need to).

The best part about this product is that it didn't dry out or irritate my skin.  It helped to heal the blemish but didn't make the whole area look worse as it is working.  I could see that ingredients that helps to reduce redness were included in this formula, they helped to make the area look a bit better and therefore easier to conceal.  What is the downside of using sulfur instead of other acne ingredients?  It takes the blemish about twice or three times as long to heal as other products that I have tried.  This is fine for me since I only get about one blemish a month and can completely deal with taking those extra few minutes to cover it up.  But I can't imagine that this ingredient is the best choice for those who have moderate to severe acne (unless a much more intense version is prescribed by a doctor).  I am perfectly fine with the product taking a bit longer since it doesn't dry the area out and makes it easier than normal products to cover up.

I recommend this spot treatment for those of us with more sensitive skin than don't have the greatest reactions to some traditional acne ingredients.  I don't recommend this product for someone with moderate to severe acne and if you have more a more oily skin type then you will get better results from a traditional benzoyl peroxide formula. 

photo courtesy of Sephora 

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