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Murad Acne Complex vs. Neutrogena Acne Therapy System

Murad Acne Complex vs. Neutrogena Acne Therapy System Murad Acne Complex vs. Neutrogena Acne Therapy System


Acne sufferers have countless over-the-counter products to choose from to help clear their skin, including the Murad Acne Complex line and the Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System. Both have dermatologist-developed products, easy-to-follow directions and proven results; however, they differ in several factors that affect their appeal to different consumers.

Core Products

Both the Murad Acne Complex and Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System have core kits composed of three products. Murad's Clarifying Cleanser and Neutrogena's Skin Polishing Cleanser remove oil, dirt, makeup and other pore-clogging substances. Murad's second product is Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel, which penetrates pores to prevent future breakouts, while Neutrogena's Acne Control Lotion kills bacteria to reduce the size of pimples, redness and inflammation. The third product of both companies is a moisturizer, but while Neutrogena's Oil-Free Lotion contains SPF, Murad's Skin Perfecting Lotion does not.

Supplement Products

A key difference between the Murad Acne Complex and the Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System is the numerous supplemental products offered by Murad that enhance its core products. These products include a cleanser and moisturizer meant for aging skin, acne-fighting body wash and body spray, a dietary supplement, a clarifying facial mask and a treatment gel that lightens acne scars. Neutrogena has several other acne products as well, but they are not sold under the Complete Acne Therapy System brand and are not guaranteed to work with the core line like the Murad supplement products are.

Availability and Cost

Both companies sell their products online through their company websites. One advantage Neutrogena has over Murad is that the Complete Acne Therapy System is available at several drugstores, while Murad is sold only at Sephora and Ulta stores, which are not as ubiquitous. As of 2010, the Neutrogena system typically sells for $19.99; Murad's has a price of $29.95. However, you cannot purchase the Neutrogena products separately as you can the Murad products. When purchased individually, Murad's core and supplement products range in price from $21 to $60.

Active Ingredients

Murad and Neutrogena utilize salicylic acid as their primary acne-fighting products. According to, salicylic acid slows the shedding of cells in hair follicles, which helps keep pores clear, and breaks down whitehead and blackhead blemishes. Murad Acne Complex products also contain retinol, which encourages quicker cell turnover; silver citrate, which kills bacteria; and glycolic acid, which exfoliates the skin.

Guarantees and Claims

Both companies offer money-back guarantees. Murad asserts that you will see clearer skin within three days, while Neutrogena guarantees visible results within seven days. Murad will return the purchase price of its Acne Complex products if you do not achieve satisfying results within 60 days. You have up to 90 days to apply for a refund if you are dissatisfied with the Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System.

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