Acne treatment Acne treatment

Active Ingredients in Murad

Active Ingredients in Murad Active Ingredients in Murad

Founded by Dr. Howard Murad, 0a board-certified dermatologist, pharmacist and associate clinical professor of medicine at UCLA, the Murad skin care company sells over-the-counter products designed to address concerns such as aging, acne, sensitive skin and preventing sun damage. Murad's acne line of products contains active ingredients such as salicylic acid, sulfur and hydroquinone. Noticeably absent in Murad acne products is benzoyl peroxide, which the Mayo Clinic lists as perhaps the most effective active ingredient in treating acne, though it can cause drying and skin peeling.

Salicylic Acid

Ranging in strength from 0.5 percent to 2 percent in the Murad line, salicylic acid is the cornerstone to its anti-acne products. It is present in Murad's Clarifying Cleanser, Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel, Acne Treatment Concealer, Acne Body Wash and Clarifying Body Spray. According to the Mayo Clinic, salicylic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that encourages cell turnover while slowing the breakdown and shedding of skin cells inside hair follicles. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it must be used continuously to prevent acne from redeveloping once it has been cleared and it has no effect on sebum production or the bacteria P. acnes.


Murad's Acne Spot Treatment and Clarifying Mask both contain sulfur in 3 percent and 4 percent concentrations, respectively. Sulfur works by removing dead skin cells and potentially reducing excess oil. Sulfur has been used for more than 50 years in combination with other ingredients to treat acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Overly dry skin is a potential side effect, and some products containing sulfur possess an unpleasant odor. Although sulfur can reduce acne symptoms initially, it create future symptoms because of cell adhesion.


To treat the darkened appearance of acne scarring, Murad offers a Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel containing 2 percent hydroquinone. According to the New Zealand Dermatological Society, this skin-bleaching agent works by "decreasing the production and increasing the breakdown of melanosomes (melanin pigment granules) in the skin's pigment cells." Hydroquinone is also used to treat age spots and other skin discolorations. Side effects of hydroquinone include temporary burning or itching. Allergic reactions are also possible. The Mayo Clinic advises protecting your skin from sun when using products with hydroquinone.

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