This multi-active treatment rapidly improves skin’s appearance by alleviating existing adult acne, preventing the development of new acne, and restoring collagen to more youthful levels. With optimal collagen levels restored, skin regains a healthy resilience, fullness, and improved barrier function strength.
-Salicylic Acid: Penetrates pores to clear up acne and prevent new breakouts.
-Kombucha Collagen Defense®: Stimulates collagen production and inhibits its breakdown to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
-Marine Kelp Extract: Prov Silver and Encapsulated Salicylic Acid: Features a multi-active acne-fighting system that penetrates deep to clear acne and eliminate breakouts.
So I’ve been using Murad Acne & Wrinkle Reducer, nightly, for about three weeks now. First things first: the packaging is excellent. Though you can remove the top, the bottle and pump are designed to admit a minimum of oxygen to the formula, which means your skin is getting the most out of the active ingredients. Secondly, the pump takes all the guesswork out of how much you need. How many times have you tried to squeeze that perfect “pea sized” amount out of tube and ever gotten it? If you’re like me, not often. Each pump dispenses the perfect amount, and though it doesn’t look like a lot, a single pumps worth was the perfect amount for my face and neck.
The scent also was a nice surprise. It’s a very faint minty scent, exactly like Origins Mint Wash Cooling Gel Cleanser, but less intense. Once it’s on my skin I can’t even smell it, and certainly didn’t have any issues with it sensitizing my skin.
So that’s the superficial, but no less important, stuff out of the way. So the big question… Did it live up to it’s claims? Yes, definitely, and almost immediately. I have been using Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream for months, and overall have been very happy with it. It hasn’t quite been enough though to keep my hormonal breakouts completely at bay, or fully get rid my smile line (which is faint and really only visible on one side because I have a crooked smile – apparently). So I was looking for something to give it a little boost.
So you may be asking why not use Murad Acne & Wrinkle Reducer on it’s own? There’s a very simple answer: it contains retinyl palmitate, instead of retinol. To spare you a very long, technical reason basically it comes down to this: retinol has to be converted in your cells into retinoic acid, and in so doing loses some of its effectiveness. Retinyl Palmitate has to be converted into retinol, then retinoic acid, which means it’s even less effective, unless it’s applied in a high concentration.
Add to that, that hydroxy acids may further reduce their effectiveness when used together (alpha hydroxy acids definitely, but I haven’t been able to definitively find out if beta hydroxy acids – such as salicylic acid – do), and I just didn’t want to risk it. If you’re wondering why I’m so uncompromising on using retinoids a simple Google search will tell you it’s the most effective anti-aging product you can use and has decades of clinical research and trials to back it up.
I would say within 3-5 days of using this nightly in combination with an over-the-counter retinol cream there was a noticeable difference in my skin. The little patch of clogged pores on my forehead (thank you hot and humid summer weather!) vanished. Completely. This was actually really fascinating to me because I had been using another salicylic acid treatment on it and it had no effect despite the fact that it had four times the amount of salicylic acid in it (2% vs. 0.5%). I assume this has to do with Murad’s special “encapsulated” salicylic acid formula that time releases it and also the inclusion of silver citrate, which has antibacterial properties.
Now that doesn’t sound very exciting, but it is. Very, very exciting because it means a potentially irritating ingredient (salicylic acid), can be used at a lower concentration and still is just as, if not more, effective than a higher concentration, reducing the potential for irritation. That is wonderful news if you have sensitive skin, which leads me to my next point.
One of my main concerns before I started using this product was that it would irritate my skin. Even if the concentration of beta hydroxy acids was low, as was the effectiveness of retinyl palmitate, it’s always a valid concern when using this type of product, particularly on thin, sensitive skin, such as around your eyes. In three weeks I have not had one second of irritation from this product, even after using immediately following Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask.
So that is the acne side of the equation, how about wrinkles? As I said before the only wrinkles on my face the Neutrogena hasn’t been able to do away with is that one faint smile line. Within 10 days of using Murad Acne & Wrinkle Reducer I noticed it was diminished significantly. After three weeks of using it I would go so far as to say that it’s reduced 50-60%, which is huge in such a short time span. Now this can be due to several things. For one thing salicylic acid is a hydroxy acid and therefore exfoliates the topmost layers of skin. Because of that, it might enhance the effectiveness of retinoids by allowing deeper penetration. It might have nothing to do with that though, and everything to do with the inclusion of Kumbucha ferment.
I haven’t been able to find any scientific, peer reviewed studies on the effect of Kambucha on skin (either ingesting it, or applying it topically), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial. At this point it comes down to a matter of faith. Murad is an established company, headed by a board certified dermatologist who is also an associate professor of medicine, and holds multiple patents related to dermatology. Their stock-and-trade is being at the forefront of skincare products, and because of all of that I can put a little faith in them. So even though the claims that their Kombucha Collegen Defense contains anti-glycation agents, stimulates collegen production, and inhibits collegen breakdown is anecdotal at this point I’m willing to believe them unless peer reviewed studies prove otherwise.
Bottom line, is this product worth the $58 dollar retail price? Yes. It may sound expensive, but roughly judging from how much I’ve used already I would say the 2oz. bottle will last me four or so months, and that’s being conservative, which means it works out to $12 a month. Given the effectiveness of this product, both in reducing acne, and helping erase existing fine lines and preventing new ones from forming, that’s a bargain.