I had a monster breakout recently, an event I’ve not experienced since high school. I mean it was scary. Desperate, I used Murad’s Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel, since they’re such a reputable brand in skincare that has served me well in the past. But the worst was yet to come.
Let me get right to the point. The gel has a very intense burning/tingling sensation, and even my normally hard-as-nails skin started itching & stinging. Many Murad acolytes claim using it repeatedly eliminates the itching sensation, but I’ve done it, and no. No, it does not. Each and every time, it has irritated my skin so badly that I had a compulsive need to remove it after application. Of course, being as loyal and hardworking for you guys as I am, I didn’t – I had research to do. Gel piled on giant zits, I spent 2 itchy, frustrating nights letting this stuff work its magic, carefully avoiding touching my skin for fear of transferring oil or rubbing this stuff off.
So what happened? Somehow, my existing blemishes got worse. I have no idea how a high-concentration combination of retinol, salicylic and glycolic acids produced that result, but they did. It might do a better job on teenagers trying every alternative to Accutane, but with those kids’ skin as wartorn as it is, the top layer might explode if this high-powered stuff touched it. I took every possible precaution: I only used it once in a week, didn’t use a large amount, tried it in the morning, tried it at night, skipped toner, and didn’t touch my face at ALL while it was on there. What else could I do?
The verdict: 4/10 – it only gets that much because chemically, it’s a high concentration of stuff we know works. I’m really not sure what happened; the fact is, I’ve tried a thousand products with salicylic acid in them, and none of the others made me want to peel my own face off in agony. Stick with Murad Acne Spot Treatment instead – it’s cheaper and I’ve had more success and zero irritation with it.