Hello ladies, gents and everyone in between! I will cut to the chase: my skin has been erratic since I lived in the UK. As you may know, I’ve had acne practically all my life (You can read more about it here ), and it hasn’t always been easy for me to deal with it. On some days, it is bearable but on most days, it hurts for me to look in the mirror and see the spots and blemishes. Well, recently, it has gotten worse than before and no product I used seem to work. Hence, I set out on a hunt to look for the best acne treatment I could get my hands on.
To give you a clearer background, I live in the sunny part of England called Eastbourne. Though sunnier than the rest of UK, it still has it’s dry and cold spells, and the weather changes mean my skin has been acting up pretty badly. I’ve always had oily skin, but now I have dry patches on my cheek and upper lip. At first I used Neutrogena but after a while, I started breaking out and having tiny pimples on my cheeks and forehead. I normally get acne on my chin and cheek areas, so having breakouts suddenly on my forehead made me stop Neutrogena because I realized I may be having some allergic reaction to it. A friend suggested Tea Tree oil products from The Body Shop. I tried it too but while it dried my acne, it also dried my skin altogether. To cut the long story short, my skin has been worse from when I was still in the Philippines.
I’ve become quite desperate because the last time my acne reached such epic proportions was when I was in university, so I decided to go to a GP and ask for oral contraceptives. I know, you might be wondering, “why contraceptives for acne? and why the GP? why not a dermatologist?” The thing is, here in the UK, you need a GP referral before you can be seen by a specialist doctor (ie dermatologist). Also, the reason I sought oral contraceptive pills is because I used to be on one for a long time and I have proven it to be helpful in managing my acne. I wanted to be on Diane-35 again, but the GP said they do not prescribe such high doses for a long time, so he prescribed me Rigevidon instead. It has the same components as Diane, but in a smaller dose. Suffice to say it did help in avoiding pregnancy but did very little to control my acne. In fact, I had new breakouts after starting the pill for a month.
Fast forward to now, after three months of oral contraceptives, antibiotics and experimentations with tea tree oil, Belo AcnePro products (which I had shipped from the PH), bentonite clay masks and lemon masks, I have come across Murad.
Murad skincare products are one of those that belong to the upper levels of the skincare caste system (lol!). In other words, quite expensive. However, I’ve read and watched several blogs and vlogs praising its effectiveness, so I decided to take the plunge and try it out for myself.
I bought the Murad Blemish Control 30 day kit, which costs 35GBP. Here’s a photo of the outer box.
I ordered directly from the website, so I didn’t have to pay any shipping fee. Also, the delivery was fast and secure. Two thumbs up for that!
Now, for the contents:
As you can see, it the kit isn’t very big. In fact, I was a little disappointed because I expected it to be much bigger since it’s supposed to be used for 30 days, everyday. That’s my first disappointment. Anyway, let’s go through the contents one by one, from L-R:
- Clarifying Cleanser
- Rapid relief spot treatment
- Oil control mattifier with SPF 15
- Clarifying mask
- Blemish clearing solution
Now it seems like the regime is quite easy, but being the lazy bum that I am, I suck at routines. So in order for this mini-experiment to work, I have decided to document my experience through this blog. Also, I decided to start on the 1st of September, to really see the experience through. Hopefully I make it haha.
Before I start, let me first be clear about what I will use for this 30 day experiment.
- I am on oral contraceptives and doxycycline 100mg twice a day
- In between, I like using lemon and honey face mask in addition to the clarifying mask included in the kit
- I use masks 2 to 3 times a week, depending on my free days
- I take Praventac, a supplement supposed to help with acne. I take two capsules a day at night
Okay! Let’s start!
This is how my skin looks like before I start the kit. As you can see I have lots of acne scars as well as some active pimples on my R cheek and chin. I also have combination skin, where my forehead is dry but my nose, cheeks and chin are oily.
I decided to evaluate Murad’s effect on my skin every 7 days. The first time I used the cleanser, I immediately liked its effect on my face. It didn’t leave a “soapy” residue, and it didn’t overly dry my skin. Also, it doesn’t have any smell. I used this in the morning and evening.
After the cleanser, I tried the clarifying mask. Similar to the cleanser, it doesn’t have any smell or fragrance. The mask is white in color, similar to a toothpaste, minus the “glossy” texture. When applied to the face it stings a little bit–at least for me– and sticks really well to the skin. I like the fact that it dries easily, so the application time is less tedious. Just like any other masks, it feels taut when it dries. I left it on my skin for 10 to 15minutes as it can get quite drying. After rinsing it with water, I felt that my skin was soft and shine-free, which is another positive point towards this product. I use this alternatively with a lemon and honey mask, about 2 times a week.
Following the mask, I put on the Blemish Clearing Solution, which was like a toner. It’s consistency is a cross between a cream and a gel, and it’s very easy to apply to the skin. It also gets absorbed pretty quickly and it feels lightweight, which I loved. It didn’t have any special fragrance. What I liked about it was that it glides on the skin and doesn’t cause makeup to clump. I use this day and night.
Since I still have active lesions, I used the Rapid Relief Spot Treatment on my pimples. Now this product, I am not very happy with. Firstly, the formulation is too watery in my opinion. It doesn’t “sit” very well on the lesion, and also it doesn’t act as rapidly as I’d liked. Compared to my Belo Acne Pro Spot Treatment, which has a gel consistency and dries up my zits in just 2 days, the Murad’s Rapid Relief Spot Treatment takes longer to heal my pimples. Even on simple zits, not the big cystic ones, it took almost a week for me to see noticeable result. I ditched this product only after a week and used the Belo Acne Pro Spot Treatment instead.
Finally, every morning I put on the Oil Control Mattifier as some sort of moisturizer. Now this one, I have mixed feelings for. In terms of oil control, it really does control the sebum on my face. In just a week, I noticed that my face was significantly less oily, even after a 12-hour shift, with make-up on and no touch-ups. I didn’t even have to wash my face mid-shift because it wasn’t that oily. I am impressed actually. However, as the days went by, I noticed that it dries my face, such that I have dry, flaky patches on my cheeks. Because of this, I use the mattifier only when I go to work, and at night, I apply an Olay moisturizer, as well as during my days off.
So, after a week, here’s what I look like:
The photo’s quality isn’t so great, mainly because I took the selfie minutes after waking up and washing my face with the cleanser and applying all the steps. As you can see, I still have the acne marks and some lesions on my chin, near my lips. It can’t be seen clearly, but they’re starting to dry up. My skin however is less shiny and oily, so I guess I can still call it progress.
I continued the regime, sans the Rapid Relief Spot Treatment, and I can say that Murad’s Blemish Control Line does control oiliness and in some effect, blemishes aka pimples. However, it does nothing to manage the acne marks. Unlike Belo Acne Pro that has some mild lightening effect, Murad only keeps the pimples and oiliness at bay. Also, it has the tendency to over-dry the skin, so I’ve already started skipping the mattifier on some days. Here’s me after 2 weeks of use.
PS: This was Day 16, instead of Day 14 because I had been travelling and forgot to take a photo on the 14th day.
So far, I have mixed feelings for this product line. I liked the fact that it controls my oily skin and it helps in drying up the cystic acne faster, but I don’t like that it makes my skin patchy and rough. In spite of this, I continued to use it.
Murad is consistent with controlling the sebum on my face, but I have noticed new pimples on my cheek. This can be attributed to my lack of sleep though, due to my travels, as well as not being hydrated enough. Still, it’s a good way to test the product line’s ability to “control” blemishes. So far into my third week, I can say that while it does make the skin less oily, it doesn’t do much in healing active lesions. The Belo Acne Pro and my doxycycline tablets I think are the ones responsible for drying up my acne faster. Although, to give Murad the benefit of the doubt, it could be having a compound effect with the doxycycline tablets and my birth control pills, that’s why my skin has been drying up.
Here’s a photo:
The last week of my mini experiment. I’ll let the photo speak for itself:
Sorry for the messy hair and the overall gaunt look, I was doing night shifts and had become unaccustomed to people and vanity in general. LOL. Anyway, yes, 30 days after using Murad’s Blemish Control Kit, I can say that it helped in controlling the oiliness of my face but not so much in controlling new pimples, because I’ve got a new cystic spot on my R cheek, in spite of religiously using Murad products. However, it’s not the product line’s complete fault, since I mentioned that I work nights now hence my circadian rhythm might have also affected my skin. Also, I’m about to have my period, so it could also be a factor.
Nevertheless, Murad’s Blemish Control Kit gets a 4 out of 5 stars for me because it does really well in controlling the oiliness of my face, but the Rapid Relief Spot Treatment was a flop for me. The products lasted me for a month, and a little goes a long way for the cleanser and the Blemish Clearing Solution. The products feel great on the skin, lightweight, easily absorbed and has no odor. Those points are why I’m giving it an almost perfect score.
However, negative points include the Rapid Relief Spot Treatment not really rapidly treating the spot (pun intended), as well as the small sizes of the products included in the kit. Yes, I know, these are not the full sizes, but still, if it’s supposed to last a month, shouldn’t the cleanser be at least 200ml? I dunno, just my opinion. Also, in the long run, it can excessively dry out the skin, so a moisturizer would’ve been a good addition to the kit.
Well guys, that’s my product review of the Murad Blemish Control 30-day Kit. I liked it generally, and I think I will maintain the cleanser and the Oil Control Mattifier with SPF 15 for days when I expect to be an oily mess, but I will incorporate a moisturizer, my favorite Belo Acne Pro toner and spot treatment, as well as a serum to manage the rough texture of my skin.
I hope my review helped and I welcome comments.