If you watch a ton of youtube makeup vids like I do, then you will have noticed that many of the channel hosts have either struggled with acne or currently have problem skin. Like many of the other beauty bloggers out there on the net, I have struggled with my skin in the past. I don't really get breakouts now a days, but it took a while to rehabilitate my skin back to its current state.
My Acne Story started before I was even born...
Since my parents also had acne, for the most part I attribute it to genetics and hormones. When I get pimples there are generally small, inflamed, and white heads. I never really had a problem with black heads even though my T-zone is very oily. These days I have sort of an inverted T-zone with oil being concentrated on my nose and the part of my cheeks under my eyes.
The first time that I got acne was the summer before freshman year of high school. My family had decided to go to Disney World and then I got the WORST breakouts of my life. Not only were the inflamed but I then got sunburnt on top of it :( My sympathetic mother decided that it was time to step in and do something about my misery so we went to the mall in Florida and got the Murad Acne Complex kit that lasts 60 days. This was the only thing that ever made a dent in the crop of pimples on my forehead! Through continued use, my skin eventually cleared and I only had to deal with the occasional hormone induced breakout every once in a while.
Then came university, the beginning of a toxic lifestyle...
If you look up "acne face map" you will find that different locations on the face correlate to different underlying internal health problems. For me the primary pimple areas were the nose and forehead. This was because I was intaking to many toxins and not letting my liver get enough rest. In addition my eating habits were not good because the food at uni is terrible for the health even with daily exercise. I also made the mistake (repeatedly) of adding stress to my liver... ;)
From all the excess and stress in my life, the awfulness of acne resurfaced and with a vengeance. Murad alone could not stop this force of nature! I eventually broke down and went to the dermatologist this passed June. He prescribed me Differin 0.3 and Duac. This combination therapy with Murad's acne gel wash, moisturizer and mattifier healed my face- in one month the number and severity of pimples was reduced by 90% from when I first started. This is the regime I still use today and I don't plan on changing that any time soon. Even if there are cheaper products out there, I'm hesitant to change just because this works so well for me.
About Murad Acne Complex:
The Clarifying Cleanser is a gel wash that smells kind of like lemon lime gatorade. I massage this gently on my face and then follow up with a massage from my Clarisonic Mia. The was contains 1.5% salicylic acid which may or may not be a tad drying depending on skin sensitivity and level of oiliness. For me I find that this is just the right amount to get my face really clean but those with dry skin would most likely hate this product.
The Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel encourages cell turnover while treating active pimples. I don't use this anymore since I have Duac and Differin, but it did help me with acne in the past. When starting out with this product it stung in the way that acid burns. It kinda felt like a facial peel and for me it really did function that way. When ever I would try to blend out my sunscreen, I would always get balls of dead skin much like what you would see in a review of Cure (a japanese exfoliator). It also makes the face very red :( I would recommend using this at night and rinsing it off with cold water after 10 mins in the morning or only using it at night. Eventually my skin developed a tolerance to this stuff since I refused to give up but this is definitely not a favorite of mine.
The Skin Perfecting Lotion is also another gem in this set! It feels very hydrating and is very light weight without being way to watery. It does look oily for the first 15 mins after application or so, but just allowing it to soak in will solve the problem.
Also in the set is a the Acne Spot Treatment. It contains sulfur so it has a most offensive smell, but it doesn't last too long. However it can get kind of flaky due to the formulation so once again this is not a product for people with dry skin.
I personally do not use any treatment products from Murad since I have the ones my derm prescribed me, but they did work well for me once upon a time.
Hope that helps and sorry that this post sounds so pitchy, but I think that it is a line worth trying! If you get it from Sephora, the return policy is pretty good (save the receipt and box!) so if it doesn't work out then you can just get your money back.