Murad skin care review: Can this cleanser help prevent breakouts?

Luxury Skincare

The Murad acne cleanser contains several plant-based ingredients, including extracts from green tea, tangerine leaf, lemon peel, apricot and lavender.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser review

Those who experience breakouts know it’s hard to keep them under control. Managing them involves experimenting with products that often result in mixed success. Many acne cleansers underdeliver on results, while others may exacerbate acne or trigger new reactions.

Murad claims to have the solution with their Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser. It promises both immediate and long-term results with a unique formulation featuring two types of salicylic acid and green tea extract. The skin care company says users see noticeable results in as little as 3 days, followed by more dramatic results within a few weeks. 

Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser

We wanted to see whether Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser lives up to its promise as a reliable cleanser that controls acne and clears skin, so we decided to test it for 6 months. Here’s what we found. 

Testing Murad acne cleanser

We tested the Murad acne cleanser over the course of 6 months with someone who has combination skin and experiences mild acne. They added it to their nighttime skin care routine, which included removing makeup and applying vitamin C serum, moisturizer and eye cream to a cleansed face. On average, they used the Murad acne cleanser 3-4 times per week. 

What is Murad acne cleanser?

Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser is a facial cleanser that clears existing blemishes and keeps future ones at bay. It’s formulated to work well for all skin types, including acne-prone skin.

The cleanser has a water-based gel formula that dissolves excess oils that trigger or exacerbate breakouts, and it seeps deep into pores to remove other impurities. Active ingredients include two types of salicylic acid that manage acne, as well as green tea extract, which soothes irritation and redness. The Murad acne cleanser is cruelty-free and does not contain harsh ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, mineral oil, formaldehyde, oxybenzone or petroleum.  

How to use Murad acne cleanser

The Murad acne cleanser is typically used as part of daytime or nighttime skin care routines. Some individuals are able to use it on a daily basis, whereas others may prefer limiting use to 3 or 4 days depending on how sensitive or dry their skin is.  

Murad recommends that after using the acne cleanser in the morning, you follow it with an SPF moisturizer. When you use the cleanser at night, you can follow it with a lightweight moisturizer. In our skin care routine, we followed the Murad cleanser with our normal vitamin C moisturizers and eye creams by other skin care brands. 

Key features of Murad acne cleanser

The Murad acne cleanser offers several benefits to users, including cleansing, acne control, oil control and skin calming.

  • Cleansing: The cleanser leaves skin feeling fresh and clean, and for many people it’s their primary cleanser. It’s capable of removing makeup, sunscreen and other skin care products without leaving residue. 
  • Acne control: Murad’s acne cleanser uses two types of salicylic acid for short- and long-term acne management. Salicylic acid resurfaces skin by helping it shed dead cells from the top layer. This reduces redness, mildly exfoliates existing breakouts and minimizes the potential of future breakouts. 
  • Oil control: The cleanser removes excess oil, both on the surface of skin and deep within pores. In particular, it controls excessive oil production later during the day in humid environments or beneath makeup. Overall, it leaves skin dry and shine-free.
  • Calming: With green tea extract as an active ingredient, the Murad skin care cleanser calms irritated skin. Besides alleviating inflammation and related redness, it may reduce sensitivity and tenderness around breakouts.  

Other top skin care products

Here are some additional skin care products to consider, including other Murad products.

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisturizer SPF 30

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisturizer SPF 30

This protective moisturizer hydrates skin and shields it from environmental aggressors, including UV rays and pollution. It leaves skin with a bright, radiant complexion. The moisturizer, ideal for daytime wear, is suitable to use after the Murad acne cleanser.

Sold by Amazon, Ulta, Sephora, Dermstore and Murad

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion

Popular for oily, combination or acne-prone skin, this Murad moisturizer has honey extract and panthenol to boost skin’s moisture retention. It also contains restorative ingredients that promote cell turnover. The lotion can be applied day or night after using the Murad acne cleanser.

Sold by Amazon, Ulta, Sephora, Dermstore and Murad

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

This eye cream smooths and brightens the under-eye area with avocado oil and shea butter. It delivers intense hydration without leaving a residue, plus its non-migrating formula makes it suitable for contact wearers and individuals with sensitive eyes.

Sold by Macy’s, Ulta and Sephora

Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask

Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask

Made with activated charcoal, this powerful yet gentle mud mask draws out impurities and leaves smooth, clean and hydrated. It minimizes the appearance of fine lines, pores and patchy areas, particularly around the chin and forehead.

Sold by Amazon, Macy’s, Ulta and Sephora 

Murad acne cleanser price

Murad Acne Control Clarifying Cleanser costs $12 for the 2-ounce travel bottle, $32 for the standard 6.75-ounce bottle, $49 for the 13.5-ounce pump bottle and $60 for 16.9-ounce pump bottle. 

Where is Murad acne cleanser sold?

Murad acne cleanser

The Murad acne cleanser is available at Amazon, Ulta, Sephora, Dermstore and Murad.

Murad acne cleanser benefits

After using the Murad acne cleanser for 3 days, we saw a notable improvement in our skin’s oil production and breakouts. We had even better results after a month, in which we saw an overall reduction in breakouts and inflammation. Our skin took on a healthier glow. 

The cleanser had a resurfacing effect that made skin smoother to touch, particularly around areas where we had existing or new blemishes. In turn, we experienced better makeup application given the reduction in uneven areas. 

We appreciated how clean our skin felt after washing with the Murad cleanser. To some extent, it had a mild cooling sensation that was invigorating.

Murad acne cleanser drawbacks

While we started using the Murad acne cleanser daily as recommended, we found that this frequency of use ended up stripping and drying out our skin. As a result, we had to limit use to every other day, or no more than four times per week. 

Individuals with sensitive skin may experience mixed results with Murad. Some users have reported that the formula was irritating and worsened blemishes, and others experienced increased inflammation and redness. 

The cleanser is an expensive option among salicylic acid cleansers, particularly for people who intend to use it on a daily basis and need to replace it often. 

Should you get Murad acne cleanser?

The Murad Clarifying Cleanser makes good on its promise as a cleanser that manages acne well. It delivers short- and long-term results, making it ideal to treat existing and new breakouts. The Murad acne cleanser is a smart skin care investment for individuals with mild to moderate acne, including those who are willing to spend a little more on a formula that works well with other skincare products.


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Most Popular