This is a 4 part system that we discuss individually below. Overall, we gave it a “C” for a grade.
The Clarifying Cleanser is designed to treat the surface bacteria present within the skin. Murad claims that 99% of all surface bacteria is killed within 60 seconds, which is nice. Our concern however was how was it treating the acne causing bacteria under the skin, and would it be effective in cystic acne breakouts.
Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel is the main acne treating product in this system. It is designed to penetrate deep for the purpose of eliminating pore clogging impurities, while it gently exfoliates and controls breakouts without irritation. This will work on acne caused by impurities or dirty oily skin, but it is not going to even touch the acne causing bacteria present below the surface of your skin. The same bacteria responsible for your acne breakouts. In that regard, the effectiveness of this acne treatment seemed lacking to us.
Skin Perfecting Lotion is designed to restore balance and soothe irritation, presumably from the cleanser and acne treatment gel as well as the breakouts themselves. This is essentially a moisturizer that is suppose to return the moisture to the skin after it has been stripped away. Acne treatments that come with a moisturizer generally means that the acne treatment is a drying one. Drying acne treatments are just not advanced enough prevent from damaging the skin, and that is the case with this system.
Acne Spot Treatment and Clarifying Mask- The spot treatment and the clarifying mask are perhaps one of better parts of this system, as they work relatively well. The problem is that it is more of the same drying. Drying out the skin will only do so much, and while it will remove acne initially the results are not lasting as this system is not designed to treat acne under the surface of the skin.
To be honest we were expecting a bit more from the Murad name. Murad has been creating decent skin care products for years now, but this Acne Complex was an overall let down. This does focus on surface bacteria and does a decent job of repairing the drying damage that it causes, but it will not prevent acne in the long run. This acne treatment is a 30 dollar treatment. It does not produce the results of a higher quality formula and it will not reduce bacteria under the surface of the skin like an acne treatment with Resveratrol. Overall an average value (in terms of number of products), but in reality it is just another low priced acne treatment that does not deliver long term results.