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Adult Acne: Finding The Most Effective Acne Treatment

If you’re reading this entry on the Murad Skincare Blog, then you’re most likely struggling with adult acne and trying to find the most effective acne treatment to help you clear up your skin. You’re probably also incredibly frustrated because chances are that you’ve either been battling acne your entire life or you’re just developing late onset acne after years of having clear skin. Either way, finding the right treatment for clearing your skin and getting rid of acne can be challenging.

What Causes Adult Acne?
If you’re breaking out as an adult, you may be wondering what’s causing your adult acne. After all, though millions of adults (and particularly women) struggle with adult acne, we think of it primarily as a skin condition for teenagers. However, there may be one of many causes for your adult acne.

Hormonal fluctuation are often the reason for acne breakouts in teenagers, but in truth women continue to get hormone fluctuations throughout adulthood. Menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and even menopause can trigger hormone fluctuations that lead to acne. Changing, starting, or stopping hormonal birth control can have the same effect.

Certain medications can cause acne breakouts. Ask your physician if you suspect that a medication you’re taking has led to breakouts.

Family History:
 There is a genetic predisposition to adult acne. One study found that fifty percent of adults with acne had a parent, sibling or child who also had adult acne.

 Particularly in the case of women, studies have indicated that stress may lead to acne breakouts for women. The body produces androgens as a result of stress, which are a type of hormone that stimulate oil glands and hair follicles.

Choosing the Right Treatment
An acne treatment that doesn’t dry out your skin is important in any instance, but with adult acne it’s even more important as you want to ensure that you don’t accelerate the signs of aging by over-drying the skin. Murad Acne Complex doesn’t use Benzoyl Peroxide and instead treats your acne breakouts with Salicylic Acid, Sulfer and a combination of exfoliating agents and botanicals that slough away dead skin cells and ensure that your skin doesn’t become irritated or reddened.

For treating adult acne, the best acne products are those that create healthy and balanced skin. Murad Acne complex creates clear, beautiful skin in three simple steps: cleanse, treat, and hydrate. For late onset acne, Acne Complex is the best solution for treating acne while preserving the skin from signs of aging.


Reposted from the Murad Skincare Blog


Back To The Basics

Help Your Skin Stay Healthy, Healed And Hydrated With A Daily Dose Of Moisturizer

Although skin produces its own natural oil, called sebum, it still needs an extra boost, especially during the drier, colder months. Harsh weather and lack of humidity in the air can zap skin of the vital moisture it needs to stay healthy and vibrant.

Besides drinking water and following a healthy diet, a good moisturizer can play a crucial role in keeping your skin nourished and refreshed. Weather conditions, a stressful schedule and just plain negligence can affect your skin, but with the right moisturizer, it will remain radiant no matter what’s going on in your life.

Keep That Glow Year Round!

When you keep your skin hydrated with the right moisturizer, you will see an instant difference in how it looks and feels. Ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamins E and C, as well as products containing an SPF (Sun Protection Factor), help to restore, hydrate and protect the skin against free radical damage and dryness.

Which One is Right for You?

Moisturizer is often developed to target various skin types, including dry, normal, oily and combination skin. Remember—even a small amount of moisturizer each day can make a world of difference to your skin. For the best results, choose one that complements your skin’s needs.

Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, then keep in mind that it needs extra moisture. Since this skin type is also more prone to the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, choose a moisturizer that will provide added 
hydration without clogging pores.

Normal Skin

If you have a healthy sebum balance, then your skin will appear moist but not greasy. This indicates that you have a normal skin type and can use a moisturizer that will not only hydrate the skin, but protect it as well. Generally, normal skin looks clear and requires gentle treatment.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is caused by the over-secretion of sebum, whereby the skin attracts dirt and debris. Since this skin type is more prone to breakouts, it is important to choose a product that will keep skin hydrated without over-moisturizing the skin cells.

Combination Skin

This skin type is a blend of both oily and dry skin. Typically, the “T” zone (the forehead, nose and chin area) is oily, while the rest of the skin’s surface (usually the cheeks and the areas around the mouth and eyes) are dry. Select a moisturizer containing natural ingredients that are good for both oily and dry areas of the face.


CosMedix takes a different and natural approach to keeping the skin hydrated. According to Bettylou McIntosh, co-president of CosMedix, “We believe in supporting the skin and encouraging production of the body’s own natural moisture factor (NMF). It’s all about hydration, not moisturization.” CosMedix’s chirally correct products that provide intense hydration include Protect, Emulsion, Mystic, Phytoclear, Phytoharmony and Rescue.

PROTECT | Offers natural sunblock and moisture for dry, sensitive or stressed skin.

EMULSION | Jojoba oil and shea butter infuse an intense dose of moisture to sensitive, irritated or inflamed skin.

MYSTIC | Refreshing moisture spray for oily skin that won’t clog pores.

PHYTOCLEAR | Clarifying moisturizer for acne prone skin.

PHYTOHARMONY | Balancing anti-aging moisturizer for mature skin that stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.

RESCUE | Perfect for every skin type after a chemical peel or laser treatment; contains soothing ingredients that hydrate.


Acne Treatment Tip: Don’t Skip the Moisturizer

When you purchase an acne treatment, we understand that your first priority is to get rid of acne. The first purpose of Murad’s acne products is to help you clear up your acne! However, it’s important to treat your skin not only to clear up your acne but also to create healthy skin all around. That’s where Murad differs from many other products. Murad acne treatment is the most effective acne treatment because it treats skin with high quality ingredients while infusing skin with essential hydration. A big part of Murad’s 3 step system is the inclusion of a moisturizer.


We’ve found, however, that many acne treatment users skip the moisturizer that’s included in the Acne Complex kit or recommended for separate purchase if you’re buying individual acne products. To get the best results when using Acne Complex or a tailored 3 step regimen, it is important to use a cleanser, a treatment product, and a moisturizer. Murad products are carefully formulated to compliment each other and work best when all 3 steps are applied.

However, we understand why you may think that you should skip the moisturizer. The common statement that we hear being said when we emphasize the need for moisturizer is this: “But my skin is oily enough! I don’t need a moisturizer!”

This is actually a misconception, as is the idea that a moisturizer will make you break out even more. Having oily skin doesn’t mean that you have properly hydrated skin. In fact, often if your skin isn’t properly hydrated it will lead to additional breakouts because the lack of hydration can cause even more oil production to make up for the lack of hydration. Properly hydrating your skin is an essential part of treating your acne.

Part of that hydration solution, obviously, comes from an inclusive approach to treating acne and properly hydrating your body in its entirety (Dr. Murad himself talks about this in his latest book, The Water Secret). However, topical hydration is a key step as well, so it’s important that you don’t skip the moisturizer!

Murad moisturizers are designed to hydrate your skin with natural ingredients, soothing botanicals and high grade pharmaceuticals that are designed to be gentle on your skin. With Murad, you’ll get the topical hydration that you need without the harsh skin aggravation that can cause more breakouts.

So while we understand why skipping the moisturizer seems like a good idea, it’s important that you don’t! Skin that stays clear is healthy skin, and healthy skin needs to be moisturized and hydrated! An acne treatment that doesn’t include an element of moisturizing can’t make your skin truly healthy. Think healthy, think hydrated, and make sure you don’t skip the moisturizer step.


Top 10 Ingredients to Look for in Skincare Products

Know your ingredients! Look for skincare products containing ingredients on the following list, since all of them can fight oxidative stress that ages us internally and externally.

1.    Pomegranate extract
2.    Goji berry extract
3.    Vitamin C
4.    Vitamin E
5.    Aloe vera
6.    Zinc
7.    Licorice extract
8.    Green tea
9.    Durian
10.  Grape seed extract

The best hydrating ingredients include sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid, glycerine, and goji berry extract.

All of Murad’s products are formulated the highest quality ingredients and include The Murad Recipe: hydrators, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.


Meeting the Skin’s Needs

Six Steps to Better Skin Health

Like it or loathe it, all of us recognize a skin ideal. Fresh, firm, clear and evenly toned, this archetypal image permeates our culture, regardless of age or skin color. What it represents is perfect harmony—skin that is well-nourished, well-protected and balanced inside and out.

This is skin that’s never seen a blemish, is uniformly pigmented from head to toe and ages little past its late thirties/early forties. While it seems a blessed few do flirt with this flawless form naturally (usually with the help of clever makeup artists and significant airbrushing), for the majority of us, the pursuit of skin perfection is a lifelong struggle. From genetically predetermined conditions to unfriendly lifestyle choices to unseen environmental threats, the burden of skin care and protection, it seems, falls squarely on our shoulders. 

Fortunately, we are not alone. Honing in on the trademarks of naturally healthy skin, modern science has managed to identify and isolate many of the skin’s core needs. Those very attributes of firmness, clarity and consistency that we hold so dear have been distilled to their physiological roots, where they have inspired new methods of clinical intervention. No longer does the majority have to settle for skin as-is. With the help of advanced technology and well-equipped skin care professionals, individual concerns can be targeted and treated at their most elemental level. 

The Skin’s Needs

According to CosMedix co-founder Bettylou McIntosh, beautiful skin is readily achieved by focusing on the skin’s most basic needs. Recognizing four skin-specific requirements—fats, proteins, antioxidants and stimulants—McIntosh emphasizes the importance of internal and external nourishment. “As its largest organ, the skin naturally needs many of the same nutrients as the rest of the body,” she says. 

Fats, essential fatty acids in particular, are especially beneficial for the skin. Critical for a number of biological processes, essential fatty acids aid the skin specifically in promoting dermal integrity and reducing inflammation. Since the body does not produce these nutrients naturally, they must be obtained from outside sources. Foods rich in essential fatty acids include fish, leafy vegetables, certain nuts, soy and grape seed oils and flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Skin-specific fatty acids are also available via dietary supplements. Balance, Restore and SKINamins by CosMedix all contain active concentrations of these and other skin nutrients to help combat inflammation and realize healthier skin from within. 

While fatty acids are obtainable only through dietary sources, other skin needs are easily met topically. Proteins, antioxidants and stimulants can be directly applied to the skin, where they bind with specific skin cell receptors to carry out their particular functions. Depending on the ingredient, that function could be protecting, supporting or stimulating the skin—all necessary tasks in maintaining balance and maximizing skin health. 

The Six “A” Approach

“CosMedix takes a six A approach to fulfilling the skin’s needs,” says McIntosh, referring to the six categories of active ingredients used to treat common skin problems. “We use pharmacological concentrations of actives from every cosmeceutical category to address every skin concern.” 

The six “A”s are: acids (hydroxy and antimicrobial), AGP Complex, amino acids, antioxidants, arbutin and ascorbic acid. Ingredients in each category are designated according to their principle action. For example, acids act as exfoliants while amino acids assist in cell repair. Applied in varying, condition-specific concentrations, ingredients from each group work synergistically with one another to correct the problem at hand, with the ultimate goal of restoring a healthy, natural balance to the skin. 

“The six “A”s are part of a chemical strategy for healthy skin,” McIntosh explains. “Products containing these active ingredients are applied sequentially to address every stage of the skin cycle, from fibroblast formation to desquamation (shedding dead surface cells).”


1. Acids

Acids’ primary role is exfoliation. Comprised of alpha, beta and poly hydroxy acids and microbials, common examples include salicylic, lactic and trichloroacetic (TCA) acids. These ingredients help the skin shed its outer layer of dead cells, known as the stratum corneum, at a more accelerated rate by dissolving the adhesive links, known as desmosomes, between surface cells called corneocytes. By sloughing away corneocytes, acids reveal the fresher, younger looking skin directly beneath the surface.

2. AGP Complex

The principle function of AGP Complex is stimulating cell turnover. An innovative ingredient unique to CosMedix, AGP combines retinol—the industry standard for skin renewal—with arabino-galactan-protein conjugates from wine to enhance the rate of turnover while eliminating retinol’s trademark irritation. As healthy, new skin cells appear, unsightly lines, wrinkles and surface roughness fade from sight. The result is a smoother, suppler, noticeably younger looking complexion.

3. Amino Acids

Ingredients such as peptides and growth factors usually come to mind when discussing amino acids. As the building blocks of these and other proteins, amino acids primarily aid in cell repair and support. Assisting in wound healing, surface remodeling and collagen production, these ingredients help sustain the skin’s extracellular structure. While the body produces its own supply of these key substances, its output dwindles with age. As a result, the skin starts to sag and lose form. By reintroducing such ingredients topically, we can supplement our internal deficiency and help restore firmness and elasticity to the skin.

4. Antioxidants

Antioxidants are the skin’s protectors. Known as “free radical scavengers,” antioxidants scour the body in search of volatile, cell-crippling agents. Spawned from UV rays, urban pollution, domestic products and other sources, free radicals are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons that steal electrons from cellular material, causing the degeneration often associated with sun damage and premature aging. Antioxidants, however, intervene in the process, sacrificing themselves to neutralize the free radical threat and, literally, save face.

5. Arbutin

Arbutin performs a specific function in skin care. A potent skin brightener, arbutin inhibits the tyrosinase enzyme, a copper-containing enzyme responsible for changes in pigmentation. Acting on melanocytes—pigment-producing cells in the skin—tyrosinase influences melanin production and is a key player in hyperpigmented conditions when in excess. Arbutin blocks the catalyzing enzyme, suppressing excess melanin production and curtailing the effects of hyperpigmentation.

6. Ascorbic Acid

Commonly known as vitamin C, ascorbic acid is among nature’s most potent antioxidants. Offering powerful protection against UV-induced free radicals, it encourages healthy wound healing and helps suppress cutaneous pigmentation. It is also a necessary enzyme cofactor for the manufacture of collagen, stimulating the structural protein to improve skin elasticity and reduce the look of lines and wrinkles.