July 30th 2018
LA based dermatologist Dr Howard Murad has been at the forefront of innovative, clinically tested and trialled skincare for more than 30 years with his California-made, world-renowned brand. It’s fair to say that if you’re looking for effective ingredients delivered in artfully blended formulas within the best packaging possible (packaging matters when it comes to skincare performance), Dr Murad’s your man.
There’s a range to suit almost every skin situation, from acne to hyperpigmentation. So this week, in partnership with Murad, we’ve cherry picked our personal staples, both cult classic and new to the market, that have gone above and beyond to keep skin looking and feeling healthy.
Scroll on for anti-pollution moisturisers and more...
Why we love it: “A quick action radiance booster and fine line ironer”
Review: “I have fairly reactive skin, so as much as I’m aware that retinol is one of the only proven “anti-ageing” ingredients, I often give it a wide berth. Depending on the potency and blend of ingredients in any given retinol product, and how often you apply it, it can result in redness, flakiness and greater sensitivity, so I’m very picky with the retinol I use and try to reign in gung-ho usage. This light serum is just up my alley where a retinol elixir is concerned- it’s gentle enough that it doesn’t result in flake face yet still powerful in terms of speedy effects- think brighter, tighter looking skin and a smoother surface texture after just a few weeks sporadic nocturnal application (I apply it three or four nights a week). The hyaluronic acid-rich formula keeps skin plump, supple and moisturised, and the packaging both safeguards the precious actives within and keeps application hygienic. Whether you’re just starting out on the retinol road or want to try something new, it’s a gem.”
Reviewer: Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Why we love it: "An overnight hydration powerhouse that protects and strengthens the skin against blue light and environmental pollutants."
Review: "With pollution levels at an all time high in London, I want to be using skincare that works to hydrate my dry skin while also helping to strengthen my skin barrier against environmental pollutants. This night cream from Murad is designed to promote overnight skin cell renewal to detoxify and boost the skin barrier as you sleep. The concentrated form of vitamin C helps to minimise pigmentation and brighten the overall skin tone and a blend of plant stem cells are included to neutralise toxins. With a lightweight consistency, the cream immediately absorbs into my skin, which is a pleasing relief from many of the thick and slightly heavier creams designed for overnight usage. After five days of continued application, I started to notice a positive difference to my skin come morning. It was brighter, my skin tone more even and deeply hydrated. Plus it's packaged in a completely airtight jar container, which helps to protect the ingredients and control the amount you use - it's pretyy genius from all angles!"
Reviewer: Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Why we love it: “The best product I’ve found for getting rid of spots, fast.”
Review: “I’ve grown up assuming that nothing really works when it comes to getting rid of spots, having tried multiple products with no success and hoping to prevent them instead. But the occasional angry blemish does pop up and this is the first treatment I’ve tried that actually works; not only that, but it works FAST. Containing 2% salicylic acid (the best known ingredient for acne prone skin), this clear gel tingles on application but even my sensitive skin can handle it. It promises to reduce the size and redness of your spot within four hours and I can vouch for its efficacy - on applying it in the morning my spots are visibly smaller come the afternoon; in fact, its results were so impressive that on a recent girls’ holiday all three of my friends took to using it and were equally impressed. The gel formula doesn’t dry skin out or leave your skin looking patchy so you can use it over or under makeup, too - all in all a dream product that helps to get you back to clear skin in no time.”
Reviewer: Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
Why we love it: "A wrinkle-plumping facial in a box."
Review: "The imagery on the box of this peel-meets-mask reminded me instantly of a magic show (is that a magic wand?). And it’s not that wide of the mark with this product, as far as transformation goes. I set aside the required 20 minutes for the treatment, soaking in a bath full of relaxing magnesium salts (handily also needing 20 minutes to work their magic). Having cleansed my face, I took out the oversized cotton bud, which was pre-soaked in lactic and glycolic acids and swabbed it around my face for a gentle exfoliating peel."
"Immediately afterwards and without rinsing, on went the sheet mask, for a 15-minute dose of hyaluronic acid, aloe and vitamin B3. It promises intense hydration and glow and that’s exactly what it delivered, and for your money you get four peel/mask sachets. It makes brilliant sense to preface the mask with a peel, to allow the ingredients to penetrate better - and you know that the two treatments are going to be compatible. It left my skin feeling really soft and plumped out the lines especially the naso-labial folds. Great ahead of a night out, or the morning after."
Reviewer: Victoria Woodhall, Editor
Why we love it: A gentle exfoliating cleanser that leaves skin super soft and revitalised.
Review: "During the colder months my skin tends to become very dull and lacking in any sign of life so I am constantly on the lookout for something to perk it up. This cleanser does just that, combining non-irritating exfoliating ingredients to sweep away dulling dead skin cells and grime without causing irritation or inflammation. I particularly enjoy using this in the mornings as it leaves my skin fresh and glowy- the perfect starting base for make-up. After continued use over a couple of days I definitely noticed that my skin appeared smoother and my makeup applied better. I love the sleek, simple packaging and the 200ml tube will last me for ages."
Reviewer: Alexandra Harrison, Administration Assistant
Why we love it: “An antioxidant packed daily moisturiser and sunscreen in one”
Review: "Like most people, I find it hard to find the ideal SPF that will give me the much needed protection required without feeling too thick or drying on my skin. It’s also hard to know whether to combine a separate moisturiser and a SPF on top as it can feel too heavy on my skin and the last thing I want to do is block my pores with lots of unnecessary layers."
"This lotion provides the best of both worlds – it’s a vitamin C packed day moisturiser as well as a SPF. I love how easy it is to apply- it’s sheer and very light so glides on and melts into the skin so easily, leaving my face feeling soft and looking brighter. I wear it under my foundation and my skin remains beautifully hydrated all day with zero grease or breakouts to speak of (this has been a huge issue for me in the past with sunscreens). I also love that it’s paraben free (a total must for me) and not overly perfumed- just a very light citrus smell which is lovely and refreshing first thing in the morning. This is a must-have product for anyone with oily or combination skin like me."
Reviewer: Kully Buhal, Head of Business Development
Why we love it: "Gently cleanses pores, plus it actually feels good during the process."
Review: "I’m always a fan of a product that does what it says on the tin so this mask is my new go-to. It's formulated with beautifully soft volcanic clay, sparkly polishing beads and lactic acid, and despite the fruit salad scent it's deceptively hard working. One light layer goes a long way and within ten minutes helps unclog pores for a cleaner, smoother finish, particularly around the nose and t-zone. It’s now officially made its way into my highly curated (a.k.a. rushed) morning skincare regime - easy to apply, quick and un-messy to remove with warm water, and you get results every time. It’s recommended for use two to three times a week, which I’d say is about right, particularly now I’m back on the daily commute and clogging my pores with London grime- this product certainly earns its keep! Definitely one of my new favourites."
Reviewer: Gemma Bellman, Managing Director
July 30th 2018
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