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Beauty Review: Price a factor when selecting facial treatment

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Natalie Veissalov
LV Life Editor

As a college student, I know how it feels when you become overwhelmed and stressed out to the point that your skin breaks out.

Most of us have had a breakout in our lives – mild or severe. It can be frustrating to fight that blemish especially before an important date or event.

So I decided to do a beauty review on two blemish fighting treatments. I contacted Murad’s public relations representative, and she agreed to give me their anti-blemish treatment system for free to review.

I compared this brand to a less expensive drugstore brand – Neutrogena.

The brand Murad creates various skincare products ranging from acne to anti-aging to cellulite treatment. However, they are mainly known for their anti-blemish products.

Murad can be ordered online or purchased at Sephora. After trying the system everyday of the week for two weeks, I can say my skin feels smoother and clearer than ever.

Although I never had bad acne, I occasionally do breakout when I am under a lot of stress.
When I first used the clarifying facial cleanser, I immediately liked how it felt to wash my face.

The cleanser’s ingredients of menthol and green tea extract felt refreshing. It felt invigorating and like I was removing all the dirt and grime of the day.

The clarifying cleanser, which is the first step of the breakout system, also contains 1.5 percent salicylic acid that helps clear blemishes and prevents future breakouts.

It promises to “reduce 99.9 percent of irritating surface bacteria in less than one minute.”
Also, this cleanser is great for those with sensitive skin because it leaves your skin soft and clean without it feeling tight or dry.

It does not strip your skin of its natural oils. The cleanser is very lightweight, but creates a good lather. It is perfect to use both in the morning and at night. It costs $26.

I also tried Neutrogena’s new oil-free acne wash redness soothing facial cleanser, which is supposed to clear breakouts with salicylic acid. The aloe vera and chamomile ingredients also soothe the skin and reduce redness.

When I used this product, it did not leave my skin feeling tight or dry. This product provides the same results and fresh feeling on your face as the Murad clarifying cleanser for only $6.29.

The second product on the Murad breakout system is the acne spot treatment. It is supposed to provide immediate healing of the blemish by directly delivering 3 percent sulfur.

The spot treatment is lightweight, dries quickly and does not leave a sticky residue on your face.
Although it is a spot treatment, it does not provide a miracle over night, but it does diminish the size of the blemish by almost half.

When I used it on a particular blemish, it took about two days to see a noticeable change. It costs $18. Next, I tried the Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne treatment, which contains 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide. When I used this treatment, it left the areas where I applied it dry and caused some areas of my skin to peel.

Although it costs $6.99, I recommend the Murad spot treatment over the Neutrogena product because it is gentle yet powerful without leaving your skin dry.

The third step to the breakout system is called the Oil-control Mattifier, which contains SPF 15, Zinc Oxide and Octinoxate. When I first tried this step, I was a bit puzzled on why it felt really thick and heavy when I placed it on my face.

How could an oil-free product feel so thick? But once I rubbed it all over my face, it began to evaporate from my skin and felt very lightweight and fresh.

It did not feel sticky or greasy, it hydrated my skin and added moisture to dry areas. However, it was not till the end of the day that I began to really like this product. I applied it before I put on my make-up.

I was impressed how I did not have to powder my skin to control oil. Not only does this product promise to control oil for up to eight hours, it also delivers a strong dose of UVA and UVB sun protection. The oil-control mattifier SPF 15 costs $39.50.

Neutrogena does not offer any product identical to this one, but they do offer similar products that achieve the same results. Neutrogena’s oil-free anti-acne moisturizer is light and non-greasy.

I liked this product because it contains 0.5 percent of salicylic acid, which helps diminish current blemishes and prevent new ones from forming.

Murad’s Oil-control Mattifier does not contain salicylic acid, but does have SPF. However, it did not hydrate my skin very well.

Although Murad’s Oil-control Mattifier is more expensive than Neutrogena’s oil-free anti-acne moisturizer (about $8), I believe that Murad’s Oil-control Mattifier is worth every penny because there is nothing like this product. It hydrates and allows me to have matte finish all through out the day without reapplying face powder.

Quality make-up is out there, it just takes a little investigating and experimentation to determine which kind offers the best quality for your dollar.

Natalie Veissalov can be reached at

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