Murad Acne Complex(R) Review

Murad Acne Complex(R) is a three-step acne skin care treatment system that is frequently advertised on television infomercials.  Developed by a dermatologist, Murad skin care products are designed as a complete acne solution that provides effective blemish control.  Murad acne treatment will “cleanse, treat, and hydrate” skin to make it “as healthy as possible”  Acne Complex(R) is gentle enough to use everyday, even on sensitive skin, yet powerful enough to effectively treat severe acne.

Though Murad admits that many people undergo a “purging process” in which their skin actually develops more acne problems and flareups after beginning a new acne treatment regimen, they say it’s essential that you continue with the system and that most people see positive results after four weeks.

Murad Acne Complex(R) has been used successfully to treat teenage acne and as an adult acne treatment.  Acne Complex(R) is most effective in treating facial acne.  Murad makes a Clarifying Body Spray that “is particularly helpful” in treating body acne such as chest and back acne.  While Acne Complex(R) can treat all types of acne, including acne cysts, Murad’s website says that “deep, cystic acne on the body … must be treated by a dermatologist.”

In addition to helping get rid of acne and working to fight acne that you can’t yet see, Murad Acne Complex(R) will help fade acne scars.  The ingredients zinc, black cohosh, licorice, and green tea all have anti-inflammatory properties and combine to make an effective acne scar treatment.

Company Information

Murad, Inc., was founded by Howard Murad, M.D., who has been a dermatologist for over 35 years and has treated more than 50,000 patients during his career.  Dr. Murad is “ widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on skin health” and plays a key role in the direction of all Murad, Inc.’s operations.   Murad, Inc., has been a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business since 1999 and receives a BBB grade of B-.  The reason for this grade is that, while Murad, Inc., gave “proper consideration to most complaints … one or more complaints are unresolved.”  During the last 36 months, Murad, Inc., has received a total of 40 consumer complaints.

Product Specifications

All Murad acne treatment products contain a blend of pharmaceutical and herbal ingredients.  Because they can be drying, Murad has intentionally left alcohol and benzoyl peroxide out of the Acne Complex(R) products.

Murad’s Clarifying Cleanser deep cleans without irritating, calms and soothes skin, and kills 99.9% of bacteria on the skin.  This acne cleanser comes in a two ounce tube and contains both 1.5% salicylic acid and green tea extract as its active ingredients.  With this combination, Acne Complex(R) Clarifying Cleanser is both a natural acne treatment and an effective acne medication.  The product’s inactive ingredients include pharmaceuticals and natural herbals like bitter orange oil, lemon peel oil, and camellia leaf extract.

Step two of the Murad Acne Complex(R) system is the Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel, which comes in a one ounce bottle.  This gel works to treat acne by penetrating deep into pores, eliminating skin cell build-up, soothing skin, getting rid of existing acne, and preventing new acne from forming.  The Acne Treatment Gel should be applied in a thin layer over the entire face and neck after cleansing.  It contains 1% salicylic acid to clear acne and retinol and glycolic acids to exfoliate and help control breakouts.  Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel also contains the natural acne cures grapefruit and orange fruit extracts and witch hazel.

The final step in the Murad acne care routine is hydrating the skin with Skin Perfecting Lotion.  This oil-free formula comes in a one ounce tube and reduces acne redness and skin irritation by soothing, softening, and perfectly hydrating skin.  Skin Perfecting Lotion contains a base of pharmaceutical ingredients with a blend of herbal acne remedies.  Both retinol and queen of the meadow extract work to tighten pores and reduce oil production – a common trait in hormonal acne – while arnica heals and calms irritated skin.

Murad gives a warning that, if you have not previously used Alpha Hydroxy Acid products on your skin, you should use the Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel “at night only, for the first 2 weeks of use.”  If your skin shows sensitivity to the gel, you can reduce application to every other day.  Otherwise, you should gradually increase application to twice a day, morning and evening for the best acne control.  No other side effects are mentioned.

Where to Buy Murad Acne Complex(R)

Murad Acne Complex(R) kits can be purchased from the official Murad website and from select online retailers.  Though it is considered an over the counter acne treatment – because it’s not a prescription treatment – it is not available in stores.


A 60-day supply kit of Murad Acne Complex(R) will cost $29.95 plus shipping.

Return Policy

Murad offers a 100% satisfaction, 60-day money back guarantee.  If you are not completely satisfied with your results while using Acne Complex(R), you may return the used or unused products within 60 days of purchase for a refund.


Natural acne cures have been very popular in recent years, and Murad has included several natural ingredients in the Acne Complex(R) products.  The role that most of the herbal ingredients play in Murad acne treatments is not fully explained on the website, unfortunately.  All three of the core Acne Complex(R) products contain citrus extracts in various blends – orange, lemon, tangerine, and grapefruit.  One user warns, “I would not recommend anyone to use this product if you have any allergies to oranges or citrus fruit.”  She says that she didn’t realize the acne treatments contained so much citrus oil extract and that “it caused my face and eyes to swell up after two days of use.”

Possible allergic reactions aside, does Acne Complex(R) work?  For some, the results are very good – like one young man from New York who says he’s been using Murad for a year and that it still “works magic” to give him acne free skin.  Along with a few other reviewers I found, he says that the Murad Acne Spot Treatments works wonderfully.  This treatment isn’t part of the Acne Complex(R) kit, however, and must be purchased separately.

A girl from California writes that Acne Complex(R) did clear the acne she had, was preventing additional breakouts, and made her pores “a lot smaller.”  She says, though, that it excessively dried out her skin until she started using an additional moisturizer.  Another female user of Acne Complex(R) who had moderately bad acne says, “It’s been five weeks [of using Murad and] my skin looks way better,” yet she also says, “it stings a little bit.”

When looking at the pros and cons of Acne Complex(R), some people are very happy with the simple steps and the softness of skin after washing while others are unhappy with the over-drying, high price, and unpleasant smell – which one person describes as “peculiar” and another as “horrible.”

Murad’s website says it will get rid of acne that you can see and fight acne under the surface, acne you can’t yet see.  Some people, however, have had problems with the “purging stage” lasting for a very long time.  Though a young lady from Georgia says the purging “cleared up fairly quickly,” another writes that her purging stage has “lasted two months” with no signs of letting up.

From the numerous reviews, it appears that Murad can cure acne on some people but just makes it worse on others.  As with all acne medicines, each individual’s body and skin will react differently, and no one can predict ahead of time what that response will be.

Murad Acne Complex(R) is listed among the top 30 Best Acne Treatments at and is #2 on the Leading Acne Products list at