Murad Acne Complex Kit contains four items: the clarifying cleanser, the exfoliating acne treatment gel, the skin perfecting lotion and the acne spot treatment. While there are many ingredients in the entire kit package, there are some items that are used more frequently.
The main active ingredient in the clarifying cleanser and the exfoliating acne treatment gel is salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). Functioning as an anti-acne treatment it is also an exfoliant. It gently removes the dead skin cells and leaves behind softer smoother skin. Salicylic acid derives from willow tree bark and is considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
With a concentration of 3 percent in the acne spot treatment, sulfur reduces acne breakouts both in frequency and in the severity of the breakout. It works on both whiteheads and blackheads. Sulfur is a component essential in every cell and is used in many personal care products. The FDA approves it for acne and dandruff.
The clarifying cleanser has bitter orange oil, lemon peel oil, lime oil and tangerine oil while the exfoliating acne treatment. The skin perfecting lotion contains orange fruit extract and the acne spot treatment has orange oil. Bitter orange oil has been used as a fungal infection treatment and in aromatherapy. Tangerine oil is added for fragrance but in higher concentrations can be a skin irritant, according to Cosmetics Cop, a website that investigates cosmetic claims. Lemon peel oil is listed as GRAS—generally recognized as safe by the FDA—which functions as a skin conditioner and a fragrance. Lime oil, according to Natural Database, can be a skin irritant and make skin sensitive to light. It is also a fragrance. Orange fruit extract is a fragrance and a skin conditioner.
In both the acne treatment gel and skin perfecting lotion, retinol restores skin to a supple state. It is a form of vitamin A that occurs naturally. Dry skin will be less flaky with this additive and can work on skin to make it healthier looking.
Butylene Glycol/Propylene Glycol
Butylene glycol is an ingredient in the clarifying cleanser, acne treatment gel and the skin perfecting lotion while propylene glycol is in the skin perfecting lotion. Butylene glycol is a solvent and decreases viscosity, which means it makes the mixture thinner. Solvents break down other ingredients in a mixture; in this product line, it breaks down essential oils such as citrus. Propylene glycol is organic and attracts water to the skin, functioning like a moisturizer. This keeps skin from flaking.
Tetrasodium EDTA is in clarifying cleanser, the acne treatment gel and in the skin perfecting lotion. It is the salts of ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid and is used for binding metal ions. Metal ion binding helps keep cosmetics from deteriorating. It keeps the product from getting rancid, according to Cosmetics Info.