Salicylic Acid vs Benzoyl Peroxide

Salicylic Acid vs Benzoyl Peroxide


Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are active ingredients found in popular acne treatments. Benzoyl Peroxide works by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria and by causing the skin to dry and peel. Salicylic Acid is a welcome alternative for people with sensitive skin.

Benzoyl Peroxide Salicylic Acid
Can cause initial dryness and irritation to skin, such as redness and swelling In skin care products it’s used as a gentle exfoliant to clear dead cells and stimulate new skin cells
Can remove the skin’s top protective layer, increasing the risk of sunburn and premature aging (if sunblock is not used) In toothpaste it’s used as an antiseptic to rid bacteria
Can bleach hair, teeth and clothing In medication it’s used to aid stomach and fever relief
Can be flammable at high concentrations In plants it can make flowers blossom


What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid is a vital ingredient in many skin care products, lotions and creams, used to treat acne and psoriasis, as well as hair products to treat dandruff. This Beta Hydroxy Acid, compared to Alpha Hydroxy Acid, is a great exfoliant used to treat acne and acne-prone skin. It effectively penetrates oil-filled pores and exfoliates the dead skin cells that build up inside , thereby reducing irritation and inflammation. Salicylic Acid also helps break down blackheads and whiteheads. If used continuously, this acne medication can effectively unclog pores and prevent future breakouts.

Where does Salicylic Acid come from?

Derived from the bark of the willow tree, Salicylate has been used for centuries, though primarily for the treatment of fever relief. Salicylic Acid literally, comes from word “salix”, which is Latin for willow tree.

Who should use Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid is tough enough to combat acne and gentle enough to soothe skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema and acne treatment. And it’s great for all skin types! It works well for oily and acne-prone skin as it deep cleans pores. It’s essential for dry/sensitive skin because it creates less irritation than AHAs and by removing the dead layer of skin it allows for moisturizer to be better absorbed. This exfoliating process is a must for aging skin, as it evens the appearance of tone and texture and allows for the growth of new skin.

How It Works

Acne occurs when excessive amounts of dead skin cells collect inside a pore and bind with excess oil to create a plug. That plug creates an airless environment that is an ideal condition for acne bacteria to thrive. Salicylic Acid, a BHA (beta hydroxy acid), fights the breakout within the pore by helping to normalize excessive shedding of cells and excess oil production—the primary contributors to blocked pores and breakouts. Salicylic Acid also gently exfoliates the upper layer of the skin to help keep pores clear and unblocked. Salicylic Acid is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that helps to calm red, swollen acne-stressed skin. The combination of benefits that Salicylic Acid provides makes is ideal for dealing with today’s breakouts and redness and for improving the health of the skin to inhibit the formation of future breakouts.

Why It’s Recommended

Salicylic Acid treats, heals and prevents acne without over-drying or irritating skin, which can cause more acne breakouts. Because acne can only be managed through regular and consistent treatment, Dr. Murad has specifically designed his formulas for daily use.

Murad’s Acne Products

Murad’s Acne Line is clinically proven to rapidly clear breakouts and restore smooth skin without dryness or irritation. One of our bestselling products, Acne Clearing Solution, contains .5% Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree oil, Queen of the Meadow extract and a vitamin blend. In a Murad-sponsored study, 96% of users saw clearer skin in 72 hours. Our newest acne product is Transforming Powder Dual-Action Cleanser & Exfoliator which contains Salicylic Acid and pumpkin seed extract. Exfoliating bio-enzymes digest surface oil, dirt and dead skin cells—while dissolving beads smooth and soften skin.

Read More

5 Acne-Fighting Tricks For The Best Skin Ever!

Cleanse with a Konjac sponge.

A Konjac sponge is made of a porous root vegetable and is more gentle than a scrub so you can use it daily to exfoliate and to remove makeup. Excellent for use on all skin types and gentle enough for those with sensitive skin. Free of preservatives, artificial fragrances and bio-degradable.

Try a Honey Facial

Raw honey was prized for its healing properties in ancient civilizations and Manuka honey has a considerably higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These enzymes create a natural hydrogen peroxide that works as an antibacterial. Some strains of this New Zealand honey are particularly rich in hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone. These antibacterial properties and antioxidants are incredible for your skin and a powerful skin treatment.

Apply a thin layer of raw honey to your skin using circular motion, leave for a couple of minutes and gently rinse off with warm water.

Calm Redness with Ice

Like any inflammation, a few minutes of ice can help reduce the swelling and shrink any acne spots that you may have.
Wrap ice cubes in a washcloth and apply to your face. This DIY facial will restrict bloodvessels and calm redness. Follow with an all-over acne treatment like the Acne Clearing Solution.

Prep your skin

Prep your skin with a mattifying moisturizer like the Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15. Pair your moisturizer with a BB cream with Tea tree oil or witch hazel to combat inflammation and provide coverage. Thanks to its astringent properties, witch hazel is a very effective natural acne treatment.

Clean you sponges.

Prevent future breakouts by cleaning makeup sponges after every use. Coming a tablespoon of mild shampoo with warm water, rinse the sponge or let them sit overnight.

Read more acne skincare tips:
Skin care tips for students
How to Create a matte makeup look that lasts
Acne Do’s and Dont’s
Time Release Acne Cleanser question.

Read More

5 Skin care tips for students

Everyone knows that when you’re at school, rushing from one end of the building to the other with only 5 minutes to spare, your skin’s health is often the last thing on your mind. However, the weeks and years of abuse can take its toll on you: acne breakouts can, and do, happen to us all! The worst thing you can do is stress out even more about the downward spiral that may be happening to your face, so here are a 5 easy tips on how to manage your skin’s effectiveness as the first barrier against stress!


Everyone knows that eight glasses of water – while still a way of putting water into your body – also means eight trips to the bathroom.  When we eat more water-rich foods, we absorb water more slowly because it is trapped in the structure of these foods. That slow absorption means that water in food stays in our bodies longer, with a multitude of additional benefits. Having water-rich cells not only means you look better, but your body functions better as a result. That exam you’ve been cramming for every day this week? Eat leafy greens such as kale and spinach during that week, both of which have proven benefits to your memory retention, and you’ll be out of there in no time! By choosing foods such as fruits and vegetables, you’re not only hydrating and feeding your body, you’re also curbing the cravings for salty, fatty foods that absorb all the water your body is reserving for your cells and muscles, and make you feel bloated.

Takeaway: By eating several servings of raw fruits or vegetables each day, you will be able to stay hydrated significantly longer and your brain will thank you.



A hard thing to do while in class, is keeping your face clean from all the debris floating around. From old, musty textbooks, to the desk you’ve been “resting” your head on, every surface contains millions of bacteria life forms. The best way to protect your skin from potential outside invasion is to cleanse daily! The Murad Clarifying Cleanser kills any bacteria by using 1.5% salicylic acid, which helps clear out your pores, pushing off dead skin cells and regenerating new, healthy cells. If you have skin that tends to get oily as the day goes by, don’t forget to exfoliate three times a week. Use the Skin Smoothing Polish, as the fine micro-polishing beads deeply penetrate pores to remove impurities from the surface of your skin. The most important thing to remember is to cleanse twice a day! Your skin will thank you after a long day being exposed to the elements.

Takeaway: Wash your face at least twice a day and don’t go to bed without removing your makeup

Protect your skin and wear sunscreen everyday—even if you’re oily


As the year rolls back into school mode, we tend to see the cloudy weather as a sign to stop using sunscreen. By not protecting your face from harmful UVA/UVB rays, we are potentially putting ourselves at risk for serious skin diseases and premature ageing. UVA rays are characterized as the sun’s rays that penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin, causing damage on a cellular level, the primary cause of skin cancers. UVA rays are also used in tanning booths, so while that tan may make you look fabulous for a month or two, your skin could be very damaged underneath. Avoid these places at all costs! UVB rays are mostly responsible for the sun burn you get in the summer months. These rays are shorter, and do not penetrate very deep. However, they are the leading factor in photoageing, which is when the outside layer of your skin has been so burnt over time, that it wrinkles prematurely.


Finding a sunscreen that protects against both of these is very important, especially on your long bus ride to school every day and back. Try a moisturizer with broad spectrum, which means it protects from both types of rays, of SPF 30 or higher, such as the Age-Balancing Moisturizer. This not only helps protect from the sun’s harmful rays, it deeply hydrates your skin so it is perfect for the in-between months when the weather is cold, but the sun is still out to play. It also has anti-aging benefits, to help combat any photoageing that may have resulted from previous years of tanning sessions.

Takeaway: Use a moisturizer with sun protection every day

This has been told to us since pre-kindergarten: keep your hands off of your face. Why is this so important? You may think that your hands look perfectly clean, or maybe you touch your face unconsciously, but the truth is, our hands touch everything and gets dirty! Cleaning your hands frequently helps reduce this. The temptation gets even stronger when there is a very stubborn, painful pimple sitting smack-dab on the tip of your nose. Picking or popping this zit is not an option! By breaking open the pore, you are exposing the pimple to outside bacteria, which will make sure it never goes away, or worse, the bacteria that was trapped inside before is now free to roam the surrounding area of your nose, cheeks and face, resulting in a tribe of pimples!

The best way to get rid of a pimple is to apply a topical spot cream, like the Acne Spot Treatment. You can use this as many times a day as you like, as it will dry out the pimple, using sulfur to bring the head to the surface. Then, when you get home, exfoliate your skin just before using a cleanser, like the Time Release Acne Cleanser. The exfoliation will remove the head of the pimple in a safe, non-obtrusive way, and the salicylic acid in the cleanser will go in and finish off that pesky acne-causing bacteria. This also prevents the potential for scarring, which happens when you wound your skin while popping or picking at pimples.

Tip: Clean your phone screen regularly with an anti-bacterial wipe and change your pillow cases at least once a week.

Be prepared – Pack a spot treatment

Being on the go all the time limits how much time you can spend rejuvenating your skin. Even if you cleanse every day and night, sometimes it’s just not enough. Take five minutes out during your bathroom break to re-vamp your skin. By using the extremely handy Clarifying Wipes, you can reduce your chances of having clogged pores in just minutes. Use this at least once a day, especially after you’ve done any type of physical activity. Also, a leading cause of acne breakouts is oily skin. If you’re noticing that around lunch time every day, your skin is looking shinier and feels oilier, don’t just wipe the oil off. Use the Clarifying Wipes to soak up the excess oils followed by the Oil-Control Mattifier to prevent more oil production.


School stress fluctuates up and down throughout the year, but if you follow a set routine, your skin doesn’t have to suffer too! Remember to take time out whenever you can to just relax, either with an at-home spa day to pamper yourself or an evening watching Netflix with your family and friends! Your skin’s health is connected to your mental health, and if your mind is happy, your skin won’t have any reason to complain. Remember you are beautiful.

Blog post by Murad Beauty Advisor – Dania

Read More

What Skin Care Products Do You Need in Your Gym Bag?

For those with an active lifestyle, making sure that you have the right skin treatment products is essential to having great-looking skin. Regular workouts can be healthy for your body and skin, but the buildup of sweat on your clothes during your workouts can cause breakouts that can damage your skin. Of course, you probably take a shower or clean up after your workouts, meaning you most likely put a few products into your gym bag to keep your skin clear and clean. While there are times that you may forget or run out of your usual skin care products while you’re at the gym, you also want to think about using products that are milder and gentler on your skin. If you’re going to be washing your skin a little more than usual during the day, you don’t want to irritate it! Here are gentle skin care products you want to start keeping in your gym bag.

Cleansers for Removing Sweat and Salt

No time for a wash?

Get a few spritzes of the on-the-go-friendly, refreshing Hydrating Toner to rehydrate skin and neutralize surface impurities

A mild, gentle cleanser is important if you’re going to wash your face after a hard workout. Make sure that you use one that won’t irritate your skin and cause problems down the line. You also need to get skin those vital nutrients and antioxidants that will help combat breakouts as well as the signs of aging. Murad Daily Cleansing Foam helps give your skin a healthy glow while gently clearing it. It works to restore skin’s natural balance while pomegranate extract gives your skin the needed antioxidants it needs to stay protected from free radicals.

Have 5 minutes?

Cleanse skin immediately with the antioxidant-rich Essential-C Cleanser to remove oil and sweat, and refresh skin with a burst of citrus.


Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion for Hydrated, Post-Workout Skin

A gentle cleanse means making sure that you use the right lotion to make sure that your skin isn’t irritated after frequent washings. Murad Canada’s Skin Perfecting Lotion is formulated to reduce the size of pores and refine your skin’s texture. As an oil-free moisturizing formula, Murad Canada’s Skin Perfecting Lotion contains Queen of Meadow and Algae extract which work to clear pores.

A Lip Treatment

In our skin care treatment routines, we tend to focus on our face or body when it comes to anti-aging or acne treatments. While skin care products that focus on your face or body are the primary products of any regimen, you should also be using a lip treatment that will moisturize your lips. Murad’s Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips is especially formulated to help moisture penetrate your skin. It’s the perfect size to pop in your gym bag for use after every workout.

But No matter what….

Always use an SPF before heading back to work. Apply the 3-in-1 Invisiblur formula under or on top of makeup to protect skin from UV rays, blur imperfections and treat signs of aging.

When you’re going to the gym more often, making adjustments to your skin care treatment routine can be tough when you want to keep your skin healthy while not irritating it after an extra washing. Make sure you choose the gentlest skin care products that will make sure your skin keeps that healthy glow, especially after a tough workout!

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

Read More

Create a matte makeup look that lasts

Create a matte makeup look that lasts with the ultimate oil-control duo.


Oil breaks down makeup, so prep skin with InstaMatte™ Oil-Control Mask for a fresh, matte canvas

Pro Tip: Mask can also be used as a daily cleanser.

Press and pat Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 | PA into skin to help control oil for up to 8 hours.

Apply matte foundation, blending from the center of your face outward.

Sculpt your face with matte bronzer to give your look dimension. Apply blush to cheeks for a pop of colour.

Pro Tip: For a natural flush of colour, use your bare lip colour as a guideline for selecting the perfect blush shade.

Apply peachy eye shadow all over eyelids and warm bronze eye shadow to the outer corners and creases for an understated, classic look.

Pro Tip: Use your matte bronzer and blush as the lid and crease colours.

Apply peachy-nude matte lipstick to lips to complete the look.

Pro Tip: For a long-lasting matte lip, line and fill in lips with lip liner. This also adds structure for a more polished look

InstaMatte Oil-Control Mask is an ideal treatment prior to makeup application for oily and acne-prone skin types to create a shine-free canvas for a flawless finish. This non-drying formula imparts a subtle yet refreshing grapefruit scent and helps to keep makeup in place all day for a fresh, matte complexion.

Read More

Acne Do’s and Don’ts

Murad has been helping people get acne-free for years, both through our acne treatment products and through the advice of our founder, renowned dermatologist and author Dr. Howard Murad. Our clinically proven Acne Complex® products combine the best of science and nature to unclog pores, kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce oil and shine. Unfortunately, getting rid of acne isn’t as simple as just changing your skin cleanser. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help:


  • DO develop a daily skin care regimen with products that include:
    • Exfoliate and pore cleansers (Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Retinol) for a deep clean and slough off pore-clogging dead skin cells
    • -Anti-inflammatories (Licorice Extract, Allantoin) to diminish irritation and redness
    • -Vitamin C helps to diminish post-acne marks
  • DO use spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen to prevent hyper-pigmentation and to preserve skin elasticity.
  • DO use dietary supplements for internal skin care. Supplements act like an internal acne medication that protect from the inside-out to help minimize breakouts.
  • DO frequently change pillowcases and towels
  • DO replace makeup sponges and sterilize makeup sponges and sterilize


  • DON’T stray from your skin care routine:
  • Daily use of Murad’s high-performance acne treatment will help reduce the symptoms of acne. But even when the symptoms are diminished, you must keep using the products to prevent future occurrences. Consistency is essential to managing and controlling acne.
  • DON’T use greasy cosmetics. Oily makeup can cause clogged pores.
  • DON’T pick. No matter how tempting, squeezing blemishes can prolong infection and can also cause permanent scarring.
  • DON’T use drying products. Harsh astringents and cleansers can actually worsen acne. Dehydrated, acne-prone skin compensates by producing even more oil.
  • DON’T scrub too hard. Treating acne-inflamed skin too roughly or with scalding hot water may help spread infection and worsen the skin disease.
  • DON’T ignore it. The little time it takes to care for your skin each day can make all the difference in the way you look and feel.

Read More

Why You Should Be Using An Oil-Based Makeup Remover

Did you know:

Today’s makeup is super long-wearing—that means great day coverage but a real risk of clogged pores and acne at night. To meet the challenge of easily removing these long-wearing products without stripping your skin, we’ve developed Renewing Cleansing Oil. Renewing Cleansing Oil is a remarkable new, non-greasy cleanser that has the power to thoroughly remove your makeup without scrubbing. Renewing Cleansing Oil not only leaves your skin remarkably clean, it actually leaves your skin noticeably softer and smoother.

How it works:

Renewing Cleansing Oil forms a strong bond with the oils and minerals that give your makeup its staying power. That’s why when you rinse off with Renewing Cleansing Oil, makeup, BB cream, sun-block, excess oil and impurities rinse off too—leaving skin free of potentially pore clogging debris. And Renewing Cleansing Oil isn’t just an exceptional makeup remover. Renewing Cleansing Oil supports the health of your skin by preserving your natural pH balance and strengthening skin’s natural protective barrier.

How to use:

Massage Renewing Cleansing Oil’s botanical oil formula directly onto dry skin to dissolve makeup—even the most stubborn mascara. Rinse off dissolved makeup and grime with a splash of water to enjoy skin that’s soft, residue-free and healthfully clean.


Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

Read More

Acne Clarifying Wipes for blemish-prone skin.

This easy-to-use, oil-fighting formula, which can be used after cleansing or while on-the-go for a quick touch-up, comes in convenient pre-moistened, ultra-soft wipes that fight breakouts and reduce shine, while balancing and toning blemish-prone skin.

Clarifying Wipes for blemish prone skin work to fight blemishes and prevent new ones from forming by removing pore clogging dirt, bacteria and oil. Formulated with Witch Hazel to tighten pores and help control excess oil, Algae Extract to regulate excess sebum production, and Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin E to help protect skin from free radical damage, Clarifying Wipes is ideal for those who suffer from acne and oily skin.

We all know that stress is unhealthy for your heart and brain, but it’s just as bad for your skin. The stress of traveling, school, sports and over committed schedules can wreak havoc on a complexion so Clarifying Wipes is a great solution to throw in your bag and take with you wherever you go.

I developed a line of scientifically formulated acne clearing products that rapidly relieve breakouts and help prevent new blemishes from forming. And to boost results, I also recommend an Inclusive Health® approach that combines topical care, internal care, and a focus on a sense of self to achieve optimal skin health. By looking at ways to encourage healthier skin overall, we can also improve acne.

The Clarifying Wipes was created to control breakouts and oil production while tightening pores.

Read More

How to treat adult acne.

Adult acne has the same treatment needs as all breakouts do you’ll want to focus on using acne medications that treat the causes of your blemishes rather than just dry out your skin. But if you have adult acne, you also have other skin care concerns that you may not have had when you were younger. From wrinkles to dark spots to dulling, your skin needs to be treated differently as it matures. Murad adult acne products are formulated to provide a balance between care for aging skin and rapid resolution of breakouts. Combined with Inclusive Health” lifestyle choices, Murad adult acne products can give you clear, glowing skin at any age.

Patients with adult acne often ask Dr. Murad if their breakouts are just new incarnations of the acne that they struggled with as teens. To help explain the key differences between these two types of acne, and the two distinct approaches to treatment, our education team put together this helpful infographic. Pin it to your Pinterest account to save for future reference!

AAA_Adult vs. Teen Acne Infographic_FINAL

Read More

Managing Rosacea and Redness


One of the most emotionally challenging skin conditions I see as a dermatologist is rosacea. With redness and bumps that can be mistaken for acne, it can lead to the same kind of feelings of embarrassment and isolation in middle-aged people as acne does in teens. Because it is a chronic skin condition with no known cause or cure, lifestyle modification and targeted, consistent, gentle skincare are essential to managing the condition.

Symptoms of rosacea typically include persistent redness on the nose, chin, cheeks or forehead and may also include small bumps or pimples; spider veins; and watery, irritated eyes. While anyone can experience rosacea, it’s a condition that most often afflicts middle-aged women with fair complexions, and it tends to run in families. A key component to managing the condition is avoiding these known triggers for rosacea flare ups:

  1. Extreme temperatures; strenuous exercise; hot baths; saunas. Through dilation and contraction of blood vessels, the skin plays a big role in helping the body to regulate temperature. Both extreme heat and cold can cause a rapid flow of blood to the skin’s surface that causes it to flush red. In extreme heat, the body tries to dissipate heat from its core, and in extreme cold, the body tries to defend the skin and extremities from the damaging effects of cold, such as frost bite.
  2. Hot foods; hot beverages; spicy foods; alcohol. These can all trigger dilation of the blood vessels, just like the body’s response to extreme heat.
  3. Sunlight. UV light from the sun damages the skin both in the short term, by gradually raising the skin’s surface temperature as it burns, and in the long term, by damaging collagen, DNA, immune cells and vascular structures within in the skin. That’s why it is essential to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather.
  4. Stress, anger or embarrassment. All can cause us to flush red or go pale. Just as with extreme temperatures, the body uses the skin as a buffer to regulate spikes and drops in blood pressure that can be associated with extreme emotional states.
  5. Topical skincare products with irritants. Rosacea-prone skin is sensitive and easily irritated. To avoid triggering flare ups, I recommend a gentle daily face wash that has been specifically formulated to be extra gentle and to help calm the skin. I also recommend treatment products with azelaic acid and soothing goji berry extract.


Even if you don’t suffer from all the symptoms of rosacea, you may find that following these general recommendations for redness management can help you with occasional episodes of tight, red or dry skin. Topical products formulated to calm rosacea-prone skin are also great for calming skin that’s been over-exposed to sun or cold weather and after cosmetic procedures that can irritate your skin, such as hair removal.


Doctor Murad

 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.




Read More