Murad vs. Dermalogica Acne, Which One Clears the Breakouts?

Acne is a common problem in teenagers. This Murad vs. Dermalogica acne review examines two skin care products made to combat acne and breakouts to help you decide which one is best for you.

My teenage daughter has been struggling with acne for two years now. I have bought her several creams and cleansers. Attendants at the drug store say we should not expect to see a substantial difference for a few weeks but nothing seems to make a significant difference even after using it for the recommended 8 weeks. I need to find a product which can give quick, noticeable effects which will last.

What are the differences between Murad and Dermalogica Acne? How do they compare?

Murad Outsmart Acne Clarifying Treatment
Dermalogica Break Out Clearing Foaming Wash
Vacuum dispenser
Open mouthed bottle
Penta-acid action
Single acid action
Medicinal content
Product Type
Facial Wash
Foam wash

Murad vs. Dermalogia Acne. What are the differences?


Murad’s acne treatment is formulated using a penta-acid technology. This is a combination of 5 powerful acids: salicylic acid, lysophosphatidic acid, sebacic acid, hydroxydecanoic acid and glycolic acid which clear the skin of existing acne and prevent potential breakouts. Salicylic acid helps to reduce existing acne and prevents outbreaks, lysophosphatidic acid helps to minimize appearance of pores. Sebacic acid and hydroxydecanoic acid help to regulate sebum and glycolic acid helps to remove dirt from the surface of the skin.

Dermalogica’s product also contains salicylic acid along with Tee Tree, Lavender and Sinensis which help to clear dead skin cells and oils trapped in pores. Unblocking pores helps to clear acne and prevents breakouts.

Soothing and Hydrating Properties

Murad’s acne treatment product makes use of honey extract, rice extract and boswellia extract to ensure the product gives a soothing and hydrating feeling. These extracts also help to prevent drying of the skin and redness.

Dermalogica uses 8 plant derivatives including Camellia Sinesis, Lavender and Tea Tree to ensure the product gives soothing and hydrating effects.

Serum vs. Facial Wash

The Outsmart Acne Clarifying treatment by Murad is a gel serum which is applied on the skin between cleansing and moisturizing. Serums are made up of smaller than average molecules to allow them penetrate deep into the skin and ensure high concentrations of active ingredients get into the skin.

Dermalogica’s clear start foaming wash is, as the name suggests, is used to wash the skin. It can be used as a substitute to soap to remove dirt, dead skin and oils which sometimes clog the pores. It is rubbed onto the skin for a few minutes and then rinsed off just as you would do with soap. After cleaning, you can then apply a serum, followed by a moisturizer.


Both products are made without any artificial fragrances which have been known to cause allergic reactions in some users. Artificial fragrances can also cause skin irritations especially in people with hypersensitive skin. The Murad Outsmart Acne Clarifying treatment has a natural citrus fragrance which comes from a combination of lavender, tangerine, lemon and lime extracts.

The Clear Start Foaming Wash from Dermalogica also has a citrus fragrance which comes from orange peel extract which also serves to give you a feeling of freshness after using the product.

Murad vs. Dermalogica Acne. Reviews, Pros and Cons

Murad Review

Murad’s Outsmart acne clarifying treatment is a medicated gel-serum which users say can clear breakouts in just one week. The active ingredients work by removing acne-causing bacteria, blackheads, whiteheads and excess oils. Murad’s acne treatment minimizes dryness so you your face does not feel dry and tight after using it. It is also recommended for people with sensitive skin because it rarely causes irritations or allergy-like reactions.

This product is best for oily skin, which is most prone to breakouts, and sensitive skin though people with other skin types also benefit from it. Besides acne and breakouts, this products can also be used to deal with excess oil, which causes one to have a shiny face and clogged pores. This treatment is alcohol free which helps to reduce excessive drying and minimizes chances of irritations.


  • Immediate noticeable results
  • Helps clear acne scars


  • Minimally effective in clearing blemishes


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Dermalogica Review

Clear Start break out clearing foaming wash is part of Dermalogica’s line of acne fighting products. This line specifically focuses on teenage acne which is commonly associated with overproduction of oil by oil glands. The foaming wash is used in place of soap and works by clearing dead skin cells, excess oils and dirt which usually clog up pores and cause breakouts. It can be used on the face as well as the neck, chest and back. Some people get acne on their necks, backs and chests so it is advised that these areas are treated with the same skin treatment used on the face.

It can be used once or twice a day depending on the intensity of breakout you are dealing with. For best results, lather a small amount of the wash on your damp hands and rub the foam all over your face, neck, back and chest. Be sure to keep the wash away from your eyes because it could cause irritation. Rinse out thoroughly using warm water and tap the skin with a soft towel to dry.


  • Effective acne treatment
  • Cleans thoroughly without drying out the skin


  • Fairly small packaging


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Bottom Line

Treating persistent breakouts and acne requires more than the all too common prescription drugs. It requires a more holistic approach which calls for a rethinking of your diet, lifestyle and skin care regimen. This Murad vs. Dermalogica acne comparison puts Murad in the lead because it is has been proven to give noticeable results in as little as one week. Although taking a more holistic approach requires more patience because it takes longer to see results, these results can easily be maintained.


Why is alcohol used in some skin care products?

Alcohol is used in some creams to make them feel lighter. It also helps to make ingredients of the cream penetrate the skin better.

What is the difference between teenage acne and adult acne?

Teenage acne is caused by over production of oil by the oil glands. Adult acne is usually caused by hormonal imbalances. Adult acne is commonly seen on the lower part of the face, jaw area and chin.

Why is foam important in facial wash?

Foam washes create a lather which helps to remove make up and layers of oil and sunscreen which can sometimes be difficult to wash off.

Why are parabens in cosmetics bad?

Parabens are used in cosmetic products as a preservative to prevent growth of molds and harmful bacteria. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer and have been found present in breast tumors.

How long do Murad products last?

All Murad products generally last about 3 years as long as they are stored properly and kept unopened.


Marie Stevenson

Having been a victim of counterfeit products Marie Stevenson decided to comb various markets both online and physical to find the best original beauty products for women. The influx of counterfeits is palpitation inducing especially when you consider the aftermath. The consequences of using fake makeup or tanning lotions can be quite expensive and life-threatening and the reason why Marie decided to provide you with insightful information that will actually enhance your health. Apart from saving the world from the influx of fake beauty products Marie is a dedicated environmentalist, loves to travel and read. Her famous line is that if you believe it and have the passion to do something right then don’t let someone else discourage since they don’t understand where you are coming from.

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