Murad Exfoliating Cleanser Review

For those looking for an effective cleanser with extra “nitty gritty”, this AHA/BHA cleanser could be just your thing! I mentioned it in the Exclusive Newsletter as one of my favourite new products but didn’t offer a full review as I had only been using it for a few weeks. Now it’s been a few months and I can safely pop it into my recommended cleansers category.

The Murad Exfoliating Cleanser is just that; a cleanser that effectively exfoliates whilst lifting out dirt and makeup. Personally, because of the gritty texture of this, I’d remove the majority of my makeup first, especially eye makeup. Some of you at this point might be thinking so what’s the point in this if I have to cleanse first?! and I know where you’re coming from – I too like to use a cleanser that I can work into my mascara and massage in. This one, though, serves a slightly different purpose. It’s more of a polisher, a zinger-upper of the skin. It’s a cleanser with added oomph. It contains salicylic, glycolic and lactic acids to help remove cell buildup (though the effectiveness in that regard will depend on how long the cleanser’s left on the skin) but I think that it’s probably the jojoba beads that are going to be doing the majority of the work.

This cleanser leaves my skin feeling very smoothed and pepped-up without being drying. It’s in no way moisturising – it doesn’t feel nourishing or pampering – but it doesn’t feel stripping either. I find that it’s a nice cleanser for really making sure that all of that SPF is cleansed off at the end of the day! I wouldn’t use it before another AHA treatment (Liquid Gold, for example) and do not use this with a Clarisonic, but it’s brilliant for those in-between nights when you want something a little scrubbier than usual. I’m not the world’s strongest advocate of facial scrubs, but this one has rounded jojoba beads and doesn’t feel at all scratchy. So it makes the cut! Great for combination oily skin that gets the odd breakout – I wouldn’t use it, personally, on already-erupted blemishes, but the mild exfoliating action will keep the skin clear and fresh.

Murad’s AHA BHA Cleanser is £31 (but I think it’s on sale at the moment!) with free delivery from

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  1. August 13, 2012 / 10:01 am

    I’ve used this a few times because I received a sample and I really, really like it. Good to have YOUR take on this since I am definitely leaning towards buying it once mine runs out.
    I especially like it because my skin is not cooperating very much at the moment. It’s rough and bumpy but no spots. Do you think that it could be from stress and/or from this horrid heat wave we’re experiencing? I don’t remember my skin ever this “bad.”
    Sorry to have gone a bit off topic, but even our beloved Liquid Gold is not doing its brilliant job at the moment and I’m just about ready to start tearing my hair out in despair. Before I do so, any suggestions? Help?! Thanks, Ruth!

    • Ruth
      August 14, 2012 / 1:59 pm

      Could be both, Upa! I have given the LG a break recently because testing out so much stuff for the Zest Beauty Awards, my skin has gone bumpy and weird. All hail the LG. But if it isn’t working its usual magic, give it a rest for a month or so. How about switching to a Vit C? Or a Retinol? Have been testing a RoC night cream and it’s great, very bump-smoothing! x

      • August 15, 2012 / 12:29 am

        Great ideas…thanks! I have each of the three recommendations. Funny how sometimes we can’t think of what’s right in front of us! Fantastic! Xx

  2. August 13, 2012 / 10:12 am

    I love Murad skincare, their anti-acne cleanser is really really good! I’m still waiting for an email off them for 25% off everything that was in Marie Claire, I want to buy things!

  3. Zhenya
    August 13, 2012 / 10:51 am

    This sounds great, would definitely like to try it out. Could you recommend an exfoliating mask please? I’ve been using Elemental Herbology’s Facial Glow which is similar to Elemis’ Enzyme one but I would like something different and maybe a little less pricey? Broke student here (:

    • Ruth
      August 14, 2012 / 1:52 pm

      I’ll have a think! x

  4. Melissa
    August 13, 2012 / 1:09 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    Really hoping you can advise me, I currently have the most horrendous cold and it’s really effecting my skin badly. I have dryness and breakouts can you recommend any products which will help give life back to my skin.

    Thank you

    Melissa :o)

    • Ruth
      August 14, 2012 / 1:51 pm

      Have a look at the “Masks that Really Work” post a few weeks ago and switch to a hydrating but non-oily moisturiser – I reviewed some last week in the “gels” video! x

      • Melissa
        August 14, 2012 / 5:45 pm

        Thanks Ruth, really appreciate the reply. I think I might go with the Heal Gel and hope that sorts it out :o)

  5. renata
    August 13, 2012 / 4:09 pm

    I recommend trying also cosmedix exfoliating cleanser it is so great…

  6. August 14, 2012 / 11:59 am

    I’ve never tried an exfoliating cleanser before–I just have always been wary of spending more than a drugstore price on cleansers since they won’t be on my skin very long. I also use a lot of exfoliating treatments, so I don’t really have the room in my routine to add an exfoliating cleanser. I have always wanted to try Murad though–maybe I’ll find a good moisturizer from the brand

    • Ruth
      August 14, 2012 / 12:14 pm

      The mattifying SPF is good, it feels like glue to start and then kind of melts! xx

  7. Christina Covarrubias
    August 15, 2012 / 10:29 pm

    When I first tried this about, six years ago, it seemed to work well with my acne prone skin…BUT as my 20’s are dwindling away, (and I’m paying more attention to ingredients) this is just way too drying-it has SLS! :( When I use it now, it must, must be followed by something ultra moisturizing and definitely not every day…

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