Murad Acne Control Kit Review

Murad Acne Control Kit Review: Is It A Scam?

Written By : Dr Ruby Shah   ✓ Fact Checked

Four-piece trial-size kit that helps minimize acne breakouts & scarring. Read our review to learn more about these products.

(Last Updated on December 2, 2023)

Seeking healthy skin?

You’re not alone.

Thanks to the folks at Murad, you just may find it.

The four-piece Acne Control Starter Kit might kickstart your route to clear, clean and flawless skin.

Murad claims to prevent future breakouts, along with effectively treating current blemishes.

Are Murad’s claims legit? Read all about it below.

What Is A Murad Acne Control Kit?

The Acne Control Starter Kit is one of many products formulated by Dr. Murad.

Dr. Murad’s experience as a dermatologist and pharmacist lends credibility to his powerful skincare creations.

Multi-functional formulas, combined with high-quality (and often pharmaceutical grade) ingredients, are the basis of Dr. Murad’s skin care philosophy.

The Murad Acne Starter Kit is designed to produce results quickly — without harsh side effects.

Pharmaceutical grade ingredients clear blemishes and promote healthy skin.

Without excessive dryness or irritation, the Starter Kit accomplishes dramatic results in a gentle way.

Murad Acne Control Kit Product List

There are four separate products present in the Murad Acne Control Starter Kit.

Clarifying Cleanser

It targets breakouts by deep-cleaning pores.

Acne Clearing Solution

It reduces redness and skin sensitivity related to acne.

Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment

It quickly diminishes the size and color of blemishes.

Oil Control Mattifier

It balances skin oil and shine to produce a matte look.

Murad Acne Control Kit Ingredients

Steps 1, 2 and 3 have the same active ingredient: Salicylic Acid.

Step 4 has multiple active ingredients: Octinoxate, Zinc Oxide and Ensulizole.

Salicylic Acid

The salicylic acid is these products vary in concentration.

While less than a 1% concentration is considered ineffective at treating acne, salicylic acid concentrations over 3% are banned (in the U.S.).

The Clarifying Cleanser contains 1.5% salicylic acid.

This is a strong amount, but not quite considered “extra strength”.

While effective, this concentration is less likely to result in redness and irritation.

Especially since users wash the product off relatively quickly.

The Acne Clearing Solution is a low concentration — only 0.5% salicylic acid.

Since the clearing solution remains on the skin, this reduced amount is ideal.

Salicylic acid is derived from willow bark and has skin-soothing properties.

The calming, anti-inflammatory effect reduces the irritation commonly caused by acne treatments.

Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment contains 2.0% salicylic acid.

This is where the “extra strength” aspect comes in.

By applying directly to individual blemishes, this spot treatment delivers results in roughly four hours.

It’s safe to use as a rub-in treatment, as is especially ideal for oily skin types.

Octinoxate (7.50%)

Octinoxate is considered safe up to concentrations of 7.50%.

Octinoxate has the ability to absorb harmful UV rays and you often find it included in sunscreens.

However, octinoxate can rapidly degrade in the presece of sunlight and become problematic.

The ability to block UV rays diminishes, and the overall absorption of skin-damaging free radicals actually increases.

Even after you’re out of the sun, octinoxate continues to damage the skin — which may lead to hyperpigmentation.

But that’s not all.

Octinoxate also absorbs quickly into the skin and disrupts the body’s endocrine system.

An increased amount of estrogen develops in the cells, which can potentially cause breast cancer.

Octinoxate also affects thyroid hormones, thus disrupting normal thyroid function.

If that wasn’t enough, negative effects on the male reproductive system are also linked to octinoxate.

Reduced sperm count and low weight of reproductive organs are reported in multiple studies of octinoxate.

So — why is this ingredient considered safe for skin products?

Good question.

Zinc Oxide (3.00%)

Zinc oxide is derived from the mineral zinc.

Zinc oxide is associated with a number of skin care benefits: acne treatment is just one.

It is also considered a non-harmful alternative to chemical sunscreen and salves — protecting the skin from both UVA and UVB sun rays.

Reducing irritation and rashes are additional benefits, as well as prevention from bacterial infections — all of which make zinc oxide ideal for the Murad Starter Kit.

It also reduces the likelihood of antibiotic resistance caused by both typical topical and pill-form acne treatments.

As far as a oil control mattifier, zinc oxide is shown to regulate the production of sebum (oil).

It also enhances the synthesis of new collagen and acts as an anti-aging agent.

Definitely a plus for any leave-on skin care product.

Ensulizole (1.00%)

Ensulizole is considered a “safe” sunscreen for blocking UVB rays.

Unfortunately, sun exposure causes ensulizole to produce free radicals.

Free radicals are harmful: damaging to both skin and DNA.

This UVB “protectant” is also linked to cancer. Honestly — not a favorite.

Other Ingredients

There are over 100 other ingredients in the Acne Control Starter Kit.

Some, like tea tree oil and tangerine oil, are plant-derived.

Many are not.

Depending on what you’re looking for, this pharmaceutical grade solution may or not be the right choice for you.

How Does Murad Acne Control Kit Work?

The core active ingredient in the starter kit, salicylic acid, is a well-known treatment for acne.

When pores are clogged with skin cells and sebum, the lack of air creates a breeding ground for bacteria.

By preventing excessive shedding of cells and oil production, salicylic acid works within the pores to prevent breakouts.

Simultaneously, salicylic acid calms inflamed and swollen skin commonly caused by acne.

How to Use Murad Acne Control Kit

The Murad Starter Kit consists of four separate steps.

Step #1

Massage the Clarifying Cleanser over damp face/neck. Then rinse and dry.

Step #2

Apply Acne Clearing Solution on clean face/neck in the morning and evening.

Step #3

Apply Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment in a thin layer on affected areas (as needed).

Step #4

Apply a liberal amount of Oil-Control Mattifier in the morning.

Murad Acne Control Kit Side Effects

According to the company instructions, a “purging process” may occur.

This equates to roughly two weeks of extreme acne and whiteheads, which are supposed to clear away thereafter.

According to customers, incurred side effects may include:

  • Chemical burns
  • Extremely dry and peeling skin
  • Permanent scars

Is Murad Acne Control A Scam?

The kit — as a whole — may not be ideal.

Salicylic acid (on its own) is an proven treatment for gently combating acne.

Zinc oxide is also an excellent protective and effective measure for treating acne and other skin problems.

However, other ingredients in the starter kit are not especially productive for safe skin care.

In fact, they may be downright harmful.

You may find better results elsewhere.

Murad Acne Kit Reviews & Complaints

Out of 875 reviews, this product receives a 2.5 rating out of 5 stars.

The largest portion (310 reviews) were one star.

The smallest fraction (71 reviews) gave 5 stars.

Nikki expresses:

My skin felt clean immediately after the first use. The price is reasonable and It gives your skin a lovely glow. It worked for me so far I’m two weeks into the treatment and my acne is gone!

The first week was really uncomfortable and the purging was awful. It was super itchy at first and very dry. It works !! I’m two weeks and one day into the treatment and I’m very impressed.

I will admit I was nervous during the purging stage but I stuck it out and now I have acne free skin, I still have light blemishes from previous acne scaring but I notice they are fading and I trust this product will eliminate that proble in due time.

Casey explains:

Lotion is really nice Left skin feeling fresh Didn’t take too long to use Didn’t work Spot treatment was a joke I used this product for about 3.5 weeks, some days my skin looked better, some days it looked worse.

I got a lot of painful pimples (which I usually only get about one of those a month) the rest are cystic. Didn’t help clear up blackheads.

This product probably does work for some people, it didn’t necessarily make my skin worse, but it certainly didn’t make it better and now I need to stop wasting my time and try something else.

Karla concludes:

NOTHING! From light to severe acne !

Made me purge Gave me lots of the big ugly pimples/cyst Horrible the worst thing I applied to my face I had light acne and I gave this a try because proactive did not help!

Worst mistake of my life it made me purge dried out my skin and made me peel! Please dont buy this !!! If I could go back in time I would never buy this again!

Mmmfranks12 shares:

This Product completely ruined my life. I had clear skin in 7th grade, I just had small bumps and convinced my mom to get me this stupid treatment because i thought i had bad acne. I was so wrong. I used this product for weeks, and the “purging” process occured…. ACNE EVERYWHERE.

I told myself it would be gone soon it was just “purging”…. no…. I had developed cystic acne and spent over 500 dollars on treatment for my face. I am 20 years old now, a sophomore in college, and I am still recovering from this product. Please Please Please do not buy this product.

Murad Acne Control Kit Packages, Pricing & Where to Buy

We recommend buying this product at the official website:

Check out the packages and prices below.

  • Acne Control 30 Day Kit: $38.00

Shipping Info

Standard shipping is FREE for orders $50.00 and up.

For order totals less than $49.99, standard shipping costs are $8.95.

Other shipping options include:

  • Priority Shipping: $13.95
  • Expedited Shipping: 19.95
  • Overnight Shipping: 29.95

Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands orders are shipped priority for $17.95.

Orders outside of the U.S. are delivered 14 – 21 days after ship date.

Murad Moneyback Guarantee & Refund Policy

A 60-day money back guarantee applies to all Murad products (if purchased on official website).

If you are dissatisfied for any reason, a full refund of the product price is available.

Murad Acne Control Kit Pros & Cons


  • Full refund is available
  • Salicylic acid is present at safe concentration levels


  • Contains harmful active ingredients — i.e. octinoxate, ensulizole
  • Numerous (potentially unnecessary) inactive ingredients
  • Majority of customers reviews are negative

Murad Acne Control Kit Review: Final Verdict

There are some promising elements to the Murad Acne Control Starter Kit.

Unfortunately, there are also less-than-desired aspects as well.

The side effects and vast number of negative customers reviews aren’t exactly compelling.

What you decide to put on your skin is up to you.

In some instances, people saw great improvements for the quality of their skin.

You can always try it, and refund it.

But (as reported), there may also be lasting consequences.

So, what do you think about our Murad Acne Kit review? Would you buy this product or not? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

One Reply to Murad Acne Control Kit Review: Is It A Scam?

  1. I wish i could add picture of second day of use what did to mine and my 14 year olds daughters face … My face swell up mostly eyes in the morning couldnt open my eyes .. my daughter had dry red blotches allnover her face i took her to doctor to get prescription to calm her skin down

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