Recently, Murad sent me some of their newest skin care products to try out, and I’m finally sharing! (Well, I admit that I’ve already mentioned the sunscreen stick a few times, I definitely like it!)
The products are from the Environmental Shield line, and offer immediate gratification with ingredients that will immediately show results, primarily through intense moisture and a lot of smoothing. With continued use you’ll see more benefits as the active ingredients (especially the Vitamin C) have time to kick in and really work.
Why is the line called Environmental Shield? It was “created to help restore and renew sun and environmentally damaged and aging skin, while protecting it from new damage.” Basically, a lot of anti-aging punch combined with anti-oxidants to help fight any on-going UV damage.
Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 35
I mentioned this sunscreen balm in my Best Summer Sunscreens and How to Reapply Sunscreen (while wearing makeup), but it’s a staple in my purse now. I’m taking it everywhere and using it (liberally) on my face!
The stick does feel like a dry balm, it’s great for applying over makeup, other sunscreens and is perfect for any time of day. Except for under makeup. (I’ve tried it, the results weren’t pretty. My concealer and foundation disappeared within a few hours. The things I try in the name of beauty science and blogging!) So, use it over your makeup, in areas that get hit easily by the sun, and reapply it throughout the day!
There are a lot of added anti-aging ingredients in this product including Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Retinyl Palmitate (which is controversial in sunscreens), hydroxy acids like lactic acid and even Zinc, which helps with wound healing. The real difference here is that it features “MuraSol™ Antioxidant Defense, a proprietary blend of powerful encapsulated antioxidants that penetrate the skin’s top layers and creates a protective barrier of free radical neutralizers to halt the cascade of UV-induced damage and premature aging before it begins.” Better penetrating anti-oxidants? Yes, please!
Instant Radiance Eye Cream
This has definitely become one of my favorite eye creams, I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve recommended this cream to since starting it at the beginning of June! This is unlike any eye cream that I’ve tried before in that they really did try to concentrate on both the immediate and long term benefits of the cream. Usually, products concentrate on one or the other.
“We saw a need in the market for a topical solution that truly helps minimize dark circles both in the short term and long term,” said Jeff Murad, Vice President, New Product Development. “With Instant Radiance Eye Cream, we were able to make an extremely effective eye cream that temporarily improves the appearance of the eye area just 15 minutes after application, but also provides lasting, dramatic improvement with continued use.”
The most immediate thing you’ll notice with this eye cream is the smoothing effect. It doesn’t feel like a cream, more like someone has mixed in a little bit of a lip balm, it almost feels a bit… thicker and stickier than a cream. And there’s a little bit of silicone in there, like most foundation primers. It sinks into my skin pretty quickly, and while there’s no residue left behind the skin there is definitely a little different. It gets plumped up and feels silkier, and the silicones in the eye cream ensure that when you apply concealer everything applies very smoothly and without settling into fine lines. I don’t really notice the light diffusers, which is a good thing since you obviously don’t want that area to be shiny! Over the last 6 weeks or so my undereye area has been feeling very smooth and definitely hydrated.
According to Murad, the cream helps:
• Minimize the appearance of dark circles by 30% in 15 minutes and by 48% with continued use (the immediate effect is due to light diffusers, but over time you’ll see the effects of the active ingredients as well)
• Improve smoothness by 48% after one application (that’s the silicones)
In the formulation:
• Resilient-C Complex™ maximizes collagen production and skin brightening, a stabilized and potent version of Vitamin C
• Retinyl Palmitate and Tangerine Butter smooth skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Light diffusers help reduce the appearance of dark circles by visibly brightening the eye
• Silicones to smooth the eye area
Advanced Active Radiance Serum
The last product that I tried out from the Environmental Shield line was the Advanced Active Radiance Serum, which might is my favorite product of the three. This is one of their most popular products (previously Active Radiance Serum), but it has been newly reformulated to add Hexapeptide-2.
“While our original Active Radiance Serum has proven to be one of our most popular products, at Murad we are continuously looking for ways to improve our formulas to incorporate the most innovative technologies,” said Jeff Murad, Vice President of Product Development. “After in depth research and testing, we have been able to take an already award-winning serum and update it with a powerful skin brightening peptide that will give our customers the fast acting results that they are looking for.”
The serum contains:
• Hexapeptide-2, a skin brightening peptide
• Indian Fig (Opuntia Ficus): has been found to help with wound healing (1), to have anti-oxidant properties (2 and even to increase fibroblast activity (3).
• Green Tea Extract: More anti-oxidant activity
• Resilient-C Complex: Again, the highly stable Vitamin-C that is 50 times the potency of prior generations of Vitamin C
Advanced Active Radiance Serum is a do-it-all serum/light lotion that has a ton of anti-aging punch for a lightweight serum that works great under makeup. It has a light scent that is a little citrus, a little herbal… I can’t smell it once everything is applied. It is a bit hydrating, and in the summer I can still put a SPF lotion over it without an issue. It sinks in completely without any residue and hasn’t caused any issues with makeup application.
The Serum has been clinically proven to improve brightness, clarity and radiance by 60% in less than one week. After using it for about 6 weeks, I do think it works really well for my skin. Even with my rosacea, the serum seems to be gentle enough for me, and I definitely felt glowy.