Benefit Cosmetics (UK)

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Interview with skin expert Jeff Murad

What is the next big thing in skin care? What are the biggest skin care mistakes? And what are the biggest skin care concerns for people in their thirties? These are just some of the burning beauty questions on my list. And who better to ask about all things skin and skin care products related than Jeff Murad. He is part of a skin care dynasty with his dad, Dr Howard Murad, the man behind the results driven Murad skin range.

Interview with skin expert Dr Jeff Murad

Image via Murad Skincare

Jeff, pictured above, joined the company in 2000 as Vice President of Product Development and it was my absolute privilege to have the opportunity to tap up his extensive beauty knowledge.

How has the beauty industry changed over the years you’ve been working in it?

“The biggest change I’ve seen is in the development of ingredient technologies, which have done a lot to improve the effectiveness of skin care products. For example, we have recently updated many of our products with our new hydration ingredient technology called RepleniCell.
RepleniCell utilises a proprietary blend of osmolytes, select amino acids and trehalose to pre-treat the water phase of Murad formulations. By pre-treating water with RepleniCell we transform a previously in-active element of a product [water] into a high-performance solution. You see, all skin care products contain at least 40% water as it’s needed to hold the other ingredients, but it’s not actually doing anything for the skin. RepleniCell helps skin attract, bind and retain water; essentially the water becomes a ‘performance hydrator’, so now 100% of the product is working to improve the skin.”

Have skin care concerns changed over this time? And if so how?

“My father sees a lot of patients (he’s seen over 50k) and we’ve noticed pigmentation and sun damage becoming more of a focus in recent months whereas lines and wrinkles were always patients and customers number one priority.”

What are the biggest skin care mistakes people make?
“Not wearing broad spectrum sunscreen! The most damaging rays from the sun are in fact in the UVA spectrum so it’s important to look for products with broad-spectrum protection which provides protection against both UVB (burning) and UVA (ageing) rays. UVA rays are the same strength all year round and can even penetrate through clouds and through windows. Plus, they can contribute to premature ageing, collagen degradation and even skin cancer.”

What are the most common skin care problems for people in twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies and beyond? And what would your recommendations be for each ‘skin stage’?
“As you reach your mid twenties you may start to see the first signs of ageing so this is a great time to start using anti-ageing products. Exfoliate to slough off dulling dead skin cells to brighten the complexion and stimulate healthy turnover of cells. Also, invest in a really hydrating moisturiser to plump skin and minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Product recommendation:
AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (£34)
Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisturiser (£64)

In your 30s and 40s you may start to see the cumulative impact of environmental ageing caused by daily exposure to assault from sun, smog, pollution and stress.  These environmental ageing effects include sun spots, dullness and pigmentation issues. Ensure you’re wearing SPF protection everyday to protect from environmental damage.

Product recommendation: Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30 (£57)

As women approach the menopausal years they are dealing with the full court press from all three types of ageing: genetic ageing, environmental ageing and now hormonal ageing too.  It’s everything they dealt with in their 20s and 30s with hormonal ageing coming into play; even women blessed with great genes will now start to see genetic and hormonal ageing. Look for products that fight multiple signs of ageing in one step; you may want to target firmness, dehydration and breakouts all in one go.”

Product recommendation: Murad Age Diffusing Serum (£64) features photo oestrogens to encourage skin to act younger.

At the moment, what are you particularly excited about in the world of skin care?
"At the moment I’m really excited about the new Essential-C Sun Balm SPF 35 (£19.50). It’s a handy sun stick which allows for quick and easy application so it’s perfect for taking with you on holiday or for days out.
It also features our new ingredient technology MuraSol, which is found in all of our SPF and sun care products. The technology features a blend of powerful encapsulated antioxidants which diffuses the free radical damage from the sun’s UV rays to prevent premature ageing. SPF can only ever provide a maximum of 97% protection against UV rays; MuraSol helps to close this gap and provide advanced 360 degree sun protection.”

What do you see as being the next ‘big thing’ people are going to go wild about?
“People love immediate results at the moment and this is exactly what you get from using an at-home peel, so I see an advance in at-home treatments which mimic professional results. Murad is ahead of the game as our Intensive-C Radiance Peel instantly improves skin’s brightness and radiance. What provides this is the combination of Glycolic and Azelaic Acid, stabilised Vitamin C and a new botanical extract from Indian Fig which stimulates the skin’s natural enzymatic process. The synergy between these three technologies causes an immediate and dramatic boost in the brightness of the skin.”

Are there any treatments or products you would advise people to invest in?
“The second stage of my father’s three-step regime: Treat/Repair, is the most important in a Murad skin care regime. There is at least one Treat/Repair product in every Murad product range and this is usually the serum product. Murad serums are a targeted skin care treatment with the highest percentage of active ingredients. They deliver key ingredients directly to where skin needs it, making it the most powerful and results-driven product in the range. If you wish to invest in just one product, then a serum which targets your number one skin priority is the one to choose.”

And are there any treatments or products you perhaps feel are more of a fad?
“I would say BB, CC and DD creams are quite faddy. We actually formulated our Hybrids range long before the BB cream came along and they are essentially the same thing: cosmetics with skin care benefits.”

What is your number one piece of skin care advice?
“My father’s favourite tip is to smile! He’s right when he says it’s when you feel your best that you look your best. He recommends taking even just a few moments a day to do something you love. It will not only nourish your soul, but will make you feel better physically as well.”

What has been your biggest challenge in working for your family’s skin care brand?
“Working alongside my father has been a joy and I am very inspired by him and his work. The biggest challenge has been continuing his fantastic work to his incredibly high and successful standards – he has set the bar high!”

For those short of time or money, how could they improve their skin care regime?
“I recommend looking for dual-purpose products which will save you time and money.”

Product recommendation: Daily Cleansing Foam (£28) cleanses and tones in one step

What is the best skin care ingredients across the board?
“I love Retinol, Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C – they’re all amazing skin care ingredients because they can combat multiple skin concerns.

The Glycolic Acid we use at Murad is derived from the sugar cane and is a great exfoliator. Dullness is usually a result of a build up of dead skin cells on your face and exfoliating lifts the dulling film of dead skin from your skin to give you a fresh and more youthful looking complexion. It can also help with congestion.

Regular use of Retinol (aka Vitamin A) normalises the production and life cycle of skin cells. As skin ages, cell production slows. Retinol can help speed up this process and help skin behave as it did when it was younger.

Retinol is also good for fighting blemishes. In skin with acne, there is an overproduction of cells which combine with oil to form comedones - the pore plugs that are the defining element of acne. By normalising the production and life cycle of skin cells, Retinol works to keep skin clear.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. When applied topically it helps to protect skin cells against environmental damage and when used in intense quantities, the highest grade of Vitamin C helps to build collagen, brighten skin and neutralise toxins.”

Product recommendation:
Intensive-C Radiance Peel combines Glycolic Acid with Vitamin C (£49.50)
Time Release Retinol Concentrate releases Retinol overtime to fight wrinkles (£65)
Exfoliating Blemish Treatment Gel combines Retinol with blemish busting ingredients to combat spots (£51)

What is your biggest seller?  
“Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30 (£57). Our customer’s love this product as it’s so hydrating, boosts antioxidant levels and provides broad spectrum UV protection which means you’ll be protected from both damaging UVA and UVB rays.”

 You might be interested to know it is Fearne Cotton’s favourite Murad product!

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Sarah Tolan is the founder and editor of Scottish Beauty Blog, Miss Nifty and Kate's Wardrobe. Learn more about her here and connect with her on TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.