Today, I’m going to discuss the popular Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel.
Does this product live up to its claims? Let’s find out. ⭐
ⓘ In today’s post, I’ll share my 2¢ on Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel!
Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel
Post-acne marks (also called dark spots) tend to accompany acne scars following severe acne, especially widespread inflammatory acne, such as cystic or nodular acne.
Unlike acne scars, which are rooted in differences in skin texture (over- and under-production of collagen can result in hypertrophic and atrophic scars, respectively), acne marks are caused by an excess of melanin pigments which “stain” your skin cells to appear darker than normal.
This happens when melanocytes (special cells that produce melanin) become hyperactive due to a cascade of inflammatory signals that are produced, ironically, to fight acne in the first place (source: Facial Hyperpigmentation: Causes and Treatment, 2013).
While acne marks tend to fade on their own (as melanin production normalizes), the mismatch in skin color is undesirable and known as hyperpigmentation, discoloration, or uneven skin tone.
The Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel seeks to address this issue using 2% hydroquinone, a powerful skin lightening agent that reduces melanin production via tyrosinase inhibition.
While hydroquinone has received some criticism in recent decades over safety concerns, the US Food & Drug Administration permits 2% hydroquinone to be sold without a prescription as the data is still inconclusive. Hydroquinone has been used since the 1950s with relatively few side effects (source: The Safety of Hydroquinone: A Dermatologist’s Response to the 2006 Federal Register).
In addition to hydroquinone, Spot Lightening Gel also includes Glycolic Acid and Willow Bark Extract (a natural source of Salicylic Acid) for exfoliation and cell turnover benefits. Murad states these ingredients help increase the penetration of hydroquinone into your skin.
Finally, tea tree oil rounds out the formula for additional anti-acne and anti-inflammatory benefits.
With hydroquinone products, it’s important to “cycle on, cycle off” by using it for about 3 months, then switching to an alternative product like arbutin, kojic acid, or vitamin C for 1-3 months.
My Verdict: For acne marks and dark spots, Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel is a powerful solution with 2% hydroquinone and AHA/BHAs for clearing up uneven skin tone.