Skip Nav
Wedding Beauty
It Took Me Weeks to Find the Perfect Bridal Lipstick — but This Is It
Enough With the Toxic Nail Polish — These Are the Best Safe Brands
Whoa, Sephora Is Offering Crazy Sales on Palettes and Eyebrow Kits — Just For 7 Days!

Dr. Murad vs L'Oreal: Who Gives Good Glycolic?

Dr. Murad vs L'Oreal: Who Gives Good Glycolic?

One of the best ways to brighten your skin is to incorporate a product with glycolic acid into your skin care regimen. You're probably tired of hearing about my Jan Marini cleanser, but its pH-balanced, 12% glycolic formula has done wonders for me. But even if you don't want to use a glycolic product every day, the occasional one-off treatment can exfoliate dead skin and produce a healthier glow.

After my dinner with Dr. Murad, I went home with a sample of his Intensive Resurfacing Peel ($165). The pricey product contains glycolic and salicylic acids to reveal smoother skin; the formula is contained in 16 separate ampoules to use over a four-week period. But I found that after leaving it on my face for about 10 minutes, I already saw smoother, softer, glowier skin; to make the product last, I get two uses out of each ampoule, which makes the hefty cost a little more justifiable.

Of course, a drugstore version promises to deliver amazing results, too. To find out whether it lives up to the marvy Murad product,


Because it gives me a perverse thrill to find inexpensive products that do the work of pricier ones, I gave L'Oréal's Dermo-Expertise Advanced Revitalift Anti-aging Glycolic Mini Peel Kit ($24.99) a whirl, too. It follows the same concept as the Murad product: Apply the solution to your face, wait about 10 minutes, and rinse. The difference is that L'Oréal's version comes with a neutralizing solution that you pour on a cotton pad, and then you follow it with an included moisturizer.

Really, though, you don't need a special solution to neutralize the glycolic acid in the kit; water works just fine. And when I looked at the ingredient list on that and the moisturizer, I found a lot of water, glycerin, and mineral oil — no great shakes there. All of this wouldn't matter if the glycolic acid improved the look of my skin, but unfortunately, it didn't happen. Although it's a 10% solution, it just doesn't give much exfoliation. For first-time glycolic peelers, this is a gentle introduction to the concept; if you seek a more powerful peel, though, you're bound to be disappointed.

Final verdict: Despite the high price, the Murad peel is a better investment for anyone who's experienced a peel before. L'Oréal's version is a gentle introduction into the world of glycolic peels, but past the first time or two, it won't produce the kind of results you'd hope for.

Join The Conversation
prada08 prada08 8 years
Interesting... :) I was always curious whether or not the cheaper versions of peels like Loreal would work. Great Article. :) Thanks for this tip. I can save a bit more with Murad rather than regular treaments at the spa that cost $100 plus tip. His cost appears to rather reasonable with results. :) So Cool to know. :)
jenious jenious 9 years
Thanks for the great comparison and review!
Bella-Donna Bella-Donna 9 years
Or better still, buy 20% glycolic acid peel online (reputable vendor). I recently got a 60% lactic acid peel and another with 20% salicylic acid, both for my acne and acne scarring. The results have been great (over 3 months now), but one has to be really careful with lactic acid. I follow every instruction to the T and never leave it on skin for more than 5 minutes (used a timer), and the application to entire face should be within a minute. Also, to avoid nostrils, lip and eye areas, I apply petroleum jelly. In fact I learned most of it from watching my derm (until I couldn't afford it anymore & my student insurance does not cover acne). Sunblock is a must, and mild peeling may occur for a day or two (zits dry up into scabs that peel away).
tkmn tkmn 9 years of the main ingredients for the Murad product is cyclopentasiloxane, which is an emollient and base ingredient for make-up primers and face creams. There is nothing wrong with this ingredient but it could be that some of the results you're noticing with the Murad product has nothing to do with glycolic acid or exfoliation at all. The L'oreal glycolic acid solution is just a glycolic acid solution and their moisturizing ingredients are in their face lotion. So it doesn't seem like a bad idea to try the entire kit since it doesn't seem like the L'oreal product is formulated to work alone like the Murad product.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
I recently got a sample of Dr Murad's peel from Sephora. I used it earlier this week and thought my skin looked wonderful afterwards. It's a great product - I just can't afford to pay $165 for it!
MandeeLei MandeeLei 9 years
I have always wanted to try Dr. Murad products but I am a penny pincher and have never been able to justify it in my mind. Sad, I know.
sofi sofi 9 years
Thanks for the info. i am always up for a comparable drugstore find, but this would be a waste. I have bought Aqua Glycolic products and like them so far.
tulipsc tulipsc 9 years
can I have the sample as well? :)
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
I love Murad products - they have done amazing things for my skin
How to Use an Aspirin Mask For Acne
Creative Ways to Use Concealer
L'Oreal Paris x Balmain Collection
How to Stop Picking Your Skin
From Our Partners
Latest Beauty
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds