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Murad Essential-C Cleanser Versus Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Face Cleanser
Face Cleanser
American Brand United States
American Brand United States

Overview

What they are

These products are both cruelty-free face cleansers. They have a total of 6 ingredients in common

Cool Features

They both contain Vitamin C

Suited For

They're both likely to be good for fighting acne, anti aging, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

They both do not contain any harsh alcohols or silicones

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot a product that needs an update? Let us know.

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and see relevant ingredients

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients Side-by-side

found in both products
Essential-C Cleanser
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine Cleansing
May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Disliked Full details ->
Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate Cleansing, Foaming

We don't have a description for Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate.

Disliked Full details ->
Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Aminomethyl Propanol Buffering

Aminomethyl Propanol is used to adjust the pH of products. It is also used as a base to create other organic compounds. Having a balanced pH is important for protecting your skin.

Polysorbate 20 Emulsifying
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer Emulsion Stabilising

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer is a synthetic polymer. It is used to thicken and improve the texture of products.

Disliked Full details ->
Panthenol Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Panthenol is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin. It can be found naturally in our skin and hair.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Phospholipids Skin Conditioning

Phospholipids are naturally found in our skin as they are the main component of cell membranes. Phospholipids have humectant, emollient, antioxidant properties.

Tocopheryl Acetate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Retinyl Palmitate Skin Conditioning
1-3 / 1-3 Retinoid IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 7 Benefits 3 Concerns

Retinyl palmitate is a form of retinoid. Retinoids are the superstar class of anti-aging ingredients that include tretinoin and retinol.

1-3 Com. / 1-3 Irr.
Ascorbyl Palmitate Antioxidant, Masking
2 / 0 Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 6 Benefits Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Ascorbyl Palmitate is created by combining pure Vitamin C and palmitic acid. It is an antioxidant and helps reduce hyperpigmentation.

2 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Ascorbic Acid Antioxidant, Buffering, Masking
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 6 Benefits

Ascorbic Acid is is pure Vitamin C. This form makes up the largest amount of vitamin C found naturally in our skin.

Chitosan

We don't have a description for Chitosan.

Unknown Full details ->
Rice Amino Acids Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Rice Amino Acids.

Zinc Aspartate Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Zinc Aspartate.

Unknown Full details ->
Allantoin Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0 Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
3 Benefits

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Sodium PCA Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0

Sodium PCA is the sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid and is naturally occurring on human skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Lactose Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Lactose.

Disliked Full details ->
Cellulose Absorbent

Cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls. It is used as an emulsifier, absorbent, and texture enhancer.

Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Emulsion Stabilising

This ingredient is a semi-synthetic polymer created from cellulose. In case you need a refresher, cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls.

Unknown Full details ->
Propyl Gallate Antioxidant, Perfuming
Antioxidant IconFragrance Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon FragranceFragrance Icon

Propyl Gallate is an antioxidant and is a fragrance.

Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

Chlorphenesin Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Chlorphenesin is a synthetic preservative. It helps protect a product against bacteria in order to extend shelf life. In most cases, Chlorphenesin is paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol.

Disliked Full details ->
Limonene Perfuming, Solvent
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Limonene is a fragrance that adds scent and taste to a formulation.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Linalool Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil Masking, Skin Conditioning
Oil Icon
OilOil Icon

Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil is oil from the peel of an orange fruit.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Orange Roughy Oil Skin Conditioning
Oil Icon
OilOil Icon

Orange Roughy Oil is an oil.

Unknown Full details ->
Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil Emollient
1 / 0 Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil is from the seed of the Babassu palm plant. This plant is native to Brazil.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Citrus Grandis Peel Oil Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance IconOil Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon

Citrus Grandis Peel Oil is an essential oil that is derived from the peel of a Grapefruit. It is composed largely of limonene, which is a fragrance that can cause irritation for sensitive skin.

Unknown Full details ->
Ferula Galbaniflua Resin Oil Antimicrobial, Perfuming, Tonic
Fragrance IconOil Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon

Ferula Galbaniflua Resin Oil is a fragrance and is an oil.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Parfum Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give a scent to products.

Very Disliked Full details ->
CI 77492 Cosmetic Colorant

Ci 77492 is also hydrated iron III oxide. It's sole purpose is to give a yellow hue to products.

AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate Cleansing, Emulsifying, Foaming
Sulfate IconCan worsen Dry Skin Icon
SulfateSulfate Icon Can worsen Dry SkinCan worsen Dry Skin Icon

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is a foaming, cleansing, and emulsifying ingredient. It is created from palm kernel oil or coconut oil. SLES is not the same as sodium lauryl sulfate. It is much milder and less likely to irritate.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Cocamidopropyl Betaine Cleansing
May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Disliked Full details ->
Jojoba Esters Emollient, Moisturising, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Jojoba Esters is a wax created from Jojoba oil. It is an emollient and film-forming ingredient. In bead form, it is an exfoliator.

Disliked Full details ->
Acrylates Copolymer

Acrylates Copolymer is used as a film-forming agent and texture enhancer.

Disliked Full details ->
Glycol Stearate Emollient, Emulsifying
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Glycol Stearate comes from stearic acid and ethylene glycol.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Sodium PCA Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0

Sodium PCA is the sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid and is naturally occurring on human skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Dark Spots Icon
3 Benefits

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate comes from licorice root.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate Antioxidant
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 6 Benefits

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a form of Vitamin C. It is the salt of ascorbic acid.

Glycolic Acid Buffering
AHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 7 Benefits 2 Concerns

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with a ton of research to back up its benefits.

Lactic Acid Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 6 Benefits 3 Concerns

Lactic Acid is an AHA that is derived from fermenting lactose, a carbohydrate from milk. It removes the top layer of old and dead skin cells and helps increase cell turnover.

Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Polyquaternium-4

We don't have a description for Polyquaternium-4.

Unknown Full details ->
Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

Sodium Chloride Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
3 Concerns

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

Disliked Full details ->
Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Methylparaben Preservative
0 / 0 Preservative IconParaben IconNon-Reef-Safe IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon ParabenParaben Icon 2 Concerns

Methylparaben is a preservative and is a paraben. It is used to prevent the growth of fungus, mold, and other harmful bacteria. Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in both cosmetics and food.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Propylparaben Preservative
0 / 0 Preservative IconParaben IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconNon-Reef-Safe Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon ParabenParaben Icon 2 Concerns

Propylparaben is a preservative and is a paraben with antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->

Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

Ingredients higher up in an ingredient list are typically present in a larger amount.

Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Cleansing
Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a surfactant and cleanser. It helps gather the dirt, pollutants, and other impurities in your skin to be washed away. It also helps thicken a product and make the texture more creamy.

Being created from coconut oil means Cocamidopropyl Betaine is hydrating for the skin.

While Cocamidopropyl Betaine was believed to be an allergen, a study from 2012 disproved this. It found two compounds in unpure Cocamidopropyl Betaine to be the irritants: aminoamide and 3-dimethylaminopropylamine. High-grade and pure Cocamidopropyl Betaine did not induce allergic reactions during this study.

Learn more about Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Sodium PCA is the sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid and is naturally occurring on human skin.

The PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, a natural amino acid derivative.

Sodium PCA is a has conditioning, anti-inflammatory, and humectant properties. Humectants help hydrate your skin by drawing moisture from the air. This helps keep your skin moisturized.

Learn more about Sodium PCA
Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
Preservative
Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

Ingredient Ratings

Here's what our community thinks of the ingredients in these products.

Essential-C Cleanser
12
5
14
5
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated
AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
7
2
11
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

When to use

45 Routines
49% use in am
51% use in pm
96% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->
49 Routines
29% use in am
69% use in pm
61% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->

Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

Murad Essential-C Cleanser 36 ingredients

Essential-C Cleanser hasn't been rated yet.
Rate it now

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 21 ingredients

2.0 /5
from 1 rating