Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial – as good as microdermabrasion? | Doctors Review



I admit it has been a while since I had a microdermabrasion facial – or any facial, for that matter – so I can’t say for sure if the Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial does, as claimed, is as effective as microdermabrasion in smoothing texture.


Murad Environmental Shield Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial
Murad Environmental Shield Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial

I have however tested it for a good two months now, so I am confident I can give you a thorough review of this product that combines several types of exfoliation paired with Vitamin C to help achieve glowing, even toned skin.
Let’s take a closer look at ingredients, how to use it and which skin types it is best suited for.



What the Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial claims

Triple exfoliating facial is clinically proven to smooth texture as effectively as a microdermabrasion facial—in just one use.


Facts about the Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial

Prize and size

One tube contains 80 ml and is available for 79 $ on the website here. I like the flip cap that can easily be opened with one hand, even if your hands are wet.


Texture and smell

The product contains fragrance, but doesn’t have a strong scent. I can’t really pinpoint what it smells like, it is fresh without being too shower gel or too citrusy and can be smelled upon application, but doesn’t linger.
What surprised me is how firm the product is when squeezed out of the tube: It has a thick consistency, but gets softer when you massage it onto your face, which is also when the initially bright orange color turns white.


Murad Environmental Shield Vita-C Triple Exfoliant Product Close up
It looks unlike any other product I have in my stash, almost like a firm mousse.


How to use the Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial

According to the website it can be used 1-3 times a week and both am and pm, but while I agree that it is both suitable for morning and night time, I wouldn’t necessarily use it that often. You know I don’t advocate for frequent exfoliation, so I personally used it as needed, which was around once a week. Of course every skin is different, but I recommend proceeding with caution here. (More info: Damaged skin barrier – what is it?)

You apply it to clean, damp skin before any other skincare product like serums and stuff and massage it into the skin. What you will immediately notice are the physical exfoliants that feel like finely milled sand and are very gentle compared to other scrubs I have tried. Still, don’t press too hard, the massage will provide enough exfoliation without that.

The massaging ends when the color turns from orange to white and the layer you created is left on the face for up to ten minutes. Up to is important here, as the longer you leave it on, the more intense the effect of the acids and enzymes will be. My skin can get easily irritated, but for me 10 minutes were absolutely fine, I only occasionally experienced a little warmth, but never any burning or stinging. If this one burns or stings, take it as a sign to immediately rinse.

Speaking of rinsing, after ten minutes everything is rinsed off and – I am talking from experience here – that needs to be a very thorough rinse, as the small exfoliation particles do have a tendency to stick around. You then follow up with the rest of your routine, but my recommendation would be to stick to soothing products, not add any more acids or other actives on top. (More info: Combining your skincare ingredients the right way)


Ingredients of the Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial

Glycerin sii|h 0 0, Silica vc, Water/Aqua/Eau solv, Glycolic Acid exf|buff, Propanediol solv|h, Sodium Hydroxide buff, Pentylene Glycol solv|h, Polyglyceryl-10 Tristearate, Lactic Acid exf|h|buff, Titanium Dioxide (Ci77891) sunsc|col, Synthetic Beeswax vc, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract h, Salicylic Acid exf|aacne|so|pres, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate aox|sb, Ascorbic Acid aox|sb|buff, Glutathione, Urea sii|h, Yeast Amino Acids h, Trehalose h, Inositol h, Taurine buff, Betaine h, Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract abrasive/scrub, Maltodextrin, Phospholipids sii|emo, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 vc, Cellulose Acetate, Boron Nitride, Propylene Glycol Stearate surf 01 03, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer vc, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate emu, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene emo|vc 2 1, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil emo 0 0, Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer vc, Sorbitol h 0 0, Xanthan Gum vc, Protease, Lipase, Gold col, Phenoxyethanol pres, Limonene perf|solv, Fragrance (Parfum) perf, Orange 4 (Ci 15510) col, Yellow 5 (Cl 19140) col, Tocopherol aox 03 03

Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
Apart from the physical exfoliants you also have chemical exfoliation, namely Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic Acid, which I sadly can’t tell you the concentration of as it isn’t disclosed. As Glycerin is the first ingredient and usually used at 3-5%, and all acids are listed behind it, you can assume that they are below 5% in concentration, which at least for Glycolic and Lactic means it is pretty low. The exfoliating enzymes are Protease and Lipase, able to break down lipids and proteins on the skin surface, and on top of that you’ll also get Probiotics like Inulin and fermented ingredients as in Yeast Amino Acids alongside Apple and Indica Flower Extract. (More info: Prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics in skincare and The benefits of fermented ingredients in skincare)

The Vitamin C used here is actually quite interesting, as it is a combination of Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, a derivative, and Ascorbic Acid. The Ascorbic Acid though is bound to colloidal gold and Glutathione for stabilization, which increases its longevity and thus the shelf life of the product (I learned that from Michelle from Lab Muffin Beauty Science). If it works the same as the unstabilized is to be discussed, I do think however it makes perfect sense to use a stabilized form here as no one would be able to finish the tube within three months. (More info: Everything you need to know about Vitamin C in skincare)


Does it live up to its claims?


With the aforementioned restriction of my faded memory from when I actually had microdermabrasion done, which was BC – before children.
It does however leave my skin soft and smooth and over time helped even out the pigmentation left over from the summer. Not on its own obviously, but paired with my other fall skincare products. (More info: Skincare changes I am making for fall)


How does it compare to…


Instytutum Triple Action Resurfacing Peel
Instytutum Triple Action Resurfacing Peel


Instytutum Triple Effect Peel

At first glance, both seem to be pretty similar, both in ingredients and also in price. After the reformulation it underwent in 2018 though, I found the Instytutum Peel to be much harsher on my skin, so I assume, that both the physical exfoliation is stronger and the concentration of the acids is higher (on the website it says the Glycolic and Lactic Acid used add up to 10%, which still isn’t a lot).

It also contains Vitamin C derivatives, but not the gold stabilized one, and is as expensive, but contains more product (79 $ for 100 ml).

You can read my full review of the Instytutum Triple Effect Peel here.


Doctor Duve Glowskin Triple Peel Treatment
Doctor Duve Glowskin Triple Peel Treatment


Doctor Duve Triple Peel Treatment

Now that I talk about it, it seems to me that this kind of product is predominantly found in Doctors brands in the higher price segment – maybe the instant effects are what their consumer base is mostly looking for. I don’t have this product around for comparison anymore, but I remember it did sting quite a bit when used, so I assume it was the strongest of the three. There is no Vitamin C, but more fermented ingredients than there are in the other two.

You can read my full review of the Doctor Duve Triple Peel Treatment here.


Would I repurchase and which skin types do I recommend the Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Facial to?

Yes, I can see it being repurchased in the future. If it is right for you though depends both on your skin and on the routine you already have. If you are already regularly using exfoliants, don’t suffer from pigmentation or texture or if your skin is sensitive or you suffer from rosacea, this is not for you.
If you do however rather use a strong exfoliant a few times a month than a gentle one regularly or if you want gentle physical exfoliation to go with your chemical one, this is one you can definitely try.
Despite the combination of different exfoliating mechanisms it is gentler than you would assume.


Murad Vita-C Triple Exfoliating Resurfacing Treatment Review
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