Review: Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser

Murad Time Release Acne Cleansr
Photo: Murad

You can never have too many cleansers, right? Especially one that's meant to do double duty, like the Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser. It's made especially for adult acne.

It's a "time release" cleanser because, according to Murad, the acne treatment ingredient continues to work even after rinsing off. It also contains ingredients that are meant to keep the skin feeling soft and supple.

The cleanser itself is a thick, rich, creamy gel.

I loved the consistency, so I was a bit disappointed that it didn't foam up when I emulsified it in my hands or massaged on my face.  A cleanser doesn't need to foam to be working, but I personally prefer foaming cleansers.

Still, it felt rich on my skin, and as I massaged it in it left a cooling tingle. But after I rinsed it away, it felt like the cleanser hadn't thoroughly removed my face makeup. I did a double cleanse, but it still felt like it wasn't taking off my makeup at all. Using a separate makeup remover first, and then cleansing with the Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser worked much better for me.

Using the cleanser the next morning, without makeup to contend with, my skin felt much more clean.

For an acne treatment cleanser, though, it doesn't contain the strongest nor the most effective acne treatment ingredient.  It contains just 0.5% salicylic acid, which is OK.  But it's highly unlikely it will clear up anything but the most mild of breakouts.

Still, his cleanser has plenty of good points. My skin never felt tight or dry after cleansing. And it left my skin feeling so soft and smooth.

The fragrance is nice, too. Very crisp and clean.

But taking everything into account, this cleanser was just OK for me. Not something I'd spend 30 bucks for. I just couldn't get past that feeling that it wasn't getting my skin super clean.

Others I know simply love this cleanser, though. It comes down to your personal preference -- this cleanser either works for you or it doesn't.

If you're really married to the idea of a foaming cleanser, or if your skin tends to be on the oily side, you aren't going to be happy with this one. If cream cleansers are your thing, or your skin is more dry, you'll probably like it just fine.

This cleanser can also be found in Murad Acne and Aging Skin Solutions skin care kit.

Active Ingredients:

Salicylic acid 0.5%

Other Ingredients:

Hyaluronic acid, willow bark extract, tea tree oil


$30 for 6.75 fl.oz.

Where You Can Buy:

Available at Sephora, some spas and salons, directly from Murad and at other online retailers. 


  • Leaves your skin feeling minty cool
  • Gentle and non-drying


  • Doesn't foam up at all
  • Doesn't cleanse off makeup well
  • It probably won't clear up anything except mild, occasional breakouts