'This Product Has Reduced the Visible Signs of Lockdown Stress on My Face'

Perdita Nouril
·4-min read

From Women's Health

Between the shiny, millennial-centric brands delivering fresh drops through your letter box, the more established, cult buys and the indie outfits selling a fine line in 'natural and organic' products, the beauty landscape has never felt more cluttered.

To help you to navigate this brave new world of retinol, AHAs, jade rollers and double cleansing, WH beauty editor, Perdita Nouril, is here to try and test the new drops that are making their way into her (very full) bathroom, via her new column, Beauty Dispatch. Here, she'll share the freshly released heroes that she loves: ready to let you know where to spend your skin and hair care cash. This time around, she tries Dr Murad Intense Recovery Cream.

Does your skin throw a complete hissy fit if you so much as hint that you're going to use a thick and creamy moisturiser? Mine too, so I feel your pain. It's why I took one look at the rich, buttery texture of Murad's new Intense Recovery and thought 'nah uh'. Not worth the breakouts, thank you very much.

Then winter and lockdown 3.0 kicked in, bringing a slew of skin saboteurs that conspired to wreak havoc on my complexion. Think sub-zero temperatures, central heating, late nights from endless scrolling (and ok, ok, lots of wine), all of which spelled dermatological disaster. From redness that wouldn't abate, a constantly flaky forehead and pores that were looking larger by the minute, it was all going on.

In this battle, my army of lightweight moisturisers or skin soothing serums just weren't cutting it. So, it was with severe trepidation that I took the plunge and tried the Intense Recovery Cream. The result? I started using it in December and I've not put it down since. Read: I am fully addicted.

What's in that makes it so great? Glad you asked...

What is Murad Intense Recovery Cream?

Presently, most derms and skincare pros agree that stress tops the list of threats to a clear and happy complexion. As well as sending sebum and oil production into overdrive, stress hormones like cortisol can 'create tiny microscopic holes in your cell membranes that lead to water leaking out of your cells, dehydrating the skin and causing inflammation, dullness, fine lines and even adult acne,' explained Dr Murad, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare.

This cream is designed to 'undo' all that damage and strengthen your skin barrier so that it's better adept at fighting off damage. Hero ingredients include:

  1. Shea butter and macadamia oil deeply moisturise and comfort severely dehydrated skin.

  2. Mirabilis jalapa plant extract, which is proven to soothe irritation and visible redness associated with sensitive skin and rosacea.

  3. Microalgae extract, which helps calm the visible signs of stress to reduce the look of expression lines, improve under-eye dark circles and restore radiance.


How does Murad Intense Recovery Cream work?

The ingredients work to deeply moisturise the skin to relieve severe dryness, so that visible redness and signs of sensitivity are subdued. A Murad study showed that after a month of usage, 88% of people agreed that their over-stressed skin looks calmer.

To go back to my earlier point around the nasty impact of stress on skin – from exacerbating sebum and oil production and thus causing breakouts to cortisol's erosive effects – Dr Murad has come up with a clever way to tackle this. The cream includes microalgae extract, which helps to calm the visible signs of stress to reduce the look of expression lines.

'It offsets the action of high levels of cortisol and calms the stress signals to protect skin from the visible effects of stress - this is the key reason why we see a reduction of stress lines on the forehead and around the eyes,' he explains.

Plus, very importantly, it’s a non-comedogenic formula. This means that as well as calming and soothing, this product allows the skin to remain hydrated, yet keeps it free from breakouts.

My verdict on Murad Intense Recovery Cream

This cream has truly saved my skin in lockdown. I apply it as the final step in my nighttime routine and find that, come morning, my skin is replete with moisture. Pesky dry patches have faded into oblivion and by the end of one week of usage, papery cracks had finally budged. The best bit? I didn't get one angry pimple. In fact, it was so gentle, I started using it in the morning, too.

Yes, at £68 this buy is expensive, but I'm now three months in and I'm not even halfway through the pot. Final word? If your skin is experiencing anything untoward this lockdown consider this your passport to complexion perfection.

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