How does Murad Oil Control Mattifier work?

Brenda is bemused….Do products that claim to reduce shiny skin oiliness really work? I was thinking of buying Murad Oil Control but I don’t want to get scammed. Can the Beauty Brains please enlighten me?

The Right Brain replies:

We always encourage the Beauty Brains community to be on skeptical alert for products that sound too good to be true, so we’d be glad to try to shine some light on the shine control claims of Murad.

Oil Control Claims

This product is a lotion that claims to provide sun protection and oil control. The sun protection part is easy: it contains 3 different FDA approved sunscreens so there’s no issue there. Understanding oil control is a bit more slippery.

According to Murad’s website, Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 “reduces shine on contact and keeps skin free of excess oil by up to 78% for 8 hours. Oil-Control Complex helps regulate oil production while preserving moisture to provide a long-lasting matte finish.” That’s a pretty impressive claim, but is there any science behind this so called oil control complex?

Active ingredients

Three of the ingredients in Murad Oil Control (Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract), comprise a complex sold by the Centerchem company called “Regu-Seb.” According to their website Regu-seb is made of “polyphenolrich fractions from the fruits of the North American saw palmetto and South American sesame seeds in a Moroccan argan oil base. Its perfectly balanced polyphenol formula, consisting mostly of lignans and phytosterols, helps to control and reduce sebum production, especially in the T-zone area of the face.” Centerchem cites two research studies. The first is an in vitro study done on reconstructed epidermis that shows a dose-response-dependent inhibition of dihydrotestosteron (DHT) synthesis by Regu-Seb. Results showed that at 1% the complex could inhibit DHT synthesis 35% vs. control. (DHT is a chemical that’s involved in oil production in skin.) The second study was done in vivo and showed that at 5% concentration, a cream with 5% of the complex reduced the severity of seborrheic skin condition by 46% (after 30 and 90 days.) If this data is valid, there does appear to be some basis for this complex reducing oil production. It does make me wonder about the Moroccan oil too.

Does Murad Oil Control really work?

The fact that the supplier has data showing the complex has some effect between 1% and 5% is very encouraging but it isn’t conclusive proof of efficacy. We have no way of knowing the concentration of Regu-seb in the Murad product and we don’t know how the Murad base might effect the efficacy of the complex. But there does appear to be some science behind this proposition so we’d give Murad Oil Control a rating of:

3 Brains

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Unlike products that make “magic” claims like erasing deep wrinkles, Murad Oil Control Mattifier claims seem to have some basis in science considering the data we’ve been able to find. If you have an oily skin problem it may be worth a try.

The Beauty Brains Product Rating Scale

No Brainer

A dumb-ass ridiculous product making crazy claims without any scientific basis. Don’t waste your money.

1 Brain

We can’t find enough information from the company or in the scientific literature to indicate this product might be any better/different or not. Try at your own risk, and if you do happen to come across any legitimate technical data, let us know and we’ll blog about it.

2 Brains

A nice, basic product but with nothing to indicate it does anything special. If you can afford it, try it and you might like it. But don’t expect any extraordinary results.

3 Brains

A product making extraordinary claims which at least appear to be grounded in real science. May be worth trying but make sure you don’t spend too much.