Murad Essential C Cleanser – Captain America

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Captain America was always my least favourite Avenger, but I admit his shield was pretty cool. Why I mention that? Because I want to talk about the Murad Essential C Cleanser today, and that one is part of the Murad Environmental Shield line.

“Environmental Shield”, you get it? Like Captain Americas shield, protecting the weak (in this case our skin cells) from external aggressors (in this case pollution and free radical damage)? Too far fetched? Maybe, but if I get the chance to talk about Marvel Comics, I take it.


Murad Environmental Shield Essential C Cleanser
Murad Environmental Shield Essential C Cleanser


My favourite Avenger, just in case you wondered, is Iron Man. Yes, he is troubled, yes, he is arrogant, yes, his attitude towards women is questionable to say the best (at least in the beginning), but what can I say: I have a weakness for dark and broody men.

The Murad Essential C Cleanser is far from being dark and broody though. It is light and upright and easy to love – like Captain America.


What Murad Essential C Cleanser claims

Patented antioxidant-rich cleanser using Vitamins A, C and E neutralize and rehydrate environmentally damaged skin by removing impurities and awakening the senses with a burst of citrus.


Facts about the Murad Essential C Cleanser

Prize and size

One bottle contains 200 ml and retails for 43,99 € on the Douglas website here (Murad is exclusive to Douglas in Germany). In my pictures you´ll see the travel size, containing XX ml, a great option if you want to test the cleanser before committing fully.


Texture and smell

I have read in online reviews that this cleanser contains beads for physical exfoliation, but that is not true. The yellow pearls you see in the close up are droplets of encapsulated oil that burst when in contact with the skin and offer no physical scrubbing effect. It feels and performs like your typical gel cleanser, lathers slightly when frothed up with water and rinses without any residue.

If you, like me, are put off by the “burst of citrus” in the description, you don´t have to worry. Yes, there is a slight and light citrus note, but it is far from the toilet cleaner experience I was expecting. It is just… fresh.


Close up of the Murad Environmental Shield Essential C Cleanser
See the tiny yellow drops inside?


How to use the Murad Essential C Cleanser

The Vitamin C Cleanser is suitable both for mornings and night. You can take it around the eyes without stinging or irritation, but it is not the best at removing face makeup.

Massaging it into damp skin will create more lather, but the wash works just as well when applied to dry skin. You don´t need a flannel to remove it, it rinses clear, leaving my skin feeling clean, yet hydrated.

I prefer it as my morning cleanse, where the bright colours and fresh scent help in waking me up.



Favorable ingredients
  • Glycerin: Humectant
  • Butylene Glycol:Humectant, penetration enhancer
  • Panthenol: B 5, humectant, penetrates into deep layers of skin, moisturizing, antiinflammatory
  • Phospholipids: Part of cellular membrane, repairs skins barrier
  • Tocopheryl Acetate: More stable form of Vitamin E, antioxidant
  • Retinyl Palmitate: Weakest form of retinoid, bound to a fatty acid. Less irritant, but usually less effective
  • Ascorbyl palmitate: Vitamin C ester, more stable
  • Chitosan: Made from shrimp shell, emollient, binds oil when used in cleanser
  • Rice Amino Acids: Humectant, soothing
  • Zinc Aspartate: Antiinflammatory, reduces sebum production
  • Allantoin:Aminoacid, soothing irritated skin
  • Sodium PCA:Humectant, naturally occurring in skin (drop with age), protecting skins acid mantle, antiinflammatory
  • Lactose: Humectant
  • Caprylyl Glycol:Emollient
  • Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil: Essential Oil, rich in Vitamin C
  • Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil: Essential Oil, rich in Vitamin C
  • Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil: Might help with acne
  • Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil:Rich in Vitamins A, C and E as well as phytonutrients
  • Ferula Galbaniflua (Galbanum) Resin Oil: Might help with cell turnover
Other ingredients
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine: Surfactant, lathering
  • Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate: Gentle cleansing agent
  • Aminomethyl Propanol: pH adjuster
  • Polysorbate 20: Surfactant
  • Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer: Stabilizer
  • Cellulose:Thickening
  • Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose: Thickener
  • Propyl Gallate: Preservative
  • Disodium EDTA: Binding Agent
  • Phenoxyethanol: Preservative
  • Chlorphenesin:Preservative


Unfavorable Ingredients
  • Limonene/Linalool: potential irritants as part of essential oils
  • Fragrance (Perfume)


Gentle surfactants, antioxidants, humectants as well as some ingredients (Chitosan and Zinc) aimed at more oily skin, this is a lovely, lightweight gel cleanser. The added citrus essential oils might not ne for everyone, but I enjoy the fresh and slightly zingy scent they offer. Though marketed as Vitamin C cleanser, it is worth noting that it contains Ascorbyl Palmitate instead of Ascorbic Acid, an ester that is less irritating, but also less potent.


Does it live up to its claims?


Rich in antioxidants, hydrating and awakening the senses in the mornings. Although I wouldn´t describe the scent as “burst of citrus”, it isn´t potent enough for that.


How does the Murad Essential C Cleanser compare to…

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

Well, that is a bit of a far fetched comparison, as the Oskia Renaissance Gel is a Gel to Oil cleanser, which the Murad Vitamin C Cleanser isn´t, that one is pretty much a straightforward gel. But while they aren´t twins, they might be sisters, the Oskia one more suited for dry skins and the Murad version more suited to combination oily skins.

They share the combination of Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate and Ascorbyl Palmitate for their antioxidant properties, but the Oskia Renaissance Gel has an enzymatic peel component that might make it too much for daily use if you have sensitive skin.

While both are the same price, the Murad Essential-C Cleanser contains almost double the amount of product, making it the cheaper alternative.

Read my full review of the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel here.


Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

Another lightweight gel cleanser that hydrates, but effectively melts away oil and sweat, the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser doesn´t offer the dedicated Vitamins the Murad Essential C Cleanser provides, but instead relies on Strawberry Seed Oil to provide you with antioxidants. Whether or not that matters for you in your cleanser is personal preference, but when compared in price the Murad Essential C Cleanser wins in terms of lower cost per ml.

Read my full review of the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser here.


Would I repurchase?


I really enjoy this kind of cleanser in the mornings, especially in the summer months.


Who do I recommend it to?

If your skin is dry, I don´t think this is the best cleanser for you. While it is not stripping in the slightest, I feel like it works best on normal to oily skin types.

Mature skin will benefit from the added antioxidants and humectants, while younger and potentially acne prone skin might enjoy the sebum controlling effect.


Murad Essential C Cleanser
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