• Shelli

Murad Clarifying Body Spray

Murad Clarifying Body Spray (4.3 fl. oz., $44) is a quick drying spray-on formula for healing and preventing breakouts on the body. Murad Acne Clarifying Body Spray features a natural clay base that absorbs oil and impurities to deeply purify skin. Salicylic acid, retinol and triclosan prevent future breakouts while allantoin and blue lotus extract heals, calms and hydrates skin. Murad Clarifying Body Spray is ideal for those with normal, oily, combination and acne prone skin.

Although breakouts on the back, chest and shoulders may look and feel like acne on the face, Janeca Racho, in her articleon the Dermstore Blog, clarifies that it technically isn’t acne but folliculitis – a skin condition where bacteria, dead skin cells and oils enter your hair follicles and cause them to become infected. And, because the hair follicles (and pores) on the body are larger than those found on your face, these impurities can easily become trapped, leading to what we call body acne. The back (and chest) are particularly susceptible to back acne or “bacne” because oil-producing glands are more prominent in these areas. If you are like most people who struggle with this skin condition, bacne gets worse in the warmer months when you sweat more, and your body produces more oil. Fortunately, folliculitis or body acne is manageable and treatable given the right combination of products.

Two common ingredients found in acne products are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Maggie Glover, another beauty expert on the Dermstore blog, writes that salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is naturally sourced from willow bark and works by neutralizing “breakout-causing bacteria while cleansing pores, reducing inflammation and boosting cell turnover rate to heal skin more quickly”. In contrast, benzoyl peroxide is a synthetic compound that works as an anti-bacterial that penetrates deep into the pores to kill acne-causing bacteria that survive on oil, dead skin cells and skin tissue. I prefer using products that contain salicylic acid, such as Murad Clarifying Body Spray because my skin doesn’t respond well to benzoyl peroxide. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide has the huge downside of bleaching any fabric that it comes into contact with, including clothes, towels and bedsheets, when it combines with moisture to form hydrogen peroxide.

In addition to salicylic acid, Murad Clarifying Body Spray contains other acne-fighting ingredients including retinol and glycolic acid, which are quite effective when used together correctly as well as allantoin, a popular moisturizing ingredient used in K-Beauty products (I discuss why allantoin is such a great moisturizing ingredient here). Please note however, that these ingredients including the star ingredient, salicylic acid, is not present in very concentrated amounts in the Clarifying Spray. In fact, the spray is only 0.5%, which is at the low end of the scale of concentration allowed in over-the-counter acne treatments that can be as high as 5% salicylic acid. Nevertheless, I decided to try the Murad Clarifying Body Spray because although I loved Glytone Acne Treatment Spray, its high salicylic acid content (2%) dried out my skin and made my back very itchy. So, with its much lower salicylic acid content, my hope was that the Murad Clarifying Body Spray would deliver the best of both worlds – acne-fighting power and less itchiness.

About the Brand

Murad, Inc. was founded in 1989 by Dr. Howard Murad, a board-certified dermatologist, trained pharmacist and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. Murad has been committed to developing clinically proven, cruelty-free products that meet the meticulous standards for safety, efficacy and care you’d expect from a doctor. Plus, they’re supported by Dr. Murad’s industry-first research for the most advanced formulas that don’t just consider a symptom or concern, but rather address total skin health. Murad skincare reflects Dr. Murad’s commitment to science-backed wellness and creates products that promote healthier skin.


  • Treats and prevents breakouts on the body

  • Soothes the skin

How to Use

Cover the entire affected area with a thin layer one to three times daily because excessive drying of the skin may occur, start with one application daily, then gradually increase to two or three times daily if needed or as directed by a physician if bothersome drying or peeling occurs, reduce application to once a day or every other day.


Key ingredients

  • Salicylic Acid 0.5% - Helps clear, treat & prevent breakouts.

  • Glycolic acid – Gently exfoliates to remove pore-clogging debris

  • Allantoin and Blue Lotus Extract – Helps soothe and reduce the appearance of acne- related redness.

Full list of ingredients

  • Water (Aqua), Alcohol Denat, Butylene Glycol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Niacinamide, Allantoin, Glycerin, Nymphaea Coerulea Flower Extract, Panthenol, Glycolic Acid, Menthol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil

My Take

Murad Clarifying Body Spray comes in a blue and white plastic bottle with a spray nozzle. The spray is a clear watery liquid that is quickly absorbed into the skin. I applied the Murad Clarifying Body Spray 1-2 times a day to my back and chest after showering. To apply, I sprayed my clean, dry back and used my hands to spread the spray evenly on my back. I did not apply any moisturizer or skincare product to my back and chest after using the Murad Clarifying Body Spray.

I liked quite a few things about the Clarifying Body Spray. For one, the Clarifying Body Spray does what it says it will do, it controls breakouts on the back and chest. Occasionally, I would get a pimple or two along my spine while using the Murad Spray, but the few pimples were far fewer than they would have been had I not used the Clarifying Body Spray. Another thing I liked that the Clarifying Body Spray is that it absorbed very quickly into the skin because quite a bit of product comes out with each spray, so it would have been time-consuming if it took a long time to dry. Another thing I liked is that it was a lot less drying than Glytone Acne Treatment Spray and so I did not have to apply lotion of body oil to my back after using the body spray and neither did I have to stagger my use of the spray to get my skin to adjust, I was able to start using the Clarifying Body Spray every day right away.

But there were a few negatives for me with the Murad Clarifying Body Spray. One critique is that it did not help fade old (or new) acne scars, which was a disappointment because that was one of the things I liked most about the Glytone Acne Treatment Spray. My other critiques concern the construction of the Clarifying Body Spray’s packaging. The first critique is that although the spray mechanism works in all directions – upside down, sideways and right-side up – the product comes out like water from a hose, meaning a steady powerful stream that I then had to spread evenly with my hands, which is very awkward if you are trying to get all of your back and shoulder blades. In contrast, the Glytone Acne Treatment Spray comes out like a mist that evenly coats the infected area without having to use your hands to spread it around further. Another problem I had with the spray bottle was that it was impossible to tell how much product was still left in the bottle because the Clarifying Body Spray contains a pressurized can that makes it difficult to register a change in mass that would inform you that it is time to buy a new bottle.

I liked the Murad Clarifying Spray and recommend it for those with mild to moderate cases of folliculitis or body acne and those who suffer from very dry itchy skin when using products with higher concentrations of salicylic acid. But, if you have a severe case of body acne and would like a product that also helps to make old acne scars less visible, then you may want to consider another product used to treat breakouts on the body.

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