I had the pleasure to interview Mr Jeff Murad, Vice President Product Development of Murad Skincare. He provided a lot of interesting insight on how our skin ages and how we can best avoid it. Learn about the ceallular water principle, the main thing you need to do to delay aging, the cultural stress phenomenon and topical hormonal treatment.  Enjoy!

What is the focus of Murad Skincare?

Jeff Murad: “The main philosophy behind all of our products is something we call the cellular water principle. There are countless theories on aging disease, the free radical theory, the telomere theory. But what they all have in common is a reduction in water within the body cells. So all of our products, our supplements and topical products are all designed to help rebuild the cell membranes and refill the cells with water, so that they can function more like they did when we we were younger.

So how exactly can you restore the water balance within your cells?

Jeff Murad: “There are a number of ways that you can do that. The most important is providing the body with the substances it needs to help rebuild the cell membranes, like essential fatty acids and certain amino acids. You also need antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to help prevent the damage to the cell membranes and then ingredients like osmolites that help attract water inside the cell.

What would a typical Murad treatment plan be for someone over 40 who is starting to develop wrinkles?

Jeff Murad: “We recommend a range called age reform . In addition to solving the problem with the cell membranes we also want to add water to the connective tissue like the dermis and the cells above the dermis, the epidermis. So we have a supplement called youth builder which provides your dermis with everything it needs to attract water. That will help rebuild the elastin, the collagen, the hyaluronic acid within the dermis. And then we have the topical range that helps treat the genetic aging, which is the aging we are all going to go through. The main target there is fine lines and wrinkles.

It’s a 3 stop process:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Treatment: in this particular line it’s called the intensive wrinkle reducer
  3. Moisturizer: 2 moisturizers, Perfecting day cream and night moisturizer, which is calledPerfecting night cream.

What is your view of natural products versus products using synthetics?

Jeff Murad: I think a lot of botanicals have a lot to offer. There are a lot of plants that have evolved over the course of time to protect themselves from the environment and the sun’s rays, so these ingredients can be just as effective on human skin as they can be for the plants. So yes, there is a wealth of benefits to be found in the natural world, but we don’t like to limit ourselves just to that. We definitely make as much use of that as we can but we also use peptides, glycolic acid and other ingredients.

What is the most important thing women over 40 can do to improve their appearance?

Jeff Murad: The most important thing is sunscreen.

So use a separate sunscreen or have it as part of your moisturizer?

Jeff Murad: there is no need to have it separately. If you have a good moisturizer with an SPF you don’t need 2 products to do the same thing.

But how to cope with the Singapore weather if for example you play 2 hours of tennis in the full sun?

Jeff Murad: We have different products for different types of activities. One of our sunscreens is called waterproof sunblock and that’s designed to stay on  (spf 30).

Do all your moisturizers contain spf?

Jeff Murad: Yes our day moisturizers all contain spf.

So what about some doctors saying that we have gone too far with sun protection and we are not getting enough vitamin D?

Jeff Murad: I think you will always want to protect your face from the sun at the very least. It’s probably a good idea to get some sun somewhere on your body for 5-10 minutes a day, for example your arm or your leg, but your face has the most delicate skin on your body. It’s also the part of your body that is so expressive that you’re constantly causing these wrinkles, so you don’t want to increase the effect of that with all this UV damage. You really can’t protect your face enough from the sun.

Especially with this humid weather, and especially if you are doing physical activity I would definitely recommend a water resistant or waterproof sunscreen product.

Another thing is that if you’re worried about vitamin D, vitamin D supplements are very effective. You don’t need the sun for vitamin D.

How to prevent the little pigmentation spots that you get while getting older, sunsreen again?

Yes,  the sun is responsible for most of the hyper pigmentation that we see, but there are different ways of treating them as you get them.

What about little spots that you get, that don’t go away?

Exfoliation is great for retexturizing your skin, making it smooth and firm, so treatment is also very important. You can use ingredients like glycolic acid  and help exfoliate the dead skin and uneven skin tone and vitamin C to help brighten and lighten those dark spots. Treatment is very important but the most damage that we see in the skin comes from the sun.

Do I need to wear sunscreen even I’m inside ?

You need uva protectection when your’re inside. The UV rays which cause sunburns, can’t penetrate through glass and they don’t really penetrate through clouds, but UVA rays which are the longer waves  do much more of the damage that cause wrinkles. They can penetrate through glass and through clouds so you should use a good UVA protection no matter what the weather is.

How to cope with Singapore’s weather condition where you have really humid weather but then find yourself often in air conditioned spaces?

Humidly is probably better, because it provides more hydration for your skin, but at the same with all of that heat and all the sweating, it’s going to cause your sunscreen to come off more quickly. So you may want to reapply more often or use a water resistant sunscreen. Indoors, or with a lot of air conditioning and dryer environments, you want to use something that is really going to hydrate your skin and prevent water loss to really prepare the barrier function of your skin.

In Dr Murad’s new book “The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger”, he discusses the cultural stress phenomenon? What exactly does he mean by that?

Jeff Murad: Nowadays people work around the clock a lot more. They are connected on the internet 24 hours a day. A lot of people are working and living in more urban environments and at the same time there is a lot more isoltation because there is less human contact. And that isolation and that stress has an effect on your cells and your complexion as well. So you want to address your nutrition, your topical products which would be your sunscreeens, but it is also important to address your emotional wellbeing to really address your cellular health.

How exactly does this stress affect cellular health?

Jeff Murad: There is a definite link between you mental state and your cellular state. They’ve done studies with medical students and right before final exams, there is a lot less water within their cells. So when they’re stressed their cellular menbranes are much weaker. So all your neurons, your brain, your way of thinking,  your mood, your immune system, your skin and your hormonal system are all connected. So when one of them is weaker, it’s going to affect all of them.

What is your take on hormone balancing for older women?

Jeff Murad: A reduction in esterogen causes a lot of mainly negative effects for the skin. You may see more dullness, your skin may start to break out more along the jaw line, you lose elasticity in the skin, so we actually have a line of products specifically targeted to hormonal aging. The main ingredients in there are phytoestrogens, like soy and wild yam and red clover extract, to help replace some of the lost esterogen.  They help topically. When your use phytoestrogens, they help fill in the absense of the natural esterogen in your skin.

How about melatonin?

Jeff Murad: Melatonin is not really an anti-aging supplement. Melataton is a hormone that is produced in your body naturally. And you produce less of it as you get older. It’s what adjusts your internal clock. It’s a great anti-oxidant and it will also help regulate your sleep patterns. If you are someone who has trouble sleeping, melatonin is a good ingredient. We actually also have a product called sleep reform which is a topical serum which has some melatonin in it. And what we found is that skin cells all have melatonin receptors and that melatonin is much more bioavailable through the skin, than it is through the digestive tracts. The serum is excellent because it keeps your skin hydrated but it also infuses your body with the melatonin it needs to help repair itself while you sleep overnight. As far as I know our product is the only melatonin topical serum.

It’s great for traveelling. Perfect for jetlag.

Any further advice for women over 40?

Jeff Murad: In addition to using sunscreens and eating the right foods like fruits and vegetables, make sure that you take time for yourself. And allow yourself to de-stress and maintain passion in your life and keep your mood elevated. That is going to have much more impact on your complexion than anyone realises.

Hope you enjoyed this interview! If you want to find out more about Murad products then check out their website at: www.murad.com

All the best,


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An interview with Mr. Jeff Murad | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Cosmetics Business

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