Murad Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo Review

murad blackhead pore clearing duo

When I see my esthetician, one of my biggest gripes is the congestion in my pores. I feel like, no matter how hard I try, they just get gunked up again a few days after seeing her. I’m using great products, I try to religiously take care of my skin, I exfoliate with alpha hydroxy acids. So what exactly is it that I’m doing wrong? Why does it seem like I always have blackheads?

First—we have to start with the basic anatomy of a blackhead. Blackheads are simply the result of your skin’s natural oils and external free radicals settling in, and oxidizing in your pores. That’s why they seem black when trapped inside the pore, but are actually a gross yellow color when extracted. Oxidized gunk? Eww. No thanks. They can build up and get worse over time, but that oil can actually build up and oxidize really fast, as evidenced by my own personal experience.

So yes, you can take great care of your skin, and still get blackheads. And I’m learning the reason that’s contributing to mine—it’s because I haven’t been using a product to help stop the oxidation. I’ve only been using exfoliators and pore cleansers. Aha! And that’s where this new product from Murad steps in, the Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo.

murad mask

The Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo is a one-two punch against blackheads. First, there’s a clay mask (with volcanic clay and shikakai extract) that you apply to the areas that are prone to blackheads for 10 minutes. For me, it’s my T-zone, and I’m guessing that’s where most people have theirs too. But you can still apply it elsewhere.

The second step, is a pore sealer (Murad’s patented Oxidation Reversal Complex with pomegranate seed oil—acts as an astringent), you apply a thin layer of this immediately after your mask, and then again 12 hours later. This is the magic product that I’ve been missing in my skincare regimen, because it’s the one that helps prevent the sebum (oil) oxidation. I honestly can’t think of another product that’s meant specifically to inhibit the oxidation process. If you know of one, let me know!

You guys, honestly—the first time I used this duo, I had such a significant difference with the amount of blackheads in my T-zone, I almost didn’t believe it. Murad claims it will reduce blackheads by an average of 58% over five days. I don’t have a way to measure my results, but I’d say at least 50%, if not more, were gone. Just like that.

murad products

You can use this duo two to three times a week, and I’ve stuck with twice a week over the past two weeks, and I’m really happy with it. Blackheads will never stay away, so unfortunately, if you want to fight the good fight against them, you have to use this product regularly. Overuse will cause dryness in the skin too (from the clay), so you have to keep an eye out. For some people, once will be enough, and for others, two or three times a week is fine.

My only problem with this duo, is that I feel like the pore sealer is too small. That is a product I’d LOVE to use on a more regular basis, because I feel like it truly makes the difference since it’s helping to stop that oxidation process. I’d probably apply it every night on my nose before bed.

Bottom Line…

I had such a remarkable difference the first time I used this, that I almost didn’t believe it. I wish the pore sealer were larger or that I could buy it separately, because I feel like it’s the powerhouse of this duo since it’s minimizing the oxidation process.


Price & Availability…


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  • Julie

    This product sounds like something I need to def use ASAP. I have blackhead issues and its so bad bc I wont stop picking on them… which leads to scarring. I love anything blackhead remover products. haha I wonder if Sephora will offer a sample of this to see if it works for me. hmmm. Great post!!! So glad it worked for you. Gives me hope!

  • Amber

    I hope it works for you, Julie! I truly was impressed. Especially since most clay masks are just so-so to me. I think that 2nd step makes all the difference!

  • Joann M

    Julie, not sure if you’ve tried it but if you ask Sephora will usually put a small amount in sample container. Or they are really good about returns if something doesn’t work for you.

  • Susan

    you can purchase just Murad T-Zone Pore Refining Serum
    Item # 1538339 Size 2 oz. I just did along with the duo based on this review. Hope it works as well for me and my young daughter :)

  • Amber

    Me too! I hope it works great for you too!

  • Sanity First

    I just tried it two weeks ago; I agree, the results are remarkable. I also agree the size of the sealer is too small…what’s up with that? It should be available seperately, and in a 5-gallon size…I got my husband to try this after I remarked that his nose resembled a strawberry with the little blackheads embedded in there like that, and he had such amazing results that now he’s using it regularly too!

  • Amber

    Glad to hear you had great results, but you are SO right. We need that sealer in a 5 gallon size! haha