Looking Back – Reflecting on 25 Years of Murad

One of my favorite insights to share with people is “Fear of failure leads to failure.” It’s that unfortunate fear of stepping outside of your comfort zone that prevents you from accomplishing great things. Nobody should limit himself or herself from exploring a passion or interest because of fear of failure.

I’ve embraced this philosophy since early in my career. Some of my most wonderful successes have resulted from taking risks, and certainly, on the other side of the coin, I’ve learned a great deal from the risks that didn’t work out so well.

It’s been 25 years since I started Murad, Inc., and while there have been plenty of risks taken and adventures explored in my career prior to launching a skincare brand, (taking a leap of faith back in 1987 and launching the first ever medical spa concept, “A Sense of Self,” comes to mind), it’s interesting to look back at the last 25 years of my career and how Murad “the company” has been a part of that.

How Murad, Inc. Was Born
During my early years in private practice, I was surprised by the number of patients who were not getting the help they needed from established treatment protocols. My background as a pharmacist (my profession before I became a dermatologist), combined with many nights of extensive research, helped me discover innovative acne and anti-aging formulas that really helped people.

I was eager to expand the opportunity to help people have healthier skin, so I began to make professional, science-driven products available to other doctors’ offices and salons. I also provided educational support to ensure that the products could be used safely with the best results possible.

My vision at that time was to bring all types of skincare professionals– including estheticians at spas—together as a team, using clinically proven formulas and technologies to help people achieve the healthiest, most beautiful skin possible. Eager to get variations of these skincare formulas into the hands of a broader scope of beauty professionals, in 1989, I founded what was, at the time, the first physician-run skincare brand, Murad, Inc.

This is where the “refusal to be afraid of failure” part comes in. Initially, working with estheticians and providing them with clinical skincare formulas was met with a fair amount of resistance. At the time, many found it strange that an “acid,” for example, could be part of a skin-health and beauty regimen because they had not yet been introduced to the science behind it.

We introduced my “recipe” that combined antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and hydrators in 1992. To this day, the Murad Recipe, alongside my research-driven theories on cellular water and Inclusive Health®, is the foundation on which all of Murad’s products and treatments are built.

Innovative Highlights
Hits and misses, I’m proud of everything we’ve tried over the years with the Murad brand. A few of the achievements I feel were most meaningful include:

  • Pioneering multichannel marketing for skincare (1994)
  • Introducing “Internal Skincare,” based on the inside-out concept of dietary supplements to help improve the skin’s appearance (1995)
  • Developing the concept of using treatments specifically designed to address what we termed Environmental Aging (1997)
  • Achieving the first of 19 patents (1998)
  • Creating treatments to specifically target Hormonal Aging (2002)
  • Identifying Cultural Stress® and the damage it does to how we look, live and feel (2003)
  • Introducing foods such as pomegranate into topical products and supplements to help benefit people’s bodies in multiple ways (2003)
  • Classifying the visible markers for age-related changes in appearance–the basic manifestations of each person’s genetic code–as Genetic Aging (2006)
  • Publishing my fourth book, “The Water Secret” as a way to further share and explain my findings about cellular hydration, The Science of Cellular Water, and the effects it has on our appearance (2010)
  • Integrating Art Therapy into our Inclusive Health® treatment modalities as a powerful way to unleash our inner toddlers and reap the benefits of Youth Building (2012)

The Moral of the Story
What’s most amazing to me about these milestones is that every one of them was the result of me willing to trust in my passion and explore uncharted territory. I hope I can inspire you in some way to follow your dreams and not be afraid of the occasional misstep. After all, life always throws you curveballs. How else can you learn to “hit it out of the park”?

Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement.

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