AcneFree vs Proactive

AcneFree vs Proactive:

Acne is a skin condition that causes pimples and spots, particularly on the face, chest, neck, shoulders, back, and upper arms, due to inflammation or an infection of clogged skin pores.

An estimated 85% of people in the United States experience this skin condition between the ages of 12 and 24 years. Acne accounts for more healthcare visits than any other skin problem.


Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition, and include:

  • pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin;
  • painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin;
  • pimples, which are papules with pus at their tips;
  • small red, tender bumps;
  • open plugged pores (blackheads);
  • closed plugged pores (whiteheads).

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Your treatment will depend on the severity of your acne. Below is a comparison of two products that can be used in treating acne.


This product claims that it clears the skin and fights acne in three different ways. It was developed by the University Medical Pharmaceuticals Corporation in Irvine, CA. It is a top-selling acne treatment originally marketed in 2005.


The main ingredient is benzoyl peroxide, a drug that can kill bacteria on contact. It was first made in 1905 and came into medical use in the 1930s. Benzoyl peroxide is effective in dealing with pimples and cystic acne.

This product also contains salicylic acid, which induces natural skin exfoliation and clears dead skin cells which clog pore openings. Salicylic acid is actually one of acne’s biggest enemies and is derived from willow tree bark.

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How It Works

This product includes a 3-step system consisting of a benzoyl peroxide face wash, a toner, and a lotion with benzoyl peroxide.

Step 1 – cleanser – it offers an oil-free Purifying Cleanser which uses benzoyl peroxide to remove dirt and oil, exfoliate dead skin cells, and eliminate pathogenic bacteria.

Step 2 – revitalizing toner – it contains witch hazel, vitamins, aloe, and chamomile to balance your skin tone and control oily skin.

Step 3 – repair lotion – this repairing lotion uses a 24-hour time-release benzyl peroxide formula that fights harmful bacteria and controls oil. However, this repairing lotion contains a preservative that is used in cosmetics and beauty products, called methylisothiazolinone, which is linked with some health concerns.

Notes – if your acne is more severe, you will require a prescription acne medication to get breakouts under control since this over-the-counter acne product is best for treating mild acne.

In addition, the kit doesn’t contain a moisturizing product, therefore, you will require a separate product if your skin feels dry.


It is an OTC acne product system that was developed by Dr. Kathy Fields and Dr. Katie Rodan for people with acne.

These doctors claim to have dealt with acne themselves during adolescence, hence, they are on a mission to create a skincare regime that would clear skin and keep it healthy for acne suferrers.

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The active ingredients in this product include:

  • glycolic acid – it is a colorless, odorless, and hygroscopic crystalline solid that loosens dead skin cells to allow the growth of healthy skin cells. Also, it is used for exfoliating the skin;
  • hyaluronic acid – it is excellent for attracting and holding moisture in the skin (can attract up to 1000 times its weight in water) as well as for keeping the skin hydrated. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring agent in the human body;
  • salicylic acid – it has the ability to keep the pores clean from debris, dirt, and oils. Its primary purpose is to shed and loosen dead skin cells to allow new skin cells to grow. In addition, it is an effective ingredient that is used in a variety of anti-acne medications;
  • benzoyl peroxide – it is an antimicrobial acne medicine that is used to reduce the production of oil and unclog pores. Benzoyl peroxide is typically found in numerous over-the-counter anti-acne treatments since it can kill pathogenic bacteria in the pores where the development of acne starts.

This product is available in various formulations, including:

  • Body Pads – it contains ingredients that open pores as well as ingredients that close them;
  • Repairing Treatment – it is mild enough not to cause skin irritation, but it is strong enough to be efficient. Also, it is less expensive than other formulations;
  • Conceal Plus Sulfur – it contains 6 percent sulfur, which is sufficient both to help absorb excess oil and to kill bacteria;
  • Advanced Blemish Treatment – it contains 6 percent benzoyl peroxide, which is strong enough to keep the pores clear from blockages as well as to kill acne pathogenic bacteria;
  • Plus — it is a reformulated formula that clears the skin and offers a radiant complexion;
  • Deep Cleansing Wash – it contains salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid that cuts down on oil production, a major cause of acne. This acid is also considered a keratolytic medication. Note – this formula costs about 3 times more than similar products.

Bottom Line – AcneFree vs Proactive

AcneFree is a brand name for a complete product range of over-the-counter acne treatment products. It is actually a 3-step acne treatment system that includes a cleanser, a refining toner, and a repair lotion. The price for this 3-step kit is $19.99. It is an excellent choice if you are looking for a complete skincare kit in one box for one price.

Proactive is one of the world’s largest producers of acne-prone skin. The company claims that this over-the-counter acne product is designed to manage acne problems. In addition, it works on other skin problems, like – variations of tone and textures, big pores, or dry skin.

Both products have the same active ingredients – benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, but they have different inactive ingredients. In conclusion, both products have a similar efficiency for treating mild acne, however, some people will not experience acne relief since acne has many different causes.

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