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Last Updated: June 29, 2020
Acne is a serious problem that affects millions of Americans throughout the country and even more people around the globe. There are a lot of tricks, remedies, and “secrets” on the internet that claim to reduce acne. The sad truth is that very few of those online solutions will work. Eliminating acne typically requires hard-working medication that can attack the source while controlling the symptoms.
There are two qualities that you should look for when choosing an acne treatment. It should be safe and it should deliver results. Proactiv is one of the few brands on the market that consistently releases products that meet these results. Currently, they have a growing line of acne-fighting products and each one is tailored for a unique group of people.
Two of their biggest products at the moment are the traditional Proactiv Solution and the new ProactivMD. Both of these products are safe, trusted, and have been proven to deliver results. However, they both work in different ways and rely on different ingredients. You may find that one product or the other is more ideal for your skin type.
The following guide will take a close look at each of these products, what ingredients they contain, how much they cost, and ultimately which is the better purchase.
Ingredient Comparison: Benzoyl Peroxide vs. Adapalene
The major difference between Proactiv Solution and ProactivMD is the main active ingredient. Proactiv Solution contains benzoyl peroxide, 2.5% while ProactivMD relies on adapalene, 0.1%. Don’t let the small percentage numbers fool you. These are powerful ingredients and you will notice their effects even at such a small amount.
Benzoyl Peroxide has been the “go-to” acne-fighting ingredient for decades now. It was made popular by Proactiv and is now found in most major acne-fighting treatments. The reason it is so popular is that it works for a lot of people. If you’ve never tried an acne-fighting treatment before, then Proactiv Solutions with benzoyl peroxide is certainly a good place to start.
Adapalene hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity because it was reserved for the strongest anti-acne medications. In the past, it was only possible to get adapalene with a doctor’s prescription. ProactivMD is the first over-the-counter acne treatment to receive approval to include adapalene. That helps it stand out in a very crowded market.
Both ingredients share a few similar side effects, such as skin redness, dryness, and irritation. These side effects tend to diminish with continued use of the product. Overall, adapalene is considered gentler on the skin than benzoyl peroxide. This is partially because it only needs to be applied topically once a day while benzoyl peroxide needs to be applied up to three times each day.
Some people saw no results when using a benzoyl peroxide-based acne treatment. Those people may be able to find needed relief by experimenting with this latest formula from Proactiv. It may not have the track record of Proactiv Solutions just yet, but it’s gaining more satisfied customers every day.
Compare ingredients at Proactiv’s Website
Price Comparison: Is ProactivMD or Proactiv Solution Cheaper?
Both of these skincare treatments are surprisingly affordable despite existing in a market known for its high pricing. Exactly how much you’ll pay for either of these treatments depends on which package you purchase. A package will contain a multi-step treatment process with three different topical products. One of those products will contain either benzoyl peroxide or adapalene. Introductory packages start at:
- Proactiv Solutions 3-Step System: Starts at $19.95 per month
- ProactivMD Advanced System: $24.95 per month
As you can see, the original Solutions treatment is slightly cheaper. But the additional five dollars added to the price tag is barely noticeable if the product is delivering the desired results. Each of these packages is available as a subscription and is mailed out each month after billing. You can also add additional products to the package for a small monthly fee.
Most of the additional Proactiv products are intended to complement the effects of the primary treatment. They include toners, eye serums, and a soothing body wash. They are a nice bonus if you have the funds but are not required to eliminate acne.
It is worth mentioning that adding a bonus product to your monthly subscription eliminates the shipping and handling charge you would otherwise pay each month. The monthly shipping charge is $6.99. With that saving in mind, you are really only paying around $4/month for a single bonus serum or toner. A smart investment if you’re serious about your skincare.
Bonus products aside, each monthly package contains a complete treatment that should be applied daily. The application process and scheduling is different for each option. As mentioned, ProactivMD only needs to be applied once while Proactiv Solutions is applied multiple times during the day.
Compare prices at Proactiv’s website
How to Pick the Right Proactiv Treatment For Your Skin Type
Both of these products work great and have delivered results for many paying customers. Proactiv Solutions is their flagship product and has been making a difference for decades now. ProactivMD is the new kid on the block with a lot to prove; it’s faster, stronger, and one-of-a-kind. So how do you know which of these products is right for you?
You can start by considering your skin type. If you have naturally sensitive skin, then you may be better off starting with ProactivMD. Most skin can tolerate the adapalene gel better than the benzoyl peroxide alternative. If you’ve tried a benzoyl-based treatment in the past and it caused serious redness, itching, or irritation, then you definitely want to try adapalene instead.
If you believe your skin is up to the challenge and want to save money, then try starting with Proactiv Solutions. It’s already worked for millions of people and it might work for you too.
It’s a safe place to start and if it doesn’t work, then you can change your subscription to ProactivMD with ease. Proactiv doesn’t force you into any long-term contracts with one product or the other.
Chances are, one of the two treatments will deliver the acne-fighting results that you have been looking for.