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Last Updated: June 10, 2020
Acne and breakouts are not exactly conditions that help to build self-esteem. And while these conditions should never dictate how you feel about yourself, they do make things more challenging. So, nobody will blame you for wanting some type of treatment that can reduce or remove these problems. But finding a quality product worth testing is not easy.
With so many options on the market, how exactly do you make the best choice?
The products in this comparison, namely Proactiv vs Spotless, are both treatments with more than just hype to back them up. And chances are you’ve heard about Proactiv before. But just in case you haven’t, the Proactiv skincare series revolutionized the approach to mild acne treatment more than two decades ago. And it was developed by two leading figures in dermatology, Katie Rodan and Kathy A. Fields.
With their combined knowledge and experience, they made it much easier to handle a very common problem. Well, the same people that developed Proactiv stand behind Spotless. And the latter has made quite an impact.
And before going any deeper into this comparison, it is important to keep in mind how unique situations can be. Not everyone is going to be super-happy with a single product. Seeing as many different factors can influence the severity of acne and breakouts, it could require some testing before you find the best treatment.
Proactiv vs. Spotless: Acne Treatment Comparison
As mentioned, the first products in the Proactiv treatment series (see Proactiv review) were introduced about 25-years ago. And during the last several years, a third line has been added. Given that there are so many skin types and levels of sensitivity, the Proactiv line kept evolving until a much broader range of individuals could utilize it too.
The active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide, and the process involves three steps.
Typical Proactiv Steps Include:
- Gentle face wash
- Balancing toner
- Benzoyl peroxide/adapalene gel
- Daily oil control moisturizer (a 4th step when using Proactiv MD Essentials)
Spotless is different in two ways. Firstly, the active ingredient is a stabilized liquid form of benzoyl peroxide, which changes the targeting properties of the treatment (More of this is discussed in a moment). Secondly, Spotless consists of two steps, as supposed to three. But Spotless is limited in the sense that it mainly caters to teens and young adults.
What about clinical testing? Is there enough science to back up what Katie and Kathy are saying about the fight against acne? Considering the active ingredients in both Proactiv and Spotless, it is safe to say yes.
Typical Spotless Steps Include:
- A face wash with a benzoyl peroxide solution
- BPO2 skin treatment
The truth is the Proactiv line has something for everyone. But make no mistake; Spotless is quickly building a strong reputation. Ultimately, Proactiv does carry more weight when the treatments are compared objectively. To be more specific, there is a Proactiv kit that replaces benzoyl peroxide with adapalene gel. The latter is not such an aggressive active ingredient, but it remains effective.
This makes it the perfect choice if your skin does not work well with benzoyl peroxide.
It is true that benzoyl peroxide is a difficult ingredient to work with. In some cases, it can aggravate and dry out your skin if not controlled. Hence the reason for additional products, which balance out the side-effects of the active ingredient.
Proactiv Key Ingredients
- Glycolic and salicylic acid for exfoliation
- Witch hazel
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Adapalene gel (alternative to benzoyl peroxide)
Spotless Key Ingredients
- Hydrating glycerin
- BPO2 (Step 2)
- Benzoyl peroxide (Step 1)
When the key ingredients are compared, Spotless is considered the less aggressive option and better for sensitive skin types. Proactiv is slightly stronger and more effective if a sensitive skin does not bother you. But take nothing away from the Spotless treatment. Because it can go deeper thanks to the altered state of the active ingredient.
Price Comparison: Which Acne Fighter is Cheaper?
There is no question that a comparison between two great products can be difficult. Especially when both skincare products were developed by the same people. But when you consider the cost difference, the choice becomes a little easier.
The average price for a Proactiv starts at $40, while Spotless costs around $89. In other words, if pricing is a big issue, a Proactiv kit will definitely be the better choice. Also, remember that Proactiv comes with a solid reputation. Thousands of people have already tried it, making it a trusted brand in general.
Summary: Which Acne Fighter is Better and Cheaper?
The best way to get a final verdict on Proactiv vs. Spotless is to get some perspective. Even though Proactiv still involves three steps, it is ultimately the better choice for more serious cases. More importantly, even individuals with sensitive skin can find an effective kit in the Proactiv line.
There is also the matter of cost. Some kits in the Proactiv series are much cheaper, which matters to a number of people.
But this does not mean Spotless is a bad investment. And younger generations should definitely try it if they find they don’t like Proactiv. The developers did another fine job at targeting a different problem source with Spotless, but Proactiv users are not likely to switch easily.
It cannot be stressed enough how your skin type plays a part in the results you get. And yes, the first treatment you try might not be exactly what you expect. But do not let it discourage you. In fact, that is why different kits are made available. And there are several other things you can do to help these skincare treatments be more effective, such as:
- Pay attention to your diet, because you could be eating things that make your acne worse
- Drink more water and get enough rest
- Speak with a specialist before trying anything harsh and potentially dangerous
Implementing basic changes with your acne skincare regime can only help.
That said, if we had to pick a winner? We’d go with Proactiv because of their diverse line of products and pricing options. Learn more below: