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Comparing Acne Free & Proactiv

Comparing Acne Free & Proactiv Comparing Acne Free & Proactiv


AcneFree and Proactiv are just two of the many product lines that treat and prevent the occurrence of acne, a complex, ubiquitous and sometimes painful skin condition. Both companies offer thoroughly researched and guaranteed results to consumers looking for easily accessible and inexpensive options for acne treatment.


AcneFree and Proactiv have similar products in their basic three-step systems. Both contain a clarifying cleanser, a gently exfoliating toner and a repairing lotion. Proactiv also sells additional products to supplement the basic system, including a moisturizer with sunscreen, a daily oil control treatment and a refining mask. AcneFree does not offer supplement products, but it does have two other systems---one for active people called AcneFree Sport and another for severe cystic acne called AcneFree Severe. The severe kit contains a higher concentration of the active ingredient and a retinol lotion, according to the company websites.

Active Ingredients

Both companies use benzoyl peroxide as their primary acne-fighting agent. reports benzoyl peroxide to be the most effective over-the-counter acne therapy. It reduces the appearance of current pimples and prevents others from forming by killing bacteria and removing dead skin cells and excess oil from clogged pores. The retinol in AcneFree's severe acne kit aids in increasing cell turnover and regeneration. Retinol also helps lighten acne scars and smooth skin texture, says the Mayo Clinic.

Cost and Availability

The basic three-step kits from AcneFree and Proactiv cost $19.95. Additional products vary in price. AcneFree offers its cleansers and toners for individual purchase, but Proactiv does not. Consumers can purchase both products online through the companies' respective websites, and Proactiv is also available via phone order through its infomercials and at kiosks in malls throughout the country. AcneFree has a more ubiquitous presence, as it is sold at many drugstores chains, supermarkets, discount stores and warehouse stores.


AcneFree guarantees noticeable results and a money-back guarantee with 30 days of purchase, whereas Proactiv allows users to try their products for 60 days before requesting a refund. Also, since Proactiv recently changed the formulation of its products, it allows previous users to try the new products without risk. If consumers prefer the old formulation, they can receive a refund or exchange it for their preferred products, which Proactiv continues to manufacture and sell.


Proactiv, AcneFree  warn that new users of benzoyl peroxide should incorporate the ingredient slowly into their facial care routine, as overuse can cause excessive dry skin, redness, scaling and burning. Benzoyl peroxide also bleaches dyed towels, sheets and clothing, so both companies advise caution to avoid damage to personal items. Also, since benzoyl peroxide and retinol increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun's damaging UV rays, users should apply sunscreen before any exposure to the sun.

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