Proactive Vs. Acne Free
Most teenagers--about 85 percent--suffer from acne each year, making it the most common skin condition tracked by the American Academy of Dermatology. Consequently, over-the-counter acne products abound. In many cases, manufacturers have bundled groups of acne-treating products into overall acne systems. Proactiv and Acne Free represent two such acne-treatment systems.
Teenagers get acne as they hit puberty because their surging hormones, responsible for so many changes in their bodies, cause the sebaceous glands in their skin to produce extra lubricating oil, according to the Cleveland Clinic website. The extra oil combines with cellular debris on the skin's surface, forming a paste that can clog pores. Bacteria then begin to grow in those clogged pores, causing infections that become inflamed pimples.
Proactiv offers a three-part acne treatment system consisting of a renewing cleanser, a revitalizing toner and a repairing treatment. Acne Free, meanwhile, offers four different systems: Clear Skin, Sensitive Skin, Severe to Clear and Acne Free Sport. All Acne Free systems include three components except for the Severe to Clear system, which includes four components.
Both Proactiv and Acne Free's Clear Skin and Severe to Clear systems contain benzoyl peroxide, a known acne-fighter, as their active ingredient. Benzoyl peroxide helps treat acne by killing the bacteria that inflames pimples and causes additional infection. It also can remove some excess skin oil. Side effects of benzoyl peroxide can include chapping, redness, dry skin and skin irritation.
Acne Free's Sensitive Skin and Sport systems contain salicylic acid as their active acne-fighting ingredient. According to Drugs, salicylic acid functions as a peeling agent for your skin. Clogged pores can clear as the top layer of skin sloughs off. Salicylic acid also can cause skin irritation, and other potential side effects include excessive peeling, redness and itching.
Acne sufferers often find that their skin tolerates either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid better, and so your choice between Proactiv and Acne Free acne treatment systems might depend on that. However, over-the-counter acne systems such as Proactiv and Acne Free generally treat mild acne best; they might not work well if you have moderate to severe acne, according to the Mayo Clinic website.
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