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Acne Products Compared: Proactiv Vs. Murad

Acne Products Compared: Proactiv Vs. Murad Acne Products Compared: Proactiv Vs. Murad Acne Products Compared: Proactiv Vs. Murad


Acne affects many teens and young adults with its ugly combination of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. Almost nine out of every 10 teens suffer from acne every year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, which in 2010 said the skin condition affects 40 million to 50 million people overall. Skin care product manufacturers such as Proactiv and Murad sell complete acne treatment systems to address the combination of factors that cause acne blemishes.


To treat acne effectively, you need to address several problems in your skin: excess oiliness, clogs in your pores that form due to the oil and dead skin cells, irritation that leads to pore inflammation, and bacterial infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most acne medications address only one or two of those problems, which is why skin care product manufacturers such as Provactiv and Murad recommend acne treatment systems.


Proactiv's acne solution consists of three main products: a renewing cleanser, a revitalizing toner and a repairing treatment. Proactiv also sells ancillary products, including blemish treatments and a deep-cleaning wash. Murad, meanwhile, sells an introductory three-part kit that includes its clarifying cleanser, exfoliating acne treatment gel and skin-perfecting lotion. The company also offers ancillary products, including an acne spot treatment.


Proactiv's renewing cleanser and repairing treatment include benzoyl peroxide, an acne-fighting active ingredient, according to Proactiv's revitalizing toner includes glycolic acid, which helps remove dead skin cells from your skin's surface.

Murad's clarifying cleanser and exfoliating acne treatment gel products, meanwhile, contain salicylic acid, which also can work against acne, according to The exfoliating acne treatment gel also includes retino and glycolic acid.


Benzoyl peroxide, as found in Proactiv's products, treats acne by killing the bacteria that turn blackheads and whiteheads into swollen pimples, according to It also can help dry out your skin, removing excess oil from the surface.

The salicylic acid in Murad's products fights acne through a different mechanism: It forces your skin's outer layer to peel, which can loosen and remove pore blockages and prevent future pimples. Retinol also may help remove pore blockages, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, while glycolic acid can help remove dead skin cells.


Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide often cause mild to severe skin irritation, especially in the first month you use them, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. And, over-the-counter acne treatment products such as those offered by Proactiv and Murad don't work for everyone; some people need antibiotics or other help from a dermatologist to halt their acne.

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