Acne is and has always been a prominent skin problem. Millions of people suffer from it on a daily basis and with all the products currently available on the market, it only proves how difficult this problem can be. Now, you may have heard about Proactiv, which is a brand that develops acne treatment products. And if you are reading this, you probably know they have more than one product available to you. In fact, you might be stuck between Proactiv MD and Proactiv Plus, two very different approaches from the same company. But after reading this Proactiv MD vs Proactiv Plus review, you should be more informed whether it will be to your benefit to test one or the other. So, without wasting any more time, this is how the two products stack up against each other.
Some Background on Proactiv
In light of making this Proactiv MD vs Proactiv Plus showdown objective, it’s important to know where they came from. And seeing as they are developed by the same company, it’s important to learn about their reputation.
For those who haven’t heard about Proactiv before and just stumbled upon this article, it’s a company that came about through two dermatologists – Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields. This automatically gives both products a boost, because the developers actually have professional skincare background.
Their motivation was to make it easier for everyone to fight acne, regardless of age, and since the 1980’s they’ve been working on Proactiv. Today, the two ladies have received no less than 28 awards from skincare specialists and watchdogs for their contribution to acne treatment.
Now that you have a better idea of where the products are coming from, it’s time to see which one is more likely to help you.
Proactiv MD (read review here) is a 4-step treatment, and the active ingredient is well-known for fighting acne. It’s called Adapalene, and until Proactiv MD made it’s way to the market it was considered a prescription treatment. Thanks to this ingredient and the added sun-protection elements, you are looking at a very capable acne treatment.
As a side-note, several studies stand behind Adapalene as an effective treatment, mainly because it is a retinoid derivative. In topical form, they are as effective as anything gets in terms of acne control. But on the downside, it can also cause dryness and irritation, although side effects are minimal with Adapalene.
The four steps you’ll be going through are:
1. Face Wash
As expected, there’s a deep cleansing face wash to prep the skin with. This specific face wash contains tiny beads that help to remove excess oil and dead skin, which opens the pores.
Acne means there’s a skin imbalance, and the toner is used to correct that PH imbalance.
3. Moisturizer (SPF30)
This is the step that contains the active ingredient mentioned earlier, as well as the sun protection. It is used to control the oil on your skin and provide protection against harmful rays without clogging your pores. In fact, it gets absorbed fairly quickly.
4. Adapalene Gel
The fourth step is the one that really does the magic thanks to the active ingredient, and the gel contains 0.1% Adapalene. However, for kids 12 years or less, don’t use it without professional consultation.
Overall, Proactiv MD is a very effective product with clinically tested ingredients. It gets those pores open without leaving a mess on your face, and unlike other acne treatments, it contains sun protection.
Unfortunately, as fantastic as the product sounds, not everyone has had success with it. While many find it very effective, others might suggest the one we’ll be looking at now.
Proactiv Plus, AKA Proactiv+
It’s important to understand that with Proactiv Plus (read our review here), the idea was to make the previous treatment better. More specifically, they’ve added what they call the Smart Target element, which addresses excessive dryness that comes from using acne treatments.
This particular treatment is broken down into three steps, and they all contain the active ingredient, namely Benzoyl Peroxide. The latter helps the skin to absorb quicker.
1. Skin Exfoliator
Like Proactiv MD, this step gives the skin a good cleaning. And to help the Benzoyl Peroxide, they’ve added glycolic acid to the mix. The combination has proven to be very effective.
2. Targeting Treatment
The second step does what the name suggests. It goes straight to the heart of the problem and it doesn’t waste time getting under your skin, in a manner of speaking.
3. Complexion Hydrator
The third step is there to keep your skin healthy after the acne treatment. In other words, it will keep the skin hydrated while preventing inflammation. At the same time, they are effective at reducing the marks acne can leave behind, as well as give your complexion a healthy boost.
On the positive side, this treatment is great at opening pores and it does more than just fight acne. It improves skin tone and reduces unwanted marks, in addition to keeping your skin hydrated during the treatments.
On the downside, it only seems to be effective where mild cases of acne are concerned. And there are some users who said that excessive dryness remained a problem despite the new formula.
When looking at the evidence, Proactiv MD is most likely your best bet. However, there are bound to be individuals who find Proactiv Plus to be more effective. This is because everyone is different and there will never be one answer for everyone. That said, the MD version is Proactiv’s latest and best innovation, so it’s the acne-fighter that I have decided to go with.
UPDATE: Right now Proactiv is offering a pretty sweet introductory rate on their MD line of products. Follow this link to lock in their best deals PLUS get a FREE scrub brush!