Proactiv vs. Murad: What Works Faster for Acne?

proactiv vs murad

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Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the world. In 2016, 85 percent of the people participating in an acne-related survey admitted to dealing with acne during their lives.

The majority of people who suffer from acne are women and their average age is between 20 and 26 years old. It’s a problem with varying levels of severity, ranging from mild breakouts to potentially harmful cysts.

The good news is that acne is very treatable. Doctors now understand quite a lot about why and how acne occurs. This has led to some incredible medications designed to help patients overcome or prevent breakouts.

Two of the biggest brands in the market are Proactiv and Murad. Both of which are exceptional products that can be purchased over the counter.

Key Differences Between Murad and Proactiv

Chances are, you’ve already heard of both of these products either during a television commercial or on the radio.

They are heavily advertised and are extremely popular throughout the country.

Both products were originally created by dermatologists who were leaders in their field.

Both companies have since expanded to carry several lines of acne fighting products as well as other skin care treatments.

However, there are some key differences between the two.


The first major difference between the two is the ingredients they use in their products. When it comes to medicine, few things are as important as the active ingredients.

Murad’s flagship product, the Clarifying Cleanser, works using two types of salicylic acid.

Proactiv’s products use either benzoyl peroxide or adapalene All of these ingredients work in their own way and bring something unique to the table.

Salicylic acid has the advantage of being gentler on the skin when compared to benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl is known to cause redness and is not suitable for people with very sensitive skin. The disadvantage of using salicylic acid is that it isn’t as effective at fighting tough acne breakouts.

It’s best reserved for mild cases.

1. Proactiv MD: Our Top-Rated Acne Fighter

PRICE: Check Current Price

proactiv md with adapalene

Adapalene was Proactiv’s solution to the benzoyl peroxide problem. It’s more gentle on the skin and fights acne in an entirely new way.

The use of adapalene was a significant breakthrough and it was the first new acne fighting ingredient approved by the FDA for over the counter use in 30 years.

This led to them releasing a new product called ProactivMD.

How It Works

ProactivMD (learn more) is a three-stage process that works using the retinoid adapalene.

proactiv md body moisturizer

Step 1

The first step is a deep cleansing face wash. The wash cleans the skin while also exfoliating with the use of tiny beads.

Step 2

The next step is daily oil control with SPF. It is quickly absorbed into the skin and prevents excessive oil buildup, which is one of the main causes of acne.

Step 3

The third and final step is the application of the adapalene gel. You cover the entire area affected by acne with the gel one time per day.

The adapalene works by increasing the skin cell turnover rate. This allows it to work as a form of exfoliation while also unblocking pores and glands.

It also reduces redness and swelling.

Why it’s the Best

proactiv md before and after picture

The adapalene itself is what makes ProactivMD the best over the counter acne treatment available. No other retinoids are available without a prescription.

Retinoids are superior to other acne fighting ingredients because they treat acne, prevent future acne, and restore the skin to its natural tone.

It’s an all-around powerhouse that is perfect for dealing with acne.

Where Can You Get The Best Proactiv Deal?

In the past, buying Proactiv could only happen one of two ways. You either had to call the number listed on an infomercial or you had to visit their website.

Visiting their official website is the easiest and best way to buy ProactivMD. Right now is a great time to buy too!

Ready to finally put an end to your acne?

2. Murad Acne Control

murad acne fighting products

Murad Inc. was founded by Dr. Murad in 1989. It was one of the first brands of clinical skincare products on the market.

Over the years, they have released a long list of skin care products that target acne, aging, fine lines, and so much more.

They’ve even taken an “inside out” approach and began selling supplements that can improve skin health and appearance.

There is a variety of products within their acne fighting line. Some of their products even target acne and anti-aging problems at once. Nonetheless, they are most well known for their Clear Control acne fighting kits.

How it Works

The Murad Acne Control kit is a combination of four different products that are applied one after the other. Murad claims that this kit can lead to visibly clearer skin in only 3 days and significantly reduced acne in 4 weeks.

While that is possible, keep in mind that the salicylic acid used really works best for mild cases of acne and if you suffer from serious breakouts, then you may not see the results promised.

Step 1

The first step is applying the Clarifying Cleanser to the face, neck, and chest. The cleanser uses the salicylic acid to purify pores and continues to work on the skin even after being rinsed away.

Step 2

The next step is to apply the Outsmart Acne Clarifying Treatment to the same areas. This treatment uses more salicylic acid as well as sebacic acid, glycolic acid, and lysophosphatidic acid to reduce oiliness, kill bacteria, and minimize blackheads.

Step 3

The third step is an oil-control moisturizer that only needs to be applied in the morning. The final step is the Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment.

This cream is applied directly to problem spots multiple times a day and can deliver noticeable results fairly quickly.

Who Should consider Murad?

Murad may not be the best acne fighting treatment on the market, but it still has a place in the market for people with very sensitive skin.

People who cannot use benzoyl peroxide or even a retinoid like adapalene would benefit from the gentle ingredients used in Murad.

However, if you have very sensitive skin in combination with severe acne, Murad still may not deliver the results you need. It’s worth trying for at least a month to see if there are any noticeable results.

Where Can You Get The Best Deal?

Unlike Proactiv, you can find Murad in a variety of locations. It’s sold on countless skincare websites, popular e-commerce stores like Amazon, and even in local grocery stores.

You should always start your search for the best deals by checking the official Murad website, though. They tend to run promotions and sales on their products that could save you between 25 and 50 percent.

Bottom Line: Looking For The Best Acne Fighter?

free proactiv acne scrub brush

If you have serious acne that just won’t go away, then ProactivMD is the best possible solution.

It fights acne, refreshes the skin, and can prevent future breakouts. Murad may be worth trying if the ingredients in Proactiv prove to be too much for your skin to handle, but you should always start by trying ProactivMD first.

In comparison to their standard products, the adapalene in ProactivMD is easier on the skin and it works very fast in our opinion.

If you’re ready to finally get your acne under control, right now is a great time to try Proactiv.