Recently published study shows no difference between Proactiv Solution, Murad Acne Complex and MaxClarity acne treatments – at least as far as results and side-effects are concerned.
You could almost say that people with acne are superstitious. Many hold this weird belief that they just have to find the perfect product for their skin, and then they will finally get clear. The market happily complies and has produced countless acne treatments where the only difference is found on the label.
The thing is that your skin doesn’t care about the label; it cares about the ingredients in the product. While this may seem like an obvious point, people often miss it. They may start off trying Proactiv, and when that fails they move on to Murad. When Murad doesn’t bring results they try yet another product. But if you strip away labels and packaging you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between these products, because the formulations are very similar. And you shouldn’t expect wildly different results from products with very similar formulations.
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A paper recently published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology confirms this. The paper reports of two studies comparing MaxClarity to Proactiv and MaxClarity to Murad. These were split-face studies, where the participants applied one product on the left side of the face and the other product on the right side.
The results show a similar reduction in acne with all the products. Unfortunately the abstract doesn’t give details on how much acne went down. Another paper on MaxClarity showed about 60% reduction in pimple count. While a comprehensive review paper showed about 40% reduction in acne with benzoyl peroxide alone and about 50% reduction with the combination of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. I would expect the results fall into that ballpark.
The point I want to make is there was no difference in results or side-effects between all 3 products.
Insanity is going the same things and expecting different results
A quote attributed to Einstein says “Insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results”. The same could be said here. The chances of getting different results from products with very similar formulations are very slim indeed. And any difference noted most likely comes down to other factors, such as dietary changes or stress levels.
So don’t be insane. Do something different. Topical antioxidants are something new, and something that’s quite likely to make a difference on your skin. And if you are looking for product recommendations, see Exposed Skincare. It combines the proven effect of benzoyl peroxide with topical antioxidants.
- Randomized, Controlled, Evaluator-Blinded Studies Conducted to Compare the Efficacy and Tolerability of 3 Over-the-Counter Acne Regimens in Subjects With Mild or Moderate Acne.
- Evaluation of the Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of an Over-the-Counter Acne Regimen Containing Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid in Subjects With Acne.
- Meta-analysis comparing efficacy of benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, benzoyl peroxide with salicylic acid, and combination benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin in acne.
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