Proactiv vs Curology vs Hers: Best Subscription Acne Treatment

Ah, acne. What might have started off as a pimple here and there, might have grown to be a huge problem. That usually happens in the teenage years, but depending on a lot of factors like: environment, genetics, skin care routines, makeup usage, and more, can last a lot of time after the teen years, and its seriousness might grow.

With the ‘personalized’ market getting very popular over the last few years, there have also been personalized acne care treatments becoming widely accessible to everyone.

A great example of such are: Proactiv, Curology, and Hers. In all honesty, with all the advertisements which might have led many here, it is hard to see why anyone shouldn’t get their acne care products from any of the aforementioned brands.

They offer efficiency and convenience above all. But are these really a strong contender to products you might find at the pharmacy, or are they a gimmick.

To answer that question, we have tested these three on multiple dimensions, plus, we got to see what some of the customers say about the product. In the end, there will be a brand that will suit your specific needs.

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What Are the Differences Between Them? Proactiv VS Curology VS Hers

As always, when anyone is considering personalized acne care, they come across these three. And, as always, the first question that most have is whether there are any differences between them, which is reasonable.

To answer the question, yes, there are differences between these three.

First one is how the personalization process works, whether there are regular 1on1s with a professional or not. Second is the pricing, which varies among the three depending on subscription frequency, regular checkups and other things. And lastly, the most important one is the ingredients.

Most importantly, it cannot be stressed enough. These aren’t a gimmick, in fact, they might work better than some pharmacy alternatives, with varying degrees of success. We say ‘varying’, since finding the best treatment for you is more than a hit-or-miss, as you many know, who are dealing with an acne problem.

Nevertheless, at least Proactiv, Curology, and Hers do everything that’s possible to find the right treatment for every customer, as everybody’s different.

More on their differences later on.

Ingredients – Proactiv, Curology & Hers

As for the ingredients, they’re the typical ones that are found in almost all treatment solutions, both over the counter and with a prescription.

Because Curology and Hers use ones which are also found in prescription bottles, Curology and Hers both are with a prescription. That is not the case with Proactiv, as they use different ingredients. So, let’s breakdown each brand, with the different ingredients used:


  • Benzoyl Peroxide – Oxygenate pores, killing acne bacteria, since the main cause of acne is lack of oxygen in the pores.
  • Salicylic Acid – It basically removes the first layer of your skin, making access to pores easier, and it acts as a disinfectant for pores, by unclogging them.
  • Adapalene – Minimize inflation and keep dead skin cells from blocking the pores. Plus, they clear blemishes. Tretinoin is only available with a subscription, while Adapalene is without. They both come from Vitamin A.
  • Avobenzone
  • Octocylene
  • Octisalate

The first three are the main ones which are important to mention, as they have been used for acne treatments for quite some time. For the second on the list- Curology, here are the ingredients:

  • Tretinoin – Minimize inflation and keep dead skin cells from blocking the pores. Plus, they clear blemishes. Tretinoin is only available with a subscription, while Adapalene is without. They both come from Vitamin A.
  • Niacinamide – Overall, it has one main strong suit, which is increase skin quality. That includes, tone, reducing wrinkles, texture improvements, moisturization, and more.
  • Clindamycin – An antibiotic used for treating a whole assortment of bacteria. It reduces current inflation, while also stopping new breakouts from occurring.
  • Azelaic Acid – It gives you a smoother texture and tone, while also unclogging your pores.
  • Zinc Pyrithione
  • Vitamin C

Curology and Hers have a similar formula, since they use the three most widely recognized acne treatment ingredients. Basically, Hers has the three most important ingredients: Tretinoin, Niacinamide, and Clindamycin Phosphate.

Proactiv, Curology & Hers VS Pharmacy’s Prescription Solutions

Hers Acne Treatment – Special Intro Offer Available Here.

So, why would anyone even consider Proactiv, Curology, or Hers? Well, the first factor is convenience. No need to go to your dermatologist, and no need to run to the pharmacy. Plus, you’re still getting a formula that is tweaked to suit your own needs.

Additionally, doctors get commission by pushing certain products and treatment solutions. So, sometimes, many people end up with solutions that aren’t that efficient, and haven’t been on the market very long. It is important to mention though, that this doesn’t occur always, and it is definitely best to consult with your doctor/dermatologist about any products you’re thinking of getting, as well as what is the best course of action.

This is all to say that, rarely, but certainly possible, as far as your treatment plan, and your prescription is concerned, there might be some bias.

Sure, one could make the case that there is some bias with these brands as well, especially with Curology and Hers, where there is a 1on1 with an in-house professional. However, these are products and brands which are not new, and have been well-renowned for quite some time. Additionally, the positive feedback from customers is hard to ignore.

Comprehensive Overview – Proactiv VS Curology VS Hers

Now, it’s easy to list all of the important factors, but what is also important, is comparing each one in practical terms. Yes, there is one for everyone, and what might work for some, might not work for others.

Proactiv is one which many opt-in to first, mainly because you don’t need a prescription, and also because it has been available for the most time. However, the efficiency of both Curology and Hers cannot be ignored.

So, to make things easier for you, we though it be best to make a comprehensive overview of each service, and list some of the most important practical aspects. Here’s a comprehensive overview of Proactiv, Curology, and Hers.

Proactiv VS Curology VS Hers
Price $19.95 Starting price, for a 30-day or 90-day subscription + Gratis Cleansing Brush Here
$19.95 Starting price, for a monthly subscription $44 Starting price, with an additional $5 medical fee + What Brand Review Exclusive Discount &
60 day money back guarantee!
Treatment Plan Three step program, with a fixed formula Three step program personalized to you Morning and night program
Shipping Free shipping on 90-day subscription Free shipping on 60-day subscription Free
Prescription Prescription not needed Prescription needed Prescription needed
Get your acne treatment now:

As we see, there is a lot to consider about these after all. In terms of the treatment plan, only Hers is different, where instead of the traditional three-step treatment, they do a two-step program, for morning and night.

So, that might be a deal-breaker or maker for many, because of convenience.

Proactiv Review

What you see is what you get. That is the case with Proactiv.

Like we said, Proactiv is the one which has been around for quite a while, from the mid-90s to be exact. Since then, the brand has evolved, but their main strength hasn’t changed, which is: the best treatment for acne, without a subscription.

Since the mid-90s though, they’ve changed their formula a bit, and adapted to changes and breakthroughs made in the dermatology industry. Nowadays, they offer multiple treatment plans, which is a plus, since Proactiv was previously perceived as a not-so personizable acne treatment plan.

But with the addition of multiple sets, there are different types of treatments, and ones which might be more flexible. Their treatment plan was set in stone even back in the day, and it is still effective to this day. It includes: a renewing cleanser, revitalizing toner, and a repair treatment. As always, the main ingredient that they used was benzoyl peroxide, as it was highly effective.

While the formulas aren’t as potent as the ones from Curology or Hers for that matter, they’re highly effective for some, especially those that don’t have very inflamed skin, or intense acne breakouts. Nevertheless, the possibility for Proactiv to work better than the other two is still there, but it depends from person to person. On average, Curology and Hers are tailored for those with stubborn acne.

Note: Whatbrandreview Offer, Get FREE Charcoal Pore Cleansing Brush here.

Let’s see what some of the positives and negatives sides about using Proactiv:


  • No prescription needed
  • Affordable
  • Multiple treatment plans, based on skin types
  • Flexible subscription
  • Well-renowned ingredients


  • Free shipping only on 90-day plan
  • Not as potent as Curology or Hers

Curology Review

Unbelievable. What Curology does beggars belief.

It is the same treatment you would get if you went in to the dermatologist’s office. In that, meaning, the formulas and treatments from Curology are so customizable, there is no hit-or-miss here. Chances are that you would find something that works well for you.

Plus, it doesn’t have to be acne treatment per se. They have a wide variety of treatment options for dark spots, wrinkles, clogged pores, firmness, and a lot more. So, even when you finish with the acne treatment, and your inflammation is gone, there are additional treatments to make your skin even more pop-off.

The process is interesting. Once you choose a treatment for such and such, you take a quiz. The quiz helps you determine the right treatment for you. Then, a 1on1 session gets called, and there, the formulas are tweaked just-right for you. After that, you can take regular selfies, so that your progress can be tracked and tweaks will be made, if needed.

The fact that you can consult with medical professionals with Curology, makes it a really good idea, and that is the reason why Curology can have such potent formulas and products.

Curology follows the same style of treatment as Proactiv, as in how many steps are included in the treatment plan, which is three.

Whatever the case may be, there are still some negatives to consider. Let’s see what are the pros and cons to using Curology:


  • Highly customizable
  • Cheap starting price
  • A lot of products available
  • Other treatments included as well
  • 1on1 with a medical professional
  • Tweak to your formula based on progress
  • Very responsive support service


  • In some cases, users found that it is challenging to get the formula right

Hers Review

Hers has even surpassed Proactiv in how many people actually daily-use it.

Hers is the convenient one of the bunch. Instead of a three-step treatment plan, you do only AM and PM iterations. The formula gets tweaked by a medical professional like Curology, but unlike Curology, you do need to pay a small fee for that.

After that, before the shipment of every order, you get a 1on1 with a medical professional yet again, which might be a little too much for many, but it is always great to track your progress, and get checked out by a professional to ensure that you’re on the right track.

Now, even though Hers is great in terms of treatment and variety, what came as a surprise, was its price tag, which is quite big. Compared to the other two, it is hard to see what customers get more for the bigger price tag they pay.

In any case, there are other products from Hers like hyperpigmentation and anti-aging, which might make up for the fact that it is that pricy. Granted, they’re not a bonus for your acne treatment package, but it is always good to know that your skincare supplier has a couple of options extra, should you choose to go with them.

Maybe the price difference with Hers is that it offers free shipping. In the end, Hers with free shipping comes at the same price as the others, with shipping. So, technically, it is not as pricy as many would think.

Note: Get a special promo on Hers from Whatbrandreview here (no code required).

Let’s look at Hers from a different perspective, like what are some of Hers pros and cons:


  • Two step treatment
  • Consultations available, plus, tracking progress
  • Customizable
  • Only $5 for the first month
  • Other products available


  • $5 additional for consultations, since they’re not included in the subscription
  • Pricy

Head-to-Head Comparison

There is a chance that you’ve already favor at least two of these brands. To make a distinction on how they perform between each other, we’ll pin them head-to-head, to find out from each matchup, which might be more favorable to you.

Keep in mind, for acne, it might be very difficult to make a distinction about which one might be the perfect fit for you, or how will each perform on your particular skin type.

Proactiv VS Curology – Which One?

Between these two, there is a tremendous difference. That is, Proactiv doesn’t require a prescription. However, this means that it is also less potent, which might not be a good idea for those that have a recurring issue with acne, and have very inflamed skins.

Nevertheless, Proactiv seems to be the perfect choice for those that haven’t tried acne treatment solutions ever. The formulas are milder, and it doesn’t hurt to try it out, especially after seeing the positive feedback that this brand gets. Again, if you’re one of those people, consult with your doctor about using Proactiv as an acne treatment solution, prescription-based or not.

Curology though, is the full-blast treatment solution. The fact that there is so much customizability makes it perfect for those that had acne for a long time. The 1on1 consultations are also a plus, and what’s even more appealing is the fact that you don’t need to pay an extra fee for them.

Progress is getting tracked at Curology, and if a particular formula doesn’t work for you, it gets tweaked until you get the results you’re looking for. Plus, Curology is affordable like Proactiv as well, even though their formulas are more potent.

Both should be tried, but it is apparent that Curology offers a much more personalized treatment.

What Is Better? – Proactiv or Hers

It is more or less the same case with Proactiv VS Hers as the former against Curology.

Again, Procativ stands out as being the perfect choice for those that haven’t tried any treatments before. It is a great starting point, and in some cases, it proves to be more than effective. Plus, the years of experience that Proactiv has cannot be easily ignored. With those years of experience, comes the perfect formula, based on years of research and data.

Nevertheless, for convenience, the fact that Hers works on an AM and PM treatment, meaning morning and night, might make it a great choice for many, particularly people that have a finite amount of time to devote to acne treatment.

Hers’s biggest issue is the fact that it is expensive. Compared to the other to it has a subsequently bigger price tag, and while it has free shipping, the other two have as well. Yes, the other two have a free shipping option on only a few subscription plans, but those are the ones which most opt-in to get.

Still, Hers is clearly a more tailored treatment, and since it requires a subscription, it has some stronger ingredients, which might be more effective for people with huge outbursts. That is, only if you get over its hefty price. Note: You can get special intro deal on Hers here.

Between the Two Prescription Options – Curology or Hers, Which One?

The case as to why these remain the best choices for many can be easily made. But between the two, is there something which determines the clear victor?


Now, of course, one might be very efficient for many, and the other might not. That is hard to determine. Both have to be tried to see what will work better for your skin, since there are a lot of variables that need to be taken into account.

But on the surface, the price difference is the only thing which sets apart both, and what might be a deal-breaker for many.

There is also conveniency, with Hers scoring more points here. Since it is only a two-step routine, it is very easy to do daily, and perfect for those in a rush. However, do three and two steps make that much of a difference? Well, they do, but not as much as many people would think. (

Nevertheless, with Hers people will definitely cut back on time spent for skincare.

So, in the end it comes down to price and convenience. Which one do you favor more? Additionally, even if the price is right, or the treatment is very convenient, they count to nothing, if it doesn’t solve the underlying issue, which is getting rid of acne. But determining that is impossible.

The best way to do so, is to try both!

The Verdict: Best Acne Treatment Solutions – Proactiv VS Curology VS Hers

What Proactiv, Curology, and Hers are doing is phenomenal. Gone are the days where you had to set up an appointment with the dermatologist, then do regular visits to tweak your treatment and track your progress. All that can be done through the comfort of your own home now. Granted, it must be either Curology or Hers, since only those two are offering consultations.

Still, you get the point. It is much easier and convenient to go with one of these three. They’re well-renowned, and praised by many, for their unbelievable efficiency. But which one is for you?

Proactiv is one which is perfect for those that haven’t done any acne treatments before. It has been around for more than a few decades, and it has solved the problems for many. It is over the counter, which means no prescription, so, trying it out is fairly easy.

For convenience, and for those that don’t necessarily have much time for skincare, then, Hers is the perfect choice. This is because there are only two steps to the treatment routine, so it cuts back on so much time. Perfect, if you can get over Hers’s price point.

The fact that you can get so many different products with Curology is unbelievable. Not only can you treat your acne with Curology, but wrinkles, tone, texture, and so much more. It is the most customizable in this list, and one that can help you with all of your needs. Perfect for those that want a reliable, and a more tailored skincare supplier!

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About the author: Borut's expertise extends to his passion for product exploration. With a discerning eye for quality and a keen sense of what consumers value, he shares his insights on various products, unveiling their unique features and benefits. Read more by Borut Udovic