My Experience with Proactiv


I think pretty much everyone knows what Proactiv is but for those who do not know it is a skin care line that is designed to combat acne. Proactiv gets a lot of hate. All you need to do is Google it and you’ll find a lot of people downing it. However, I feel like a lot of people are uninformed about it so, therefore, I decided to write on it.

And, yes, this is a pro-Proactiv post.

 Now, before you go and get all mad because all you wanted to see deep-down was more bashing of Proactiv, hear me out. I have a lot to say, by the way, so you may want to just skip to the titles that interest you. It won’t hurt my feelings.

Common Proactiv Misconceptions:
1. That Proactiv will work for everyone.
No, it doesn’t work for everyone. No skincare regime will ever work for everyone. I think it really just depends on your skin (among other things like how you use the products). It’s worked wonders for me but didn’t work at all for my best friend. My acne has changed over my five years of using Proactiv but, even with my skin changes, it still works for me.

2. That Proactiv gives instant results.
Most people see Proactiv as a last resort (myself included) and then they get really upset when it doesn’t work instantly. Let’s face it, all humans have little patience and when you deal with acne, you don’t want to wait for any product to work. You just want it to go away. But you have to give Proactiv time. I personally make myself use products for at least 2-4 months because that’s really when you’re going to see if something works for you or not. I really strongly suggest you give Proactiv at least 2 months.

3. That the third step (Repairing Lotion) is a moisturizer.
This one really drives me nuts. I mean, really, does nobody ever read anything on bottles anymore? The Repairing Lotion is not a moisturizer. It is AN ACNE TREATMENT. It has Benzoyl Peroxide in it. It’s made to help treat the acne. And then people get upset, understandably, when their face dries out because typically they’re putting the Repairing Lotion all over their face.

Quick Rundown on My Skin:
Skin type: Dry, semi-sensitive
Acne type: Surface acne (whiteheads, spots) mainly but under-the-skin (does not come to head) as I’ve gotten older
Makeup: I only wear BareEscentuals/BareMinerals on my face. I have a HUGE fear of liquid anything being on my face. Probably mostly because I’ve never used it but also because my skin is so sensitive that I can pretty much guarantee liquid would do nothing but clog my pores and break me out.
Eating habits: I eat pretty terribly. Here’s a clue: My favorite foods are chicken fingers and peanut-butter sandwiches. We’re a big carbs family. We eat out quite a bit. I drink soda. And, no, I’m not obese.
Past acne treatment tries: Way too many to mention. Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, Clearasil (which I’m really allergic to), Nature’s Cure (not sure if it’s still around but you took pills as well as used a cleanser), CleanStart…to name only a few. You name it, I tried it.

I have been acne free for five years with Proactiv.

My Thoughts on the 3-Step System:

Renewing Cleanser: I personally love it. It has microbeads in it that help exfoliate your skin. My skin loves to be exfoliated so this really helps. The microbeads also help to open my pores and allow the acne medication to get into them. My skin is also pretty sensitive and I’ve never had the microbeads hurt my skin or anything. My skin feels really smooth with this cleanser and also feels really clean. It does have Benzoyl Peroxide in it to treat acne. Overall, I really like it.

Revitalizing Toner: Another love for me. It doesn’t burn my skin, even with active acne breakouts, although I’ve heard that it does burn other people’s skin. It helps balance my skin and also just gives me the extra boost to squeaky clean skin. Also removes any bit of makeup I may have leftover that I missed with the cleanser. Does not have Benzoyl Peroxide in it.

Repairing Lotion: Not my favorite. I don’t use it too often. It does dry out my skin so when I do happen to get a breakout, I just place a little bit on the breakout and leave it at that and typically I only put it on the same breakout maybe two times the entire time it’s healing to prevent excessive dryness around the area. I really feel like you just have to figure this one out on your own because, as a teenager, I applied it all over my face to prevent acne and typically didn’t have any problems with excessive dryness from it.

My Thoughts on Other Products from the Proactiv Line:

Green Tea Moisturizer: I like it. It’s light and soaks into my skin really quickly. I normally only use it in the morning before I put on my makeup because it does absorb so quickly. Keeps my skin hydrated. Haven’t had any problems with it. Green tea is really good for your skin. However, for the price and the amount I use each morning, I don’t really think it’s worth it and even after purchasing the larger size, I will be just purchasing a drugstore moisturizer after I’m finished with it. I think for oily skin people this would be a really good basic moisturizer because it is so light.

Oil-Free Moisturizer: So not worth it. For someone with dry skin, it won’t work. At least it really didn’t for me. I still had really unattractive dry patches on my skin even after reapplying it three times in the same area throughout the day. May work for oily skin people but I’ve heard a lot of hate on this product on all sides of the skin equation and I personally agree and think it’s rubbish too.

Dark Spot Correcter: Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say on this product because, after purchasing the full size because I was unable to get a sample size, I discovered pretty quickly that it breaks me out. I don’t know what it is but there is some ingredient in it that breaks me out like nobody’s business. And it’s the under-the-skin acne that hurts and takes longer to heal. Really wish that it didn’t do that though because I would love to diminish some of my acne scarring.

Refining Mask: Anybody who purchases the kit normally gets one of these. I think it’s okay. Not my favorite thing. I typically don’t put masks on my face unless I’m breaking out really terribly (thanks to that lovely gift I get every month) because it just seems to throw my skin off. It does help a bit for a spot treatment but I don’t really like spot treatments.

Quick Tips:
-If you know from experience that Benzoyl Peroxide is not what your skin likes, don’t try this. If your skin likes salicylic acid, then use products with that in it. Salicylic acid does absolutely nothing for my skin.
-Don’t use the Repairing Lotion all over your face. It has acne treating properties in it too and is not meant to be a moisturizer.
-Before spending the money on Proactiv, you may want to try isolating things that could be causing your acne. Examples: liquid makeup, any face products you’re using, foods. For me, I just think that liquid makeup contributes to blocked pores. ALL makeup wipes break me out. Soda contributes to my acne. Ingesting high amounts of skim milk is shown to contribute to acne.
-Do try everything you try out for 2-4 months. Unless it automatically makes your skin worse, then it’s your choice to stick it out or stop using it. Don’t expect instant results with anything. I do recommend making Proactiv a last choice just because of the price.
DO NOT ORDER PROACTIV ONLINE!!!!!!! That is something I cannot stress enough. I’ve heard/read too many horror stories about what goes on online with the company. If you can’t purchase it locally (I purchase mine just at a kiosk at one of my malls) then try something else like Murad perhaps (I’ve never used Murad). Proactiv has terrible customer service and automatically bills you and sends you products even when you opt out. The customer service isn’t fantastic at my kiosk, but considering where I live, I don’t really think anything of it. I just walk up to the kiosk and say, “I need some cleanser and toner,” and they ask if I want the 60-day or 90-day bottles and then they pick them up for me and ring them up. Simple as that. But do not order online or through the phone. Just don’t.
-If you are experiencing dryness, cut back on using it. I don’t ever use it in the morning. I only use it at night. And use a good moisturizer (Proactiv ones are pretty overrated though so I suggest just plain Olay which is what I use). If you’re doing both of those, then I suggest moving on to something else.
-If you wear makeup, take off your makeup with a separate cleanser or makeup wipe because the Renewing Cleanser is not made to be a makeup remover but an acne treatment. I however use it as both because I find that makeup wipes just break me out. It works just as well for me.
-When your bottle of cleanser stops squirting out, take the lid off and just plop some on your washcloth/hand because I can guarantee there’s probably 12 or more uses still in the bottle that just don’t like to squeeze out.
-Over time, it has helped diminish acne scarring that I have.
-It has never given me cystic acne like I’ve heard some people claim and I’ve used it for over five years now. I haven’t had any adverse reactions to it. I do still get an occassional pimple but it’s mostly from hormonal things.

I purchase the 60-day line from my local mall kiosk. The kit runs about $50. However it lasts me 3 months instead of the 60 days. For me, the price is worth it.

Bottom Line:
I love Proactiv. It’s saved my skin.