Proactive Review - Proactive Solution for Acne
The Proactive Solution for Acne is one of the best selling acne skin care products on the market today. The 3-step system promises to clear up acne and improve the appearance of skin, but does it really work?
The goal of any acne treatment is to keep skin clean and keep pores unclogged. When pores get clogged with dirt and oil, they can become infected, and this causes pimples, blackheads, and other breakouts.
The Proactive Solution for Acne consists of a cleanser, a toner, and a solution that are supposed to be used twice a day: morning and evening. Proactive also offers other acne skin care products, including a Refining Mask, a Green Tea Moisturizer, Oil-Free SPF 15 Moisturizer, and a Daily Oil Control Lotion.
In this Proactive review, I will focus on the 3-step Proactive System.
Step 1: Renewing Cleanser
This cleanser is both an exfoliator (with little beads that scrub the skin) and a medicated cleanser. It contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, which is an anti-bacterial product that is designed to kill the bacteria that cause breakouts.
Step 2: Revitalizing Toner
This toner is applied after using the cleanser. It contains various botanical ingredients, which claim to refine and soften skin. The important ingredient is glycolic acid, which is an alpha-hydroxy acid that chemically dissolves the dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Glycolic acid also promotes cell turnover, meaning that it smooths out the overall texture of the skin.
Step 3: Repairing Lotion
This is an oil-free lotion that contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, the same anti-bacterial found in the Renewing Cleanser.
I used the Proactive Solution for Acne a few years ago, when my acne was very bad, and I was not happy with the results. I felt that it irritated my skin and did not get rid of my acne as the commercial promised. I've done a lot of research and used a lot of acne skin care products, and I've finally figured out why Proactive didn't work for me -- and why it probably won't work for you.
The main reason why Proactive doesn't work as well as they claim is that it is too harsh and irritates skin. A lot of the redness and small bumps on my face that I used to think were acne are actually just irritated skin from using products that were too strong. All the Proactive products contain powerful ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin.
The first problem is the cleanser. It has been shown that medicated cleansers do not really help the skin because the medication does not have enough time to penetrate the pores. But, medicated cleansers are harsh enough that they can irritate the skin.
The next problem is the toner. It contains glycolic acid, which is again a strong irritant for sensitive skin. Using an acid-based exfoliant is a good way to unclog pores, but salicylic acid does a much better job on oily skin than glycolic acid. That is because salicylic acid is oil soluble and can do a much better job unclogging oily pores.
The repairing lotion is actually an okay product. The concentration of benzoyl peroxide is high enough to kill bacteria, but low enough not to irritate skin too much. However, I think that using the lotion twice a day is a bad idea. It makes the skin very sensitive to sunlight, which is a problem if it's put on in the morning. Also, I've found that benzoyl peroxide is better as a spot-treatment because it does not prevent breakouts as well as salicylic acid does.
Instead of Proactive, I suggest you check out this acne skin treatment. The products I recommend are the result of all my research and testing (on myself, over many frustrating years...). They're all available at your local drugstore and probably cheaper than Proactive, too.
More Acne Product Reviews
You can get more acne product reviews and read about my favorite acne home treatments on my blog.