If you watch the bare minimum of television, chances are you have seen a Proactiv commercial. Their commercials are all over every channel and their ads can be found in magazines and online. They promise “A Simple System for Clear, Beautiful Skin,” but does it actually work?
The History of Proactiv
Two dermatologists, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, invented Proactiv in the early 1990’s, later partnering with Guthy-Renker Corporation and started airing Proactiv infomercials in 1995. Since then, Proactiv has become the #1 acne system in America and is sold world-wide. It has won several awards and has been featured in magazines such as Teen Vogue, Seventeen, and InStyle.
How Proactiv Works
Proactiv is a three-step-system that guarantees clear skin results or your money back – 60-day money back guarantee to be precise. The steps are as follows, Renew, Revitalize, and Repair.
Renew is a medicated cleanser that is made with micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide exclusive to Proactive. Within the cleanser are super tiny particles that penetrate deep into the pores of the skin to start destroying acne-causing bacteria immediately. It also contains tiny micro-exfoliating beads that slough away dead skin cells (cellular buildup), residue from dirt and makeup, and excess oil (sebum). The beads help unclog pores so new breakouts don’t occur. In addition to being oil-free and soap-free, the active ingredient within the cleanser is U.S. prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide (2.5%).
Revitalize is an alcohol-free toner that refreshes and rejuvenates the skin while removing excess oil and residue left behind after cleansing. Since it does not contain alcohol, it will not dry out your skin. Instead, it will balance the pH levels of your skin and leaves it feeling soft and smooth. The active ingredient in this toner is glycolic acid which works to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, thus unclogging pores and minimizing breakouts. Fresh, new skin will emerge leaving the skin glowing. Witch hazel is another active ingredient and this essential oil locks in moisture and soothes inflamed skin.
Repair is a topical acne treatment that fights deeply embedded acne-causing bacteria but leaves the surface of the skin unharmed. It’s oil-free and works to heal pimples from deep within the skin. This acne cream is antimicrobial and contains U.S. prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide (2.5 %) which removes blackheads and kills pimples.
Please Note: It’s important to still use an oil-free moisturizer while using this skincare system so your skin doesn’t become too dry or too oily. If you don’t use an oil-free moisturizer, more acne breakouts will also form.
If you have sensitive skin, we do not recommend Proactiv for your skin. More than one review site gave it one out of five stars for those with sensitive skin. If you have normal or combination skin, it may or may not work for you. It was given three out of five stars for these two skin types. If you have oily skin, you are the best candidate to use Proactiv. It was given four out of five stars for this skin type. What is the reasoning?
Well, those with dry, sensitive, or combination skin types are not always prime candidates to use a toner like Revitalize. Toner is best for those with oily skin so if you have the other skin types, you may be causing further irritation to the skin in addition to stripping it of essential oils needed to keep the skin hydrated. Benzoyl peroxide could also irritate those with dry or sensitive skin and some people have too delicate of skin to use a glycolic acid-infused toner every day and night.
One particular study gave mixed reviews about Proactiv after they tested it out. They did like that it was an easy acne treatment to use, that each product had a specific function, and also gave props to the money-back guarantee. The site also claims that a lot of the hype of Proactiv is the celebrity endorsements they have. They are paid celebrities, mind you, and as they said so perfectly, “Popularity doesn’t necessarily mean quality or effectiveness.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Another study found that Proactiv does work for many people but not for all. They remind readers to read the labels on the packaging and that Proactiv users may experience side effects of the products including stinging and discomfort of the skin.
A reputable research team created a list of the best acne treatments and Proactiv landed last on the list of their recommendations. They say the reason Proactiv is #1 in America is because they invest the most money in advertising. Yikes! They claim that the ingredients found in Proactive are “general, typical, and bear standard quality.” Bottom line in their opinion is that there are better skincare lines out there!
Alternative Skincare Treatments
– ClearPores Skin Cleansing System
If you feel like you have tried everything, in addition to Proactiv, we recommend you go the natural route and make skincare treatments from your home. Not only will you save tons of money, you are using safe and natural products that have been used for centuries to keep skin looking and feeling beautiful. Nature offers amazing benefits to our skin and bodies so below are a few of our favorite treatments to make.
Natural Homemade Face Cleanser
For Normal Skin, combine equal parts of Castor Oil and extra virgin olive oil. For acne-prone skin, combine 3 parts castor oil and 1 part extra virgin olive oil. For dry skin, combine 3 parts extra virgin olive oil and 1 part castor oil.
Pour the oil mixture onto your clean fingertips and massage the oil onto your clean face for about 2 minutes. Take a steaming hot washcloth (not hot enough to burn your skin), lie down, and place the washcloth over your face. Leave the washcloth on until it’s cooled off then use the other side of the washcloth to wipe the oil off your face and your skin will be clean, hydrated, and rejuvenated. Both oils work to clear your skin of impurities, while soothing inflamed, irritated, and dry skin. Neither oil will clog your pores or cause you to become oily or breakout further.
The washcloth step is essential because the steam pulls all the impurities out of your pores. The impurities removed are excess oil, acne-causing bacteria, and residue from things like makeup. Your skin will not only feel and look amazingly clean but it will also be glowing and radiant.
Lemon Juice: Squeeze some organic fresh lemon juice into a bowl then dip a cotton ball into it. Apply the lemon juice to your freshly cleansed face. When dry, apply an oil-free moisturizer. Fresh lemon juice will leave your skin less oily, refreshed, and will even out your skin tone over time. Fresh lemon juice is a natural astringent so it’s safer to use on your skin than any man-made toner.
Witch Hazel: Witch hazel essential oil is amazing for your skin. If you remember, it is found in the Proactiv toner so it is safe to use on its own. Simply dip a cotton ball into the oil and apply a thin layer to your cleansed skin. Witch hazel will moisturize your skin and works beautifully to soothe inflamed, irritated, and broken out skin.
Organic Coconut Oil: Use pure, unrefined, cold-pressed organic coconut oil as your face and body moisturizer. It is antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antiviral so it works to fight acne and other infections on and in your skin safely and gently. It may feel greasy when you first apply it but after a short time will seep deep into your skin, healing skin beautifully. Since this type of coconut oil is hard, simply rub your fingertips over the top layer of oil and it will warm it for easy application to your skin. A little goes a long way so there is no need to overdo it. You will smell amazing too…coconut oil has a very light and fragrant scent so enjoy!