Proactiv Solution 3-Step Acne Treatment System (30 Day) Starter Size

It’s the first 3-step acne treatment system that started a skincare revolution Designed specifically for acne-prone skin, this Proactiv acne treatment kit delivers finely-milled benzoyl peroxide deep into your pores to help stop acne-causing bacteria in its tracks and prevent new breakouts from forming. This acne kit includes Renewing Cleanser, an acne face wash, Revitalizing Toner, and Repairing Treatment, the original acne treatment cream. The starter acne treatment system is a 30-day introductory size of Proactiv Solution 3-Step regimen to help ease your skin into your new acne care program. As you incorporate Proactiv into your regular routine, you should begin to see visible changes to your skin in the weeks ahead. In the first week, your skin is acclimating to the Proactiv acne treatment. You may experience some dryness, slight flaking, and irritation in these early days. (This is totally normal). As with any acne product, be sure to use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day to protect your skin. Proactiv has a complete line of products beyond the 3-Step System, including acne moisturizer, hydrating moisturizers, sunscreens, acne spot treatments and acne body washes, all formulated specifically for acne prone skin. Ingredients: Renewing cleanser: Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide, 2.5% Inactive Ingredients: water, magnesium aluminum silicate, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, sorbitol, dimethyl isosorbide, disodium PEG-12 dimethicone sulfosuccinate, tridecyl stearate, neopentyl glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, polyethylene, cetyl esters, anthemis nobilis flower extract, sodium hyaluronate, sodium PCA, xanthan gum, tridecyl trimellitate, propylene glycol, imidazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance Revitalizing Toner : water (aqua), glycolic acid, sodium hydroxide, polysorbate 20, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) extract, anthemis nobilis flower extract, rosa canina fruit extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, sodium PCA, panthenol, glycerin, propylene glycol, allantoin, hydroxyethylcellulose, benzophenone-4, tetrasodium EDTA, imidazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance (parfum), blue 1 (CI 42090), yellow 5 (CI 19140). Repairing Treatment: Active Ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide, 2.5% Inactive Ingredients: water, ethoxydiglycol, cyclotetrasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane, cetearyl alcohol, dimethicone, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, propylene glycol, panthenol, allantoin, xanthan gum, ceteareth-20, carbomer, sodium hydroxide, diazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance


You’ve seen the Proactiv plus ads, the vending machines, the commercials, the insane list of celebrities endorsing the brand; it is like they are everywhere.

Wherever you go, you will hear, or see the brand. That is absolutely impressive.

With such insane marketing campaigns, it is no surprise that Proactiv+ has been the best-selling acne treatment for the last decade.

But if we simply consider the products without being inluenced by the gorgeous celebrities who keep praising these acne treatments, is it still worth it ? This time, our tester, elena, did all the testing job. Thank you for her super help and review.

Proactiv brand overview

Proactive wasn’t some brand that came out of the woodwork and planned to take over the world. Instead, they were two dermatologists, Katie Rodan, M.D. and Kathy Fields, M.D. who came from Stanford and wanted to find a healthier way to battle acne. They remembered their “war stories” from childhood and wanted to make it easier for everyone.

Today, Proactiv+ has taken monopoly control over the skincare industry, having been recognized with 28 awards and honors from the beauty industry. They have expanded from a simple infomercial to a company that actually has vending machines in malls!

ProactivPlus is actually the latest adventure from Proactiv (the older version), and it aims to tackle the issue of acne as well as other skin problems, in hopes to create a skincare system, not just an acne system.

Product and claims

It is a 3-step system that claims to quickly hydrate and treat acne by turning your clogged pores into healthy ones with nano-sized particles.

How Does It Work?

It uses Benzoyl peroxide to kill the bacteria that causes pimples and clogged pores. In fact, 48 hours after benzoyl peroxide is used on a pore, more than 99% of the bacteria is dead!

What’s New About Proactiv Plus?

As I told you, the “plus” sign simply indicates the new version of this acne 3-step system.

Proactiv Plus actually marks a significant improvement on other products in the line. Adjectives such as “healing,” “revolutionary,” and “significant” have been used to describe the line and it’s improvement over the old Proactive.

The benzoyl peroxide that we talked about in the last section gets deeper into your pores with this new system. Older products are too thick to really get into those small pores, so Proactiv Plus was developed with small particles that allow the medicine to get deep within the pores and passed the “gunk.”

It also doesn’t cause inflammation like the older products did. Peroxide, even in small amounts, can be extremely irritating to the skin. You might become red, itchy, or swollen if you use one of those generic products. Many companies have reduced their benzoyl peroxide levels to 2%, but that nearly renders it ineffective.

Here, it takes the benzoyl peroxide particles at about 2.5%, which is still highly effective at killing that acne-causing bacteria, and coats them so that they don’t cause the inflammation, but can still get to work in your pores. The result? Clear, clean skin that is free of blemishes and redness.

They claim to use a patented delivery system called “Smart target ® technology”, which is supposed to coat benzoyl peroxyde with a capsule that will help it reach with laser like precision the pores…

Note: As a general rule, up to 2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel or up to 5.5% slow-release benzoyl peroxide usually do not cause significant irritation after the first use. The percentage of benzoyl peroxide ranges from 2.5 to 10 percent. At 10 percent, some people will face problem areas, especially people who have darker skin. Think about when you are doing laundry: if you add too much peroxide to get out a stain, you discolour the fabric. Research also suggests that when it comes to cleaning out your skin, 10% isn’t much different from the 2.5%, as they both just clean out the gunk – once it’s gone, it doesn’t matter how strong the peroxide was.

Always start with lowest concentration, and work your way up if your skin doesn’t respond. Starting higher percentages right away can result in irritation and flaky, dry skin.

But “plus” at the end of the name also stands for some aditional features. As it turns out, Proactive Plus also moisturizes your skin, which helps to trap the peroxide in your pores. The moisturizer will also help with some of the other issues that you may have: fine lines, wrinkles, or dark spots. You will have smoother, more even skin in just a few treatments!

Proactiv+ also contains some of the active ingredients found in aspirin ( a chemical cousin- acetyl salicylic) such as salicylic acid to help stop your inflammation, itch, and redness.

Application Recommendations

The official website has the following steps listed for best results:

Step one: Cleanse

Use the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator to rid your skin of excess oil, dirt, and other impurities on a daily basis.

How To use: apply a quarter-size amount to damp skin and massage in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Step two: Treat

The Pore Targeting Treatment is used to kill acne causing bacteria deep within your pores.

How To use: apply at least 2 pumps to clean and dry skin, smoothing over your face. Do not rinse and allow to sit for at least five minutes.

Step three: Repair

Apply the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator to soothe irritation, brighten tone, and reduce acne marks without clogging your pore.

How To use: Apply a quarter-sized amount onto dry skin and smooth out – do not rinse. Reapply as needed.

Proactive also recommends using at least SPF 30 when going outside.

There are other products in the Proactiv Plus line, but they are not as necessary as the ones listed above, especially when you are just starting out.

Ok, that was more or less the “official” elements given by the brand, let’s review those products now.

Our Brutal Proactiv plus Review

First let check the proactiv plus ingredients, as they are the foundations of a good product and our first impressions.

If I want to eat a great ice cream (ok I am hungry while writing this post lol), I want to make sure, it is made of quality premium ingredients, and not of fillers and stuff…. that are not worth your hard earned money.

Step One: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator


Active Ingredient(s): benzoyl peroxide 2.5% – Inactive Ingredients: water, sodium cocoyl isethionate, glycerin, polyethylene, lauryl/myristyl benzoate, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, butylene glycol, dimethicone, ethylhexylglycerin, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, glycolic acid, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, fragrance

Without much surprise, we can find 2.5% of benzoyl peroxide, that is the acne killer.

This cleansing product is very basic, with generic ingredients that are known to be basic for a gentle cleanser. I mean I am not so strict with the cleanser as basically, you won’t keep it on your skin.

I like the addition of glycolic acid, and the small microbeads to better exfoliate and clean the pores.

But yet, I am not comfortable with the silicone they added. Why would they use it in an acne cleanser? I mean I know why; that gives you the super fake smooth feeling of a soft and silky skin and it also gives a nicer texture and more gliding power to the end product. The silicone I am talking about is the ingredient called Dimethicone.

For me, it is an ingredient that should be avoided or at least be used as little as possible especially in a daily acne skin care product, as it kinda forms a sort of plastic barrier right over your skin, that may trap everything under it (Sebum, impurities, bacteria etc…) which is what you obvisouly what you want to avoid…

First impressions

The cleanser is pretty gentle, with a nice creamy and very lightweigh texture, and will clean your face without your skin feeling tight and uncomfortable afterwards. I was a bit afraid that the beads would irritate my sensitive skin but it is pretty mild so that is a plus. I don’t like the scent but that is totally subjective 🙂

Step Two: Pore Targeting Treatment

Active Ingredient(s): benzoyl peroxide 2.5%

Inactive Ingredients: water, ethoxydiglycol, glycerin, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, polysorbate 80, polysorbate 60, sorbitan stearate, carbomer, potassium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, fragrance.

The second product also includes 2.5 % of benzoyl peroxyde, which should not surprise you either as it is the main active which will fight and kill the acne causing bacteria. Yet, this percentage is a bit weak for a topical treatment. (For the cleanser that was ok as it was not going to stay long on skin anyway…) I know they claim that the smart target ® technology enables to deliver more precisely the actives, so you don’t need as much BPO (benzoyl peroxyde) but to be honest, I feel it is more a marketing trick… (Just my opinion)

This light treatment formula is very simple which is good as the focus must be on the active. This is more or less the serum step, before applying the moisturizer. So for this serum, a light base is more than enough, for a non-greasy and fast absorbing product.

I also like the addition of glycerin, which is a powerful humectant that will help hydrate your skin. Yet, it is a very generic active that we find almost everywhere…

It is a very lightweigh gel cream, that really absorbs well and quickly so you don’t need to wait hours before applying the moisturiser. I mean having acne is already a bad thing, wasting time for a product to penetrate would be torture I am not willing to endure. The other good point is the nice matte finish. (yeah hate the frying pan look 🙂 )

Step Three: Complexion Perfecting Hydrator

Active Ingredient(s): salicylic acid 0.5%

Inactive Ingredients: water, butylene glycol, cetearyl alcohol, dimethicone, sodium polyacrylate, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, sophora angustifolia root extract, morus alba root extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, arctostaphylos uva ursi leaf extract, kojic acid, zinc gluconate, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, sodium hyaluronate, bisabolol, allantoin, squalane, safflower oil/palm oil aminopropanediol esters, C12-15 alkyl lactate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, glycerin, ethylhexyl palmitate, hydrogenated polydecene, hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin, PPG-5-laureth-5, polyquaternium-11, ceteareth-20, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, polysorbate 60, hexylene glycol, PPG-2 myristyl ether propionate, sodium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, fragrance.

I definitely like the addition of salicylic acid that is a beta hydroxy acid, to help exfoliate the skin. Yet, the dosage is a bit low…. it could probably be a bit higher to get a more effective treatment.

The moisturiser is packed with nice botanical actives such as kojic acid, licorice extract and bearberry that are known to brighten complexion and fade the acne scar marks.They also used some actives to hydrate and soothe the skin during the treatment.

They used again some silicones in this moisturizer which is not a smart move as it creates, as we told you, a “plastic” barrier which prevents your skin from “breathing” and can easily clog your pores. If it was used at a lower percentage, that would be less troublesome, but here from the list on ingredients, you can definitely see it is the 4th ingredient in the list, which means a pretty high percentage in the cream.

The other thing that bothers me a little is the formulation uses a lot of “transformed” of synthetic skin conditionning agents such as PPG-2 myristyl ether propionate, hydrogenated polydecene, that definitely gives a good touch and feeling but without really nourishing the skin as more natural oils would.

It is paraben free, like the other 2 products, which is good. Better be safe than sorry….

When I applied the cream for the first time, it felt a bit sticky and “plastic”at first but the cream penetrates quickly so the sticky feeling does not last long but I felt the cream was a little too occlusive. I found the cream was not hydrating enough, and had to reapply some more cream throughout the day. And to some extent, when you apply too much, it starts to be a bit heavy. So it is not thick per se but it felt a bit occlusive. I prefer products that are lighter especially for oily parts of my face.

So ingredient wise, the Proavtiv+ products do not have any overtly dangerous chemical ingredients, which could be harmful to the skin. Besides, the doses of active ingredient are quite low. So the good point is that your skin should not over react, the bad point is that it may take you much longer to reach the results you want.

What were our Results after 1 month ?

I tried the whole system for a month; it was pretty easy to follow as you only have 3 steps. It took me every day around 20 minutes. Not too difficult to incorporate in your daily activites 🙂

The results I am afraid was not as great as I expected from a brand that is so famous.

I mean, after the first week, I simply felt a bit of dryness but I thought it was pretty normal as my skin was probably getting used to this new acne skin treatment. Yet, skin looked as if my acne was improving in spite of the dryness.

At least during the first week…. Because in the middle of the 2nd week, things started to be worse.

My face skin was more and more irritated and dry. I started having red patches and tiny break outs that was hard to hide with make up. I guess the more I wanted to hide them with some foundation, the worse it became. So I tried avoiding any make up to see how it would evolve.

I spent the last 2 weeks with an irritated and dry face, (I call it the ugly acne face) which was red on the cheeks and the chin.

Surprisingly my forehead was not red or irritated at all. But frankly who cares, when your cheeks and chin are so red you look like a lobster ;(

The thing is I have already used topical products with much higher doses of benzoyl peroxyde, and I never had that drying effect. I wonder if it is the association of the salicylic acid and the benzoyl peroxyde. And it was also the first time I had used a cleanser with BPO (benzoyl peroxyde) as well. So maybe the combination is maybe too aggressive and harsh.

Benzoyle peroxyde is way more aggressive than salicylic acid so it would have been probably better to decrease or remove the Benzoyl peroxide from the cleanser and increase the dosage of salicylic acid and avoid to use so many pore clogging ingredients in the face cream ( complexion perfecting hydrator)

So, it was not the best experience from an acne skincare system and results was far from what I expected. My skin after the treatment was even more irritated and dryer than before… that is pretty ironic, isn’t it?

My acne did not improve and I had to find ways to fix that irritation and dryness issues afterwards.

If you had the same issues as me, you could maybe:

  • use another cleanser without any irritant actives to avoid aggressing your skin too much and keep using the rest of the treatment
  • use another day cream, which would be more hydrating, lighter and less occlusive as we know this could trigger even more breakouts and even worsen your acne.

Is it expensive ?

Well what about the price? The products could be better but let’s have a look at the prices to compare them to other products on the market.

The first question you must ask yourself is: what are the product sizes?

Because most brands play with this factor to make their offer more appealling than it is. I know it is pretty common sense but believe me we all tend to fall for it easily without knowing….

That is one trick that many brands use: they simply give you a small price and the truth is you end up with very small size products.

With proactiv, we were a bit pissed off by the fact their website does not mention any product sizes. If you intend to buy their products, you won’t find any sizes indicated at all. Every other brand listed clearly the price and sizes on their website. I think they could be more transparent about their sizes.

So, you can have a kit for 30 days or 90 days.

Price: $59 for a kit of 3 products without autoship (with autoship, it is $39)


  • The cleanser size is 2fl oz, 60 ml (as a reminder – Zenmed: 180ml, Exposed: 120ml)
  • The toner is not included (unless you pick autoship) its size is 1fl oz 30ml (Zenmed and Exposed: 120ml)
  • The moisturiser or face cream size is 30ml (Zenmed: 70 ml / Exposed: 50ml)
  • The serum/ gel size is 30 ml (zenmed: 60 ml / exposed 50 ml)

This kit will last 3 weeks to one month.

So, if you check our other reviews for the 2 other brands we recommend (check the acne treatment comparison table here) , based on formulation, results and price, you will see that proactiv plus is pretty expensive when you compare products with the same size….

Yet, I am half surprised because I am often skeptical with brands that spend too much on marketing. We all know celebrities and all the shiny campaigns cost a fortune, so that often (I say often not always lol) means that you pay more for the marketing campaigns and endorsements than for the products.

And I don’t know for you, but I‘d rather pick a brand that focuses more on the products, the ingredients, the effectiveness than on the buzz created by big names, who praise products they don’t even need lol.

Because at the end of the day, it simply makes the products much more expensive. (And I always feel grumpy when I need to shell out too many dollars if it is not worth it)

Other proactiv plus reviews

I wanted to check if I was the only one having this redness and irritation issue. Seems like I was not the only one. In fact, the reviews of the Proactiv Plus system are not overwhelming positive. The reviews on Amazon are somewhat also negative, with complaints about redness, dryness, itching, and ineffectiveness. Many were also up in arms about the price of the product. Here’s a sampling of proactive reviews :

“Proactive made my skin so dry it’s peeling off. And one spot on my face actually felt like it was burning and is still sensitive. I haven’t used it for a week and my skin is STILL coming off. It looks gross, and moisturizer will stop it for a little while but then it starts peeling again. Be careful if you have sensitive skin, because Benzoyl Peroxide was unbelievably harsh.” –Keyboard Monster

“Proactive worked for me when I was a teenager so I thought it would work for in my late 20 it did not. I have been using it for 1.5 months now and all it has done is dry out my skin to the point that it started peeling.” – Bliss

However, to be fair, there have been some really great reviews as well:

“Proactive is amazing. I have seen the ad on TV for years and finally decided to try it out. I wish I had done this 10 year ago. After a month, I now have clear, smooth and beautiful skin. I’m a guy and yes, my skin is now beautiful ;-))” – Luadan

“I used to use Proactive when I was a teenager and my face was filled with acne. I don’t remember if it worked or not but I decided to give it another try now that I’m much older. I started having a serious breakout along my jawline and under my chin. I’ve only been using it for about 3 days now and I’m noticing improvements. I’m very hopeful.” – Alejandra

Our final verdict

Overall, our experience was unfortunately not positive, even though we had high hopes about their smart target technology. The harsh effects on the skin, and the high price issue disappointed us.

Yet, this is a product that has been at the top of the market for years, (too marketing oriented?) so there has to be a reason though. Anyway, we definitely think you should have a look at other brands


Proactive Plus Acne Solution is known as a skin care system that may aid in eradicating pimples breakouts to get back that clear and youthful skin.

Proactiv+ is an advanced skin care treatment making use of nanotechnology to effectively deliver the Benzoyl Peroxide solution in the pores, that only works so long as you use it. You cannot skip days or stop making use of it as soon as your skin clears up and expect the results you worked so hard for to stick around without fail.

It targets the most common problems of a blemish-prone skin while proven blemish-fighting ingredient, salicylic acid, helps keep pores clear and looking smaller.

There are quite a few products available within the Proactiv range that include; Skin Smoothing Exfoliator, Pore Targeting Treatment, Complexion Perfection Hydrator and Medicated Cleansing Body Bar that all work in synergy to help to treat all forms of mild to moderate acne on face and body.

Famous celebrities such as Vanessa Williams, Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Kelly Clarkson and Elle Macpherson endorse it.

Overall, it seems that Proactiv put a lot of effort in smart marketing. They have a great-looking product and website, they use some of the most beautiful and popular celebrities as spokespeople, and they have broadened their appeal by making the products lean more toward skincare rather than just purely acne treatment.

That being said, while you may see results with the regimen, it seems more likely that Proactiv+ might leave you disappointed.

Proactiv Plus consumers feel overcharged.

There were also many reported problems in dealing with the customer service of the Proactiv company itself.

They place together a great-looking product and website, they use several of the most beautiful and popular superstars as spokespeople, and they have broadened their appeal by making these products lean more toward skincare instead of just strictly acne treatment.

Step 1 for the Proactiv+ 3-Step System is this 4-in-1 daily face wash – a deep cleanser, a medicated treatment plan for killing acne-causing bacteria, a glycolic-acid toner and a mild exfoliator for renewing and smoothing the skin’s area.

Step 2 is the Pore Targeting Treatment, a light-weight, leave-on gel with 2.5 percent of benzoyl peroxide, which effectively kills acne germs at the source.

Step 3 of the Proactiv+ 3-Step System builds on second step’s state-of-the-art acne fighting capability with an extraordinary range of added skincare benefits using Complexion Perfecting Hydrator.

No active and safe solution can legally guarantee acne healing at such a fast pace because proactive acne solution often works through a process.

The good thing is, those who have used the Proactiv Plus skin care kit for a while found that using the complete kit takes less than an extra 15-20 minutes of time out of their morning and evening.

What’s new with Proactiv Plus?

Proactiv Plus combats acne condition with the potency of benzoyl peroxide combined with nanotechnology. The old Proactive acne product made use of benzoyl peroxide too, obviously. Hundreds of anti-acne products do.

Benzoyl peroxide is a trustworthy method to kill the bacteria that cause zits. Just 48 hours after benzoyl peroxide application inside a pore, more than 99% of the bacteria that can clog it are dead.

Perhaps the biggest issue with older products was that benzoyl peroxide (1) didn’t always find its way inside a pore and (2) often triggered some amount of skin inflammation.

This new way of making products with benzoyl peroxide using nanotechnology takes care of both of these problems with techniques that generic benzoyl peroxide in other products never can.


Understand that Proactiv+ works most readily useful for people who have mild acne and do not have sensitive skin.

While Proactiv Solution takes care acne from your inside out, Proactiv+ is even more focused on combating and preventing acne, while additionally offering a large number of other skincare advantages.

When you are using something that takes habitual usage and time – such as Proactive Plus – it can be confusing to discover if it’s working. If you will find that your skin layer is still dry with the twice daily use of the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator, you can reapply throughout the day since you need to. In addition, you should be careful to guard the skin whenever using this.

As with many acne products, there can be a phase of dry skin and initial outbreaks that might be worse, but the results are worthwhile. It makes sense that the products used are first going to dry out the skin and focus on shrinking pores.

User reviews reveal this acne line is more expansive than its competitors. You must be careful about the buying price of Proactiv Plus because the size of all products are much smaller compared to other acne treatment products, so no matter that at the fist glance you think that you are saving your money, but actually you’re not.

User reviews

User reviews on the Proactiv Plus system are interestingly mixed. On sites such as, there were more negative reviews than positive, with the biggest issues citing redness, severe dryness, itching, and complete ineffectiveness, along with price.

Other individuals report that the products will reduce or eliminate acne, but that the acne will sometimes reoccur later, though they have continued to use the products.

Proactiv Plus reviews on sites such as are not as spilt, with negative comments far outnumbering positive reviews by as much as 3 to 1. Consumers feel overcharged. There were also many reported problems in dealing with the customer service of the Proactiv company itself.

Review 1 (Expert on Proactiv) – Proactiv Plus is good

It is always best to test a dot of any new skin care product on the skin of your forearm, leaving it there for at least eight hours, to make sure it won’t cause sudden sensitivity on your face. But what’s the benefit of these generally accepted as safe and effective acne-fighting ingredients?

Benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria that live in pores. The best acne treatment systems include this ingredient.

Salicylic acid breaks up the dead skin that traps bacteria in pores and also relieves inflammation.

These two products used together go a long way toward reversing the steps that cause acne. The first step in the process that causes acne is accumulation of dead skin. Salicylic acid breaks up clumps of dead skin. The second step in the process that causes acne is accumulation of oil and bacteria in a pore. The salicylic acid helps oil escape the pore and benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria in 48 hours or less. Benzoyl peroxide also helps clear off old skin cells around pores.

Review 2 (Dory) – It will not help with comedones. (blackheads and whiteheads.)

Proactiv will help with inflammatory acne. It will not help with comedones. (blackheads and whiteheads.)

The wash has a “scrubbing” agent, which can irritate inflammatory acne, but its benzoyl peroxide will help with the inflammation and redness. Same with the leave on treatment.

The toner has glycolic acid. This is the closest thing that will help with comedones, but alas, not enough to clear them.

You can get a rx for a topical retinoid from your dermatologist and use it in conjunction with the Proactiv system.

THAT would give you the best possible chance at clear skin.

Review 3 (Tammy) – Proactiv is crap

Proactive is crap. Yes it can help with acne, but it also doesn’t with others. A lot of people use it wrong, and it is too harsh for their skin. It can dry the skin out and overstrip it. If you stop using the products, your skin just goes back to the way it used to be. It doesn’t solve the problem. Acne and most other skin conditions are a sign of an internal imbalance. There is inflammation inside, and that is what should be focused on.

Review 4 (misscris) – It helped with my acne, but never made it go away

I have been using Proactiv for almost 10 years. It helped with my acne, but never made it go away. However, in the last two years I slightly modified the system and have had great success. My skin is super smooth and acne free (except for the one zit I get around ‘that time of the month’). I quit using the facial scrub and toner.

After running out of the facial scrub I bought Clean and Clear’s benzoyl peroxide face wash, while waiting for my next shipment. It has 10% benzoyl peroxide and no “scrubbies.” After about a week, my skin seemed to clear up. When I got my new shipment from proactiv, I went back to the regular facial scrub.

After about 3 days, my skin started to break out again. So I went back to the Clean and Clear. Voila, clear skin again. I think quit using the toner.

My skin quit being so oily and quit breaking out. I determined that the toner and scrub were over stressing my skin, causing it to produce more oil to compensate for what I was stripping away.

Here is the routine I have been using for the past two years, and I have been acne free: Clean and Clear face wash. Proactiv lotion. Neutrogena Norweigan formula around my eyes. SPF lotion all over face. Right now I’m alternating b/c Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 15 for when I’m at the office all day, and Garnier Anti-Sun Damage SPF 28 for the weekends.

Then I use plain old lemon juice a few times a week just as I would the toner. The vitamin C really brightens my skin. I use a mask, biore pore strip, or exfoliator about once a week, but no more than that. I think the instinct as a teen is to scrub, and scrub your face to get rid of zits, and just as picking and popping will make it worse, overdoing it on the “cleaning” can do. Oh, and I drink a lot of water and green tea – that just makes you feel better all around!

Review 5 (Jami) – I used Proactive and that stuff is CRAP!

I used Proactive and that stuff is CRAP! It made my acne worse, not better, and bleached my clothing. Total waste of money. I used it every day for four months and it did NOTHING except make things worse.

I don’t even believe those stars actually use it. They, after all, can afford to have $1,000 facials every day if they want, not to mention the $400 prescriptions.

Review 6 (Doctor Answer) – It may be beneficial for some types of acne but does not work for everyone

Proactiv is an over the counter product, this system uses ingredients like benzoyl peroxide to help treat the bacteria and inflammation in your skin. It may be beneficial for some types of acne but does not work for everyone. I have had many patients come into my office frustrated with their acne after having used this system for many months without any improvement in their acne.

Review 7 (Doctor Answer) – ProActiv works for some people

ProActiv can help some people to treat acne. The main ingredient that ProActiv products, as well as many over the counter products, contain are astringents such as salycyclic acid or benzoyl peroxide. If you have tried these over the counter products without much clearance of the acne break outs, you likely will need something prescription from a dermatologist.

Review 8 (Doctor Answer)- Yes, it can help acne but probably not

Yes, it can help acne but probably not any better than the far less expensive generic preparations available at a fraction of the cost at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, or any of the grocery/drug stores that sell the time tested compounds…aside from massive advertising, I’m not aware of any unique active ingredients that are available in the Proactiv line that aren’t readily available elsewhere…basic products salicylic acid at a very weak concentration and benzoyl peroxide…

Review 9 (Tina L.) – It doesn’t work miracles but does a good job

It doesn’t work miracles, per se, but as long as you’re willing to work the routine, it does do a good job. My only warning would be that during the beginning week or so, you may see an increase in acne or bumps on your cheeks… I was told this was simply a reaction to the strength of the chemical (which will happily bleach your favorite towel or sheets if you’re not careful) which will clear up by the end of the second week as your skin gets used to it. It was a bit strong (and costly) for me to use long term, but it worked when I needed it ??

Review 10 (Gin S.) – Proactiv is harsh but when the acne comes back, it comes back worse

proactive is harsh and may work for a bit but when the acne comes. back it comes back worse. proactive is 5% bp which is really too harsh for the skin which is why they came out with the new green tea moisturizer. look in to image skincare they are outstanding and their acne line is amazing. my roomie cannot live without it!

Review 11 (Amber R.) – for the price it wasn’t worth it

I used it for a few months and for the price it wasn’t worth it. I have recently been using all natural organic stuff on my face, like homemade masks and such, and they work just as good on me as proactive if not better b/c my skin became used to proactive after a while and it just quit working

Review 12 (Anjelica P.) – It honestly depends on your skin type and how your skin takes to a product.

I ask myself that question frequently. I just started using Proactive again. I used it about 5 years ago and it got rid of my pimples but it dried out my face. Since I just started I’ve noticed less pimples appearing on my face and its not dry because I use a moisturizer with it. It honestly depends on your skin type and how your skin takes to a product.

Review 13 (Marie Z.) – If you have dry skin and use proactiv it can do more damage

I have naturally dry skin. I was told proactiv is for oily and severe acne. If you have dry skin and use proactiv it can do more damage than actually helping it. I use acne free. It’s a 3step acne solution that’s a lot cheaper than proactiv. Proactiv is crazy expensive and you have to keep paying them monthly. And when you unsubscribe they charge you for another 2months it’s just a big mess and a waste of time.

Review 14 (novila) – I just use a good moisturizer after the Proactiv routine

I just use a good moisturizer after the Proactiv routine, morning & night, and this takes care of most dry-ness. I also steam my face once a week to clean the pores & keep the face hydrated. Maybe this should be in Holistic, but here’s what you do:

Pour steaming hot water in a bowl with 2 drops of lavender essential oil. Lean with your face over the steam and throw a little towel over your head to block out air from the sides. Let steam for 5-10 mins.

There are many things you can do to keep moisturized while on Proactiv. This is just an idea.

Can’t wait to see what you find – good luck!

Review 15 (chrissavestheday) – proactiv plus did work for me, but not completely

proactiv plus did work for me, but not completely . i’d still get breakouts once in a while and of course the occasional volcano sized ones on my chin

Review 16 (NoMiRRoRs) – proactive made my skin very dry

proactive made my skin very dry as well. if proactive seems to be working for you at present, my suggestion would be to use some of the products (the least drying products) every other night. you might also look into eliminating a couple of the products all together. you don’t have to use all the products, as they may not all work for you. i personally backed off of many of the products and only used the toner and the mask as a spot treatment. hope this helps some.

I have suffered from acne all of my life since I was 13 and I’ve tried every over the counter product to natural remedies to special oils to get rid of acne and nothing ever worked…until my boyfriend convinced me to try the new proactiv + line so when I was finally fed up with my face I gave it a try. I use them predominately in the days after I do a face mask ( I use Indian clay, which used to result in a few days of breakouts while my skin purged, but with these I get nothing except good skin, super yay!)

I’ve been on proactive for 2 years now I’ve used it everyday it helped me out so much it made me so happy to finally see something work but later on down the road I could tell it stop working but I still used it. plus I noticed my skin was so dry and was peeling but I stopped worrying about and one day I went to go get my upper lip waxed for the first time and I was scared because I read about how if you use proactive it can cause skin pigmentation and can make the face a lot w orser then you think the proactive is stripping away every layer of skin on your face she was straight up with me because I was scared usually wax salons don’t care and just wax it anyways …learned that before I went to The wax salon got my eyebrows done the day before and notice there was little brown dots from where the hairs was and I started freaking out the lady said that was normal so the next day I went to wax salon and the lady was straight up with me when I showed her my eyebrows she was like sweety I don’t think you need to do this it will make it worser she told me to come back in 6 months because that’s how long it takes proactive to get out of you blood another thing I didn’t know ???? so before you start using something read into it please I don’t won’t nobody else to go threw what I have to.

There are a host of other treatments and acne cleansers out there that provide far better results than Proactiv Plus did for me. For instance, let me tell you about this fascinating product called Exposed Skin Care The company provides a line of different acne cleansing solutions, and I have to say, it actually works wonders.

Acne treatment is good except for the fact that once you use it will go away for a couple of days then come back because they want your money and the product bleaches your skin as well.. Not much dryness but its definitely a lot of money, People dont realize but it will be like 80 for a month after your first package that was 30 dollars or so and it will ad up to hundreds of dollars a year which is terrible, i suggests going to the dermatologist and buying a cream like tazorac or tretinoin if you really want to take care of it and it is believe it or not cheaper than pro activ.

I have been dealing with acne for over 15 years cycstic acne I purchased every product on the market that I could possibly find and absolutely nothing work most of it made my face ten times worse or burnt my skin because I also am fair complected and have very sensitive skin about five months ago I decided to finally give in and try proactiv and it has worked amazing , I recommend this to anyone , I haven’t had and cysts on my face since I have began the treatment , this really is a wonderful product for anyone that has fair sensitive skin and bad acne this is the product for you but do not use proactiv+ it will cause a reaction would just stick with the proactiv (original ) thanks so much too these two doctors , I don’t feel so self conscious about my face anymore ??

Proactive 3 step system

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