You might be dubious about anyone, especially celebrities, hawking acne treatments with a “this product changed my life” sentiment as part of paid advertising, in this case it’s worth believing. Why? Because everyday people are also saying the very same thing as the celebrities: Proactiv, works. Thre are a bunch of non-celebrities before and after success stories you can read on the Proactiv Web Site.
Proactiv Solutions is not only a company that is brilliant at promoting their products, they are promoting products that actually do exactly what they promise to do – treat your acne-prone skin, and make it look better. In some cases, much better.
Proactiv is really meant for men and women with breakouts. If that’s not your major skincare issue, Proactiv products may not be the best choice for your skin. As the company itself will tell you, there are simple and universal guidelines you can follow to protect and care for your skin, even if you aren’t a Proactiv candidate, including avoiding excessive sun exposure, reducing stress, not touching your face, and paying attention to your diet. If you do all of these things and are still dealing with acne blemishes, then Proactiv Solutions recommends using their products as a (three-step basic) system, or combination therapy, to banish (or at least significantly reduce), blemishes.
Step 1 of this combination therapy is the Renewing Cleanser (4 fl. oz.). The oil-free formula contains prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide, a mild cleanser, and polyethylene beads that gently remove dead skin cells. As far as face cleansers go, this product feels much more like an exfoliation treatment than a cleanser. If you’re looking for an all-purpose face soap that will also remove your makeup, the Renewing Cleanser may not function as your sole cleansing product, but in terms of exfoliation, the beads are designed with no sharp edges, so it’s effective at removing old cells without any tearing or scratching of your skin.
Step 2 is the Revitalizing Toner (4 fl. oz.). This alcohol-free formula moisturizes and removes excess oil. Some of its natural botanical ingredients include aloe vera, chamomile extract, witch hazel extract, and comfrey. The common denominator with all of these ingredients is that they are both soothing and rejuvenating. This toner is gentle enough for everyday use, and as part of the combination therapy approach, it’s the perfect prep before Step 3.
My insider source (a Proactive devotee), tells me that Step 3 is her favorite. The Repairing Lotion (2 fl. oz.) is safe for the entire face. Its key active ingredient packs a punch in the fight against blemishes. Benzoyl Peroxide in a 2.5% concentration is antibacterial and more effective at treating acne than the common zit-buster ingredient, Salicylic Acid. As with the toner, the lotion also contains many soothing ingredients courtesy of mother nature.
Proactiv Solutions has many additional products outside of the basic, 3-step set. It’s worth a visit to the Proactiv web site to check out everything they offer, from an exfoliating peel to dandruff shampoo and conditioner. One such additional product is the Refining Mask (2.5 oz) that is frequently included as a bonus item with the purchase of Steps 1-3. The mask is great when you feel a breakout on the way. Its main active ingredient is sulfur, which absorbs excess oils and calms inflammation. The mask also contains clay – a great ingredient for battling surplus oil, Linoleic/Linolenic/Arachidonic Acids – a combination of fatty acids that are often lacking in acne-prone skin, and Glycerin – a naturally-occurring emollient and humectant. The mask is a little difficult to wash off, so if your skin is feeling raw or you’re in need of a very gentle touch because of a breakout, you may want to skip the mask as it takes some elbow grease (or a wash cloth) to rinse it away.
|Justin Beiber, Getty Images|
While Justin Beiber was not available for further comment about his Proactiv use, my source did leave me with the following testimonial on the Proactiv basics, straight from Brooklyn, NY:
“I love that the daily 3-step treatment is not drying. I rarely need additional moisturizer, except on very dry winter days. Before I started using Proactiv Solutions, I had periodic acne breakouts with several large, painful zits. Since regularly using Proactiv, these breakouts are few and far between. When I feel one coming, I will use the mask for a day or two and that usually helps. I noticed a difference in my skin after just a few days of using the entire system as directed. Now that my acne is under control, the most important part of the system for me is the Repairing Lotion, which I use daily.”
Proactiv also gives you a 60 day money back guarantee. Proactiv fails to meet your expectations, simply return the bottles (even if empty) within 60 days of receipt for a prompt, courteous refund of your purchase price (less s/h).
…now that’s a beautiful thing!
*special thanks to Johann Thomsen and her Brooklyn-based, authentic, human tester, for their assistance with this review
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