We’ve all heard of Proactiv, if you haven’t then I question your existence! It’s been endorsed by some top-notch celebrities such as Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. I’m not going to get into their questionable marketing techniques, but I will say this! If Justin Bieber showed up at my door step with a goodie basket filled with Proactiv products, I would not be the least bit happy! Anyways, this is going to be a review of the core three-piece kit as well as the Refining Mask. I have used the kit on two separate occasions, once when I first started to break out in middle school, and again a few months ago.
Step 1: Renewing Cleanser
This is my least favorite piece from the kit. It’s actually very, very bad for your skin… and the benzoyl peroxide in it is pretty useless. It is a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cleanser with little beads which are supposed to exfoliate while cleansing. Firstly, the benzoyl peroxide in this product does absolutely nothing besides dry your skin out tremendously. In order for benzoyl peroxide to work, it needs to actually be absorbed into your skin; with this product, you are just washing it off. Leave the treatment to your topical. Also, the beads in this cleanser are way too rough and irritating. I’ve tried using this a hundred ways yet every time I am left red, irritated and dry. Definitely something you should stay away from.
Step 2: Revitalizing Toner
This doesn’t actually do anything for your acne. As is it glycollic acid, it exfoliates on the surface of the skin. It does not get deep into the pores like a BHA would. It’s also supposed to have a moisturizing effect I guess, which it doesn’t. All in all, pretty useless considering what it’s being marketed for. It may be alright if you’re just looking for an AHA toner, but at the same time there are way more affordable options.
Step 3: Repairing Treatment
This is the only piece of the kit that does something right. It is a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide treatment, which is the recommended amount. It is very drying and comes in a small bottle, which is why I would never purchase this alone. Like the toner, there are much more affordable options for a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide treatment. It did not do anything for me, but if benzoyl peroxide works for you I guess this would be alright.
Bonus Step: Refining Mask
This mask is a 6% sulfur based acne treatment. I don’t know too much about sulfur and how it corresponds with acne, but it works to some degree. I would never apply this all over the face, as it is way to irritating for that. You will become a red, flaky mess. It does alright as an over night spot treatment. However, do not expect any miracles. If you’re in the market for a sulfur based spot treatment, I would recommend trying this.
The Proactiv system is just a huge waste of time and money. The customer service is unbelievably horrible, and the products (in my opinion) are not any better. I question why there is no moisturizer in the core kit, it’s quite ridiculous. This is being sold to millions of people around the world, some who do not already know that they are going to need a moisturizer (WITH SPF!). It’s just a recipe for disaster! To all of you who go around telling those suffering from acne to “just try Proactiv!”, please stop. You’re not helping in the least.
Now, this does work for some people; however, if this works for you, you should be fine with just a regular 2.5% benzoyl peroxide topical paired with a gentle, non-medicated cleanser. It took my face awhile to recover from the damage Proactiv did to it. My face, which could once handle 5% benzoyl peroxide without flaking at all, is now extremely intolerant of any benzoyl peroxide treatment. This stuff has definitely scarred me for life!
Well, that’s all. I felt I had to share my experiences with Proactiv and their makers Rodan & Fields, as they are, in my opinion, criminals in every sense of the word.
Peace and love, thanks for reading~