Friday, February 26, 2010
Since about the age of 14, I've battled mild to moderate acne. Over the years, the breakouts have become less severe but still frequent enough to be a nuisance. Just when I would get rid of a pimple, another one would crop up and bring a few accomplices along. Makeup can only cover so much and spot treatments only work temporarily or seem to cause more harm than good. It really does a number to my self-esteem to have all these red pustules and oily patches all over my face. NOT attractive. I'm an adult now - I shouldn't have to deal with this! There have been a few times I've avoided social gatherings just because I was so self-conscious and embarrassed about my acne. And don't even get me started about photos. There's a reason I'm usually the one behind the lens.
I'm sure we've all seen the infomercials for Proactiv Solution. Celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Julianne Hough and most recently Katy Perry have endorsed their products.
I'm usually pretty skeptical about "as seen on TV" products but when I was offered the chance to review Proactiv, I was excited to put it to the test.
Proactiv was developed by two Stanford-trained, board-certified dermatologists as a way to "proactively" treat mild to moderate acne. The acne cycle actually starts below the skin's surface weeks before it becomes a visible blemish. Proactiv stops the cycle in its tracks before breakouts occur. It combines a mild solution of prescription-grade acne medicine (benzoyl peroxide) with premier skincare ingredients to unclog pores, kill acne-causing bacteria, soothe inflammation and condition your skin. Their new formula contains micro-crystals for faster pore penetration.
I was sent their flagship 3-Step System to review, which includes Renewing Cleanser, Revitalizing Toner and Repairing Treatment.
The Renewing Cleanser is an oil-free, soap-free medicated exfoliating cleanser with tiny beads that gently remove impurities, excess oil and dead skin cells. You apply to damp skin in a circular motion and rinse off with warm water. Next, you use the Revitalizing Toner, a refreshing alcohol-free, botanical-rich formula that refines and purifies pores while soothing and hydrating skin. You just pour a dime-sized amount onto a cotton-ball, apply to your face, and let dry before the third and final step. The Repairing Treatment is a feather-light, invisible, medicated lotion that kills acne-causing bacteria. Simply apply a pea-sized amount in a thin layer over the face and let dry. Easy peasy puddin' and pie!
Along with my 3-Step System, I received samples of the Refining Mask and Green Tea Moisturizer. The Refining Mask is a deep-cleansing mask containing sulfur, an acne-fighting ingredient that soothes inflammation and refines skin tone and texture. The Refining Mask can also be used as a spot treatment to help heal blemishes and reduce the appearance of pore size. It is recommended to use this at least 2-3x per week after Step 1 as an extra barrier against acne. The Green Tea Moisturizer is a lightweight serum with concentrated botanical extracts and antioxidants that pamper dry skin without clogging pores. This can be used daily or as needed after Step 3.
I found the process a little intimidating at first but quickly picked up on what to apply and when. None of the products had the harsh medicinal smell of traditional OTC acne fighters. They all had a light, pleasant fragrance. There was no stinging or burning and from the very first use, my skin felt soft and supple. After a week or so, my husband even commented that my skin was "glowing". He thought it was a new makeup or something but I told him, no, I wasn't wearing makeup...it was my Proactiv!
I've been using my Proactiv for about a month now and I am astonished at the results. I happened to break out a few days after starting the system but those pimples were significantly reduced in just one day and completely gone by the second day. I couldn't believe how fast and effective it was!
Check out my progression pics (and excuse the eyebrows...I need a wax badly!):
Before starting Proactiv. You'll notice I had a big red pimple on my chin below the left side of my lower lip, but I also had a cluster of tiny zits on my right cheek, near my dimple, that weren't as prominent in the photo.
2 weeks after starting Proactiv. You can see that not only have my blemishes disappeared, but my complexion is smooth and even.
4 weeks after starting Proactiv. Although the artificial light in this picture makes me look like a dandelion, you can see that my face is clean and clear.
I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to go out in public with confidence. Even during that time of the month, when my hormones do some serious damage to my face, the blemishes were kept at bay. Woot! Where was this stuff when I was in high school? It could have saved me much heartache back in the days of prom and peer pressure.
I did notice that if I skipped the regimen for a day, my skin was not as healthy so you'll definitely want to use Proactiv as directed, twice a day for optimum results. It's a bit more cleaning than I'm used to but with results like this, it's totally worth it!
Bottom line: Put your best face forward and get Proactiv. My skepticism has officially been blown out of the water and I will be purchasing another package after these bottles are empty. I can't think of one reason not to try this product if you suffer from mild to moderate acne.
BUY IT: You can purchase a 30-day supply of Proactiv online at www.proactiv.com for $19.95. A 60-day supply is also available for $39.95. Try it risk-free with their 60-day guarantee! If it works for you, you can become an Activmember and have your future orders shipped to you automatically.
Did you know that Proactiv also sells a full range of sun care, body care and makeup products?! All are non-irritating, made specifically for sensitive skin.
To learn more and get the latest news, become a fan of Proactiv on Facebook!
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by The Product Review Place. I received a free 3-Step System from Traci at HealthStar P.R. to facilitate my candid review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are solely mine. Your experience may differ.