Anyone who suffers from acne — whether it be an occasional breakout or a serious day-to-day issue — knows how awful it is to deal with. Many of us have seen the commercials and advertisements on television for the popular Proactiv skincare line, which claims to erase acne. I have never tried the original line, however, I was super excited to try their new skincare regimen.
The new line is called Proactiv Plus and claims to be the fastest and most effective Proactiv ever. The steps are a little different than the original regimen, so I’ll walk you through the products and give you my thoughts. I have only been using this regimen for about two weeks now. Obviously, it’s optimal to use a product for at least a month to see the full effects, but I feel that I have a great grasp on how these products work so far.
The first step in this regimen is the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator. This product has a slight smell, but nothing too strong if you are particularly sensitive to scents. The texture is very thick and it has micro exfoliators in the cleanser. They are not rough on the skin and provide a great way to really clean your skin deep down.
This wash gently and effectively lifts away dead skin cells, traces of makeup, oils and other substances that would otherwise clog your pores. It claims to give your skin an immediately brighter and smoother look and feel. This product has a mild concentration of micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide (2.5%), which is common in most acne products, and kills the bacteria that causes acne. This product also aims to increase the hydration in your skin and minimize the appearance of pores.
It is an amazing cleanser! It claims to be suitable for all skin types, whether your skin is the driest of dry or the oiliest of oily, even the most sensitive skin. I have combination/oily skin for reference. I found that this product worked amazing for me; I wouldn’t necessarily say it provided intense hydration, however, it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry and tight. It did an awesome job at removing all traces of makeup (after removing the majority with a makeup-removing toilette, of course).
Step Two is the Pore Targeting Treatment. This product also contains benzoyl peroxide (2.5%). The Smart Target Technology helps to transport the acne medicine off the skin’s surface to minimize dryness and irritation, and deliver it directly into the pores. It is supposed to minimize surface dryness, irritation and redness while clearing your acne blemishes and preventing future breakouts.
Glycerin also helps lock in moisture, providing a soft glow. This formula is lightweight, non-greasy, paraben-free, non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested. It will not leave a filmy or greasy residue. It is sort of like a mixture between a serum and a gel — I actually like it. You do not need much of this product to cover your entire face; I really love the fact that it has a pump on it as well, providing for easy application.
This gel absorbs into the skin rather quickly and I did not experience any problems with it breaking down my foundation or other makeup throughout the day. This product did not overly dry out my skin — it did leave a little bit of a tacky feel to the skin, but once it completely absorbed in, that feeling went away.
The last step in this new skincare regimen is Step Three, which is the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator. It claims to continue the acne-clearing process and help prevent new breakouts. It also is supposed to reduce redness and irritation, absorb excess oil and provide a more even skintone — all while brightening the skin for a smoother and more radiant looking complexion.
The key ingredient in this particular product is salicylic acid (0.5%), which is another popular acne-fighting ingredient. This product is also paraben-free, non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested — suitable for all skin types. Lastly, it has a few key ingredients which are supposed to brighten the skin such as licorice extract, bearberry, sophora root and kojic acid.
This product is given the description of being silky-rich and having a luxurious texture. It doesn’t look quite like a cream, more like a mixture of a gel and a cream; it applies and feels like a cream once on the skin.
At first glance and application, I thought this would be too heavy of a moisturizer to wear during the day, underneath my makeup. But, I still put it to the test. I found that this product did not actually cause my makeup to breakdown any faster as I had anticipated it would. I definitely give Proactiv points for putting together a product that is suitable for wearing underneath makeup.
The last product in this line is the Skin Purifying Mask, which is meant to be used two to three times a week in conjunction with the other products in this line. The key ingredient in the mask is sulfur (6%), which is a popular ingredient used to fight acne, but is not readily found in most drugstore products that I’ve seen.
This is a maximum strength product, and the sulfur is supposed to draw out impurities. This mask is also paraben-free and contains a health complex of antioxidants, vitamins and botanicals to condition and moisturize the skin.
The mask did not have a strong scent to it and applied as a sheerish, white layer over the skin. It was not difficult to wash off either — you only need to leave it on for 10 minutes to feel the effects. After washing it off, your skin looks absolutely amazing! I noticed that it helped to even my skintone and whenever I use this in the morning, I feel like I’m going to have a good skin day. My only issue is that I wish this mask came in a larger tube with the rest of the skincare line, because I think this tube is a little tiny.
Overall, if you’ve ever read any of my skincare reviews for acne-geared products, you’ll know that I can tend to be a little harsh. However, I was majorly pleased with this particular line. (Okay, I’ll just say that I love this!)
Within days, the little bit of blemishes that I had here and there were going away like a dream! I did have two or three pimples pop up while using this line, but it wasn’t anything outrageous. I also found that using a bit of the sulfur mask to spot-treat at night worked well. What I mean is that you can put a little dot of the mask over a pimple, go to sleep, and wake up in the morning and wash it off. This helps the pimple to reduce in size and redness. I didn’t’ find anything on the Proactiv website saying this mask could be used for that purpose, but it didn’t cause me any issues.
I did notice that the entire regimen caused my skin to look a little dry around my nose and eyebrows, but it wasn’t extremely dry, just slightly. I think if you are experiencing dryness like this, just reduce the use of the products to once a day as opposed to twice a day. It wasn’t uncomfortable, and I found that applying a more intense hydrating face cream to those specific areas helped a lot and restored the hydration back into the skin. If you already have extremely dry skin, I’m not sure if this would aggravate your skin or not (again, I have oily/combination skin).
With respect to what these products claim to do (clear acne), I think they do a remarkable job. I don’t think this is going to be a miracle product, but I do think this is one of the best acne products I’ve tried on the market. I would continue to use it.
I haven’t tried the original Proactiv line, as I’ve said, so I can’t compare as to whether or not this line works better. But I can tell you that I enjoyed using this line as someone who is in their 20s and still experiences acne breakouts. I would definitely recommend this product.
You can purchase this product online at www.proactivplus.com . The Three-Step Kit is priced at $29.95, which is an amazing price point (around ten dollars per product). You will also get the Skin Purifying Mask for free. There are two other kits: one geared towards teens, Proactiv + Teen Kit, and one called Proactiv Complete, which come with these three basic steps, plus the Skin Purifying Mask, plus a couple of other items (such as Eye Brightening Serum, Mark Fading Pads or a Body Cleansing Bar) and the price points for those are $39.95.
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– Dawn Santamarina
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