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35Yo Who Discontinued Proactiv-My 8 Month Journey Thereafter & What Finally Helped

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#1 scaborca

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 11:47 PM

I am writing this to share about my experience finally quitting proactiv after 8 years of use and what then ensued- and what finally helped.

 

I am a 35 year old woman, with adult acne, who has had acne since the age of twelve. Severe at many points during my life, using accutane twice, all sorts of rx'd meds over the years, etc.

 

When I was about 27 I started proactiv. During the years being on it, I still had acne, bad at times, (horrible when your 35), but with my history I was dealing with it you know?

 

Okay, so I went to see a holistic doctor in September 2013...blah..blah...blah. She urged me to get off proactiv b/cause of its harmful effects on your skin, etc. So I did this because I was so hyped about all my positive health changes. I discontinued it in December 2013 and turned to natural products.

 

From December 2013 through late April 2013 I experienced the worst acne probably almost ever of my life. Horrendous, huge pimples, some cystic, all over my face. I literally hunkered at home, rarely left, called into work a couple times, became depressed, etc.  I was close to going back on proactiv, I didn't know what else to do. During this time I was so distraught I sought crisis counseling, and saw a dermatologist who rx'd a bunch of medicines ( the stuff I was trying to get away from and didn't take them- she even said she would try me on accutane!). As stated, I avoided using the medications, not sure why, just wanted to get away from that form of treatment and attack on my face.

 

So I tried several natural products, thinking that with my new diet this would help. Nothing was helping. Eventually I came across the Evan Healy Line. Its a natural line, that has a product line just for acne.  I began using it on 01/31/2013. Wash, moisturizer, hydration solution, blemish trmt stick, weekly exfoliating detox mask, etc.

 

My acne was still bad and not getting better. I called into Evan Healy's help line and emailed with them several times- not wanting to walk away from this good product that "felt right" and not wanting to get back on Proactiv.

 

They were so helpful, seriously. They explained having several customers discontinuing use of proactiv and having this type of flare up after, and that for many it took months before calming down. Essentially, they said because proactiv is not allowing your skin to detox and instead represses/pushes back inside what's trying to come out. (They explained it better than that). They urged me not to give up, that it was worth it- but that I had to get through this stage.  The lady who helped me several times shared that she had a history of severe acne as well, and had herself struggled getting off proactiv. 

 

I hung in there, something inside me knew I had to at least try. The flare ups continued through April. In May my face startled to settle somewhat, in June it seemed like it had purged the majority of what it needed to.  

 

In July my face looked "normal" out in public. (normal to me). Lots of purple scars from all the pimples I had had, but as far as actual pimples, only a few (with some tiny flare ups still). And given the trauma of these past few months, I felt grateful for it- like I could at least be in public again without freaking out so that is why to me it felt "normal."

 

Its now August 2013, over 8 months since beginning this journey. Marks still fading, and definitely still have zits, but they seem fewer as time goes on and not huge anymore. I feel normal again. I'm afraid to type that, like it will jinx me. If you're like me, you know what I mean by that.

 

But I promised myself I would write this. I am very emotional thinking about these past 8 months plus and how painful it has been, especially the part of "not knowing" what is going to happen and how the nightmare will end. Coming off Proactiv is no joke, it will mess with you. But it is so bad for you and there are other ways out there. Honestly, I highly recommend Evan Healy.

 

Don't give up if you're in that hard phase!

 

If you have any questions about my story please feel free to ask. 

 

All the Best and in Solidarity,

 

S.

 


Edited by scaborca, 05 August 2013 - 11:53 PM.


#2 Tim714

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 02:26 AM

I was in a very similar situation as you with going off of proactiv at the end of last year. After thhree or four months of no improvement with more natural solutions I even went back to it and that didn't even help. I definitely didn't have your patience and decided to go back on accutane which has been helping a lot so far but when I'm done with the course I will not be going near BP at all. Good for you for not giving in, I hope your skin continues to improve.

#3 KalleG

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 02:24 PM

I stumbled upon this blog while researching the aftereffects of using Proactive Solution. I am 31, and up until recently, I was using Proactive solution, and I had been using it since the age of 23.
I have had oily acne-prone skin since I was a teenager, and I had tried what felt like all skincare alternatives for acne but nothing seemed to really work. I was prescribed some pills from my docter which worked great, but they were only a six months cure and I was right back where I started when the cure was over. I then saw an add for Proactive on TV, and I ordered it expecting great things to happen. And I was not dissapointed. My skin cleared up in a matter of two weeks, and it looked amazing.
As I live in Europe, there suddenly came a time 2 years ago when they wouldn't ship it from the US to Europe anymore, so I had to stop using it for a while, and my skin went crazy. I have NEVER in my life experienced anything like it. Not even as a teenager, did I have skin this bad. I broke out all over my face, and I was completely horrified, so I found a way to have it shipped to relatives in the US, and then they could ship it to me in Europe. When I started using Proactive it again, my skin sort of normalized, but then it started to get red, irritated and inflammated and little bumps would appear on my cheeks.
So finally in the beginning of July 2013, I decided to go cold turkey and quit Proactive for good. I had been reading terrible things about the harsh chemicals used in the Proactive formula for a while, and I have so many bleached towels and pillowcases, and anything that does that to a piece of fabric should really not be applied to your face. The things is that for me, and for so many others, Proactive worked where nothing else did. All the blogs and reviews online about Proactive are praising the product and recommending it like a miracle cure for acne. And it's true, it does work. But at what cost? Do you really want to be addicted to a product like this for life? Continual use of Benzoyl Peroxide for longer periods of time can cause your skin to not naturally "outgrow" acne. Being 31 years old now, I figured that it was safe for me to stop using Proactive, because I had supposedly "outgrown" my acne. But the trouble with Proactive is that you don't ever outgrow your acne. It will come back (worse than ever) as soon as you stop using it. A clever way to get people hooked on a product. The ingredients in Proactive Solution are actually so harsh that some of them are banned as over-the-counter products in Europe, and they have thus been forced to change the formula for the Proactive version available for sale in Europe. This is not advertised, but having tried both products, I know that they are not the same. The use of Benzoyl Peroxide in cosmetics is actually banned by the European Union, because of the dangerous and in some cases toxic chemicals associated with it in acne treatments. I was absolutely horrified to discover how many people have had far worse skin problems when quitting Proactive than they ever had before using it. The fact that your skin becomes addicted upon continual use of Benzoyl Peroxide really explains the reactions people are describing, and I truly hope that this addiction wears off over time. I felt extremely uplifted when I read Scaborca's post, because I am going through the exact same thing right now.
When I quit Proactive in July (almost 4 months ago), I decided I wanted to try an all natural and chemical-free product with no parabens, fragrance or synthetic ingredients. One of the few skin care lines out there that fulfilled my requirements was SUKI Skin Care. I purchased their Balancing series, and a few of their amplifying products for acne-prone skin. My skin has been really bad since I quit Pro-active and switched to SUKI. The only immediate improvement is that my skin is no longer irritated, red, inflammated and puffy. I do have a lot of impurities, blemishes and breakouts. However, I have been told that this is completely normal when you switch form a synthetic product line to a natural one because your skin needs to rid it self of all the damaging ingredients from the previous product, and all the "garbage" layered in your skin will be drawn to the surface. Apparently, this "dermal detox" is just a phase that you need to go through (I really hope so). I suppose if the length of the dermal detox period is directly linked to how many chemicals and damaging ingredients were in the previously used products, I am in for quite some time before my skin clears up. And having read all the horrible stories about quitting Proactive, I suppose this reaction is completely normal, however depressing it may also be. I do have faith that it will get better though. Having read Scaborca's story, I felt a little more hopeful and i wanted to share my story too, and I hope to be able to write a positive update with the outcome of my "dermal detox" in another 4 months. I have read some truly wonderfull things about SUKI products and about their clinical results, so I am staying optimistic for now. I at least feel great knowing that I am using a natural skin care regime that does not contain anything that is dangerous or damaging to my skin or my body in the long run. Thank you to Scaborca for giving me hope that there is a light at the end of the very long tunnel...



#4 tdanielle

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 01:34 AM

I stumbled upon this blog while researching the aftereffects of using Proactive Solution. I am 31, and up until recently, I was using Proactive solution, and I had been using it since the age of 23.
I have had oily acne-prone skin since I was a teenager, and I had tried what felt like all skincare alternatives for acne but nothing seemed to really work. I was prescribed some pills from my docter which worked great, but they were only a six months cure and I was right back where I started when the cure was over. I then saw an add for Proactive on TV, and I ordered it expecting great things to happen. And I was not dissapointed. My skin cleared up in a matter of two weeks, and it looked amazing.
As I live in Europe, there suddenly came a time 2 years ago when they wouldn't ship it from the US to Europe anymore, so I had to stop using it for a while, and my skin went crazy. I have NEVER in my life experienced anything like it. Not even as a teenager, did I have skin this bad. I broke out all over my face, and I was completely horrified, so I found a way to have it shipped to relatives in the US, and then they could ship it to me in Europe. When I started using Proactive it again, my skin sort of normalized, but then it started to get red, irritated and inflammated and little bumps would appear on my cheeks.
So finally in the beginning of July 2013, I decided to go cold turkey and quit Proactive for good. I had been reading terrible things about the harsh chemicals used in the Proactive formula for a while, and I have so many bleached towels and pillowcases, and anything that does that to a piece of fabric should really not be applied to your face. The things is that for me, and for so many others, Proactive worked where nothing else did. All the blogs and reviews online about Proactive are praising the product and recommending it like a miracle cure for acne. And it's true, it does work. But at what cost? Do you really want to be addicted to a product like this for life? Continual use of Benzoyl Peroxide for longer periods of time can cause your skin to not naturally "outgrow" acne. Being 31 years old now, I figured that it was safe for me to stop using Proactive, because I had supposedly "outgrown" my acne. But the trouble with Proactive is that you don't ever outgrow your acne. It will come back (worse than ever) as soon as you stop using it. A clever way to get people hooked on a product. The ingredients in Proactive Solution are actually so harsh that some of them are banned as over-the-counter products in Europe, and they have thus been forced to change the formula for the Proactive version available for sale in Europe. This is not advertised, but having tried both products, I know that they are not the same. The use of Benzoyl Peroxide in cosmetics is actually banned by the European Union, because of the dangerous and in some cases toxic chemicals associated with it in acne treatments. I was absolutely horrified to discover how many people have had far worse skin problems when quitting Proactive than they ever had before using it. The fact that your skin becomes addicted upon continual use of Benzoyl Peroxide really explains the reactions people are describing, and I truly hope that this addiction wears off over time. I felt extremely uplifted when I read Scaborca's post, because I am going through the exact same thing right now.
When I quit Proactive in July (almost 4 months ago), I decided I wanted to try an all natural and chemical-free product with no parabens, fragrance or synthetic ingredients. One of the few skin care lines out there that fulfilled my requirements was SUKI Skin Care. I purchased their Balancing series, and a few of their amplifying products for acne-prone skin. My skin has been really bad since I quit Pro-active and switched to SUKI. The only immediate improvement is that my skin is no longer irritated, red, inflammated and puffy. I do have a lot of impurities, blemishes and breakouts. However, I have been told that this is completely normal when you switch form a synthetic product line to a natural one because your skin needs to rid it self of all the damaging ingredients from the previous product, and all the "garbage" layered in your skin will be drawn to the surface. Apparently, this "dermal detox" is just a phase that you need to go through (I really hope so). I suppose if the length of the dermal detox period is directly linked to how many chemicals and damaging ingredients were in the previously used products, I am in for quite some time before my skin clears up. And having read all the horrible stories about quitting Proactive, I suppose this reaction is completely normal, however depressing it may also be. I do have faith that it will get better though. Having read Scaborca's story, I felt a little more hopeful and i wanted to share my story too, and I hope to be able to write a positive update with the outcome of my "dermal detox" in another 4 months. I have read some truly wonderfull things about SUKI products and about their clinical results, so I am staying optimistic for now. I at least feel great knowing that I am using a natural skin care regime that does not contain anything that is dangerous or damaging to my skin or my body in the long run. Thank you to Scaborca for giving me hope that there is a light at the end of the very long tunnel...

 

 

 

I am going through the same thing right now.  I tried to quit proactive last year (cold turkey) and it was very, very bad.  I never had terrible acne, but all of the sudden it was so bad that I didn't want to leave the house.  After a month and I half I gave up and went back on it, and my skin improved, but never to where it once was.  Since then I've done lots of reading on how to minimize the effects of withdrawel from the product when quitting it.  A few months ago I started this process, as I wanted to switch to a more natural system (I chose boscia).  I quit the toner cold turkey on the first day, and since then have phased out the cleanser.  As of today, I am no longer using the cleanser.  

 

My regimen is boscia clear complexion cleanser, boscia clear complexion spray tonic (unless i'm super dry in this cold weather), proactiv treatment lotion, and spot treat with the boscia clear complexion treatment.  My goal is to phase out the proactiv lotion and replace it with the boscia treatment.  I know that I will have to do this gradually.  I also know that it will not be without breakouts, but I want to do everything in my power to avoid what happened to me last time I tried.  

 

Right now my acne is "under control" I suppose... the odd cyst along my jawline, usually a few pimples at a time around my mouth/cheek area, and small whiteheads and red bumps on my cheeks.  I suspect these are part of the purging process from other experiences I have ready about...but time will tell.

 

I am optimistic after reading your stories and I know that I need to stick with it!! I hate having my skin addicted to this product.  

 

I am going to begin phasing the proactiv lotion out after I finish my masters in the next month or two...because that is an added stress that I do not need right now.


Edited by tdanielle, 26 October 2013 - 01:34 AM.


#5 Nick Wapachee

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 09:47 PM

Thank-you so much for sharing your story!

 

In March 2013, I went to go see a doctor and they recommended that I discontinue using Proactiv, I tried discontinuing the product several years ago but it left my face with huge pimples, I wasn't happy. I was intrigued to stop using Proactiv after reading your post, it gave me hope to go on this journey.

 

In January 2014, I stopped using Proactiv and turned to natural products. I changed my diet to clean eating, I went to the fitness and often changed my sheets. Everything you are writing, I experienced the exact results, I had the most disgusting acne of my life, huge pimples all over my face which caused pain because of the swell.  Whenever I was depressed about my acne and nearly decided to go back to Proactiv, I would read your post every now and then to remind myself that this would pass. 

 

Many months passed and I was so embarrassed with my face, a lot of people were staring, a lot of people questioned about my health, a lot of people wanted me to use "this product", often people would message me and recommend products and foods but I knew that I should stick to the plan and not use "this product" and eat this "food" and use this "product" and eat this "food".

 

In September 2014, I hardly have any more acne, I still have a couple of pimples and scars but they are leaving and fading away. I wouldn't have been able to do this without your story and I want to thank-you so much for sharing your journey.

 

I hope that people who are going through what we went through, will find the courage to do the same. 


Edited by Nick Wapachee, 06 September 2014 - 09:51 PM.



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