So I saw a ton of Proactiv reviews that were extremely negative, and I thought maybe I should make a blog that would keep some of you at an open mind, and maybe help some of you who are wondering if Proactiv is a good choice for you.
First, I'll tell you a little bit about me.
My Skin Type:
My skin is an oily and somewhat combination skin type. Any change in climate or weather might throw my skin off and dry it out, but 90% of the time, it's overly oily. I would also classify my skin as a very strong skin type, as opposed to sensitive. I've VERY RARELY had any skin sensitivities to any products that I've used, and I've used a lot. So, keep that in mind! If you're the type that has skin sensitivities to a lot of things, then comparing yourself to me is probably a bad idea. As long as a product is not using tons of alcohol in it, or is one of those 10% bp products, then I'll probably not have any adverse reactions to it. It might not cure me, but it won't hurt me. My acne is hormonal, so it get's worse around my period and when I'm stressed out.
I'm 26 years old. I've had moderate-slightly severe acne since I was probably around 11 or 12 years old. That's a long time. Throughout the years, I've tried just about everything OTC. I've used some prescription medications, but never religiously. My family was kinda poor, so I was expected to just deal with my acne. Once I got old enough to have a job, and be able to pay for things myself, I started exploring how to cure my acne a lot more.
I can't remember all the details, but I know that almost 5 years ago, I was on birth control and using Proactiv, and my acne was practically non-existent during this time. I was using Bare Minerals makeup, and my skin looked great. I think I actually believed that my acne would never be a problem for me again. Poor, ignorant me.
I wanted to explore more natural means of keeping my acne at bay, so all at once I stopped taking the birth control and canceled my Proactiv subscription. Slowly, but surely the acne started coming back. It wasn't actually all that bad, and through natural means, I kept it pretty much under control.
About a year or so later, I decided that I would give birth control another go, but this time, I wanted to try a low-dose formula hoping that this would be better for my body (even though I had no real problems with the regular formula before). That was a huge mistake that I regret everyday. Whatever hormones that were in this pill hated my body. Every week my acne got worse and worse. Huge, cystic, inflamed pores were popping up in places that I had never broken out before. I had no clue that the birth control could have ever been the reason for this change in skin, so I continued to take it for about a month and a half. At that time, someone had asked me if I had started taking a new birth control, and informed me that the pill could be the reason for my break-out... after some studying up, I found out that she was right. I was heartbroken. The worst part about it, was that my face was looking pretty darned clear before I started taking that blasted pill... then I went and ruined it. I now have scars all up under my jaw, and on my cheeks from this horrid mistake.
It was just over a year and a half after that I started taking my current birth control pill. My skin had never completely healed, but it definitely got a lot better than it was with the cystic monsters covering my cheeks and along my jawline. I was back to using cheap over the counter products, along with trying to steam my face at least once a week, and I used an extractor tool to clean out my pores the best that I could. I got engaged to my husband, and had a reason to try another birth control. After warning my doctor of what had happened with the last pill I had tried, she immediately decided on prescribing me Ortho Tri-Cyclen.
I've been on this birth control for about 4 1/2 months. I have had no flare-ups, but my acne has not diminished completely. There have been a few periods where my acne would go down dramatically, but it seems to always find it's way back up. I had convinced myself that the reason my acne was so clear those years ago, was because of the type of birth control I was on, and not because of the Proactiv. I think I was wrong.
Before I started using Proactiv, I figured that I would give it's cheap competitor AcneFree a chance. It's cheaper, can be bought at just about any supermarket or drug store, and they made it to imitate Proactiv, so it has to work decently... right? Well, any kind of improvement from this product was very short lived. I think it actually started to work... OK... but it didnt' last long. I bought it about a month and a half before my wedding day, and ended up needing to drop serious cash on concealer just a few days before the big day. This product wasn't bad for my skin, I had no bad reactions, but it didn't clear my skin. Bottom line.
Now that you're up to date, here's my Proactiv review on day 6:
I started using Proactiv (this would be my second time on it) the night of 11/5/10, so today is my 6th day on Proactiv. I've spent a lot of time studying my skin and it's reactions to things, so I know when something is working. Proactiv is definitely working for me! After using it that first night, I remembered the awesome scrubbing power of the cleanser, and I think that's the key to it's success with me. That, and the penetrating power of the repairing lotion. I spent about $118 or something at the mall, buying this product at a kiosk. I didn't want to get caught up in another monthly shipment of the product. I got the 3 step system, the makeup removing cloths, refining mask, oil free moisturizer, green tea moisturizer, daily oil control lotion, and sheer finish mattifying gel. I guess all of that stuff is good and dandy, but I haven't found use for most of it. I don't like putting tons of product on my face cuz it makes me feel kinda claustrophobic. I am glad to have gotten the products in the sense that one or two things might not work well for me, but a few of the others might work wonders. This way, I can try them all, and see which ones I want to keep buying. It's all about experimenting with your face and products.
When starting this product, I had a about 4 medium-large pimples on my left cheek, maybe one or two on my right, and one large one on my forehead. After the first night, those pimples on my right AND left cheeks were flattened out... AMAZING. My large one on my forehead shrunk a little bit due to the refining mask I left on overnight. It seemed to be getting better. I used it one more time within these last 6 days, and the one on my forehead has shrunk dramatically. When I get the kind of pimple that I had on my forehead normally... It takes forever to heal. It seems like it's going to be healing up in a day or two.
About two or so days into using Proactiv, I had a sizable pimple appear on my chin. This is a normal place for me to be getting acne, so I was not surprised because I was only about a week away from starting my period at this point, and I normally break out pretty good around that time. I was SUPER delighted when I noticed that the next day this pimple was already flaking off and beginning to heal. My skin never does that on it's own. Keep in mind, that I did steam my face and extract any of the infection that I could get out of it. I also used the refining cream overnight on this pimple after I did the extractions. Along with using Proactiv, it seems like this regime worked well with me. I'm positive that this pimple healed so quickly because of Proactiv.
I'm now only a few days away from my period (blah), but my face is looking surprisingly clear! It's definitely not completely clear... but most of the pimples have very little to no "ammunition," and it seems as though they will be healing very soon. I'm just hoping that when I do start my period, my face doesn't explode again... but it probably will, knowing my luck! I've begun to try to layout a plan on how to start fading my acne scars and how to add them into my regime. I'll let you know when those days come.
I'm gonna line out how I feel about the products I'm using in my next posting, so you can make your judgment on whether or not you need them or not. Everyone is different, and something that works great for one person, might not work so well for the next.