First I'll give you a little update.
Well, I started my period, today, actually... so my acne is not exactly non-existent. I would like to make it known, however, that my acne seems to clear up a lot faster than it ever did. I have some monsters that were forming underneath the skin on both cheeks, but they never did come to a head. Now, it seems safe to say that they're clearing up quite nicely. The pimple that was on my forehead that I complained about before, is now just a very tiny dot that is easily covered up with makeup. The skin is still healing, but there is no gunk left in it, so I'm happy.
I still feel very hopeful with Proactiv, and will continue to use it religiously. Below, I've lined out all of the Proactive products that I have, and my opinions of them. I've also included a few of the additional products that I use that I feel are extremely helpful in clearing up my acne as well. Fortunately, these other products that I'm going to talk about are either extremely inexpensive, or just something you can pick up at the store. Check them out.
Proactiv Renewing Cleanser *Combination Therapy
This product is my favorite in the Proactiv skincare line. It has great exfoliating crystals that really help to get rid of any impurities and dead/excess skin. I love the feeling of this cleanser, and I've never had a better feeling of clean with any other cleanser. I will say that it's best to do a very light wash before using the Proactiv cleanser. Doing this will prevent you from massaging excess makeup, dirt and oil into your skin. Think of the Proactiv cleanser as your exfoliating step, rather than a way to get rid of makeup or oil. Proactiv has makeup removing wipes (that I will talk about soon), but I would recommend buying unscented baby wipes (seeing as they are MUCH cheaper) if you would like to use something like that to remove excess makeup, dirt, and oil. Depending on your skin sensitivity, you may massage the product into your skin for up to 2 minutes. I like to massage it into my skin for about 1 1/2 minutes. Everyone is different and it takes trial and error to figure out what your skin can handle, and what works best with your skin.
Proactiv Revitalizing Toner *Combination Therapy
The toner is fine. It feels like pretty much any other toner, and I have no particular love for it, nor do I think it's a useless thing. I'm kind of tempted to cut it out and use a witch hazel instead, just to see if I get the same results. Maybe I will later on, and let you know of the results.
Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
This is something I've been using that I've seen a lot of good results with in the past. I mix about 2 parts apple cider vinegar, 1 part water, and 1 part lemon, and drop in a couple of NSAID aspirins. Mix well, and use it on a cotton ball like a toner. The formula is something you can change up as much as you want according to your skin type, more apple cider vinegar, lemon, or aspirin if you feel it needs to be stronger and more water if it's a little too harsh. It's up to you. The apple cider vinegar balances the PH of your skin and keeps it from over-producing oil. It's PH balancing properties keep your skin moisturized as well, so that you don't need to use a moisturizer. I noticed a huge difference in my skin's production of oil immediately after using this, so if your skin tends to get oily throughout the day, I highly recommend trying this. I used to use moisturizers a LOT before I used this because of all the skin drying benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid treatments I've used. Now I don't need to use moisturizers very often at all. The lemon in the toner helps to fade old acne scars, so it's great to use with Proactiv while your skin is healing from the acne. Lemon is also known for it's acne clearing abilities. The aspirin turns into a salicylic acid in the water, so the combination of bp in the Proactiv, and sa in this toner will doubly help improve your skin faster and more effectively. I think this toner very likely has something to do with my great success so far with Proactiv.
Proactiv Repairing Treatment *Combination Therapy
I love this product. It makes my skin feel smooth and moisturized. I don't feel like it's overly drying out my skin, and it spreads on nice and evenly. This is another product that I feel is essential to the Proactiv skincare line. It's bp penetrates deep to clear acne before it starts, rather than some other treatments with higher amounts of bp that just sit on top of the skin and dry it out.
Proactiv Oil Free Moisture with SPF 15
If you have particularly dry skin, I would recommend this product. I don't really need to use this product regularly, so I only use it in certain areas when I think I need a little extra moisture. If you need a moisturizer, I do recommend it. It's not a good idea to leave skin dried out, so if you need a moisturizer, I recommend this one. I talked about the Apple Cider Vinegar Toner that moisturizes my skin and keeps it balanced, so I don't need this moisturizer very often.
Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer
I like this moisturizer. I can't say that I've noticed a huge difference in my skin within the 12 days that I've been using it sporadically, but I like my skin on the days when I do use it. The green tea is a great anti-aging product, so it's great for preventing wrinkles on my 26 year old skin.
Proactiv Sheer Finish Mattifying Gel
This is a great product to use under your makeup. It glides on very smoothly and you only need to use a little bit. I would highly recommend this product, especially if you use some particularly "unhealthy" makeup. It helps protect your skin from the makeup clogging your pores, and also helps your makeup go on smoothly.
Proactiv Daily Oil Control
I would recommend trying this if you have a problem with overly oily skin. I don't find that I need to use this product when I use my Apple Cider Vinegar Toner. I don't like using too many products all at once. I find that using too many really puts a thick layer of product on my face and makes me feel claustrophobic. This is one of the products I cut out when I'm trying to limit the products I use.
Proactiv Makeup Removing Cloths
I wouldn't recommend buying this product. To be completely honest, I didn't mean to buy them. The guy rang me up for it, put it in my bag, and I never saw him do it. If you feel like spending some extra money on your makeup removing needs, go ahead and buy it. I think this works just as well as some non-scented baby wipes that cost way cheaper. It comes with 45 wipes that you can cut in half in order to save yourself some money, but paying over $20 for this type of product is simply stupid.
Proactiv Refining Mask
If I was to rate my favorites... I would probably be tied with this one and the Repairing Treatment as number 2 right after the Renewing Cleanser. I barely use it as a regular mask, but more of an overnight treatment, and it does a great job. If I ever feel a pimple forming at night, I dab on a little bit of this stuff, and normally the size has gone down considerably by morning, if it hasn't completely disappeared. This product is also supposed to minimize pores... I think I will try to use it as a mask on my nose and other large-pored areas, and let you know how it goes.
Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Cleansing Mask
Well, while this product definitely doesn't do as it promises on the label and remove all your blackheads... It is still a nice 0.5% SA treatment to use a few times a week. It isn't overly harsh, but it does help in removing deeper dirt and oil. I would recommend finding a nice mask similar to this one and using it a few times a week. Using this particular mask isn't entirely necessary.
Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Acne Fading Peel
Unfortunately, this product is no longer sold at stores. I really did like this product. It works really well in fading post-acne marks, which is great for my acne scars. It also uses 2% SA and works well in preventing and healing acne. Just like the Blackhead Eraser Cleansing Mask, you can another mask that uses SA to fight your acne... Unfortunately I haven't found any other masks that claim to heal post acne-scarring.
So that's all of the products I've been using. Pretty soon I'm going to find a SA moisturizer to add to my regimen, and I'll post the info and my opinion on it when I do.
Thanks for reading, in my next post I will explain my daily and weekly regimen.