Proactiv Solution Gentle Formula reviews

Read or post reviews on thousands of acne products & treatments.

Proactiv Solution Gentle Formula
3.2/5 - 40 reviews
5 star
12 reviews
4 star
8 reviews
3 star
4 reviews
2 star
9 reviews
1 star
7 reviews

Brand: Proactiv Solution

Write Your Review

Proactiv Solution Gentle Formula


Gentle Formula Clarifying Cleanser
Active Ingredient:
Salicylic acid (2%).

Inactive Ingredients:
Water (aqua), cocamidopropyl betaine, distearyl phthalic acid amide, polyethylene, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, PEG-120 methyl glucose dioleate, ammonium laureth sulfate, camellia sinensis leaf extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, menthol, butylene glycol, microcrystalline wax, sodium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance (parfum), ferric ferrocyanide (CI 77510), blue 1 (CI 42090).

Gentle Formula Clarifying Toner
Water (aqua), glycolic acid, polysorbate 20, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) leaf extract, anthemis nobilis flower extract, rosa canina flower extract, sodium PCA, panthenol, allantoin, glycerin, propylene glycol, benzophenone-4, hydroxyethylcellulose, sodium hydroxide, tetrasodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin, methylparaben, benzoic acid, fragrance (parfum).

Gentle Formula Clarifying Day Lotion
Active Ingredient:
Salicylic acid (2%).

Inactive Ingredients:
Water (aqua), cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, PPG-12/SMDI copolymer, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, squalane, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, retinyl palmitate, linoleamidopropyl PG-dimonium chloride phosphate, glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, propylene glycol, hexylene glycol, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin, methylparaben, benzoic acid, fragrance (parfum).

Gentle Formula Clarifying Night Lotion
Active Ingredient:
Salicylic acid (1%).

Inactive Ingredients:
Water (aqua), ethylhexyl palmitate, cetearyl alcohol, PPG-12/SMDI copolymer, cyclopentasiloxane, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, squalane, dicetyl phosphate, ceteth-10 phosphate, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, aleurites moluccana seed oil, retinol, sodium ascorbate, tocopherol, retinyl palmitate, ascorbic acid, PEG-180, PEG-75, PEG-8 cetyl dimethicone, panthenol, sodium hyaluronate, hexylene glycol, caprylic/capric triglyceride, propylene glycol, dimethicone, polysorbate 60, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, fragrance (parfum).

Items marked with red have tested a 3 or above (out of 5) in comedogenic (pore-clogging) testing.

The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.

Proactiv Solution Gentle Formula

Where to buy is not associated with this product. All proceeds from links go to charity.

[The prices listed above may change at any time and in some cases do not include shipping.]

Proactiv Solution Gentle Formula

Did you find a problem with this item?

 Mark product as discontinued

 Flag an error in this listing

Better than the original but company has problems
Reviewed on November 11, 2016

Like many here, I tried the original kit for a while. I was never really satisfied with the results but felt that at least I was doing SOMETHING as opposed to just letting acne rule/ruin my life. But I always felt that my skin was just not reacting well to the product - it felt really extremely dry all the time, no matter whether I moisturized or not, my skin always felt more inflamed especially around the breakouts and sometimes, it would make my face sting. I just learned to accept it I guess.

I was reading somewhere about alternatives to proactive when I first read about salicylic acid. I honestly had no idea whether or not they had a line using that instead of benzoyl. So after more research and finding this, I got it and was immediately impressed. All of the irritation that I had had for years using the original formula was gone instantly. My skin did experience a period that I thought it was getting better but it never got all the way clear.

But after seeing the change using salicylic instead of benzoyl, I had hope for the first time in years and I got more into the process. I called them to talk to them, see what they could recommend to get the clearing to stop plateauing and I was wholly unimpressed with their level of customer service. Not one seemed to really care about me - not to sound whiney. I was calling looking for direction, and all I felt was that they were ultimately trying to sell me more and more stuff I didn’t need. And frankly, I didn’t get the impression that the customer service people even knew anything about skin. Which seems like an essential thing at a skin care company, doesn’t it??

I was in a mode and got into the research, talked to a bunch of people on forums and everyone was pretty much against proactive for varying reasons. I searched out alternatives and found a couple but man! it is hard to do this on your own. So I went with the one that had the best customer service reviews - Ninja. And I have to say, the customer service combined with their super potent product and I have finally achieved the skin I never even knew I could have. I now use their gentle cleanser in the morning and at night and then apply a layer of their Salicylic 3 before bed and then another layer in the am below my sunscreen. I have never had better skin.

I am really happy I did the legwork and finally got my dream skin. Proactive is an easy choice, I think, because it is like the only name people know about these days for acne. it is plastered all over the place. But I don’t think that their products are the most effective and I don’t think that as a company they have your honest best interests in mind. My take at least.

Switching to Gentle Formula
Reviewed on August 27, 2013

I have used the regular Proactive products for many years(over 10 yrs), and have always loved them. I started purchasing/using in my early 20's, and I am now thirty-seven. I will admit, I use other products in between(NOT other acne products, just other skincare, as my skin allows), as I tend to use the Proactive when I'm having a breakout issue, usually during times of hormonal fluctuation. If I;m not having a breakout, I still use it once or twice per week, as honestly, Ijust LOVE the way it makes my skin feel. For those who may not know, Proactive is known to work better on acne caused by hormones, not on cystic acne, although some do find that it helps with that as well. I guess I use Proactive more as a 'medication', because I really feel that that is what it is. I know that most ppl who use it, use it all the time, but I just do what works for me. I have always used the 'original' formula, as my skin has always been combo/oily, however, at my age, my skin is changing some...still have the breakouts, but much less oil. The last three yrs or so have been rough on my hormones as well as my skin. This may be t.m.i for some of y'all, but I am scheduled for a complete hysterectomy in a few days, and I expect to have breakouts as well as other changes in my skin. I have ordered the Proactive Gentle System to prepare for these changes, as well as to start moving away from the stronger medications, i.e. benzoyl peroxide. I fully expect it to be wonderful, but I will post back regarding the new system.

Shady company - beware
Reviewed on August 9, 2013

Be careful buying any proactive product! they "automatically" enroll you in a continuity program, refuse to credit your card back for product you didn't order and are stuck shipping and paying for shipment. If it's such a great product, why do they have to push it on you and make it impossible to discontinue? Buy the target equivalent, pay less and don't deal with questionable business practices

member avatar
Mark, East Amherst, NY
This member joined prior to 2007 and is not clickable.
Reviewed on April 20, 2012

I have been dealing with sporadic acne through most of my adult life. I would generally see light acne along my hairline and experienced persistently shiny skin. I attempted to use the standard Proactiv system but due to my fair and sensitive skin it caused severe redness and irritation. When I called to return the product they sent a gentle skin kit free of charge. It works great. I have never had such even unblemished skin!

member avatar
Amanda, Jacksonville, FL
This member joined prior to 2007 and is not clickable.
Reviewed on March 10, 2012

I used the regular formula, however, it caused my face to turn red and peel after a week of using the product. When i call to ask about it they sent me free of charge the gentle formula. I LOVE IT!!. It absolutley worked. The only thing i cannot use is the refining mask, makes my face very oily.

member avatar
Anon, Falls Church, VA
This member joined prior to 2007 and is not clickable.
Reviewed on February 25, 2012

I'm wondering if most of the people before me thought that they're reviewing the regular Proactiv ?? This Gentle Formula (use Salicylic Acid instead of Benzoyl Peroxide) does not burn or dry out your skin like the regular Proactiv does. I use to use the regular Proactiv on and off for years and could only use it a couple of times a week because it's so strong and my acne not that bad. I have a lot of scarring and Proactiv does clear that up nicely and gave me very clear skin. Now after 2 children and in my 30s, the regular Proactiv was not working for me anymore. I discovered their Gentle Formula at the Proactiv kiosk as the mall and decided to give it a try. Really like it!! Definitely give it a try if you've had the same issues as me with the burning and redness. I could use this Gentle Formula twice a day no problem but I still only use it once a day and that's enough for me.

member avatar
Emily, Long Beach, CA
This member joined prior to 2007 and is not clickable.
Reviewed on December 20, 2011

I have been battling acne for 8 years now, tried dozens of products and regimens to get rid of my acne, no exaggeration. I used to get cystic acne, along with regular whiteheads, blackheads, etc. I have lots of pitting and acne scars from breakouts over the years.

The regular Proactiv formula made my acne worse so they sent me a free trial of their GENTLE FORMULA.


At first, it does clear up your acne and then for a week or two it will make it worse, BUT STICK WITH IT! I've been using it for about 4 1/2 weeks now and I went from around 20 blemishes to one or two TINY whiteheads that aren't even noticeable! It is a little bit drying, but I will glady settle for a little dry skin any day over the horrible acne I used to have. I use Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel to help with the dryness, it will not break you out.

The trick to this working is that you must use all 3 steps, every morning and every night. If you are inconsistent with the regimen it will not work!!!

Reviewed on June 5, 2011

Listen, i have been using this for TWO YEARS NOW! only because i have yet to find anything to work for my skin. so far this is the closest thing that has at least kept my skin stable. my skin has become so severely dry i will smile and my entire skin will crack . i have to scrub it off every night. this doesn't work, it hurts, and i HATE it. im trying something new. i cant deal with proactive anymore.

member avatar
hilari, nc
This member joined prior to 2007 and is not clickable.
Reviewed on May 28, 2011

I would not recommend this product. I actually like University Medical Physicians cream or something like that from walgreens. Its about 6 dollars and its got the benzoyl peroxide which helps fight bacteria and its much milder. Orange and White bottle.

member avatar
This member joined prior to 2007 and is not clickable.
Reviewed on May 23, 2011

Very irratable on the skin because I have sensitive skin. If your skin is oily, I wouldn't worry too much. The gentle formula is still too harsh on my skin and still made it worse so I don't recommend it for sensitive skin like mine. I switched from the BP solution, which I used for over a year.

Powerful. Proprietary. Proven.
The Regimen
Complete Acne Treatment Kit
The Regimen
  • Clinically proven
  • Proprietary anti-acne technology
  • Powerfully effective
  • Pharmaceutical grade
  • Guaranteed effective
  • Doctor/Dermatologist recommended
  • Used in acne clinics worldwide
  • 100% non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free & dye-free
  • pH balanced
  • Scientifically formulated for acne-prone skin
  • Developed by the experts at