Does Proactiv Really Work

If you have been following along with any of my posts you have taken notice to one truth I do not hide. I have battled acne all my life. I have done everything known to man to treat acne. I have tried herbals, gone to dermatologists, spoke with midwives and OB/GYN’s. I have used name brand products to expensive products. But believe it or not I only recently got to try Proactiv.  I was contacted about a campaign on reviewing this product and I thought immediately, “There is no other perfect candidate but me”. So I am going to give you my honest and thorough answer to the ultimate question, “Does Proactiv Really Work”?

I want to start by giving you a few disclaimers up front. ANY product you try on your skin you HAVE to give it at least 30 days to see a difference. If there is any immediate results (over drying, redness, irritation, rashes, etc) STOP. That is a sign that, that particular product is not for you. But it’s also not uncommon for your skin to break out within a week or two of starting a new acne regimen. Why? Because it’s drawing out the impurities, toxins, bacteria (etc) that is causing breakouts. So don’t panic. Give it time.

You also need to remember one thing so often overlooked and that’s intake. If you are eating greasy, fattening, sugary (or the likes) food – your skin is going to breakout. If you are not drinking enough water, your skin is going to be dry and breakout. If you take medications (I do) that acne is a possible side effect, well you may never have 100% clear skin.

Another thing to remember is your skin’s type (behavior) and your physical activity. If you workout (I do twice a day) you are going to sweat. Which means you need to keep your skin clean after doing this to wash away the dirt, sweat and oil. If you have skin that is oily already you need to keep that in mind when purchasing acne regimens. And that goes for dry skin etc. The other thing to keep in mind is the type of breakouts you have. When I was younger I battled severe cystic acne. SEVERE. And now certain foods, activities and products easily make that severe acne flair up for me again.

With all that in mind, if you are not paying attention to your body and skin you will need to realize there is no way to have clear skin. And everyone needs to remember this is absolutely NO magical potion for acne.

proactiv 3 step kit

I received more than just the 3 Step Kit from Proactiv but we are going to start there first. The 3 step kit comes with a cleanser, toner and treatment. You are advised to use these 3 products twice a day. Morning and night. And that is the key to keeping clear skin no matter what product you are using. ROUTINE.

The cleanser has a rough texture to it and when washing your face you need to gently scrub your face. I’m not saying sand paper scrub, but you want to make sure you get all the areas washed including your neck. Rinse and pat dry.

The toner is to help remove the excess oils, soothe your skin, get the rest of the dirt out etc. I’m actually quite fond of the toner and the way it feels. But before moving on to the treatment you need to allow your face and neck to fully dry.

Then you move to the treatment. It’s a medicated lotion. And I like the way it feels also.

Now the key to these products is the Benzoyl Peroxide. It’s an anti-microbial and it’s common in a wide variety of acne treatments. It is a drying agent. It works as a peeling agent and helps clear pores.

The next products I received are:

green tea moisturizer

This is the Green Tea Moisturizer. It’s recommended to use with the 3 Step Proactiv Kit as it will help ease the drying side of the treatments. I will say this is by far my favorite moisturizer I have EVER used. It’s lightweight, it moisturizes wonderfully and it smells good too.

refining mask

This is the Refining Mask. Just like any mask on the market you aren’t supposed to use it every single night, but this one is geared to acne treatment. It’s key ingredient: Sulfur. I know what you might be thinking (and yes it does have a pretty yuck smell to it) but read this article on Sulfur Treating Acne to better understand why it works.

Now that we got the basics down let’s dive into my answers. Here is my before picture.

before skin

As you can see I have quite a few breakouts and they are still showing through the makeup. This is a typical breakout and as I stated before about knowing you skin and body – my skin often gets a little bit worse then this when I am menstruating. I know, it’s not something you really wanted to know but your hormones play a part in your skin too. Everything matters. You have to understand that.

So I immediately started using this product morning and night. I washed with a mild cleanser during the day after my workouts so that I wasn’t allowing dirt and oil to sit on my skin and penetrate it. That too is important obviously. And you can read up on all my skin care articles to understand more about what I do with my skin. And I am going to be blunt here, I allowed myself to breakout prior to using this product. I quit my skin care routine for about 2 weeks prior to this as I wanted an honest and thorough test of this product.

Yes it does cause drying as I stated before and I advise getting the largest possible size of the moisturizer. It will come in handy. I also advise checking out Proactiv 365 Benefits as I came to figure out later that I can get different type and levels of their product to match my skin. Which I went through and used recently so that when I am out of the product I have now I can start with the ones that will probably help even more.

Now here is a picture of my skin about two weeks into using the Proactiv products:

middle skin

Again I am wearing makeup but you can still see a couple breakouts through it. All in the same place. I was obviously a bit worried as Proactiv has been built up as being a great product — BUT remember to have patience. It takes 30 days no matter what product you are using to see a noticeable and complete difference. If you don’t then toss it. Figure something else out.

My skin was clearing up though. I was still getting a couple breakouts, but it was clearing up some of the severe spots and my skin did feel good. It felt even.

Here is my most recent picture with makeup yes, but VERY clear.

after skin

Am I still getting breakouts? Yes. Mind you I am taking medication that acne is a side effect. And I do not do 100% clean eating.

Does it work? Yes. If you stick with it. If you make it a routine. If you understand your body and skin.

Any concerns? Yes. My only concern is I worry about making sure my face is getting fully cleaned. Leaving dirt, makeup and any other impurities on your face is also a trigger for breakouts. But there are ways to get your skin really clean.

Would I recommend this product? Without a doubt.

Will I be purchasing this product again? Yes. In the process of submitting order now.

And to wrap things up:

There is no magic cure for acne. Everything from your eating to daily habits matter. Know your skin. Know your body.

Have patience. Acne CANNOT be cured in an hour. You can reduce redness and swelling. That’s it.

Develop and stick with a routine.




 “I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Proactiv and received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”


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