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Does Proactiv really work? Is Proactiv worth it? Keep reading my honest Proactiv Review to find out!
What is Proactiv?
Proactiv is a skincare company that offers a variety of skincare products including their popular Proactiv 3-step acne treatment system. Shop Proactiv for skin-clearing cleansers, toners, and acne treatments that get skin clear fast. Don’t have acne? Proactiv offers skincare products for all skin types so even if you don’t have acne there’s Proactiv products that will keep your skin looking healthy and fresh!
Proactiv kindly sent a box of their most popular products for me to test to find out if they really work. Here’s everything they sent including their original Proactiv 3 Step Acne Treatment System which includes a cleanser, toner, and repairing treatment. A 30-day supply of the 3-step system is $19.95 with a subscription which breaks down to just $6.65 per product which imo is an accessible price point. Proactiv also offers the ProactivMD 3 Piece System which uses adapalene instead of benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. The ProactivMD set is slightly more at $24.95 with a subscription.
In addition to the 3 step set, I also received Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer, Proactiv Amazonian Clay Mask, Proactiv T-Zone Oil Absorber, Proactiv Pore Cleaning Brush, and Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control to try. These products are not part of the 3 step system but are available to purchase with the 3 step as a bundle or separately on the Proactiv website online.
The box also included a paper that lists all of the recommended products to use with the 3-step system- several of which you’ll see in this review! Keep scrolling for more details!
Proactiv 3-Step Acne Treatment System – Does it work?
First, let’s talk about the Proactiv 3 Step Acne Treatment System which is $19.95 for a 30 day supply. Currently, Proactiv is offering a FREE Gift when you purchase any of the Proactiv acne systems- choose a Proactiv Gel Head Brush Set, Oil Control Kit with T-Zone Oil Absorber + Amazonian Clay Mask, or Deluxe Brush Kit.
The main skin-clearing ingredient in the original Proactiv 3 Step Acne Treatment System is benzoyl peroxide- there’s 2.5% in both the cleanser and repairing treatment. Due to the benzoyl peroxide, be very careful not to get it on any colored fabrics because it will bleach them. It’s definitely a good time to use white towels and pillowcase when using these products so you don’t inadvertently ruin any linens. The bottles are labeled with 1, 2, and 3, so you know which order to use the products. 1 – Cleanse, 2 – Tone, 3 – Repair. Now, let’s discuss each product in the 3 step system individually.
Step 1 – Proactiv Renewing Cleanser – First you use this cleanser to rid skin of dirt, makeup, oil, and other impurities that can clog pores and create more acne. A double whammy- this Proactiv cleanser not only cleans skin but also exfoliates thanks to the slightly gritty, creamy texture, and helps to clear existing and prevent future acne with the 2.5% benzoyl peroxide it contains. You can use this product up to 3 times a day, starting with one use per day and building up depending upon your skin sensitivity and needs. I used this twice daily followed by the toner, treatment, and moisturizer and did not have any issues. I have oily skin and have to moisturize daily or my skin will produce more oil if it gets dry and that can lead to breakouts. I think if I had not used the Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer, as a final step I may have experienced drying from the benzoyl peroxide. Another thing- this cleanser can be used on the body too if you get pimples on your chest and back- I tried it and noticed a difference after just a few uses!
Step 2 – Proactiv Revitalizing Toner – Next step is to tone skin with this blue-hued Proactiv toner- apply a thin layer all over face with a cotton ball or pad. This toner helps clarify skin & remove excess oil with witch hazel and also helps soothe skin with aloe. The formula is alcohol-free and it leaves skin feeling really refreshed and balanced. I like this toner so much that I would recommend it to anyone even if you don’t have acne. It has a soft powdery scent and doesn’t dry skin out like some toners do!
Step 3 – Proactiv Repairing Treatment – The final step in the Proactiv Three Step System is this repairing treatment. Like the cleanser, this product also contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide to treat and prevent acne so keep colored fabrics away unless you think you’d like a cool bleach splotch design on your towels, clothing, and bedding! Directions advise to use no more than 3 times per day and to use sparingly and to only the affected areas when you first start use. I used this treatment twice daily and followed with Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer which I received from Proactiv but is not included when you buy the 3 step system. IMO, you could use any oil-free moisturizer you favor to serve the same purpose.
So, does Proactiv really work?
After using the Proactiv 3 Step Acne System consistenly for a month, I can say yes, it really works but- you have to use it consistently to get the best results. After just a week of use, my skin was noticeably clearer and it even kept the annoying monthly hormonal acne I get on my chin at bay! Another thing worth mentioning- when using these products which can make skin more sensitive, be sure to wear sunscreen when you go out! I feel that for the price, Proactiv is a good value- it will essentially cost you $26 per month ($19.95 with subscription plus $5.99 shipping) to keep your skin clear. Overall Proactiv is a great option for those who are looking for a solution to their acne at an affordable price.
COUPON: Think Proactiv 3-Step Acne System is right for you? Use this link to grab your set and get a FREE Gift!
More Proactiv Skincare Products Worth Checking Out
Now, I’ll talk about the other Proactiv skincare products that are not part of the 3 step system but can be used in conjunction with it for various skincare benefits.
Here’s the other products Proactiv sent: Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer, Proactiv Advanced Daily Oil Control, Proactiv T-Zone Oil Absorber, Proactiv Pore Cleansing Brush, and Proactiv Amazonian Clay Mask. Keep reading for info on each of these products.
FYI- you can get this brush free if you purchase the 3 step system through this link! This facial brush features a super soft charcoal-infused brush head (removable and replaceable) that detoxifies skin and rotates a full 360 degrees to deeply cleanse skin. This brush has two speeds- slow and fast (fast is more like medium imo, slow is really slowww)- and has an ergonomic design for ease of use. There’s a single button front for simple control and the brush head is slightly angled to get into the contours of the face where dirt and oil can hide making them breeding grounds for acne. Good to know- this brush also includes two AAA batteries which are replaceable plus it’s water resistant though you don’t want to submerge it in water. Overall I really liked this brush used in conjunction with the renewing cleanser, it really exfoliates leaving skin baby smooth and soft!
Proactiv recommends using this water-based moisturizer after step 3 (treatment) if you experience any drying effects. I used this as a fourth step each time I used the step 3 treatment cream to ensure I wouldn’t get dry and flakey and sticking with that routine paid off because my skin is clear and is not sensitive and dried out! Even without the 3 step system I would recommend this moisturizer since it doesn’t contain acne-fighting ingredients and does a really great job at keeping skin hydrated throughout the day. It does contain squalane and hyaluronic acid so it’s constantly drawing moisture into skin which you need when using benzoyl peroxide acne products. FYI- you can get this moisturizer FREE when you order a Proactiv intro kit through this link!
Formulated with 0.5% salicylic acid, this lightweight lotion fights acne while it zaps excess shine leaving skin with a smooth, fresh matte finish. If using in conjunction with the 3 step system, apply a thin layer after step 3 (repairing treatment) and before optional moisturizer. If you’re using this on top of the repairing treatment, I definitely recommend using a moisturizer after to prevent dryness from the combo of active ingredients in the treatment and oil control lotion.
This spa-worthy face mask is made with Amazonian clay so it soaks up oil and impurities plus a mix of shea butter, avocado oil, and virgin cucumber oil that leave skin ultra smooth, supple, and baby soft. It can be used two to three times per week and should be left on for 5-10 minutes, then rinsed off with warm water. It works as well as some of the pricey clay masks I’ve tried so it gets high marks from me! FYI- you can get this mask FREE when you purchase the ProactivMD kit through this link!
Formulated with a shine-reducing technology, this lightweight moisturizer provides 24 hours of hydration while it reduces the appearance of pores and absorbs excess oil leaving it shine-free all day. Use this after cleansing and treatments but prior to makeup and sunscreen. This moisturizer is perfect for those with oily and combination skin- it sucks up oil instantly leaving skin smooth and shine-free so it’s great as a makeup primer too!
Want to try these Proactiv products? Shop Proactiv now!
What do you think of Proactiv? Have you tried the 3-step system? Did it work for you? Let us know in the comments below!