Skip Nav
Beauty Trends
These Are the Top 10 Summer Haircut Trends According to Pros
Beauty Tips
7 Tips You Need to Know Before Trying This Buzzy Hair-Removal Method
Beauty News
We Have a Theory As to What the Too Faced Mysterious Glitter Mask Actually Is

Review of Proactiv Solution

The Proactiv Diaries: 10 Years Later

Ten years ago, I went through somewhat of an awkward phase. I decided to dye my hair blond à la Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail, but it was more straw-like than stellar. Also, I had put on a few of the dreaded college pounds (I only thought veggie pizza sounded healthy), and to top it all off, my face was breaking out like crazy. The solution? Some deep conditioner, a smarter diet, and Proactiv Solution.

I used the three-step system for about a year or two, and my pimples seemed to be under control. Flash-forward to a few weeks ago, and the spots were back with a vengeance. I got my hands on some Proactiv, which uses benzoyl peroxide to kill P. acnes, the bacteria that causes acne, and ripped open the packaging with great fervor. But after 10 years, does Proactiv still do the trick? Find out when you


In short, I am amazed. After only a week of use, the texture of my skin is smoother, tighter, and appears less oily. The redness and inflammation has subsided, and bumps have softened — if not disappeared. While I notice a slight medicinal smell after applying, I am willing to look the other way due to the amazing results I've had. Often, many acne treatments contribute to dry, flaky skin, but Proactiv does not. In fact, my makeup goes on more evenly, and as an added bonus, I seem to use less. One word of caution? The products may cause bleaching on fabric, so consider using only white pillowcases and towels.

The Three-Step System ($40) leaves the skin feeling very active and refreshed. It includes Renewing Cleanser, which uses small beads to exfoliate skin; Revitalizing Toner, which takes away excess oil, cleansing deep down; and Repairing Lotion, an oil-free moisturizer that helps heal and prevent blemishes from forming. While all skin types are different, I highly recommend Proactiv for the outstanding results I've had with the products in my younger years, as well as the results I've had as a wiser, back-to-my-natural-roots woman of a decade later.

Join The Conversation
loveydovey4 loveydovey4 7 years
I used Proactiv and it worked great for me but I stopped because I have a friend who is a skin care specialist (esthetician) and she says that Proactiv is really bad for your skin because it removes your acid mantle (a protective layer) completely and it hyper-ages your skin!
sparkleluvr sparkleluvr 8 years
I wonder why it works for some people and not others. I want to believe its miraculous claims, but I've heard it doesn't work from so many people
holbrooke7 holbrooke7 8 years
ProActiv worked for me for a little while, but after couple of months, my skin just developed a tolerance to it and the acne came back worse than before.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I can't use proactive either - all it did was clog my pores and dry out my skin.
sailing-chick sailing-chick 8 years
Proactive was my best friend before my wedding - my forehead was full of pimples (stress realted) and this stuff cleared it all up. I have recommended it to so many people
lilcat lilcat 8 years
I've been using it for 4 years now - the first month it was definitely worse and then it became amazing!! I wouldn't switch to anything else!!
littleblonde littleblonde 8 years
I LOVE proactiv! I've been using it for 2 plus year and my skin has never looked better. The product leaves my skin very soft and smooth. You HAVE to be very strict about your routine, using it everyday, or it will not be effective. It took about 2 or 3 months for it to actually start working, so don't give up if you just started using it.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
The problem with this product is that you have to continue using it. Otherwise you'll breakout again. I've tried Nature's Cure and it gets to job done. And i don't use it religiously.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
My derm yelled at me for using was tearing my skin right up. The granules in the cleanser, in particular. NOT pleasant!
zuke zuke 8 years
I used Proactiv for a while, and while my skin was smoother, it wasn't really clear. I went to my dermatologist and got a few prescriptions that have helped. So, overall, for me, Proactiv wasn't worth the money. I can see it working for some people, though, and it is nice that they ship it to you regularly.
emalove emalove 8 years
Thankfully I've never had an acne problem, because most acne-treatment products are beyond drying and irritating to my sensitive skin. This one sounds like it might not be so harsh, but I bet it would still irritate my skin. I'm glad it works so well for you, Bella!
dreamqueen45 dreamqueen45 8 years
As a fellow sufferer of acne, i am always so happy to hear about someones acne clearing up. what a relief! however... JSYK I had tried proactiv in the past, used it for two years, then suddenly my skin broke out into painful cystic acne. i took a break from the proactiv and it cleared up. two years later, when my skin was acting up i decided to try proactiv again. Same thing. Extermely painful, huge cysts under the skin, some of them stayed for more than a month. I'm not sure what caused it but i'll never go to proactiv again.
coulty45 coulty45 8 years
Thank you so much for this post! I am stuggling with my skin right now. Currently i am trying some doctor reccomended creams and pills. I've had some success with it. It's great to hear other options for treatment and the success stories of women just like me.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
I used Proactiv for a few years but it really dried out my face and made my skin crazy - I was getting acne with super dry, peeling skin. Their products are so overpriced as well. Two years ago I switched to Dermalogica products and haven't looked back since.
sugaNspice24 sugaNspice24 8 years
i love Proactive! i dont know what i would have done without it! i've been using it for several years now. I would never change to anything else! My face is addicted!
clew001 clew001 8 years
i dont think I will ever be able to come off of it. proactiv is like a drug to my face. it kills all my acne.
Mariannie Mariannie 8 years
i just cant get around the idea of putting something on my face that can bleach fabric... I completely agree, honeycreep.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I love their mask for spot treatment. I like Pro Activ but it's not always 100% for me more like 95%.
keeksxd keeksxd 8 years
I use Proactiv as well. It's amazing on my skin. If you call when those commercials come up, it's actually only $20 a month.
L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream Review
Best Workout Leggings
Target Round Mirror
What Is Epilating?
From Our Partners
Latest Beauty
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds