Proactiv – Does It Work? – Read A No BS Review


I expect most folks suffering with with acne have heard of Proactiv, here we put this acne treatment under the spotlight for a closer look.

What is Proactiv?

Well it certainly helps to know what you are getting for your hard-earned cash so here goes..

Proactiv is a complete acne kit or system if you like, consisting of four components.

Included In The Kit:

  • Cleanser
    Day Lotion
    Night Lotion

Are There Any Instructions For Use?

Of course, each part comes with complete instructions on how to apply it for best results.

Active Ingredients:

Salicylic acid and sulfur
Edit: Since writing this article Proactiv launched their Micro-Crystal Acne Kit, this product is based on Benzoyl Peroxide instead of SA.

Product Breakdown

This solution has a fairly weak concentration of Salicylic acid as the active ingredient base, this helps clean the skin pore deep and kill off acne bacteria, it also includes minute particles suspended in the lotion to exfoliate the skin thus removing dead skin cells from the surface that do their best to clog up your pores.

The cleansing solution is applied twice a day as part of your wash routine, and then rinsed off, finally applying the Toner to close up the pores. The makers also claim this formula helps fade existing marks on the skin, I’ll come back to this later.

This mild toner is designed to balance the natural tone of your skin and also help remove more deceased skin cells. It also removes oily residues from the skin’s surface once again by using natural ingredients from plants.
After application the Proactiv toner is allowed to dry and then followed up with a lotion, which one will depend on whether it is morning or evening.

Daytime Lotion
Once again it contains Salicylic Acid as the active ingredient and is applied after the toner

Nightime Lotion
Salicylic acid-based again, but the Proactive night lotion differs in that it contains Retinol and and added Vitamins that are vital to healthy skin.

So is Proactive The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Well I used two sets of user reviews for evaluation purposes, in the first sample 57% of people recommended Proactiv from a sample of 56

However in sample 2 which was a far larger sample of several thousand, Proactiv scored a 38% recommendation, which personally I would deem to be more accurate based on sheer numbers.

What can be concluded from those figures?

Well without examining every single case not that much, but we can see it has a near 40% improvement rate which is pretty good by any standards, but the main point of my research was to ensure this product is not a rip-off, which clearly it is not as there are many undoubted successes from people who have used Proactiv, so if you want to give it a try you know it can work.

The Pros and Cons of Proactiv

Judging by the many reviews I’ve read about Proactive the results mostly seem black and white. It either works and folks love it, or it burns too much, dries the skin, makes it itch and swell, makes acne worse or just plain doesn’t work at all, seems there are few in-between’s.

As usual the only thing to do is to try it out yourself, as everyone’s skin is different there is always going to be those who love a product and those who hate it, for this type of product don’t read too much into adverse comments, it may work for you.

Another bone of contention is the cost, it seems reasonable at first glance but the tubes and bottles are small, only 2 – 4 ounce fluid size so don’t expect gallons of it, furthermore you need to buy a moisturizer separately,which is of course essential. To my mind it should be included in the Proactiv treatment kit as standard because it is a such a vital component to any acne treatment system.

If you are looking for some where to buy Proactiv, Amazon or Qvc are a good bet, a two month supply is around $48 but there are no associated shipping costs at the time of writing, if your lucky you may find a coupon offer.

Proactiv is targeted to mild acne, so it will probably not be much use if your condition is quite severe.

Bottom Line: Does Proactiv Work?

Yes in many cases it has proved effective based on hundreds of user success stories.

Product Comparison

There is a boatload of competition for acne treatments, from makers such as Neutrogena, Exposed, Murad, Acne Free, The Regimen and many more. You can read the results of my surveys into the Top 7 Acne Treatments here.