Proactive pops up at least once a month in my practice or even my social life. How can it not?
In this post, I want to explain why a line that is so famous, so used, and so effective is in reality sooo bad for you. So bad…
Why is it so famous? It’s called marketing. It’s genius!
Their marketing campaigns are HUGE (read here Forbe’s “Proactiv’s Active Ingredient: Celebrity”). But any esthetician knows that these celebrities are not really using it. Otherwise, their skin would be too dehydrated to properly put makeup on, to say the least. As a matter of fact, Jessica Simpson was sued by the company for taking Accutane (craziest acne medication in the market, banned in many countries) while promoting Proactiv, but that’s another story and I’m not about to engage in gossip… hehehe.. not at work anyway *wink*.
How Does It “Work”?
It completely dries up the skin to the point where acne disappears… along with oil, moisture, acid mantle (natural protective barrier of the skin) and suppleness.
Too high of a price to pay to get rid of acne… Specially when it doesn’t have to be that way.
Why does it work?
Because using a proper skin care routine at home: cleanser, exfoliant, toner, moisturizer; your skin will instantly improve. Now imagine using one that doesn’t turn your skin into beef jerky?
If you do this, but use the right products prescribed by your derm or esthetician, your skin will thrive and your acne will go away.
Now Let’s Take a Look at Some of Their Ingredients.
Their cleanser: It’s an exfoliant, a pretty abrasive one too. If you were to use this once a week, perhaps we can start to negotiate a compromise in the use of it (if we overlook all the toxic ingredients of course). Otherwise, no, this cleanser is way too abrasive for everyday use.
Their Toner: about the only part of the line relatively decent. It’s got witch-hazel and aloe Vera which are both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. But the many perfumes and preservatives in their ingredient list counteract all the goodness.
Their “moisturizer”: I’m sorry, I had to put quotation marks around that. The active ingredient in this product (benzoyl peroxide) is so drying that no matter what other “moisturizers” this cream has, it will not make up for the dehydration this ingredient is causing. You can always ask the people that have used proactive how their bed sheets got bleached!
The result is an extremely dehydrated skin. When the skin is feeling harmed in any way, it will try to protect itself by secreting more oil and by “thickening" up. One of the consequences of excessive oil production are comedones and acne. Results? An extremely dehydrated, thickened skin that once off Proactiv will break out with that amount of oil production. Not to mention premature aging, because dry skin ages faster, way faster. So pay attention those with “adult” acne.
The solution? There are many effective treatments for acne minus the crazy abrasive-dehydrating combo. Talk to your esthetician about what is the best skin care routine for you at home. Getting rid of acne is a very personalized strategy. There is no “one for all” solution.
Don’t ever forget we are all unique, and so is our skin!
Have a glowing weekend!