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Skin Care Review: Proactiv Solution
Works as well as any store-bought product.
Expensive, Irritating, Drying, Chemical Smell, Bad Customer Care
I ordered Proactiv after a year of acne that wouldn't go away. I had prolonged giving in to ordering Proactiv, rightly thinking that it would be too harsh and would not work any better than the dozens of products I had already bought at the store. However, a few friends of mine swore it helped them, so with a glimmer of hope I opened a Proactiv account.
My first order came in of the 3-piece kit and when I opened it, I immediately recoiled in disgust from the chemical smell. After using it for a week, I thought I noticed minor improvement (this may have been positive thinking). But I continued to break out in addition to suffering horribly painful, dry skin. This product is so drying, you need to dowse your face in moisturizer throughout the day. Don't even try this product if you have sensitive skin.
After more than a month of use, I felt I had tried everything possible and resolved to see a dermatologist (and I dread seeing doctors). My problem was worse than I thought (I had denied for months that I even had a problem with acne). She prescribed Klaron lotion and Differin, in addition to the oral antibiotic Solodyn. Hopefully this will work.
Getting prescription products meant I'd need to close my account with Proactiv. As if their products weren't bothersome enough, their website is completely unhelpful if you need to cancel. It took at least ten minutes of clicking around to find information on cancelling your account, and the only way to do so is to call Customer Service (another thing I dread doing). I dialed, and was finally put on the phone with poor Patrick, who desperately tried to get me to keep my Proactiv account (I imagined his supervisor standing-by monitoring his methods of persuasion, as he stammered alternative courses I could take). He made me feel very sorry for him, but the only thing you can and should do with Proactiv customer service is quickly cut off their evasive suggestions and stress your need to cancel immediately. Don't worry, you just need to be firm.
So, in conclusion... If you feel you have tried every product you could find at the store and your acne is still a problem, I recommend two courses of action. Firstly, see a dermatologist. The product they may describe will vary based on who it is you are seeing, but in any case it has a better chance of working than Proactiv. Hopefully your insurance will cover it, but if not, ask your derm for a rebate for that product, or ask for a less expensive alternative. Secondly, resolve to incorporate natural treatments into your acne regimen. Vitamins, especially A and C, and minerals are necessary for healthy skin. It is best to obtain these vitamins naturally, so eat fruits and vegetables (I know, it's hard for some of us). Certain fruits contain enzymes that will help your skin when applied topically; papaya worked wonders for me. Don't brush off natural home remedies, they actually work, and they're inexpensive. Drink green tea, it also helps your complexion (as well as your overall health, read more about this miracle beverage at World's Healthiest Foods:
And finally, if you were to try anything, try Tea Tree Oil.
You can buy it at a natural food store, but I was able to find some in the supplements section of a drug store.
If Proactiv is your last hope at solving your acne, forget it. Go to a dermatologist.
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