About Proactiv Acne Treatment
In 1995, California-based dermatologists Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields created the Proactiv brand acne treatment as a maintenance system to help keep mild-to-moderate acne breakouts under control. The brand, which emphasizes acne prevention as opposed to simply treating already formed breakouts, has quickly risen to become one of the top-selling acne treatments in the United States, according to "The New York Times."
Proactiv 3-Step System
The centerpiece of the Proactiv brand acne treatment is the 3-Step System. The set includes a medicated cleanser, toner and treatment, each of which is intended for daily use. The oil-free cleanser has exfoliating beads that help remove dead cells from the surface of the skin.
It uses prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, an antimicrobial medicine commonly found in anti-acne treatments, to kill the bacteria causing acne breakouts. The toner softens and soothes the skin with aloe, chamomile, witch hazel and allantoin. The oil-free repairing treatment comes in lotion form and also features bacteria-fighting benzoyl peroxide as its active ingredient.
Gentle and Extra Strength Varieties
According to the Proactiv website, the original Proactiv formula uses a concentration of 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide in its cleanser and Repairing Treatment, which doctors Rodan and Fields say is strong enough to kill acne-causing bacteria, yet gentle enough to use daily on the entire face.
For oilier skin, the brand offers an extra-strength version that uses a 7 percent concentration of benzoyl peroxide in the cleanser and repairing treatment and adds 2 percent salycilic acid to the toner. Since some can experience an allergic reaction to benzoyl peroxide, Proactiv offers a gentler version that replaces the antimicrobial medicine in the cleanser and treatment with 2 percent salycilic acid.
Considerations & Side Effects
Some users of Proactiv experience skin dryness or irritation. To reduce the occurrence of these effects, do not use Proactiv in conjunction with other acne medications. Those with benzoyl peroxide allergies may develop small, itchy red bumps where the treatment is applied. If this occurs, stop using the treatment and call your doctor.
If you have active nodular or cystic acne, the makers of Proactiv recommend that you see your dermatologist to discuss an oral medication, such as Accutane or an antibiotic. These conditions frequently require a more aggressive approach than topical medications alone can provide.
Directions For Use
Gently massage a dime-sized amount of the cleanser onto dampened skin. Rinse with your face and pat dry. Then, apply a small amount of the toner to a cotton ball and sweep it over your face. After the toner evaporates, apply a thin layer of the repairing treatment to your face and let it dry. Follow this regimen in the morning and in the evening, advises Proactiv.
You can purchase Proactiv acne treatment from the website, over the phone or from a Proactiv kiosk at shopping centers.
The sets come in 60-day supply quantities that include a 2-oz. cleanser, a 2-oz. toner and a 1-oz. repairing treatment. The deluxe set adds a 1-oz. oil-free moisturizer and a 1-oz. daily oil control treatment, as well as some other free items like a refining mask and a travel-size green tea moisturizer.
The Proactiv Plus for Teens set combines the 3-Step System with the Deep Cleansing Wash, which can be used on the whole body as well as the Advanced Blemish Treatment for spot treatment of active blemishes, according to Proactiv.
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