Acne treatment Acne treatment

Proactiv Cleanser Ingredients

Proactiv Cleanser Ingredients

Proactiv Renewing Cleanser is one of the three different products included in the Proactiv anti-acne treatment program. These items control acne breakouts and prevent future outbreaks. Additives include water and fragrance in the Proactive cleanser, plus twenty other ingredients.

Active Ingredient

The active ingredient in the cleanser is a 2.5% solution of benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl Peroxide is a standard additive in acne treatment products because it decreases the amount and severity of breakouts. The Food and Drug administration has benzoyl peroxide listed as GRAS, or generally regarded as safe, and approved for anti-acne medications.

Emollients and Thickeners

Emollients soothe the skin and soften it to make it appear healthier, while thickeners thicken the formula. Ingredients in Proactiv's cleanser that fit this category include cetyl ester, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, neopentyl glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, polyethylene, xanthan gum, tridecyl stearate, magnesium aluminum silicate and tridecyl trimellitate.


The three preservatives used to keep the mixture from spoiling and prohibit the growth of bacteria, fungus and mold include methylparaben, propylparaben and imidazolidinyl urea. According to "Contact Dermatitis" imidazolidinyl urea releases formaldehyde. The "Campaign for Safe Cosmetics" states that formaldehyde can cause some people skin allergies and irritations.

Humectants and Water Binding Agents

Humectants help promote moisture retention. Water binding agents keep skin full of healthy moisture. These agents keep skin from drying out. Propylene glycol and sorbitol are Proactiv ingredients that are humectants while sodium PCA and sodium hyaluronate are water binding agents.


The last three ingredients have various uses in the product. Anthemis nobilis flower extract, or chamomile, has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Disodium PEG-12 dimethicone sulfosuccinate is a silicone product for building foam in personal care products. Dimethyl isosorbide is a solvent used to mix the various items together.

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