Acne treatment Acne treatment

Proactiv for Acne Skin Care

Proactiv for Acne Skin Care


The Proactiv skincare line contains three products designed for treating mild acne and preventing new outbreaks. The system includes a cleanser, an alcohol-free toner and an oil-free lotion. Two dermatologists developed Proactiv to combine an effective topical acne medication with soothing and healing botanical substances, according to the product's official website. The website says Proactiv is the best-selling acne treatment system in America.


The first step in the Proactiv system is the Renew cleanser, containing benzoyl peroxide in exfoliating micro-crystals. Step two is Revitalize, an alcohol-free toner containing glycolic acid, aloe, flower and fruit extracts and witch hazel, an astringent that tightens pores. The Proactiv system is rounded out with Repair, an oil-free lotion that also contains benzoyl peroxide, but has gentle moisturizing rather than cleansing effects.

Active Ingredients

The two main active ingredients in the Proactiv acne skincare system are 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid. Benzoyl peroxide clears dead skin cells from clogged pores and provides oxygen, which kills anaerobic bacteria that cause acne. Benzoyl peroxide also decreases inflammation. The exfoliating beads in the Renew cleanser help remove dead skin cells, along with dirt and excess oil. Glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid included in the Revitalize toner, is another exfoliant, as noted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Follow the steps as directed and use the products daily to make sure Proactiv works for you, advises the official website. To apply Renew, dampen your skin, then gently massage a dime-sized amount of the cleanser onto your skin for one or two minutes. Rinse with warm water. Then apply the same amount of Revitalize and allow it to dry, but don't rinse it off. Follow up with the Repair lotion, but only use a pea-sized amount. As with Revitalize, do not rinse. Follow this routine once each morning and again before bedtime for best results.

Side Effects

You might experience minor side effects when using a product containing benzoyl peroxide, according to the Mayo Clinic. These effects can include skin dryness, peeling, mild stinging and temporary redness. The Revitalize toner and Repair lotion can help relieve these effects. Benzoyl peroxide also has bleaching properties that can stain fabric it touches, such as pillowcases.


The Proactiv ingredients are common in acne treatment products. Clearasil, Stridex, Clean and Clear and many other products contain benzoyl peroxide. Glycolic acid is a pervasive ingredient in facial washes and cleansers, as noted by the FDA. Proactiv offers the convenience of having them combined in one skincare system, along with ingredients that help soothe benzoyl peroxide side effects.

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