Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

The Pros and Cons of Proactiv

The Pros and Cons of Proactiv

Proactiv is an acne treatment system developed by two dermatologists. It is a three-step regimen that is used twice a day, every day, to control acne. Thanks in part to some big time celebrity endorsements, Proactiv is the most popular acne treatment in the United States. According to the "New York Times," about $850 million was spent annually on Proactiv in 2007. This was more than five times the amount spent on drugstore acne treatments that year. If all these celebrities endorse Proactiv and it is so popular, then it must be a great product, right? Well, maybe. Here are the pros as well as the cons of Proactiv.
The main advantage of Proactiv is that it works. The three-part system attacks the two main causes of acne, which are buildup of bacteria in the pores and blocked pores. Proactiv uses exfoliants like tiny beads and natural acids like glycolic acid to unclog pores and allow your skin's natural oils to flow freely. It also uses a powerful antibacterial, benzoyl peroxide, to kill acne-causing bacteria trapped in your pores.
The main reason that most acne treatments fail is because people fail to use them. Treating acne is time consuming and requires that you establish habits of using your acne medication regularly. Proactiv's three-part system uses an exfoliant and benzoyl peroxide cleanser, then a chemical exfoliant toner, then repeats the benzoyl peroxide, this time in a lotion. The system has you do this not just once, but twice a day. The treatments are mild, but are repeated so frequently that they are effective. By sending you products every 2 months, they encourage you to continue using the treatment (after all, you already paid for it) even when you don't have a breakout. Because the treatments are mild, they are not too irritating to your skin. They also include soothing botanicals and moisturizers to help minimize redness and peeling. Excess redness and peeling is a common reason why people stop using their acne treatments.
The main con of Proactiv is that it does not cure acne. Nothing does. If you stop using Proactiv, for most people, acne will simply come back. Although it is designed to not be too irritating, Proactiv can still cause excess redness, stinging and peeling. Some people cannot tolerate even the mild active ingredients in Proactive and have to limit their use to once a day or less.
Like any acne treatment, Proactiv takes weeks to work, usually about 8 weeks to see results. If you don't continue using it for that long, then you won't see results. Also the benzoyl peroxide in Proactive is a potent bleach. It can bleach clothes, towels, pillow cases, and even hair if it contacts it. Although not the most expensive acne treatment, the active ingredients in Proactive are inexpensive and can be purchased separately for less money than if you paid for the Proactiv brand. If you have moderate to severe acne, painful acne cysts or scarring from acne, then Proactiv is not likely potent enough to treat your acne. A dermatologist can prescribe medications that are more potent and much more likely to improve your acne quickly.

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