Chic Product Review: Proactiv Solution

So you’ve managed to get through high school with just the occasional blemish, only to discover the most depressing side effect of entering your twenties: adult acne. Of course, not everyone suffers from this aggravating condition, but if you’re anything like me, college equals stress equals horrific breakouts.

 Now, who should one turn to when such a problem arises? A dermatologist? No! Jessica Simpson, of course. I know, when the Proactiv skincare system first appeared on my TV screen I thought, this is ridiculous. Why would I pay good money for something just because a pop singer who’s unclear about the difference between tuna and chicken told me to?

Then Simpson was followed by a whole slew of other celebrities: Kelly Clarkson, Vanessa Williams, Lindsay Lohan, even Sean “Diddy” Combs for a short time, not to mention all the ‘real people’ success stories featured on the infomercials. Now, I still wasn't convinced, because these people are most likely paid after all. But out of all those celebrities I figured at least one of them must have used it and liked it. That idea, coupled with my growing desperation, led me to give it a try.

So here’s how it works: for $19.95 plus shipping and handling you get the trial kit, a month’s supply of the three step acne system developed by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields. The kit consists of the Renewing Cleanser, Revitalizing Toner, and Repairing Lotion, plus a sample of the Refining Mask (they’re big on alliteration).

I started out slow, using the products only once a day, and sparingly, because the instructions warn that some people may be allergic, but also because I’d read a couple of horror stories online about red, scaly, peeling skin and I was feeling a little gun shy. But after determining that I wasn’t allergic, and quickly realizing that, as the instructions state, the Repairing Lotion cannot be used as a spot treatment, I began using the products twice a day and all over my face.

So, after about a month of using Proactiv, I’m sure you’re all dying to know: Does it work? Well, did it do everything I wanted it to? No. But did it help? Absolutely. Within a week I could tell my current breakout was starting to clear up a little and after two weeks my pores were noticeably smaller. Since then there haven’t been any drastic changes, but my acne has definitely been more manageable. My breakouts are less frequent, cover less area, and clear up faster.

Having said that, however, I have to admit to being a little disappointed. In the Proactiv booklet the company clearly states that there is no cure for acne, and that its products can only help, but I, like many others I’m sure, was hoping for a miracle. Unfortunately, my prayers went unanswered.

The company may not be making claims they can’t back up, but they’re not completely altruistic either. Let’s not forget, they’re out to make a buck. After ordering the trial kit you’re automatically signed up for their club, which means every other month you’ll receive, and be charged $39.95 for, another shipment of the three step system. This would be fine, but even after receiving my second kit; I’m still working on the toner and lotion from the first (I’m planning to call and cancel my club membership and start ordering the products separately).

Also, it can take up to a month to see results from the system, but the second kit will ship before that month is up, so essentially, it’s going to cost you about $60 plus shipping and handling just to try it out. There is a money-back guarantee, but it doesn’t cover shipping costs.

Now, I’ve read a lot of bad reviews of the Proactiv products online, but from what I can tell, the worst allegations are that it doesn’t work for everyone, and you can buy cheaper products with similar ingredients at the drug store. For me, Proactiv is worth the extra money. All the products smell good (which is hard to come by when your talking acne medication), I’ve had some success with the system, and I’ve experienced much less drying then I have with any other acne products.

So, what’s the bottom line? If you’ve got the money, and you can ignore the fact that they’ve got Jessica Simpson hawking the stuff on television, give Proactiv a try, but don’t expect a miracle.

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