by: Lydia Hanicak
When I was 13, I begged my mom to buy me Proactiv - so many of my friends with clearer complexions than mine were trying it and they raved about its results. I thought that once I started using Proactiv, my skin would be clear and beautiful and I would be happier.
After a couple long weeks of waiting, the package finally came right as my family was leaving to go to the movies one morning. I brought the package with me in the car on the way to the theater and inspected the 3 bottles, reading the directions. That night I tried it for the first time and went to bed, feeling happy and refreshed.
After about two weeks, all of my breakouts were cleared. I felt like I was on top of everything, and I knew everything there was to know about skincare. I had just cleared my skin in two weeks, right? Nothing bad could ever happen.
However, I soon started to notice that after my morning and nightly routines, my face was becoming red and irritated from the Proactiv. I also noticed that my oily skin condition was becoming worse. My skin became oily more quickly after washing my face and accumulated more oil throughout the day. On the rare occasion in which I did get a pimple or a small breakout, I became agitated and popped the blemishes - a huge mistake on my part.
Popping my pimples rashly caused scarring and I was left with dark marks on my face that I could not get rid of.
My skin was becoming worse than before I started using Proactiv. This motivated me to find more about the products I was using, and if they really were right for my skin. I discovered that the microbeads and benzoyl peroxide in the cleanser, the toner, and the benzoyl peroxide cream were too irritating and strong for my skin.
The strength of the benzoyl peroxide cleanser stripped my skin of its natural oils, and this caused it to become oilier. The toner also stripped my skin of its oils and was too strong. Currently I stick to using a mild foaming cleanser, and this is gentle enough on my skin that it does not have any adverse side effects.
Overall, I consider my experience with Proactiv to be negative but I learned more about my skin and became a smarter person in the process.