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*Thanks to Proactiv+ and Her Campus for sponsoring this trial and post. All thoughts, experiences and opinions are, as always, entirely my own.
Alright guys, this post is getting real. I’m always real with you (maybe too real? #bringonthebloopers), but this one is a bit uncomfortable to share. I’ve always been incredibly self conscious about my skin. Because ever since I hit puberty way back in the terrors of middle school, I’ve always had problems figuring out – and controlling – my skin. Sometimes I’d be breaking out like crazy, no matter the time of the month and no matter what the dermatologist prescribed. Other times, I’d be successfully combating acne, but my face would be flaky and dry like the friggin’ Sahara. Not. Cool.
While it settled down a bit post-high school, my skin was still an enigma to me. Was I oily? Normal? Who the heck knows? I was sick of my two good skin days a month, so I figured I’d take the plunge and try something different: Proactiv+.
I’d never before tried Proactiv products, because stories of uber-harsh chemicals had scared the living daylights out of my skin. No way, José.
But, after having already tried the gamut of drugstore options to no avail, I figured the opportunity to test out an entire line of Proactiv+ would be potentially worthwhile. So. For 90 days, I vowed to only use Proactiv+ products in my skincare regimen.
I was sent 4 products: the three shown here – the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator for cleansing, the Pore Targeting Treatment for spot treating acne, and the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator for moisturization – as well as a mini Purifying Mask with sulfuric acid to be used once-ish a week as desired. Step 1: Cleanse. Step 2: Spot treat. Step 3: Hydrate. Repeat morning and night for 90 days, varying treatment only if reactions occur. Alrighty then. Let’s begin.
First up, pictures to start it all off, taken on October 28th, 2014.
My skin fluctuates immensely with the time of the month, if ya catch mah drift. I can always tell when I’m a week away from “my time” based on the changes in my skin. It’s like I have a sixth sense or something.
These 4 pics highlight some of my skin’s greatest annoyances: little bumps that aren’t full-blown acne/whiteheads, but don’t go away easily, either. They just leave my complexion looking bumpy and uneven.
By the end of November, my skin was starting to react to Proactiv. I would’ve jumped to saying “ah, so negative!” but I was told ahead of time that Proactiv is known for making you worse before making you better. Apparently, it has something to do with “bringing to the surface” any underlying acne and bacteria, leading to eventual flush-out of sorts on your face. This picture was also taken with flash right after a hot shower, so my skin is redder than usual and breakouts are especially illuminated. #iwokeuplikethis
By December, I wasn’t seeing results like I had imagined; I always envisioned Proactiv being a literal miracle project on my skin. This may or may not reflect my fatal flaw of being the Queen of Expectations. Oops.
While I clearly wasn’t clear-skin status yet, I still felt like some solid results were there. The Pore Targeting Treatment was clearing my breakouts overnight if anything arose, and dryness was minimal; existent dry patches were pretty easily remedied with the hydrating gel.
Another post-shower pic, meaning redness and inflammation is higher. This month was more telling, given the frigid tundra that is Pennsylvania in the winter. My skin got D-R-Y, and Proactiv didn’t help this. While I had previously sworn by the hydrating gel, by January I was finding its fatal flaw; it has salicylic acid in it. If I could recommend one thing to Proactiv+’s line it would be this: nix the acid. The one thing truly lacking from the line is a moisturizer not targeted at treating acne. The month ended up being pretty rough, since I got super flaky and dry with little remedy. Proactiv instructed me to lay off the targeting treatment and use only once/day, but it still was rough to find balance and had me resorting to more moisturizing cleansers and lotions in the hopes of exfoliating and evening out.
Aaaaaaand VOILA. 90 days just flew by. So here are my thoughts:
- Like I mentioned before, Proactiv+ needs something truly moisturizing with zilch salicylic acid to really round out the line.
- The purifying mask is clutch.
- Dryness was a bit unbearable at times. Following directions as instructed was/is impossible for me, or I’d be able to scrape skin off of my forehead (gross, I know). #realtalk
- I didn’t see as many results with regards to my scarring as I would’ve liked, especially on my cheeks. Dark spots are still there and still require concealer daily.
- Since the medicine is quite strong, it got to be a bit painful when I’d be targeting specific spots in a little clustered area. #notfun
- I really like the cleansing exfoliator. While it is a bit on the rougher side, the granule particles aren’t as big as those in, say, St. Ives Apricot Scrub, making it feel more usable on an everyday basis instead of a once or twice-a-week exfoliant.
- Pending Thought #1, I would consider using Proactiv+ on an everyday basis and making it a part of a regular skincare routine. Which is big for me, since I’ve been yet to find a skin regimen that has really worked for me with sticking power.
So now that I’ve bared all for you, I’ll call it a night and get back to my at-home mani and Glee reruns.
Have you ever tried Proactiv or Proactiv+ before? If you have oilier skin, what’s your go-to skincare regimen?
See you on the flip side of the weekend! Make it a great one.