Sunday, 6 March 2011

My Acne Battle and Proactiv Review


Okay, so I'm going to start by saying that I have suffered with acne for over 10 years. I remember being 8 years old and the boy sitting next to me at primary school asking me why I had 'a spotty face'. Charming, I know. My response was, quite simply, that I didn't know. Over the years my skin has fluctuated, but the majority of the time I've had pretty bad skin. A couple of years ago I started to notice an improvement, which is probably due to changing my cleanser and updating my skincare routine (more about that later). Anyway, the point is that my skin had always been something which got me down. I would never leave the house without makeup, and I remember when I had my first boyfriend, creeping to the bathroom at the early hours of the morning to apply concealer to make myself look less scary... or simply sleeping in my make up (I know, I know, such a skincare sin) to avoid any embarrassment. I had days when it got me so depressed I spent most of my time crying, wondering if my skin would ever get better. A few years ago I decided that I had to face facts, I was stuck with bad skin forever. Wrong. 

Now, during my battle with my skin I have tried a LOT of products. Pretty much anything on the market that specifically targeted spots, I'd tried it. Clearasil, Clean & Clear, Oxy, Garnier, Freederm, Benzoyl Peroxide gels, Tea Tree Oil, Witch... I could go on. The problem was, none of them seemed to help. I'll admit that I did notice a difference with Benzoyl Peroxide, but the dry, flaky patches on my skin resulting from its use put me off, and after a while it just didn't seem to cut it. I will say I tried (and still use) Sudocrem and found it to be FABULOUS, but only as a quick-fix solution. The same goes for Origins Spot Remover. I'd been to the doctors and tried various different medications, none of which did anything.

Like I said, a couple of years ago I noticed my skin start to improve. My skin was no longer something I dwelled on, although I did have days when I felt how I used to, as though it would never get better. I no longer felt the need to sleep in my make up around my boyfriend (although that could simply be due to being more comfortable with him). It was still bad, I'll admit, but it was an awful lot better than it had been. So, I was still on my quest for clear skin. I still tried out new products - although I knew better than to go back to my Clean & Clear days (I honestly think it is a terrible, terrible cleanser that did nothing for my skin), I would try out new products on the market, sometimes finding results, but nothing drastic. I did, however, form a lasting relationship with a cleanser which I still to this day use on a regular basis. I absolutely LOVE Garnier Skin Naturals Fresh Cleansing Milk - it is so gentle on my skin but also helps keep spots at bay. I definitely recommend using a product like this as opposed to things like Clearasil and Clean and Clear because in my book, they only encourage oil by taking too much away.

Then a few months ago I was approached by a PR company to review some of their products. When I learned that said products were the Proactiv Skincare Solutions range, I jumped at the chance. Proactiv had been something which I had looked into on several occasions, both because of the celebrity endorsement (Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne amongst others help front the Proactiv campaign) but mainly because it promised results. However, the price tag really put me off. For the full 'kit' it was £50, which is a big investment to make in something you're not entirely sure is going to work. Therefore I was not about to turn down the opportunity to review it for my blog, in the hope of seeing some serious results. 
And results I did see. The kit I received including a cleanser, toner, day moisturiser, night moisturiser and a face mask. For the first couple of months I used all of these religiously, however I will state that I only really started using the cleanser regularly recently because it isn't like a cleansing milk or lotion, but more like an exfoliating scrub. I prefer using this in the shower and then using my beloved Garnier Skin Naturals Fresh Cleansing Milk (the green one) afterwards to remove any left over make up and dirt. Anyway, over the past few months I have seen a HUGE improvement in my skin. My pores are reduced and I have definitely seen a reduction in black heads. I never, ever get as many spots as I used to, and the spots I do get are only small pimples which really don't bother me that much. I'm also pretty sure that the scarring I've received from spots over the years has gone down a lot, and I am just generally SO much happier with my skin. No, it's not perfect, or flawless, or like the adverts say our skin should be, but it is how I have always wanted my skin to be. I still have spots, yes, and I probably always will, but I don't look at my face and think 'I'm so spotty' anymore. I actually think I look pretty WITHOUT makeup for the first time in my life. I have absolutely no problems with Proactiv, the only thing I will say (although it honestly doesn't bother me at all) is that the night cream is a tad odd smelling, and I can't really stand the smell of the face mask but nonetheless use them both as they're doing my skin some good! I have had no problems with dryness or flakiness, and actually find all the Proactiv products to be really gentle on my skin. 

This review is 100% honest. I would tell you completely if I didn't get on with Proactiv, but honestly I love what it's done to my skin. I definitely do think that my trusty Garnier cleanser had some input in it too, so I'm not going to disregard that at all. As well as this being a review on Proactiv, it's really an opportunity for me to say to anyone that suffers with acne that it isn't permanent. I know so well how easily you can become disheartened through trying products and nothing working, but honestly I do believe that we can ALL have good skin. I'm not telling you all to go out and buy Proactiv, because I understand it's a lot of money to invest in a product, but I have to say keep trying, keep persevering and hopefully you will find a product that works for you. Proactiv definitely has worked for me - after over 10 years of bad skin I've finally found something that works.  I never ever thought I would be able to have skin like this, and like I said before, no it isn't perfect, but I feel so much more comfortable in it now than ever before. 

Apologies for a very lengthy post, but it's something I wanted to get out there for anyone suffering with acne as I know how horrible it can be. If anyone has any questions please let me know. For more information on Proactiv go to www.proactiv.co.uk :) xx
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37 comments

  1. Sounds good, pleased to see your happy with your skin now, your skin looks glowing in your profile pic xx

    http://miss-lv.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
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  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I've heard such good things about Proactiv, but like you, the price tag kind of put me off a bit. My skin isn't great, it used to be so much worse when I was a bit younger, but I'm still not happy with it. I'm definitely going to look into this a bit more, although £50 does seem quite a bit of money. But if it really works, then I guess it's worth it! :D xo

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  3. I'm half way through writing a post similar to this, although not about proactiv. Like you, I've had issues with my skin all my life. I've been on antibiotics for it, and they helped, but only for a while.
    I take supplements to help my skin, and I think i've found good products that work for me but I don't think it'll ever be great (damn you massive pores!) I think mine is down to hormones or something I eat, because I don't really have blocked pores or oily skin.
    Just got to keep trying. I will let you know when i finish my post, and thanks for this one. Really want to try pro active!
    You should try the vichy range that they sell in boots, its so good! x
    gh0stparties.com

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  4. I've had exactly the same problem for years - it really does affect your confidence so much at times, especially when it feels no-one else seems to suffer with it! Extremely tempted to try these products at some point, thankyou for the review. x

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  5. Oooh I'm quite interested to try this but the price tag is putting me off a bit... I may just start off with the cleanser and moisturisers.

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  6. I used to have really bad acne and like you I used a ton of different products (even medicated ones) to try and get rid of all the spots and nothing seemed to work. I used to feel very self-conscious about it and think that everyone was looking at my horrible spots. For me what helped clear my skin was going on the pill. I did stop it a few times and my face would flare up with spots again. I still do get tiny pimples here and there but I'm overall quite happier with how my skin looks. I might try these cos I still have a lot of acne scarring!

    Thanks for an honest and thorough review :)

    Carla
    http://madgiraffecarla.blogspot.com

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  7. I'm so glad to hear you've found products that work for you sweets! I know how important it is to be comfortable in your own skin as my sister suffers with bad skin and I actually bought her this set to see what sort of difference it would make. It really did help and she feels so much happier now!

    Xx

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  8. I really want to try Pro activ ive heard about in America for years but wasn't sure as it's always advertised on them adverts where it's hard to believe whether it would be worth the money and work. I've currently got awful skin because of the damage from my beauty course so im definitely going to give this a go now! :)

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  9. Aw I'm happy for you.

    http://beaufashionxoxo.blogspot.com/

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  10. I'm really glad your skin is better now! It sounds like you went through a lot.

    I never got on well Benzoyl Peroxide gel.

    xx

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  11. I know exactly how you felt, not being able to leave the house without makeup, sleeping in it when you're staying over somewhere...It's a horrid feeling and it feels like everyone around you has normal, nice skin. Its so good that you finally found products to keep it under control, and didnt have to resort to anything too harsh. I might try some of the products to help my scarring. Great post :)

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  12. Wow this is so interesting. I do sympathize with you as I suffered with really bad acne for years. So bad to the point when I went into the House of Fraser once and these guys trying to sell me stuff asked what I used for my acne as they were trying to sell me some dead sea stuff LOL. mine was so bad I went to the dermatologist and they put me on Roaccutane tablets. Yes, the tablets are very restricting in what I could do i.e I couldn't go sunbathing, get tattoo's/piercings, get a wax etc and there was serious drying around my nose and on my lips but I do not regret it as my skin has improved loads. I get the odd spot but it doesn't bother me compared to what I used to have.
    I was kinda skeptical about the Proactive products as I thought they were only using celebs like Avril Lavigne to promote it and get people to buy it, but I'm obviously wrong as it has worked for you.

    Thanks for posting! :)

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  13. Such a great review. Thanks :)
    Glad your skin has improved and you feel better, I know how you feel. I've been through so many different types of products!
    Might have to look into proactive.

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  14. I have also had lots of problems with my skin - though never enought o get medication for. A couple of years back my beautician friend gently suggested proactive. I havent looked back! I still get spots occassionally but I dont have to constantly worry about my skin! Its such a great feeling!

    That said I was reluctant to try proactive not because of the price but because of the celebrity endorsements. Back when I started with them you could only get it by mail order and they would have long telemercials. I dont tend to trust those advertising methods. But in the end I couldn't have done anything better for myself!

    M - Even Artichokes Have Hearts ♥

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  15. Happy to hear you've found something thats working for your skin :) Ive tried so many different skin care products over the years and still havent really found the one for me. Maybe I'll give proactive a go!
    xxx

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  16. :]
    ive heard so many mixed reviews i really want to try it as my quest for perfect skins seems to fail everytime i buy a new product so i may try this thankyou xxx

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  17. my skin sounds like yours! this definately sounds like an option, what a lovely review
    thnankyou x

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  18. Great review. I just bought Proactiv again after not using it for... ten years or so? I used it on and off as a teenager and decided to see how it works for me as an adult. I can't wait to see the results.

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  19. Thank you, it's really nice to see a blogger saying "I've got acne" as it seems to me that most bloggers are pretty girls who never get a spot, ever! I've had for about 10 years, although it's def not as bad it used to be. Still, I've not had a day where I've not had at least half a dozen ugly blemishes at best in all those years. I may think about investing in some Proactive when I get a bit more money, so thank you for your honest opinion, and I'm glad you're happier about your skin :)

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  20. Happy to hear your happy now, and thank you for the review, like you the price tagput me off a little, but now i think its definitely worth looking into
    xxx

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  21. I have terrible acne, & although it isn't as bad as it used to be, I still won't leave the house without make-up.
    I'm on numerous tablets, face washes, creams etc from my dermatologist, & they are helping - a little, but I really want to try Proactive, but as you said, the price puts me off. :(
    I just hope that one day, my skin'll be clear enough that I leave the house without make-up.
    xxx

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  22. Thank you for sharing your tips on dealing with acne. It's so encouraging to hear from a person who has experienced "bad" acne that it's not a permanent thing. I'm on my 20's and I still get spots :(

    After reading your post, I'm going to try a Benzoyl Peroxide treatment cream. I think I can manage dry andflaky skin, we'll see...

    I love your blog, new follower here!
    xx

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  23. Acne...The first step to curing acne is knowing what type of acne you have. This information gives you precious insight to what may have actually triggered the acne outset. Once you know your acne trigger, you are one step closer to removing the acne activator and living acne free.

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  24. Great post, my sister uses Proactiv and works great for her. I used Accutane and it did wonders for me! I love your blog by the way :D

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  25. Recently finished using Proactiv and have to say for the first time in my life my acne has almost completely gone. I have had some success over the years, but this is the first treatment to really clear my skin. I'd say I had moderate acne and mainly on the face. Really pleased. So pleased I've actually launched my first website with a review of it

    http://www.myproactivreviews.com/

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  26. Acne is a skin problem that that needs utmost care regarding the anatomy of the skin.Proactive solution will be the best option for this disease.

    Acne

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  27. First off, I'm in my early 20's and have combination type skin with occasional, mild to moderate acne. I used nearly two whole ProActiv systems before switching to the Citrus Clear Acne kit and have found that this clears up my skin much better and faster. I find it very convenient & I would recommend anyone with my acne/skin type who is thinking about subscribing to ProActiv to try Citrus Clear first.

    Anyway, the Citrus Clear kit lasts around 3 months for me.

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  28. Leading a healthy lifestyle, staying away from smoking (which literally burns your skin) and alcohol, sleeping and waking up at specific times, avoiding junk foods, packaged food and processed food, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily are just few effective tips that makes skin looks younger and smoother. genuine ageexperts website

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  29. Washing yourself with regular soap is a good idea. However, it would be an even better idea to use an anti-bacterial soap that will kill many of the germs on the surface of the skin. While this type of soap may be a little more costly, the investment is worth it. cool Lesa Mitchell site

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  30. I've experimented with dozens of different acne products - and the only ones that worked were the Citrus Clear Control Acne Kit. It's cheaper than Pro-active and less harsh on the skin. The Citrus Clear Moisturizer can sometimes flake a little.

    I would also recommend using Citrus Clear for at least two weeks in order to see results. I definitely noticed a difference if I forgot to use the cleanser before going to bed so make sure you use it twice a day!!
    I also love that you only need a tiny bit of each product to cover your whole face!

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  31. Reading this post was a crazy experience for me- I could have written it myself, even down to Sudocream being the only thing to have made any difference, Clearasil being a waste of money and the dreaded flakiness that came from Benzoyl Peroxide!
    I had often thought of Proactiv but as you say, I was put off by the price. Currently they have a 50% sale so I decided to just pay the price and I really hope I continue to have the same experience as you once I try it because unfortunatley I'm still in the sleeping-with-my-makeup-on-at-my-boyfriends-house stage. Not good.
    I'll defo do a review on my own blog once I have used it for the full 60 days they recommend :) Thank you so much for your honest review!

    www.pookybanana.com

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  32. I think Proactiv really depends on the user. I know many people that swear by it, and then others that searched for years and tried proactive, but it didnt work. I'm a also a huge fan of Proactive Reviews

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  33. I subscribe to ProActiv, and it dosen't help me. At all. I have oily skin, too. So, I tried the Citrus Clear products and I didn't expect any results. After just one week of using Citrus Clear products, my skin has cleared up noticeably.

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  34. After trying to charge me several times for my first order, and only succeeding to obtain money from my account once, Proactive then tried to charge me for a second order. They succeeded in taking over thirty dollars out of my account before I disabled their access. I never did receive the second order, which they tried to charge me for on several additional occasions. The total of which added up to over $300.00 usd. Which they did not get, thankfully. I would NOT recommend purchasing from Proactive at any point in time. Not only did they try to steal money from me, but their product made my skin ten times worse. After using half of my first order, I had to stop.

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  35. Not only did Proactive not work, in fact it made my skin look awful, they rip you off. It is not made very clear that when you first buy from that that you automatically sign yourself up for repeat orders at triple the price you originally paid. I cancelled my account when i realised what was going on and £65 pound has still been taken off me. So angry !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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