I am frequently asked what I think about Proactiv® as an acne treatment, and frankly, compared to a lot of what is out there, both over-the-counter and physician prescribed, it’s not bad. Its major drawback is it is a one-size-fits-all product. Most of the feedback I get on it is of two types. Either it was too harsh, or it worked for a while and then it stopped working.
What is Proactiv®
Proactiv® is a Benzoyl Peroxide product in a non-comedogenic base.
Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO) was introduced to the world of skin care in the 1960s and remains one of the most effective acne medications available today. It has the ability to penetrate deep into the pores and attacks acne on all three fronts. It causes a desirable peeling effect down in the pore and loosens and softens the acne impactions. It releases oxygen deep in the pore which kills the p. acnes bacteria which can’t survive in the presence of oxygen. It is also mildly drying and inhibits the fatty acids in sebum. With regular, consistent use, BPO prevents the formation of those microcomedones, or plugs, that are the primary cause of acne lesions.
However, not all BPO products are formulated effectively. Sometimes the BPO is mixed with fatty acids or oils that seal off the skin and prevent the BPO from adequately penetrating the pores, rendering it useless. Some BPO products, including pharmaceutical ones, are glutted with pore-clogging ingredients, compromising their effectiveness as acne fighters.
Proactiv® is formulated without oils or fatty acids, and without pore-clogging ingredients.
Yet there are a few other cautions for BPO, and this is where Proactiv® stumbles. Any BPO product that can be tolerated overnight the first week or two is not going to be strong enough to control acne in the long run. The skin rapidly gets used to BPO, and it stops working. On the flip side, any BPO product that is strong enough to clear acne and keep it that way, is definitely too strong to be tolerated overnight for the first several weeks of treatment.
Everyone’s skin has different tolerances. Some people can go out in the sun for an hour and not get burned, and some of us get red when shown a picture of the sun. In the same way some people can tolerate Proactiv® overnight right from the start. These people see results pretty quickly, but then it stops working as their skin adapts. Other people put on Proactiv® or other BPO products and their skin gets red and irritated, and they conclude that they must be allergic to BPO and abandon that form of treatment.
What Does The Acne Treatment Center Use?
At The Acne Treatment Center we use Benzoyl Peroxide as one element in our arsenal against your acne. Our BPO products are formulated without oils or fatty acids, and without pore-clogging ingredients. We use a range of BPO concentrations, and always test your skin to know which one to start you on. We provide you with a personalized, graduated wearing schedule to prevent your skin from becoming overly dry or irritated, and we monitor your skin to know when it is time to introduce a stronger product.
We also provide you with guidance about how to wear the product – always use white towels and pillowcases, don’t wear eye cream or other moisturizers, never rinse it over your eyes or neck, etc., and why. If you have questions, we are always a phone call or an email away!
With the help of the right BPO, along with the other products in our arsenal, with our guidance and monitoring, we will help get your acne clear. So give us a call today and let’s get started!
©2011 Jane Neville Dudik: The Acne Treatment Center; www.acnetreatmentcenterWA.com