* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
I have dry(combination in the summer) and sensitive skin that is prone to breakouts on my forehead and on my chin (due to hormones). I have tried many skin care ranges to try and clear my skin and stop these breakouts and many have been unsuccessful. The Cleanser - Upon first using this skin care system (using the Renewing cleanser) I became very much aware of how harsh it was on my skin and how much it was irritating it - it was definitely not gentle. When I apply it to my skin it feels very tingly, much like a sting. The "tiny beads" are scratchy on the skin and had caused my skin to turn very flushed and it felt sore. I think this was because I had really buffed in the cleanser all over my face, when you really only need to dab it onto the skin and leave it. Upon using this for a second time, the night after, I only applied it to my forehead, which was less irritating to my skin but still felt tingly on the skin, deterring me to keeping this on my face for too long. After using the cleanser, my skin is left very smooth and appears clearer. I also found with this exfoliator that, if you use too much, when you try to remove the beads from your skin it was difficult and you are left with some on your face. However, experimenting with different removal methods, a damp muslin cloth is best. The Toner - This again, is definitely not as gentle as it claimed. When I first used this it felt very irritating on the skin as I rubbed it too much on the skin however when dabbing this instead - it is less harsh. I also found that the more I have used this, the less irritating it is on my skin. I often, when I'm feeling lazy or my skin is irritated, will skip the cleanser and just use this. It removes my make-up easily and is refreshing on the skin. It does leave a residue on the skin after using it, so you may feel the need to blot your face with a towel/tissue. Repairing Treatment - This lotion follows after the toner to defend against breakouts. I am not certain if this is supposed to act as a moisturiser or not but I use it as a spot treatment, that I apply all over my face, either before or after moisturiser. It is a thin cream that is easily rubbed into the skin and dries to a matte finish, making it easy to apply makeup on top. I do find that this won't reduce smaller spots however will reduce the appearence of breakouts over a larger area, such as my forehead. General Overview ProActiv advises to use this system twice daily but I have never done this as I feel it would irritate my skin too much but will perhaps reach for the toner or treatment in the morning then follow the full system at night if I feel my skin needs it. I have seen a visible difference in my skin using this routine but my skin got significantly worse when I first started using this, breaking out in unusual places with large spots ( I have read that the cleanser does this, to clear the skin and then prevents breakouts in the future). Fortunately, after weeks of persevering, these have now gone but I can't say that my skin now, after the ProActiv has got rid of active breakouts, is much better than it was before I started using the system. I still have spots under the surface of my skin and I still get breakouts. I have also found that this system has made my skin more dry leading to a requirement of more moisturiser, morning and night. Overall, I can see why people love this because it improves your skin, which I have seen, but I do feel that if you want to make more of a significant difference to your skin that you do need to persevere with this ( I have been using this system for almost 4 weeks) otherwise you may be disappointed. ProActiv works but it isn't a very pleasant system to use - it feels more like torture to me. If I were to be able to purchase these products separately in store I perhaps would however I don't feel I could justify the £39.99 price tag every 3/4 months
I have always suffered from blemishes. I don't get really bad cystic acne but I have really oily skin that gets clogged up easily so I get a lot of whiteheads and blackheads and sometimes small cystic ones too! I've been hearing a lot of things about Proactiv from reading American blogs so I was excited to see the range come out in Boots in the UK! I got the 3 step set which includes a daily exfoliating cleanser, toner and moisturiser. The cleanser contains small beads which help exfoliate the skin to keep it unblocked. Now I must admit, the beads are not very suitable for people with sensitive skin because I found it scratches if you don't make sure your face is wet enough. However, I don't have ultra sensitive skin so I'm alright with it. It has a minty feeling to it which was strange at first but I find it kind of refreshing now. The toner contains salicylic acid which further helps unclog pores. This can also be too harsh on people with sensitive skin but for me it works perfect because after I've cleansed my face and use the toner on a cotton pad, I can see some dirt that I've missed and it helps bring all of that out. It gives me a reassuring feeling that my face is squeaky clean! The moisturiser also contains salicylic acid and is quite light. It absorbs easily into my skin and I find it very pleasant to use although I think for people who suffer from dry skin after cleansing, this moisturiser may not be moisturising enough! I've been using this set for about 3 months now and I'm quite happy with it. As with all skincare products it doesn't provide a miracle of PREVENTING acne and spots but I feel it does help clear spots quicker. The bad point about this range that would be that it is rather expensive and I think I would look for cheaper alternatives afterwards!
I'm sure if you ever flick through your digital channels at work you've probably come across awfully tasteless, typically stateside ads for Guthy Renker products. They are a global company who represent several brands like Malibu Pilates, Zumba, Sheer Cover and those awful box sets of CDs. Amongst all the cheese, the endless before and after shots and bouncy, over-made-up and has-been stars there are some fantastic products. Years ago I used to work for a Contact Centre who took the sales and customer service calls for Guthy Renker, so I've had a unique opportunity to try all of their products for free, or heavily discounted and there's some which I've thought were absolutely terrible - but some, including Proactiv Solutions which really are fabulous. Proactiv was formulated by Katie Rodan (http://www.drrodan.com) and Kathy Fields (http://www.acne.com/expert-advice/about-our-doctors/dr-kathy-fields-bio), who studied in skincare at Stanford University in the US. They wanted to create a product which would not only help people deal with Acne, breakouts and blemishes but also education them in why the skin behaves as it does and also in what changes and routines can help skin. It's available exclusively through Guthy Renker (www.proactivsolution.co.uk), though you can pick it up on eBay and Amazon cheaper it is often out of date / shelf life and could be a fake product (so check these things out if you're thinking of making a purchase). The reason it is sold on TV is so that they can use the 'Infomercial' to explain to you how the solution works, it's quite complex and I've done my best to explain below! The original US formula (endorsed by Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber, Mandy Moore and Jennifer Love-Hewitt) contained Benzoyl Peroxide, but in order to obtain products containing that ingredient in Europe you need to have a prescription. So Rodan and Fields wanted to create a similar and an equally effective formula for Europe and they chose to use Salicylic Acid as the active ingredient. Though both ingredients have proven effective in clearing skin, they work very differently. Benzoyl Peroxide works to kill bacteria on skin which causes inflammation, spots, clogging and breakouts, whereas Salicylic Acid unclogs the pores and helps to prevent spots happening in the first place. The important thing to note here is that if you have a serious form of Acne, going to the doctors, no matter how embarrassing you find it is for the best - Benzoyl Peroxide comes in a brownish liquid (my sister used it as a teen) and is really good for stopping scarring and clearing up breakouts. For those with milder Acne, or breakout problems, read on! The 'Kit' which you get off the TV costs £39.90 and lasts 60 days. It comes with 60 day money back guarantee even if you've used every bit of the product you can send back the empty bottles and get your full money back. This price is for the 4-pc kit, which is the integral system, though you can buy add ons (will talk about these later). The £39.90 can either be paid upfront, or you can choose to pay over 2 monthly instalments for £19.95 each. After the 60 days has passed, you will be sent a standard kit every 60 days and the money will be taken from the card you paid with to begin with. I can't stress this enough IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KEEP PAYING FOR THE PRODUCT TELL THE OPERATOR WHEN YOU ORDER - tell them you want a one off kit and will not be swayed. Otherwise, there's no minimum number of shipments, so if you don't want any more, you can cancel at any time by giving 30 days notice. TV KIT (£39.90): Renewing Cleanser (120ml/4fl oz) RRP £17.95 Revitalising Toner (120ml/4fl oz) RRP £17.95 Repairing Day Lotion (60ml/2fl oz) RRP £17.95 Repairing Night Lotion (30ml/1fl oz) RRP £17.95 FREE GIFT! Face the Facts guide to clear skin FREE GIFT! Proactiv® Solution Refining Mask (28g/1fl oz) RRP £5 approx TOTAL VALUE £76.80 - saving = £36.90 Then the following shipments IF YOU CHOOSE TO TAKE THEM are exactly the same, only without the free gifts. Alternatively you can choose to upgrade to the deluxe kit, or if you find oil control a problem, a specific kit for excessively oily skin. DELUXE KIT (£59.90): Renewing Cleanser (120ml/4fl oz) RRP £17.95 Revitalising Toner (120ml/4fl oz) RRP £17.95 Repairing Day Lotion (60ml/2fl oz) RRP £17.95 Repairing Night Lotion (30ml/1fl oz) RRP £17.95 Refining Mask (70g / 2.5fl oz) RRP £10.95 Oil Free Moisture with SPF 15 (48g / 1.7fl oz) £15.95 FREE GIFT! Face the Facts guide to clear skin FREE GIFT! Proactiv® Solution Refining Mask (28g/1fl oz) RRP £5 approx FREE TRAVEL BAG TOTAL VALUE £103.70 - saving = £43.80 OILY SKIN KIT (£57.80): As deluxe, but includes Daily Oil Control product rather than Oil Free Moisturiser - as the oil free moisturiser doesn't tackle existing oil, it just doesn't contain any extra - the daily oil control works with skin to balance the natural oil levels and inhibit excess oil production throughout the day. So on the surface of it all, you get a great deal, but, how effective is the product? Are the results guaranteed? How long does it take? These were all the kind of questions customers used to ask me when I worked for the company who fielded the Guthy Renker calls. This is based on my personal experience: The first thing you need to do, when trying Proactiv, is to commit to the skincare routine. There's no point half-heartedly using mornings and not evenings, or not using it because you're tired and can't be bothered, or in a rush for work. It's going to improve your skin and surely that's worth the investment? I didn't have Acne when I started using it, but I did have problem Twenties skin - common in a lot of my friends, I'd avoided horrendous skin conditions as a teen, but my twenties just saw breakout after breakout and huge randomly placed big hard spots which would take weeks to go - which I now know were called nodules (Large and usually very painful, nodules are inflamed, pus-filled lesions lodged deep within the skin - definition lifted from the Proactiv site). So when I got a free sample of the luxury kit from work, I decided I had nothing to lose. Making the commitment to the regime was probably the hardest part for me. I had previously never understood the importance of a 3 step regime - quick rub with a clean face cloth seemed to be all I needed to keep my skin clear, but this run of good luck soon came to an end! First I used the Renewing Cleanser of which I dispensed 20p sized amount in to my palms rubbed together and applied to my skin after splashing it with tepid water. It didn't foam, instead it glided across my skin as I massaged it in for about a minute as per the instructions. I think cleaned it off using tepid water (ask any skin care expert, extremely hot or cold water should never be used on your face). I then dried my face gently and carefully using a soft towel. I followed the first step by moistening a cotton pad with the Revitalising Toner which smells so fresh and sweeping it across my face, again, I patted my face dry carefully with the towel. I applied a tiny amount of the Repairing Lotion to my 'problem' areas - for me this is my chin, cheeks and temples - and in between my eyebrows. Finally, I completed the routine with the optional extra Oil Free Moisturiser. I repeated this process every morning and night for two weeks. They tell you that you should see results in 6-8 weeks - I saw results within two - they just weren't the ones I'd hoped for, my skin seriously seemed to be worse. I was so upset I asked the team who dealt with the calls for some advice. They told me that firstly, 85% of people see results of clearer skin in 6-8 weeks, for some people it's shorter, others it's longer. Secondly, because you have bacteria and spots living under your skin for up to two weeks before they surface, I was seeing those spots now, and to persevere with the system. Though reluctant, I did, and they were right, another couple of weeks and my skin had completely cleared - and looked really well. After the two months, I stopped using Proactiv because I had noticed such a difference and touch wood, I've never really suffered seriously again - I've had breakouts and some tiny spots, but those nodules are a thing of the very distant past. Some people apparently do this and stop using it, but then suffer even worse break outs so for some it's important to maintain product usage. And the guys who took the calls said some people used it and never got another spot again - so it really is dependant on the individual skin type, though the professional advice is to maintain the routine for life. The reason Proactiv works like it does is because of the complexity of the ingredients. An important point to note here is that the product is NOT hypoallergenic. Many of the ingredients are selected for their hypoallergenic properties, but Salicylic Acid and Sulphur are not - so you should conduct a patch test first using a tiny amount of the product on the jaw line or nape of your neck. Salicylic Acid in the cleanser (as described above) unclogs pores, coupled with polyethylene to exfoliate skin, gently buffing away all the impurities from the skin. They use granules of polyethylene rather than abrasive granules like ground apricot seeds to make sure it's gentle on your skin. The toner removes excess oils and soothes skin using botanical extracts and though it is perfumed to smell fresh and clean, the fragrances are RIFM (Research Institute of Fragrance Materials) approved, meaning they are very unlikely to cause irritation. The repairing lotions (day and night) both contain Salicylic Acid, plus the night time lotion contains Retinol to reduce the appearance of pore size and to achieve an even skin tone. Retinol is not included in the day formula as it's said to increase sensitivity to sunlight - wrinkling, etc, plus, the night lotion includes vitamins D and E which help to reduce the effects of free-radicals caused by day to day exposure to the sun - great for wrinkles! The Oil Free Moisturiser includes an SPF15, imperative for through the day when you're outside - even in winter UV rays can affect your skin making it wrinkle prematurely. The Daily Oil Control formula includes micro-sponges which absorb oil which stops make up slipping. The refining mask is my favourite product. It's wonderful. You get a small sample with all of the kits and with the deluxe you get a full size product which will last you ages! It's really only to be used as a once a week treat or quick fix. It contains Sulphur, so it doesn't smell great, but this is a spot-fighting ingredient and deeply penetrates even the smallest and hard to reach pores. It also includes Kaolin, commonly known as China Clay, which cools and soothes the skin and Magnesium Aluminum Silicate which absorbs surface oils (scary name, but has been used in the cosmetic industry for years and is a stabiliser which incidentally helps with excess oils - wonder product!). Whilst it is only really meant as a weekly booster with your 3 step skin care, it can also be used in an emergency locally on an effected area. So when you wake up with a huge spot right between the eyes and have a big night out planned, forget the toothpaste (myth anyway) and blob on a bit of this - 15 minutes and the spot will be wishing it hadn't turned up! Proactiv is suitable for teenagers, anyone over the age of 12, though it is always recommended that you consult a GP first, if you are any of the following: less than 18 years old, pregnant, breast feeding, sensitive to salicylic acid, sulphur or have general tendency to sensitive skin. During use, if you experience any redness or irritation you should also seek advice from your GP. And of course, patch tests for everyone are imperative. In addition to the kits, Proactiv have developed a whole range of products which are definitely worth a look, particularly if you have serious skin problems in addition to contacting your GP for Benzoyl Peroxide. These extras include oil free make up, make up remover wipes, soap, body care (though the skin care system can be used on back, chest, etc if you suffer there too) and anti-wrinkle formulas including eye cream. It's all available by calling up the number on the ad, or visiting www.proactivsolution.co.uk. And finally: -Proactiv is not tested on animals -It is safe and effective to use on all types of skin, regardless of ethnicity or skin type, subject to a patch test -It is BSE Free and FDA Approved -It is ALL made wholly from non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) ingredients -Less than 1% Preservative -Absolutely no steroid content -Products have a 12 month shelf life The whole range of Proactiv Solutions come highly recommended by me genuinely, and with a 60 day money back guarantee not only on your first shipment, but every shipment there after, I don't think you can do anything but win! Particularly if like 85% of people you get results of clearer skin within 6-8 weeks. You must remember to stick to the routine and you must also keep an eye on your shipments, or express that you want to order as you go - you don't want any nasty surprise money coming out of your account. It may seem expensive, but it works and it really lives up to its claims - so it's an investment and something much wider than clear skin - it's confidence and you can't put a price on that, especially in your teens - school can be a cruel place! You must use it as a complete system too all of the different product ingredients compliment each other. I also recommend investing in the extra products like the make up especially, as it completes your look and doesn't cause any further problems. Hope this review helps someone, thank you for taking the time to read it! Wishing you clear skin! X