proof proactiv works

Does Proactiv Really Work?

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Last Updated: June 26, 2020

Does Proactiv Really Work? Acne is a common skin condition. There are nearly 50 million people that suffer from acne in the United States alone. While acne may not be unusual, it can be difficult to live with. Acne can be painful, and it can have a major impact on your self-esteem. Other skin conditions, like rosacea and dermatitis, can also cause these problems.

That’s why it’s so important to use the right products when treating your acne. You should select products containing clinically proven ingredients. Proactiv is a well-known brand that people often consider when looking for acne solutions, but does it really work?

What is Proactiv?

Proactiv is a skincare line developed by dermatologists (see our review of Proactiv to learn more). While Proactiv offers many products, including moisturizers and hair products, the brand is best known for its acne-fighting products. Proactiv offers three-step kits that are designed to help users clear up their skin.

Proactiv has a number of lines, including ProactivMD, Proactiv+, and Proactiv Solution. Proactiv offers products for all skin types, which means anyone can give the Proactiv line a try.

Does Proactiv Really Work to Treat Acne?

one customers success story

Yes! Proactiv has been shown to work really well for a lot of people who use it.

Proactiv has risen to popularity because it’s an incredibly effective way to treat acne. Real users report that Proactiv cleared up their skin, even when other products didn’t work. In fact, some users describe Proactive as a “miracle.” Proactiv’s three-step kit is easy to follow, and it delivers real results.

With that said, it’s important for users to find the right products for their skin type.

Not all Proactiv products are formulated with the same ingredients. You’ll want to look closely at the products Proactiv offers and find options that meet your needs.

The key is picking the right Proactiv product for your needs and skin type. You can figure out which one is right for you at their website:

How it Works: The Key Acne-Fighting Ingredients

Proactiv’s products are effective because of the potent ingredients that they contain. When choosing Proactiv products, it’s important to look at the label so that you can see the ingredients that will be helping your skin.

Does ProactivMD Really Work? Yes, Here’s How:

This three-piece set allows users to try prescription ingredients without visiting a dermatologist. It includes a moisturizer with SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Key ingredients include:

  • Adapalene: This retinoid helps pimples to heal quickly and reduces the frequency and severity of breakouts
  • Avobenzone: This oil-soluble ingredient provides UV protection
  • Octisalate: This organic compound absorbs UVB rays from the sun
  • Coconut Acid: This ingredient, which is derived from coconut oil, can nourish collagen-depleted skin

Because retinoids can sensitize your skin to the sun, proper sun protection is crucial. This kit allows you to enjoy the benefits of adapalene without putting your skin at risk. Retinoid is also known for its anti-aging problem, which makes this kit a terrific option for anyone that’s concerned about fine lines or wrinkles.

Does Proactiv+ Work?

With this kit, you’ll be able to clear up your acne and improve your skin at the same time. It includes an exfoliant, a pore targeting treatment, and a moisturizer that’s designed to improve your complexion. Some of the key ingredients are:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: This topical antiseptic is clinically proven to treat acne
  • Salicylic Acid: This ingredient unclogs pores and exfoliates the skin
  • Licorice Root Extract: This natural ingredient helps with hyperpigmentation and protects the skin with Licochalcone A
  • Allantoin: This anti-irritant can calm the skin and help with cell regeneration

This system is designed to deliver acne-fighting ingredients directly to your pores. The result is clear, healthy-looking skin. It can also make your skin look brighter and more youthful.

Does the Original Proactiv Solution Still Work?

This is Proactiv’s original three-piece kit, and it’s still one of their most popular products. It’s designed to destroy acne-causing bacteria, preventing future breakouts. Key ingredients include:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: This ingredient is finely milled so that it can enter the pores of your skin
  • Glycolic Acid: This exfoliating ingredient will clear away dead skin cells, revealing the fresh cells underneath
  • Glycerin: Glycerin is an emollient, which means it attracts moisture to your skin
  • Witch Hazel: This ingredient can reduce inflammation, making it a great choice for sensitive skin

This skincare kit is designed to provide your skin with everything it needs. The benzoyl peroxide will clear up your skin, the glycolic acid provides exfoliation, and the glycerin will leave your skin looking hydrated.

How to Pick the Right Proactiv for You

Acne can affect all skin types. Because of this, it’s important to identify your skin type when selecting a Proactiv product. Don’t know your skin type? Here’s how you can tell if you have dry, oily, or combination skin.

Dry skin?

Dry skin often feels tight throughout the day and is prone to flaking. Other signs of dry skin are:

  • Redness
  • Fine lines
  • Skin that is rough to the touch

Dry skin needs moisture, which means you’ll want to look for hydrating ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid when choosing skincare products.

Oily skin?

This skin type produces a lot of oil, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. Signs of oily skin include:

  • Shiny or greasy-looking skin
  • Large pores that are clearly visible
  • Blackheads and clogged pores

Daily exfoliation can keep sebum from building up in your pores, which is why exfoliation ingredients are essential. Anti-bacterial ingredients are also great for oily skin.

Normal/Combination skin?

People with this skin type often experience dryness on their cheeks, but also have an oily t-zone. Signs of combination skin include:

  • Skin is oily in summer and dry in winter
  • Hormonal breakouts
  • Having shiny skin and skin flakes at the same time

If you have combination skin, it’s important to choose a lighter moisturizer. Avoid over-moisturizing, since this can place a lot of stress on your skin.

In addition to identifying your skin type, you’ll want to pinpoint your skin concerns. Are you dealing with teen or adult acne? Do you have other skincare concerns, such as anti-aging? If so, you may want to choose a retinoid. Take the time to find a Proactiv product that’s perfect for your skin.

While Proactiv offers three-piece kits, it’s also possible to mix and match products so that you can find a skincare solution that provides everything you need. A custom kit allows you to choose the best products for your skin.

Find the perfect Proactiv for you:

How Long Does it Typically Take to Work?

Although Proactiv’s products are highly effective, you shouldn’t expect instant results. Typically, Proactiv users start to see noticeable results within three to six weeks of regular use. Because ProactivMD contains Rx ingredients, users may see results more quickly. Some users report results in as little as three weeks.

When you’re using Proactiv, consistency is key if you want to see results. You need to make sure you use your kit as instructed every single day. If you only use Proactiv’s products every once in a while, you may not see much of a change in your skin.


Proactiv is the top acne-brand in the United States. When you take a closer look at Proactiv’s products, you’ll quickly see why the brand was able to win the trust of consumers. Proactiv’s products are about more than marketing. They’re formulated with potent ingredients that are capable of fighting acne and improving the skin.

If you want clearer skin, you may be eager to give Proactiv’s products a try. However, before ordering your three-piece kit, it’s smart to determine your skin type and consider your skin care needs. From there, you’ll be able to find products that will give you the results you’re looking for.