Monday, April 29, 2013

Returning to the proactiv Routine

The short history of my skin goes something like this:

Clearasil>>OxyClean>>Differin>>Doxycycline>>RetinA>>Accutane>>Accutane>>Accutane>>ProActiv>>Drug store ProActiv alternative>>Covering it with makeup>>ProActiv+

For half my life, I've either had painful (physical and emotional) acne or been on treatments for it.  I was hopeful in college that Accutane would cure me forever, but three rounds later and the effects only lasted a few months after each round, I felt defeated.  I nearly gave up.

I used proactiv when my Sister-in-Law gave me some travel  bottles she hadn't used.  It worked where Accutane failed.  My skin was the clearest it has been in my adult life and I was actually getting compliments! But the cost.  But the bleached towels.  But the hassle of ordering.

For the past several years I tried a litany of drug store remedies trying to recreate proctiv's effects.  Witch Hazel toner, Apricot Scrub, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, Cetaphil - nothing worked.  Witch Hazel felt great but I wasn't seeing my skin clear.  Neutrogena stung like a mother-you-know-what. Cetaphil made me feel the most natural and yet my skin was only marginally better.

So I gave in last week.  I ordered proactiv again.  I'm too old for this horse hockey acne and I'm ready to commit to taking  care of my skin even if it means ongoing maintenance for the rest of my life. I used to think there was a cure, and now I know the only thing I can do is manage the symptoms. Turns out they came out with *new and improved* proactiv+ so I'm giving it a whirl.

Neither proactiv or proactiv+ knows who I am, and I paid for my own products. This is not a sponsored post. They do encourage taking pictures though and I wanted documented evidence of how it helped me so that when I get lazy and want to give up, I can remind myself why I need to cleanse, tone and moisturize. And cleanse, tone and moisturize. 

Here's where I started one week ago with a clean face before starting any proactiv+ treatments:

And here I am one week later after a full week's worth treatment including 5 Mark Reducing Pads and the Under Eye Brightening Serum.

I think I look a little more red in the second picture, but I had gotten some sun over the weekend.  I think where you can really tell the difference is in closeups on my forehead and chin.

Have you had a long skin care journey? What are your favorite products?


  1. Yes an no. I never really had "acne" until I met my husband. My doctor still thinks that the oils from his skin is what makes me break out. I keep telling myself "I'm too old for this" hopefully that will be true one day. :(
    GOOD LUCK! Your face is already looking healthier!

  2. Hey - you and I have talked acne in the past - I wanted to say that pregnancy really drove me over the edge with mine. You and I have similar skin histories and unfortunately, when pregnant, you basically can't use most acne products due to warnings about how it could affect the baby. With a recommendation from my dermatologist I ended up buying a package of five microdermabrasion hydrafacials. My skin has NEVER looked better. I don't even have to wear makeup, which is not something I ever thought I could say. Your proactive journey also looks like it's helping a ton! But I thought I'd mention my solution to you because I'm so pleased!

  3. Proactiv is a miracle worker. I hope you continue to get great results! I love Cetaphil, but there are times when I feel like it doesn't do the best job. My sister loaned me her Proactiv scrub, and I'm sold. She's had great results, and while it's too harsh for me to use every day, I love it for days I'm particularly grimey.

  4. Hooray for Proactiv! I have been using it for...15 years...and I've tried using other face products off and on over the past few (thinking maybe I've outgrown breaking out) with a lot of failure. It seems to be the only thing that can keep my face looking blemish free - so I hope it continues working for you! And I had no idea about proactiv+...reading about that now since I'm intrigued...