Reviewers say Proactiv Solution 3-Step System is pricey compared with other benzoyl peroxide treatments. Experts are like that the Renewing Cleanser and Repairing Lotion contain 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide, which may cause less irritation than higher strengths but is still effective. The Revitalizing Toner contains glycolic acid, a skin exfoliant, but the most credible experts say it is not as effective as salicylic acid in treating acne. In fact, critics recommend using a salicylic acid product, like Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment (*Est. $7 for 2 oz.), in conjunction with Proactiv for the best results. Consumers at MakeupAlley.com have mixed opinions about Proactiv. While some say that Proactiv is the only product that works for them, others complain that it irritated their skin and made acne worse. Several users prefer to use just one or two products in the system, though favorites vary from one person to the next.
We found the best review for Proactiv Acne Solutions 3-Step System at skin care expert Paula Begoun's website, Beautypedia.com. Begoun rates this and other acne treatments based on their ingredient list and the scientific research behind those ingredients. Good Housekeeping also evaluates the system based on ingredients as well as product claims. User reviews at MakeupAlley.com provide insights into consumers' experience.
Paula Begoun gives each of the products included in Proactiv Solution 3-Step System a reasonable rating based on the solid scientific evidence behind their ingredients. Begoun notes that the Renewing Cleanser may be too harsh for use around the eyes, but she raves about the Repairing Lotion, which contains anti-irritants. She says the Revitalizing Toner is a good alpha-hydroxy product but recommends that acne-prone individuals use a salicylic acid treatment instead.
Review: Proactiv Solution, Paula Begoun
Editors of InStyle magazine test hundreds of products for their annual beauty awards. In the latest edition, Proactiv Solution 3-Step System is named the best acne regimen for oily skin due to its "prescription-grade" benzoyl peroxide.
Review: Best Beauty Buys 2009: Skin, Editors of InStyle magazine, April 2009
3. Good Housekeeping
Dermatologists evaluate five acne-control kits based on ingredients and claims. Proactiv Solution 3-Step System is chosen as the winner because it provides antibacterial coverage with a "mild, but appropriate" solution of benzoyl peroxide.
Review: Top Teen Skin Savers, Kristyn Pomranz, November 2007
Julyne Derrick, About.com's guide to beauty, lists seven facts about adult acne and recommends several products. Derrick recommends Proactiv Solution 3-Step System as a "classic" that has "worked wonders on many." She doesn't rate or compare any of the products listed, however. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Adult Acne Facts & How to Get Rid of Acne, Julyne Derrick
Consumers at MakeupAlley.com give Proactiv Solution 3-Step System an average rating based on thousands of reviews. While several consumers are pleased with the results, just as many are disappointed. Several say that the system is effective in the beginning, but that it eventually stops working as their skin builds up a tolerance to it. Many consumers prefer one or two of the products rather than the entire kit.
Review: Proactiv 3-Step System, Contributors to MakeupAlley.com