Fun Facts:

  • Proactiv was developed by Stanford-educated dermatologists Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields. 
  • three piece Proactiv Solution kit was introduced in 1995, with actress Judith Light serving as the brand's first spokesperson.
  • Despite the popularity of the Proactiv acne treatment system, the kits and individual products are not sold in any retail stores.
  • Parent company Guthy-Renker is one of the world's biggest direct response television companies. 
  • Since the creation of the first acne kit, Proactiv has created a comprehensive line of skincare and personal care products, including makeup, body wash, and eye cream.

Company News/Recent Launches:

Proactiv recently debuted the Green Tea Moisturizer, a product designed to be used in conjunction with the 3-step acne system.

Key Ingredients:

Both the Renewing Cleanser and Repairing Treatment contain 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, and the Advanced Blemish Treatment contains 6%.

The Refining Mask contains 6% sulfur.

Proactiv's Sheer Finish Compact Foundation has 1% salicylic acid.

TIA's Take:

While the company has a host of actors, musicians, and models claiming that Proactiv products are a miracle cure for acne, there are 10 times as many online reviews claiming that Proactiv worsens acne, makes skin peel, and even causes mild burns. Many, if not most, of Proactiv's products contain harsh ingredients, including benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which can irritate sensitive skin, cause redness, peeling, and increase the chance of sunburn. The Revitalizing Toner, a key component in their 3-part acne system, lists no active ingredients, and the ingredients for some of the brand's other products are nowhere to be found. Many of the products sold by Proactiv, including their makeup and personal care products, are not available through their website, but through QVC. If you buy a kit directly through the Proactiv website, you are automatically signed up for automatic shipments of Proactiv products every three months, which is quite a nuisance for anyone who isn't overjoyed with their initial purchase. Additionally, Proactiv sells various basic beauty products, like oil-blotting sheets, for much higher prices than drugstores or beauty specialty stores, with no justification for their pricing and without providing a list of ingredients.