This post is sponsored by Proactiv+ and Beauty Directory.
I have spoken at length before about my experiences with adult acne, both on this site and in print. Adult acne is, for whatever reason, one of the last real skincare taboos: it’s not really acknowledged by anyone, and 90% of the acne information out there is targeted at teenage skin, not to mention the products. If you’re a grown adult with spots on your chin or papules on your cheeks, the overwhelming feedback you seem to receive is that you’ve personally let yourself down somehow; like you’ve failed to shed the spots of teenagerhood and fully ascend to spot-free adult skin.
Which is bogus, of course. Completely bogus.
Acne is the great leveller: no matter how young or old you are, whether you’re male or female or nonbinary, whether you’re rich or poor, pimples are a pain in the butt for everyone, no questions asked. I had beautiful clear skin as a teenager, but when I hit that late twenties hormonal slump I started getting spots on a semi-regular basis. It’s a blessing that I’ve never had acne severe enough to require medical intervention, but it’s still been a considerable pain in the butt to deal with the cycle of treating and concealing active pimples, and babying spots into healing with minimal scarring.
Before I get into the meat of the Proactiv+ 3-Step Kit I’ve got to share with you today, let me tell you a little bit about my skin. I have dry skin with a tendency to be very dehydrated. I get mild mild hormonal/stress acne around my chin and even though I’m careful to never pick or squeeze I tend to get flat red scarring that’s very prominent against my pale skin. My main concerns about acne are minimising or cancelling monthly acne outbreaks entirely, and encouraging quick healing without pigmentation or scars.
So! Which brings me to the Proactiv+ 3-Step Kit that I’ve been trialling for the past month. I’ll be totally honest with you upfront – this kit is not ideal for my skin type, and I’ve tried to keep that in mind when talking about the individual products. If you have oily to combination skin then you would find this three step blemish control system extremely efficacious for your skin type.
- Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator: I’ll be totally honest, I’m not really wild about this daily cleanser/toner/scrub. While I’m an advocate of gentle daily exfoliation over twice weekly hard abrasive scrubbing, I’m not really feeling the concept of using a grainy scrub on skin that’s potentially inflamed and irritated. It’s a very fine scrub, mind you, but it’s still a physical buffer. On the plus side it has a small amount of glycolic acid to continue the exfoliation process and benzoyl peroxide to help treat spots, and I particularly like that it’s not a foaming cleanser. I’m constantly agitating about how we should all move away from foaming cleansers and that Australia’s addiction to squeaky clean over-washed skin is doing more damage than good, so I appreciate that this is a product for oily/oily-combination skin that is foam free.
- Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Solution: this is the powerhouse product from the blemish control system, a lightweight 2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel that can applied to currently active breakout spots and used as a preventative treatment on known areas of potential congestion. I was a little leery of using this gel as the product literature was full of caveats about potential dryness and irritation and my face is a dry desert to begin with, but my skin absolutely loved this product. I applied it daily along my chin and jawline and noticed a quick and consistent reduction in blocked pores and hormonal/stress spots. I also found this to be the most adaptable of the blemish control system, easily applied under all sorts of moisturisers and makeup without feeling tight or dry. I’m seriously considering purchasing a bottle of this when I run out of this small starter bottle, it’s that effective as a daily preventative treatment.
- Proactiv+ Complexion Perfecting Hydrator: this dense cream/gel moisturiser is perfect for oily and combination skin, with a strong matte finish and natural skin brighteners. The matte finish is incredible – it has the same effect as an instant blur primer, with a satiny matte finish that lasted for at least six hours. I’d kill to have that kind of soft finish matte effect on my usual deep hydrating face creams.
I think the real strength of Proactiv+ is that it encourages you to create – and stick to – a routine. It helps to create a habit of morning and night face care, and encourages you to stick with a certain set of products for enough time that your skin will have gone through at least one complete hormonal cycle, and one full epidermis cycle of skin cell creation and sloughing. Sometimes it’s not so much the products themselves that make the key difference in settling adult acne-prone skin, but sticking to a single set of products long enough for your skin to acclimatise and rehabilitate itself.
If you’ve got oily to combination skin and some troublesome spots, I’d seriously recommend trialling a Proactiv+ 30 day set – it’s chump change at AUD$34.99, and 30 days is long enough to see if your skin will respond to it favourably. I’ve spent more than AUD$34.99 on anti-acne products that only gave a fraction of the results that the Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Solution gave to my skin, you know?
This item was provided to swatchgirl.com.
Proactiv+ is a trademark of Guthy-Renker LLC.