Proactiv Solution Renewing Cleanser by Rodan & Fields is just one step in the Proactiv acne-treatment system. Having put up with acne from my teenage years into my thirties, I was skeptical. I'd tried dozens and dozens of treatments, from benzoyl peroxide spot creams to several prescription drugs.
I was given an unused set of Proactiv by a cousin moving overseas, and decided to try it. Another friend spoke very highly of it, and assuaged my initial fears: that it would be harsh and irritating. If it was a strong, harsh treatment, I wasn't going to try it at all. Luckily I listened to my friend, because Proactive turned out to do just as it promised: to gently and effectively treat acne.
Benzoyl peroxide has been the classic over-the-counter acne treatment for decades, and for good reason: it works. The problem is, sometimes it works too well. It's so effective at drying up the acne because it's so effective at drying out your skin. Normal benzoyl peroxide solutions, sold as spot creams, contain as much as 10% benzoyl peroxide or more.
Proactiv Solution Renewing Cleanser takes a more gentle approach. The white, creamy, slightly gritty cleanser contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. You use a dime-sized amount, and gently massage it into your skin. It has a flat, slightly medicinal smell. While unexciting, it's a clean scent. The tiny gritty pieces exfoliate a bit, and the cleanser does a good job of cleaning makeup, dirt, and sweat from the skin. Once rinsed off, your skin feels clean and just a bit softer than it did before you washed.
Proactiv instructs you to use morning and night, and I've found that when used regularly, Proactiv is effective at treating acne. My skin, normally easily irritated by benzoyl peroxide treatments, was not irritated by Proactiv Renewing Cleanser, probably due to its lower benzoyl peroxide concentration. My zits slowly cleared up, leaving red spots, and the red spots cleared up eventually as well. Nothing, nothing had ever done so well at treating my chronic acne before.
You can buy Proactiv Solution Renewing Cleanser (4 oz.) through mail order on their website, or, like I do, at a kiosk in your local mall. Mail order is cheaper, but you have to buy the whole "system, " which includes a Revitalizing Toner (4 oz.) and Repairing Lotion (2 oz.) for $39.95. You can purchase just the cleanser individually at your local mall's Proactiv kiosk for about $19 for the bottle.
It's not cheap. In fact, it's pretty expensive. I'm a cheapskate - I would not be paying $19 for a 4-ounce bottle of face cleanser if it weren't a stellar product. It cleared up my stubborn acne when nothing else did, and for that it's worth its weight in gold to me.
Proactiv Solution Renewing Cleanser
Active Ingredient: benzoyl peroxide 2.5%.
Inactive Ingredients: water (aqua), magnesium aluminum silicate, glyceryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, disodium dimethicone copolyol sulfosuccinate, sorbitol, dimethyl isosorbide, polyethylene, tridecyl stearate, neopentyl glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, tridecyl trimellitate, cetyl esters, anthemis nobilis flower extract, sodium hyaluronate, sodium PCA, propylene glycol, xanthan gum, imidazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, fragrance (parfum).