is an over-the-counter topical, Benzoyl Peroxide
-based bactericidal for the treatment of mild to moderate forms of acne
. The name "Proactiv" is derived from the word proactive
, meaning to take the initative
. Co-developed by two dermatologists
Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, Proactiv Solution was first marketed and distributed by the direct response marketer Guthy-Renker
in 1994 through 30 minute infomercials and later through the internet and kiosks at national mall outlets to as many as 10 million reported customers. Proactiv Solution was among the first commercially marketed treatments to implement emerging clinical findings from the late 1970s and mid 80s, which suggested the acne-fighting benefits of Combination Therapy
and potential efficacy of a milder 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide vs. the until then commonly prescribed 5% and 10% strengths of name-brand OTC spot treatments. Even as recently as the mid 90s, the concept of treating acne with a daily regimen of preventative medications was still considered new, but the Rodan and Fields combination approach of an exfoliation plus 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, and non-comedogenic moisturizer to reduce drying of the skin has since become accepted as an industry standard treatment among dermatologists and has been adopted and further accepted by other acne skin care brands.
Currently, a 30-day supply sells for USD $19.95, and a 60-day supply sells for $39.95.
Indications and Possible Side Effects
According to the company's website, Proactiv Solution was created to treat mild to moderate cases of acne. Like most antibacterials for treating acne, Proactiv Solution uses Benzoyl peroxide
as one of the main active ingredients
. Benzoyl peroxide may cause dryness and peeling of the skin. Side effects include: allergic reactions
such as redness, itching, hives
, swelling and a burning sensation after topical application. Benzoyl peroxide may also cause increased sensitivity to sunlight and induce collar-specific discoloration of clothes. As an alternative product, Proactiv Solution has marketed the Gentle Formula kit, containing Salicylic acid
instead of Benzoyl Peroxide. The Gentle kit is for those who are allergic to Benzoyl peroxide or for the elderly who might have very sensitive skin, although it is unclear whether or not Salicylic acid
can also cause these side effects.
Guthy-Renker's marketing campaigns make heavy use of celebrity spokespeople, recounting their "true-life" stories of using the product.
In North America, Proactiv Solutions is sold mainly through infomercials, as advertised by Guthy-Renker, at mall kiosks, and online. Buyers may be entered into a subscription business model without their knowledge or consent. Unwitting buyers have been repeatedly charged for product they did not intend on purchasing and Proactiv Solutions makes it difficult to exit the subscription after they have added the customer.
There have been many allegations that Proactiv's products do not work as advertised and/or leave the patient's condition worse than before treatment with Proactiv
There have been many allegations that Proactiv Solutions do not honor their advertised 100% guarantee or full refund
Proactiv Solution Consumer Opinions