Proactiv and Benzoyl Peroxide

Proactiv® and Benzoyl Peroxide

I am frequently asked what I think about Proactiv® as an acne treatment, compared to a lot of what is out there, both over-the-counter and physician prescribed, it’s not bad. Its major drawback is it is a one-size-fits-all product. Most of the feedback I get on it is of two types. Either it was too harsh, or it worked for a while and then it stopped working.

What About Proactiv®?

Proactiv® is a Benzoyl Peroxide product in a non-comedogenic base.

Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO) is one of the most effective acne medications available today. It has the ability to penetrate deep into the pores to attack acne. It causes a peeling effect down in the pore and loosens and softens the acne impactions. It releases oxygen deep in the pore which kills the p. acnes bacteria which can’t survive in the presence of oxygen. It is also mildly drying. With regular, consistent use, BPO prevents the formation of those microcomedones, or plugs, that are the primary cause of acne lesions.

However, not all BPO products are formulated effectively. Sometimes the BPO is mixed with fatty acids or oils that seal off the skin and prevent the BPO from adequately penetrating the pores, rendering it useless. Some BPO products contain pore-clogging ingredients, compromising their effectiveness.

Proactiv® is formulated without oils or fatty acids, and without pore-clogging ingredients. Yet there are a few other cautions for BPO, and this is where Proactiv® falls short. If a BPO product can be tolerated overnight the first week or two it’s not going to be strong enough to control acne long term. The skin will adapt to the BPO, and it stops working. However if the BPO is too strong it wouldn’t be tolerated nightly for the first few weeks of use.

Everyone’s skin has different tolerances. Some people can go out in the sun for an hour and not get burned, and some of us get red when shown a picture of the sun. In the same way some people can tolerate Proactiv® overnight right from the start. These people see results pretty quickly, but then it stops working as their skin adapts. Other people put on Proactiv® or other BPO products and their skin gets red and irritated, and they conclude that they must be allergic to BPO and discontinue it’s use.

What Does Clear Solutions Use?

We use Benzoyl Peroxide as one element in our arsenal against your acne. Our BPO products are formulated without oils or fatty acids, and without pore-clogging ingredients. We use a range of BPO concentrations, and always test your skin to know which one to start you on. We provide you with a personalized, graduated wearing schedule to prevent your skin from becoming overly dry or irritated, and we monitor your skin to know when it is time to introduce a stronger product.

We also provide you with guidance about how to wear the product – always use white towels and pillowcases, don’t wear eye cream or other moisturizers, never rinse it over your eyes or neck, etc., and why. If you have questions, we are always a phone call or an email away!

With the help of the right BPO, along with the other products, with our guidance and monitoring, we will help get your acne clear.

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