Sunday, 6 March 2011

My Acne Battle and Proactiv Review


Okay, so I'm going to start by saying that I have suffered with acne for over 10 years. I remember being 8 years old and the boy sitting next to me at primary school asking me why I had 'a spotty face'. Charming, I know. My response was, quite simply, that I didn't know. Over the years my skin has fluctuated, but the majority of the time I've had pretty bad skin. A couple of years ago I started to notice an improvement, which is probably due to changing my cleanser and updating my skincare routine (more about that later). Anyway, the point is that my skin had always been something which got me down. I would never leave the house without makeup, and I remember when I had my first boyfriend, creeping to the bathroom at the early hours of the morning to apply concealer to make myself look less scary... or simply sleeping in my make up (I know, I know, such a skincare sin) to avoid any embarrassment. I had days when it got me so depressed I spent most of my time crying, wondering if my skin would ever get better. A few years ago I decided that I had to face facts, I was stuck with bad skin forever. Wrong. 

Now, during my battle with my skin I have tried a LOT of products. Pretty much anything on the market that specifically targeted spots, I'd tried it. Clearasil, Clean & Clear, Oxy, Garnier, Freederm, Benzoyl Peroxide gels, Tea Tree Oil, Witch... I could go on. The problem was, none of them seemed to help. I'll admit that I did notice a difference with Benzoyl Peroxide, but the dry, flaky patches on my skin resulting from its use put me off, and after a while it just didn't seem to cut it. I will say I tried (and still use) Sudocrem and found it to be FABULOUS, but only as a quick-fix solution. The same goes for Origins Spot Remover. I'd been to the doctors and tried various different medications, none of which did anything.

Like I said, a couple of years ago I noticed my skin start to improve. My skin was no longer something I dwelled on, although I did have days when I felt how I used to, as though it would never get better. I no longer felt the need to sleep in my make up around my boyfriend (although that could simply be due to being more comfortable with him). It was still bad, I'll admit, but it was an awful lot better than it had been. So, I was still on my quest for clear skin. I still tried out new products - although I knew better than to go back to my Clean & Clear days (I honestly think it is a terrible, terrible cleanser that did nothing for my skin), I would try out new products on the market, sometimes finding results, but nothing drastic. I did, however, form a lasting relationship with a cleanser which I still to this day use on a regular basis. I absolutely LOVE Garnier Skin Naturals Fresh Cleansing Milk - it is so gentle on my skin but also helps keep spots at bay. I definitely recommend using a product like this as opposed to things like Clearasil and Clean and Clear because in my book, they only encourage oil by taking too much away.

Then a few months ago I was approached by a PR company to review some of their products. When I learned that said products were the Proactiv Skincare Solutions range, I jumped at the chance. Proactiv had been something which I had looked into on several occasions, both because of the celebrity endorsement (Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne amongst others help front the Proactiv campaign) but mainly because it promised results. However, the price tag really put me off. For the full 'kit' it was £50, which is a big investment to make in something you're not entirely sure is going to work. Therefore I was not about to turn down the opportunity to review it for my blog, in the hope of seeing some serious results. 
And results I did see. The kit I received including a cleanser, toner, day moisturiser, night moisturiser and a face mask. For the first couple of months I used all of these religiously, however I will state that I only really started using the cleanser regularly recently because it isn't like a cleansing milk or lotion, but more like an exfoliating scrub. I prefer using this in the shower and then using my beloved Garnier Skin Naturals Fresh Cleansing Milk (the green one) afterwards to remove any left over make up and dirt. Anyway, over the past few months I have seen a HUGE improvement in my skin. My pores are reduced and I have definitely seen a reduction in black heads. I never, ever get as many spots as I used to, and the spots I do get are only small pimples which really don't bother me that much. I'm also pretty sure that the scarring I've received from spots over the years has gone down a lot, and I am just generally SO much happier with my skin. No, it's not perfect, or flawless, or like the adverts say our skin should be, but it is how I have always wanted my skin to be. I still have spots, yes, and I probably always will, but I don't look at my face and think 'I'm so spotty' anymore. I actually think I look pretty WITHOUT makeup for the first time in my life. I have absolutely no problems with Proactiv, the only thing I will say (although it honestly doesn't bother me at all) is that the night cream is a tad odd smelling, and I can't really stand the smell of the face mask but nonetheless use them both as they're doing my skin some good! I have had no problems with dryness or flakiness, and actually find all the Proactiv products to be really gentle on my skin. 

This review is 100% honest. I would tell you completely if I didn't get on with Proactiv, but honestly I love what it's done to my skin. I definitely do think that my trusty Garnier cleanser had some input in it too, so I'm not going to disregard that at all. As well as this being a review on Proactiv, it's really an opportunity for me to say to anyone that suffers with acne that it isn't permanent. I know so well how easily you can become disheartened through trying products and nothing working, but honestly I do believe that we can ALL have good skin. I'm not telling you all to go out and buy Proactiv, because I understand it's a lot of money to invest in a product, but I have to say keep trying, keep persevering and hopefully you will find a product that works for you. Proactiv definitely has worked for me - after over 10 years of bad skin I've finally found something that works.  I never ever thought I would be able to have skin like this, and like I said before, no it isn't perfect, but I feel so much more comfortable in it now than ever before. 

Apologies for a very lengthy post, but it's something I wanted to get out there for anyone suffering with acne as I know how horrible it can be. If anyone has any questions please let me know. For more information on Proactiv go to www.proactiv.co.uk :) xx
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