portrait of beautiful blonde female pharmacist


I’ve always marveled at how the best acne products also happen to be, from what I can tell, the simplest acne products. By simple, I mean inexpensive, well known, and in some cases, available at any local drugstore.

But maybe the phenomenon isn’t really that surprising. Maybe what’s actually shocking is the lengths women go in pursuit of the best beauty products when all they need is within arm’s reach.

Some of the most beauty-savvy women in the world seem to be in on this “secret.” How many times have you read a magazine interview in which a supermodel or famous makeup artist reveals her “desert island” beauty essential is a $6 mascara—one that can be found in virtually every supermarket in America?

In that same magazine, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon a quote from a dermatologist who recommends an inexpensive drugstore gem as the most effective acne product. If you’ve tried lots of products, you’ll think that’s too good to be true. But the truth is, whatever drugstore product a dermatologist suggests generally leverages either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid (maybe both).

These ingredients have been proven to help clear skin; benzoyl peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria, while salicylic acid helps unclog pores.

This is why, as an honest beauty editor, I’ve never advised readers suffering from mild to moderate acne to go beyond the drugstore for the best acne-fighters. There’s just no reinventing the wheel here—science knows these ingredients work, and they’re available everywhere.

But I recently learned that, while the wheel remains the same, there is now a smarter way to use it. Sort of like power steering.

My Exciting Discovery

The latest system from Proactiv®  (a.k.a. America’s #1 acne brand), called Proactiv+, leverages the same proven ingredients. But unlike the others, it also utilizes something called Smart Target® technology.

Put simply, Smart Target® technology works by driving encapsulated micronized benzoyl peroxide deep into the pores. It’s designed to take the ingredient we already know to be effective and steer it in the right direction, making it more effective.

Why You Could Be Wasting Your Money

Acne products that don’t utilize Smart Target® technology (and none of them do—it’s exclusive) but do contain benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid help to ease your acne, of course. But they won’t deliver benzoyl peroxide the way that only Proactiv+ does. Worse yet? Not delivering benzoyl peroxide to the right place could mean you’re “wasting” much of it on the superficial layers of the dermis, where it will likely cause irritation. That’s why Proactiv won’t leave a trail of redness and flaking behind when used as recommended.

In fact, the system offers added skin care benefits (including kojic acid to help visibly fade unsightly pigmentation) in an effort to get rid of your acne blemishes and leave your skin glowing.

I now believe Proactiv+ is a good bet for fighting mild to moderate acne and emerging with radiant skin without going to a dermatologist. Take a look at the comparison chart below.  You’ll see what sets Proactiv+ apart not only from a tried-and-true drugstore favorite, but from a department store go-to and a specialty product you can purchase online.


Your mind isn’t blown yet? Not until you give Proactiv+ a try—you can discover a gorgeous, clear, glowing complexion! And just as amazing, you can do so with a special deal for a limited time.

Click here to get $5 off your Proactiv+ kit,  Free Shipping, a Free Skin Purifying Mask, and a Free Blackhead Dissolving Gel!

If for any reason you don’t love it … you can send it back and get the purchase price back (less S&H). Really though, what are you waiting for?

Sponsored by Proactiv®

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  • Reply Yogesh April 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    What to do with pimples on chin caseud by wax?Hi there,I stared getting my chin waxed recently. I have gotten it done thrice and each time lots of pimples have formed on my chin. I rarely ever have pimples on my skin and they only appear after wax Does anyone have a clue on why it happens? How can it be prevented? Can Vitamin E be used with such pimples?Help is appreciated!

    • Reply Alice June 23, 2017 at 7:45 am

      Im no expert, but it could be irritated or infected hair follicles. I hear waxing can irritate the crud out of skin, and im assuming even more so with the more sensitive areas of the face.

  • Reply maylen May 27, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Horrible product .. Do not buy this :'(

  • Reply Jade June 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Benzyl Peroxide dries out your skin, and that’s not what you want. Find something with pH of 3-5. Your skin as an acid barrier that protects it. If you dry it out, it’ll only provoke it, thus more acne. Maybe proactive may work, but once you get off of it, they’ll come back, or so i’ve heard form anyone who used practive

  • Reply elis June 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I use acne.org benzyl peroxide, and I found it to be way better than proactiv. I used proactiv before, then switched to acne.org, and am still with them.
    Here’s my regimen and it works really well, my face is pretty clear most of the time:
    In the morning: I use clearasil hydra facewash. If you’re in the US, you can buy it at pretty much any store like Target, Walmart, Fred Meyer, etc. It’s the light blue looking one.
    Then I use eucerin skin calming cream to moisturize my face, otherwise it’s too dry. This cream is NOT comedogenic at all. It might not say that on the bottle (I don’t remember if it does, I squeezed mine out into smaller bottles because I took it overseas in an airplane, so i didn’t take the original container) but I checked all the ingredients manually to see if each one of them is comedogenic, and they’re not. Not at all. So that cream is safe. I don’t put on benzoyl peroxide in the morning.

    At night before bed, I wash my face with clearasil hydra again. Then I put on acne.org benzoyl peroxide 2.5%. It’s actually a lot cheaper than proactiv. You spend $20-25 (depending on how much for shipping to your place) and it’s a big bottle, unlike proactiv which is the same price for a small bottle. Acne.org bottle lasts me like at least several months, if not more. Sometimes it lasts me half a year.

    So my suggestion is definitely acne.org. Cheaper, and more effective.

  • Reply Lauren June 22, 2015 at 12:56 am

    I’ve talked to a bunch of people who have used Pro Active and they all say either it worked at first and then it stopped working, or didn’t work at all. I’ve been using Yes To Tomatoes for Acne and it works pretty well. You also have to keep in mind hormones and such because that’s a big reason why people break out (teens especially) and also everyone has different skin types, some people breakout often and others only get a few zits every now and then.

  • Reply Jessica June 28, 2015 at 8:28 am

    OR, you can just use SUPER simple ingredients and put baking soda on your face, or lemon and honey, or turmeric spice, milk and honey, cinnamon is ….plus more if you do your research on NATURAL products.

  • Reply vic July 1, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Kind of disappointed that this post on such a good website is endorsing products clearly.

  • Reply Beth January 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I used Proactiv for years. It worked okay, but not great and eventually started to bleach out my towels and shirt collars, which is not exactly ideal. The best thing I have ever done for my acne was to quit trying to kill it with chemicals! I now use my son’s shampoo and baby-wash. It is supremely gentle, and cleans my face without stripping it. I use a little bit of Argon oil on my face, if staying in, and a touch of a simple, chemical-free moisturizer(SPF 15), if going out. My skin has never been happier. The best advice I can give for people struggling with acne, is to stop irritating your skin and allow it to heal! Cleanse gently and moisturize simply. Your skin will thank you for it!

  • Reply Dalia February 17, 2016 at 5:36 am

    I had tried the proactive and I wasn’t satisfied with the product. I returned it since it said that I had a 60 day return guaranteed and get my money back. False advertisement !!!

  • Reply Shannon March 19, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I just recently tried Proactiv+. After less than a week my face was red, dryed out, and swollen around the eyes. It was utterly awful. After staying inside for two days because I was too embarrassed to go anywhere, I ended up going to see my doctor about it, and it turns out I’m allergic to benzyl peroxide. Whether you’re allergic to it or not, it’s a very harsh chemical (obviously, if it can bleach towels.) So if you do try it, keep it away from the skin around your eyes. After my face returned to normal I started washing only with a Dove bar of soap, and honestly my face looks better than it ever has.

  • Reply Miley April 1, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    This person is either paid to do this or doing an advertisement for this brand because this brand has a mass of chemicals that can cause lots of breakouts or damage your face! It burns my face causing lots of redness and it also makes my face really dry too

  • Reply Saida May 8, 2016 at 2:57 am

    The best acne products that I have tried are PCA Skin. Proactiv+ did not work for me. Nothing gets rid of acne like Retinol and Vitamin A.

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