Does proactive really work?

Proactiv says its newly reformulated acne products heal acne faster and with fewer side effects than ever before.
The Deep Cleansing Wash costs about three times more than comparable products because it contains salicylic acid—which you rinse off your face and down the drain before it gets a chance to work.
The Advanced Blemish Treatment contains 6% benzoyl peroxide, strong enough to kill acne bacteria on contact but also strong enough to cause stinging, burning, itching, redness, dryness, and flaking skin, all of which make keep forming new blemishes.
The Conceal Plus Sulfur product contains 6% sulfur, which is enough both to kill bacteria and to irritate the skin.
The Repairing Treatment is strong enough to work but mild enough not to cause skin irritation. And it’s a whole less expensive than the Advanced Blemish Treatment.
The Body Pads contain ingredients that open pores, along with ingredients that close them.
Other Proactiv acne products also contain all the right ingredients, plus ingredients that can undo the benefits of the product.

This Proactiv product combines salicylic acid, a useful skin peel, with polyethylene beads, a useful skin scrub. The problem with this deep cleansing wash is that you rinse the salicylic acid down the drain before it has an opportunity to peel dead skin from the openings of pores. You can get just as much benefit from a US $9.95 microdermabrasion scrubbing cloth (like the one offered by Exposed Skin Care) as you can get from the US $35 16-oz (480 ml) bottle of this cleansing wash.

Since benzoyl peroxide only gets rid of about 2/3 of your pimples (after about a month, new pimples form about as fast as old pimples heal), you may want to use a concealer. This Proactiv product claims to cover up pimples while helping them heal with the power of sulfur.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved this 6% sulfur product for use as an over-the-counter treatment for acne. The problem with this Proactiv product is similar to the problems with Advanced Blemish Treatment, in that sulfur can irritate the skin. The sulfur also gives the makeup a grainy finish which could call even more attention to your pimples than the odd orange, peachy, and pink tones used in the concealer. This product unfortunately cannot be recommended for anyone who has acne.