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Proactiv Has Stopped Working for Me

I'm almost 17, and have been experiencing mild to moderate acne (as my doctor said) since 12 or 13. I've tried pretty much everything possible, Clean and Clear, Neutrogena, Equate 3 step acne system, Acnedote, Oxy, everything.

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Most recently, I began using Proactiv (about 1 or 2 years back) and after a few months of using it, saw it was improving my skin condition and decided to stick with it. Now, years later, I just got my first job and suddenly my face is breaking out like crazy! I haven't seen it this bad in a long time, and yes, I have been making sure I haven't been touching my face, (even while working). And what makes it worse is that last month my face was 99% clear and even-toned. People were complimenting me! That rarely happens, and I was so glad that all of the work I had put into my skin was paying off. Unfortunately, all that has ended. It feels horribly unfair, after I've been using Proactiv devotedly for such a long time, without missing one day ever, that my face should breakout so badly and see no visible improvements from Proactiv.

Could stress (from job), pollen increase (springtime), or something else be causing this travesty besides hormones? Perhaps it's time I try something different, or should I keep using Proactiv? Any advice or recommendations would be helpful and appreciated.

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--Thanks
P.S. I am a girl with combination type skin, but the dryness is usually a result of acne products, and the oiliness is normal.

By Naomi B.

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June 12, 20140 found this helpful

Stress could definitely be a factor. Has your diet changed? Sometimes a food sensitivity could cause acne, especially junk food you may be eating on the run. Also, I don't like to ask this because of your age, but is it possible you are pregnant? Hormones, especially in early pregnancy, can cause acne.

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June 12, 20140 found this helpful

I have had the same thing happen, both with Proactiv and other systems. Typically, if I take a break from that system and use another for a while (at least a few months), I will find that the Proactiv will work again later. Two things that have worked well for me (neither is very thrifty): DermaDoctor Ain't Misbeahvin' (strange name, great product) and Clarisonic's Mia 2. I notice a big difference between using the Mia and when I don't.

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It doesn't mean I don't break out at all, but the breakouts are much smaller when I use the Mia, particularly if I am using it with the cleanser noted above.

Most importantly, I know acne can be a self-esteem killer. I'm in my 40s and dealing with it. Don't let it erode your confidence. Acne isn't who you are, it's just something on your face. As cheesy as it sounds, your confidence in yourself is the best beauty product there is. Hang in there.

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June 12, 20140 found this helpful

Stress could certainly cause an outbreak; this is a big change in your life, and could have triggered it. My son also found that heat caused him to break out - sweating in the summer, for example. He would also think he had things under control, and then he would get a big outbreak (from being at track camp, for example, in the heat and the stress of the camp, and not sleeping properly).

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I would do what the previous poster suggested. Try a different product for awhile, and then go back to the ProActiv after a few months.

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