Proactiv, also known as Proactiv Solution, is a brand of skin-care products developed by two American dermatologists, Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, and launched in 1995 byGuthy-Renker, a California-based direct marketing company. The range includes moisturizers, body washes and hair products, but the brand is known for its three-step anti-acne kit consisting of a cleanser, toner and lotion. Proactiv+, a reformulation of the three-step kit, was introduced in 2013.
As a result of its celebrity endorsements andinfomercials, Proactiv is one of the most popular skincare brands of all time, according to the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. Sales amounted to $800 million a year as of 2010, with a media budget of nearly $200 million and $12–15 million for celebrity fees.The product is mostly sold online as part of a continuity program. A month after ordering, customers are sent a three-month supply, which continues until the subscription is cancelled. Customers have complained that the subscriptions are hard to cancel.
According to a 2011 review, there have been few studies on the efficacy of Proactiv. A 2011 Consumer Reports study compared Proactiv with two less expensive types ofbenzoyl peroxide, AcneFree and OXY Maximum, and found all three to be equally effective.The US Food and Drug Administration warned in 2014 that over-the-counter acne treatments can cause severe irritation, as well as rare but life-threatening allergic reactions
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