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Over the years, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields have found that the more you know about taking care of your skin, the better you will look and feel. That's why they’ve assembled this comprehensive set of Frequently Asked Questions to help you get the most out of your Proactiv+ system and take care of your skin the best way possible. You also will find answers to questions about ordering, shipping and other account-related topics. Remember, your Proactiv+ Skincare Advisors are available to answer any specific concerns you may have.

Proactiv+ Overview
Proactiv+ 3-Step System
Using Proactiv+
Purchasing, Returns and Customer Service
Proactiv+ Overview

Who is Proactiv+ designed for?

Proactiv+ is for any teen or adult who struggles with acne-prone skin, mild to moderate acne, adult acne and/or hormonal breakouts. Proactiv+ works for men and women of all ages, and will appeal especially to women in their twenties, thirties, forties and fifties who desire spa-quality skincare products. Proactiv+ takes advantage of new science to deliver more effectively on its original promise to clear acne, help prevent future breakouts and give you great skincare.

How is Proactiv+ different from Proactiv?

Proactiv+ is our most advanced solution to deliver clear, radiant, flawless-looking skin. Proactiv+ is the result of 10 years of research, extensive studies and input from thousands of Proactiv ® customers. Working with a team of expert chemists, Doctors Rodan and Fields have delivered a completely reengineered 3-Step System that fights acne faster and more effectively, and provides skincare benefits above and beyond what anyone would expect from an acne treatment.

Proactiv+ is the only acne treatment with Smart Target® Technology. Smart Target® Technology is an acne-targeting innovation that delivers 50 percent more of our prescription-grade acne-fighting medicine with laser-like precision directly to the pore, where the acne starts, and away from the skin's surface, for faster, more effective acne treatment with less irritation to the skin.

In addition, Proactiv+ has powerful acne-fighting medicine in every step for a comprehensive, dual-therapy solution that combines the most effective FDA acne-fighting ingredients to unplug pores and help prevent new breakouts from forming.

Finally, because acne is a lot more than just blemishes and breakouts, Proactiv+ has been formulated with advanced skincare ingredients to deliver solutions to many of the biggest problems of acne-prone skin, including uneven tone, unwanted pigmentation, excess oil and shine, redness and blotchiness, large-looking pores and a dull complexion.

What is Smart Target® Technology?

Smart Target® Technology is Doctors Rodan and Fields' state-of-the-art acne-targeting discovery that has been years in development and is exclusive to Proactiv+. Providing faster, gentler and more effective topical delivery of our premium acne-fighting medicine, Smart Target® Technology guides encapsulated benzoyl peroxide away from the skin's surface--to minimize dryness and irritation--and delivers it with laser-like precision directly into the pores, the target-site for killing acne-causing bacteria. Once inside the pores, the micro-layers of encapsulation open successively, gradually releasing the medicine for longer-lasting acne-fighting effectiveness with little or no dryness or irritation.

What types of acne does Proactiv+ treat?

Proactiv+ treats mild to moderate inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne. This includes everything from the periodic, hormonally triggered blemishes that affect many adult women to the all-too-common pimples, whiteheads and blackheads that can trouble teenagers for years. Teen acne lasts, on average, 5 to 7 years; adult acne can last 20-plus years. Because women experience hormonal fluctuations throughout their monthly menstrual cycle, their hormones are rarely in perfect balance. It's these fluctuations, accompanied by an increase in hormones called androgens, that explain why adult women, beginning in their twenties, can experience a resurgence of their acne.

What kinds of skincare concerns does Proactiv+ address?

Proactiv+ delivers solutions to many of the biggest problems of acne-prone skin, including uneven tone, unwanted pigmentation, excess oil and shine, redness and blotchiness, large-looking pores and a dull complexion. The advanced skincare ingredients in Proactiv+ help to restore healthy skin balance and hydration; smooth uneven skin tone; fade unwanted pigmentation and post-acne marks; control excess oil and shine; soothe and even redness and blotchiness; reduce the appearance of pores; and brighten your complexion.

Does Proactiv+ test on animals?

Our formulas are not tested on animals.

Is Proactiv+ non-comedogenic?

Yes, all Proactiv+ products have been tested and proven to not clog pores.

Proactiv+ 3-Step System

What do each of the three steps in the Proactiv+ System do?

Below is an overview that explains each of the three steps. The three steps work synergistically, each building from the previous step, to address the complex condition of acne and other acne-prone skin issues. Acne is not curable, and it is chronic, so continued daily treatment with each of the three steps is necessary to prevent breakouts.

Step One: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator
Cleanse and Smooth
With gentle exfoliating beads, glycolic acid and micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide, this creamy exfoliating wash deep cleans, tones and starts fighting acne while leaving skin soft and hydrated.

Step Two: Pore Targeting Treatment
Target and Treat
The name says it all. Proactiv+ is the only acne treatment with Smart Target® Technology. This breakthrough technology delivers 50 percent more acne-fighting benzoyl peroxide directly into the pore, where acne starts, to kill acne bacteria on contact and disrupt the acne process before new pimples start to form. With more medicine in the pore and away from the skin's surface, Proactiv+ fights acne deeper and keeps killing acne bacteria longer while minimizing dryness and irritation.

Step Three: Complexion Perfecting Hydrator
Hydrate and Refine
This luxurious, velvety, paraben-free formula uses a gentle yet powerful combination of salicylic acid, prebiotics, omegas, Kojic and glycolic acids to help clear blemishes by unclogging pores as it nourishes, moisturizes, soothes and brightens skin. The Hydrator reduces the appearance of pores, relieves redness, irritation and oily shine and helps fade dark marks.

What are the ingredients in the Proactiv+ 3-Step System?

Below is a list of ingredients in each of the three steps.


Step One: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator
Active Ingredient(s): benzoyl peroxide 2.5%
Inactive Ingredients: water, sodium cocoyl isethionate, glycerin, polyethylene, lauryl/myristyl benzoate, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, butylene glycol, dimethicone, ethylhexylglycerin, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, glycolic acid, sodium hydroxide, phenoxyethanol, fragrance.

Step Two: Pore Targeting Treatment
Active Ingredient(s): benzoyl peroxide 2.5%
Inactive Ingredients: water, ethoxydiglycol, glycerin, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, polysorbate 80, polysorbate 60, sorbitan stearate, carbomer, potassium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, fragrance.

Step Three: Complexion Perfecting Hydrator
Active Ingredient(s): salicylic acid 0.5%
Inactive Ingredients: water, butylene glycol, cetearyl alcohol, dimethicone, sodium polyacrylate, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, sophora angustifolia root extract, morus alba root extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, arctostaphylos uva ursi leaf extract, kojic acid, zinc gluconate, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, sodium hyaluronate, bisabolol, allantoin, squalane, safflower oil/palm oil aminopropanediol esters, C12-15 alkyl lactate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, glycerin, ethylhexyl palmitate, hydrogenated polydecene, hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin, PPG-5-laureth-5, polyquaternium-11, ceteareth-20, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, polysorbate 60, hexylene glycol, PPG-2 myristyl ether propionate, sodium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, fragrance.

How can Proactiv+ clear my acne?

Doctors Rodan and Fields know that the secret to eliminating acne and solving problem skin starts deep in the pore, where the acne process starts and ends. Proactiv+ helps to prevent breakouts by disrupting this acne process.

With Proactiv+, the three steps work synergistically to (1) remove excess dead skin and oil to unclog pores; (2) kill acne-causing bacteria inside pores with targeted prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide; and (3) keep pores clear and looking visibly smaller with salicylic acid, while advanced skincare ingredients address the 10 most common problems of acne-prone skin-- dryness and irritation, uneven tone, unwanted pigmentation, excess oil and shine, redness and blotchiness, large-looking pores and a dull complexion.

Because acne breakouts are continuously forming silently under the skin in acne-prone individuals, the multiple medicines in Proactiv+ must be used daily over the entire face to stop the acne process. Within days to just a few weeks, depending on the severity of your acne, blemishes will heal, marks will fade and skin will look clear, healthy and radiant.

Using Proactiv+

How do I use the Proactiv+ 3-Step System for best overall results?

The Proactiv+ 3-Step System should be used twice a day, morning and night, as follows:


Step One: Skin Smoothing Exfoliator
Apply a small amount to dampened skin. Using fingertips, gently massage in circular motions for 1 to 2 minutes, avoiding the eye area. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Pat dry and follow with Step Two.

Step Two: Pore Targeting Treatment
Apply to clean, dry skin. Use 1 to 2 pumps and apply to entire face. Do not rinse off. When fully absorbed, follow with Step Three.

Step Three: Complexion Perfecting Hydrator
Using fingertips, apply generously to entire face. Do not rinse off.

Do I need to use all three steps in the Proactiv+ System two times each day to get results?

Yes. It's important to use Proactiv+ as directed. The three steps work synergistically, each building from the previous step, to address the complex condition of acne and other acne-prone skin issues. Skipping any one of the three steps can minimize results. This twice daily schedule has been most effective at keeping acne-causing bacteria controlled and treated 24/7, and in an enduring way. Remember, acne is not curable, and it is chronic, so continued daily treatment is necessary to prevent breakouts

When will I see results with Proactiv+?

Everyone's skin is different and some people may take longer than others to see results. It takes two to three weeks for blemishes to come to the surface of your skin. You may experience temporary breakouts as your skin accelerates the turnover of cells and they come to the surface sooner.

It usually takes four to six weeks to see results with Proactiv+. However, if your acne is very significant, it may take as long as eight weeks for improvement. It is important that you use Proactiv+ exactly as directed.

You may not see all of the great changes that your skin is making right away. The longer you use Proactiv+, the more visible the results will be. Remember, acne is a chronic condition that can last for years, so twice-daily application of all three steps is the key to obtaining a consistently clear and radiant complexion.

If your skin does not respond by eight weeks, or your acne is cystic and scarring, please see a dermatologist for additional treatment and more aggressive therapy.

My skin is looking clear. Do I have to keep using Proactiv+ twice a day, every day?

Acne is not curable, but it is treatable, controllable and preventable. If Proactiv+ is working, stay on it. There is no limit to the length of time you can use Proactiv+. If you discontinue Proactiv+, your blemishes are likely to return because the key causes of acne are hormonal and genetic. Teen acne lasts, on average, 5 to 7 years; adult acne can last 20-plus years.

Can Proactiv+ be used on my body?

Yes. Proactiv+ is designed to treat the process of acne whether it occurs on your face, ears, scalp, chest, neck, shoulders or back. We suggest you wear white clothing when you are using the 3-Step System on your torso because benzoyl peroxide may bleach colored fabrics.

Is Proactiv+ safe for women who are pregnant or nursing?

While the ingredients contained in the Proactiv+ formulas have not been found to cause any adverse side effects in pregnant or nursing women, we recommend that you check with your doctor prior to using Proactiv+.

Does Proactiv+ have any side effects?

Side effects are usually mild and may include drying and irritation in some users. A small group of people may be hypersensitive or allergic to ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which are in some of the Proactiv® branded products. If you are one of those people, you should not use a product that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid without first discussing that use with your healthcare provider.

How can I find out if I am allergic to a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid-containing product?

To test for allergic reaction apply product sparingly to one or two small affected areas during the first 3 days. If no discomfort occurs, follow the directions stated on the product. If you develop hives or itching of the face or body, discontinue using the product. If you experience any of the following reactions, you should seek immediate medical attention: Difficulty breathing, throat tightness, feeling faint or swelling of the eyes, face, lips or tongue.

Is Proactiv+ suitable for all ethnicities and skin types?

Yes. Proactiv+ is designed for acne-prone skin, and is suitable for all ethnicities and all skin types--dry, oily, combination, normal and sensitive.

Is Proactiv+ an anti-aging regimen?

Proactiv+ is better described as an acne-treatment regimen designed with anti-aging benefits in mind--notably smaller-looking pores; improved texture and tone;visibly faded unwanted pigmentation;diminished appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; enhanced hydration and suppleness; and a brighter, more luminous complexion.

Are there other Proactiv+ products currently available?

Yes. In addition to the Proactiv+ 3-Step System, there are nine other new items created by Doctors Rodan and Fields:

Skin Purifying Mask
Emergency Blemish Relief
Cleansing Body Bar
Eye Brightening Serum
Mark Fading Pads
Skin Revitalizing Pads
Soothing Shave Gel

Can I use other skincare products while using Proactiv+?

Yes, you can use other skincare products--but please be mindful of a few very important issues. First, be certain that any product you apply to your skin is labeled "non-comedogenic" which means it is designed to not clog pores. Second, Proactiv+ is a comprehensive system designed to preclude the need for additional skincare products, such as an added moisturizer. Finally, incompatibility issues can arise when layering products from different manufacturers. Such incompatibility is evidenced by "pilling". Pilling is the flaking off of products when the skin is rubbed or touched, and indicates a loss of efficacy. Irritation, clogged pores and dryness are other problems that may arise when a variety of brands are used together. Fortunately, the full range of Proactiv+ products are designed for acne-prone skin and work well with the 3-Step System.

If I have eczema and acne, can I use Proactiv+?

It depends on the severity of your eczema. All acne medicines--prescription or over-the-counter, like Proactiv+-- have the potential to irritate skin. If your eczema is mild, start Proactiv+ slowly-- once a day or every other day, gradually increasing to twice daily over two weeks. If you are using medicines prescribed for your eczema, or if your eczema is severe, please check with your doctor before trying any acne treatments.

If I have psoriasis and acne, can I use Proactiv+?

It depends on the severity of your psoriasis. All acne medicines--prescription or over-the-counter, like Proactiv+-- have the potential to irritate skin. Fortunately, psoriasis does not typically occur on the face, so there should be no issue. If you are concerned, and your psoriasis is mild, start Proactiv+ slowly--once a day or every other day, gradually increasing to twice daily over two weeks. If you are using medicines prescribed for your psoriasis, or if it is severe, check with your doctor before trying any acne treatments.

If I have rosacea and acne, can I use Proactiv+?

Yes, it is safe to use Proactiv+ if you have rosacea. However, Proactiv+ is for the treatment of mild to moderate acne and is not an FDA-approved product for the treatment of rosacea. We recommend seeing a dermatologist if you have rosacea, which is a skin condition characterized by a flush-blush reaction and red bumps.

Can Proactiv+ help treat my acne scars?

No, unfortunately, Proactiv+ will not help with existing scars. Our best recommendation for treating existing scars is to see your dermatologist. Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, your dermatologist can offer safe and effective options for your acne scars.

Can Proactiv+ work on cystic and nodular acne?

No. We suggest that you consult a dermatologist or physician for severe cystic or nodular acne. Generally speaking, the more advanced cases of cystic and nodular acne-- large, deep, painful bumps filled with blood and pus that can linger under the skin's surface for weeks or months--are the most likely to scar. It's especially critical to take all possible measures to manage this condition.

Purchasing, Returns and Customer Service

Will I be informed when my order ships?

Yes. After placing your order, you will get two emails. The first email--sent within 24 hours after ordering-- will confirm that your order has been completed and is being processed. The second email will tell you that the processing of the order is complete and it is being prepared to ship. It also will include any relevant tracking information.

Is it possible to purchase the individual steps in the Proactiv+ System?

Yes. With your initial shipment, you will receive a Proactiv+ brochure, which lists all of the individual products available for purchase, including each of the products in the 3-Step System. To order individual products, simply call toll-free at 1-866-566-2300.

How can I access my Proactiv+ account online?

After you've ordered Proactiv+, you can easily set up your online account using the instructions provided. Once you have established your login and password, simply click the "My Account" button that's located near the top right portion of the website. Use the email address that you provided when you ordered Proactiv+.

How do I check the status or history of my orders?

For any help with current and past orders, simply call Customer Service toll-free at 1-800-309-4796.

How do I cancel future shipments?

You can cancel with a quick call to Customer Service at 1-800-309-4796.

How do I return my products?

To return your products, place the merchandise in a box with your original invoice and send it to us. If you don't have your original invoice, please make sure to include your name and shipping address, as you believe it appeared on the invoice. Please allow 1 to 2 billing cycles from the day you return your package for your account to be credited.

All returns and exchanges should be shipped to:
6 Commerce Way
Arden, NC 28704

What is the Proactiv+ Guarantee?

With Proactiv+, you enjoy a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you are not absolutely delighted with your clear skin and radiant new complexion, you are welcome to return the containers-- even if empty--within 60 days of receipt for a complete refund of your purchase price (less S&H), no questions asked.