Testing star-endorsed Proactiv
Published Wednesday, November 9, 2011 9:26AM PST
With teen idols like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne singing its praises and urging viewers to "Get Proactiv," it's not surprising that the highly advertised acne care line is a top seller.
But at a cost of $40 for a two-month supply, does it really outperform cheaper alternatives?
Consumer Reports tested Proactiv along with two other acne treatments: Acne-Free, a three-step treatment that costs about $20, and Oxy Maximum, a single-step wash which costs about $5 for a two-month supply.
All the products evaluated contain benzoyl peroxide, one of the best over-the-counter acne fighters for most people.
More than 80 volunteers with moderate to severe acne used one of the treatments twice a day for eight weeks.
Medical professionals documented the volunteers' skin condition throughout the testing.
While none of the volunteers saw their acne wiped out completely, no matter which product they used, most did have fewer blemishes.
Dr. Orly Avitzur said there was no statistical difference between any of the products as far as acne reduction.
Researchers say that Oxy Maximum is by far the best value for your money. This might be compounded by Proactiv's reverse billing policy. If you buy the product online you're automatically billed for a three-month supply after one month – a cost of almost $60 plus $7.99 shipping and handling. You'll continue being billed every month until you cancel.
Oxy Maximum is available in most drugstores. You can find Acne-Free at Wal-Mart and Shoppers Drug Mart or you can get it shipped right to your house through its website.
Consumer Reports also tested two quick treatment devices for red acne blemishes. Unfortunately, the Zeno Hot Spot and a product called No! No! Skin only eliminated about 13 per cent of red blemishes in the tests and costs $40 and $269.95, respectively.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele