Little back story: I started getting acne when I was 19 and pregnant with my daughter. I am now 23 and still fighting the acne battle! Oily t-zone. Continuous acne on jaw line, chin, and forehead (occasionally on the cheeks).
I absolutely love this product! I bought it at Walmart for about $11 which is cheap when you consider the fact that you get a facial wash, toner, and moisturizer. I have never used Proactiv due to the price so this will not be a comparison. I have tried many (and I mean MANY) different acne products and this system has delivered the best results. I never give up on a product until I have used it for at least 60 days.
Week 1-2: My worst nightmare!! As some have mentioned, my face became red, extremely flaky, and just looked horrible. My acne was so bad, I would make so many excuses to not leave the house. It was everywhere. Forehead, temples, chin, jaw line, cheeks, nose. EVERYWHERE.
Week 3-4: My face started clearing up and my acne spots that usually linger for weeks were fading faster than normal. Still had acne. 5-6 pimples total (which isn't much considering what my face typically looks like). I did notice that all of those stubborn blackheads on my nose that strips and mask would never begin to touch started becoming less.
Currently week 5-6: I am absolutely in love with this product. Almost every blackhead is gone and my skin tone has never been so even. My face no longer has blotchy red patches or flakiness. I still have 2 pimples currently which I will never complain about considering I usually have 10-15 active pimples.
Verdict: I would recommend this product to anyone who suffers from acne. I would also warn that it may be hell the first few weeks with all of the peeling, dryness, and horrible breakouts. Stick with it though! Your skin is purging and adjusting to the benzoyl peroxide. This system is far better than anything I have tried previously (Aveeno, Biore, Garnier, Clean n Clear, Neutrogena) and not to mention cheaper!
I gave 4 lippies because my face isn't 100% clear but it is the best it has looked in years!
I just went out and bought this acne system yesterday and have already used it twice. I was on the search for a new moisturizer because I ran out and I came across this acne system when I was at Walmart. Some friends recommended this system to me so I went online to see reviews and this product has received some very positive reviews. I wanted to buy it immediately but it was always sold out online and they said it was sold out in stores....so I stopped my search for this system, until I just came across it yesterday.
I love this system so far, even though I have only used it twice. It makes my skin super soft and I don't even follow up with a moisturizer after the three steps. It hasn't dried out my skin and I can already see that it's helping to get rid of current acne, so I can't wait to see what it does to my skin in the long run. Once I have used it longer I will provide and updated review.
UPDATE: So I have been using this for about a week and a half now and I have to say it does clear my skin up very well but my skin is dried out - and that's my fault. My skin looked so cracked and was so dry that it looked like I had a ton of wrinkles when I smiled or moved my face - and I am still in my teens. I was using this everyday because I was so excited to see how my skin would clear up but I should have known that it would be too drying to use everyday. I'm taking a break from it right now to help my skins moisture return, but I will not stop using it. I will continue to use it about once or twice a week, no more. This doesn't take away from the great things this acne system does for your skin, it really helps keep acne under control and smooths your skin, just don't use it every day. I am using a regular gentle face wash along with hydrating moisturizer. I made the mistake of not following up with a moisturizer after step 3 and that was a huge mistake, I cannot stress this enough. But again, don't let this updated review scare you from trying this, it is really a great product. Just use caution when using it, do not use it everyday, and make sure to follow up with a very hydrating moisturizer and I assure you the results will be amazing.
This stuff works, and I will soon have the BEFORE and AFTER pictures to prove it! You can follow my case study, and see all of my pictures, and videos about Equate here:
I want you guys to know that Equate works just like Proactiv's 3-step system. It sells for about $12.00 at Walmart, probably depending on where you live. The only reason why I don't give this system a full 5/5 star rating is because it doesn't come with a moisturizer.
Remember folks, we're using Benzoyl Peroxide at 2.5% here, and although this is a less irritating concentration of B.P., and it is the most effective, we still need to be moisturizing.
I like to moisturize with:
* Simple Moisturizer
* 1 Drop of Jojoba Oil
You're going to want to moisturize after using the 3rd step (repairing lotion) of Equate. If Equate is giving you side effects, dry skin, redness, flakiness, etc., then moisturizing is going to make all of the difference in the world.
To people who have had problems, I want you to know that I feel your pain. When I first started using benzoyl peroxide to treat my acne, I was using Proactiv Original, and I had horrible side effects.
The key to successfully treating your acne with products like Equate, is to understand how to use them correctly, use the correct amount, use consistently and be sure to moisturize! Doing all of these things will ensure your success!
That is why I give Equate the review that I do! It's cheap, it's effective, and it's easy to use! continued >>
Let me start by saing I was a faithful Proactiv user from 2004-2008 and I loved me some Proactiv. In my early 20s, most of my annoying teenage breakouts had calmed way down and was able to get by with only using the sulfur mask a couple of times a week to keep my skin clear. Fast forward to October 2013, at the age of 27 where I had recently switched up my form of my birth control and noticed my face was responding to it negatively. I was having annoying acne on my jawline and on my forehead to the point that I looked like I was 15 again. I was just about to fork over money to Proactiv, when I started reading the positive reviews for the Equate brand. I went to Wal Mart and purchased it for less than $12 (tax included) and started using it the same day. It did take about a week for my face to adjust to the BP in this skincare system (it was somewhat tight, dry and felt really sensitive) but only after a couple of days, my skin started to clear up! This stuff is the same thing as Proactiv and don't let anyone convince you otherwise! I only need to use this 3-step system every other day and it keeps my skin in check. I will continue to repurchase this because it's such a rip off to spend all that money on Proactiv and not to mention their annoying emails, phone calls and letters they send you once you cancel. Get rid of all that and pick up this set and you will not be disappointed!!
I've had acne problems on and off for about a decade. This was the last thing I tried before going to a dermatologist. I never ended up going because this stuff is great! It's only 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, so it doesn't dry out your skin. I don't use the toner often, but I use the face wash and the moisturizer every day, and they work extremely well. My acne has gone away, and this stuff is much cheaper than Proactiv. This is also literally one of the only things that's helped my acne; I've tried Clearasil, Oxy, tea tree oil, expensive stuff on Sephora, some Rx stuff about 10 years ago, etc. and none of it made a dent; but this works.
I don't like shopping at Walmart because they treat their workers poorly, but I will go there for this. The only thing I don't like about the product itself is that it's harder to buy the individual products; I use up the moisturizer much faster than the other two, and I don't want to have to buy a full kit every time I run out of one part, but it's difficult to find even online.
Coming from an ex-Proactiv subscriber (because the 'clear skin club' is just a way for them to continuously charge you for more and more products you haven't ordered... ), this stuff is awesome.
Sometimes I hate Wal-Mart and what it stands for, but in this instance, it's my best friend. I love that they have completely and unabashedly knocked off the formula of Proactiv and offered it at a lower price point. Proactiv is ridiculously overpriced. The Equate system is literally the exact same stuff. Same smell, consistency, packaging... absolutely everything. It works great. Do NOT waste your money on Proactiv when you can buy this. It worked just as well as the original. For the record, I have combination skin with a tendency to break out on my cheeks and it has really helped me.
I have never had a breakout until i hit my 30s. Then I started having mild breakouts. Nothing worked. I wanted to buy proactiv but didn't want to have a chance of wasting 30-50$ for something that may not work. On a trip to Walmart I walked through the skin care aisle and came across this 3 step package that also came with a small tube of a sulfur mask for less than 12$ so I thought what the heck I'll try it because it said compare to proactiv and the price is so hard to pass up. I have now been using it twice a day for only 5 days and OMG my skin looks and feels amazing. My once red patches, dry, skin with the few pimples I had is clear and as smooth as a babies butt. I will be buying this again. I have had no dry patches and I have sensitive skin. this product is AMAZING!!!!!!!
From the positive reviews on this site, this product clearly works for many people. Unfortunately, I was not one of them. I have never had any type of allergic skin reaction before, but after using all three steps 1-2 times daily for 3 days (and putting oil-free moisturizer on after step 3), I woke up to find that I had horribly puffy eyes and slightly red skin all over my face. I wasn't surprised by the red skin, but I was shocked by how puffy the bags under my eyes were. I am not naturally prone to swelling under my eyes, and have never gotten bags from lack of sleep or crying, so this was a very unexpected and embarrassing side effect. Only now, 5 days after I stopped using the product, are my eyes completely back to normal. I may use the toner and moisturizer to spot-treat problem areas, but it seems as though even washing my forehead in the shower and letting water drip past my eyes as it washes the cleanser away is too harsh for the skin there.
Bottom line: If you are going to try this product, make sure to do so at least a week before any important events in case you have a skin reaction similar to mine.
I will echo the other reviewers in that I was very surprised at how effective this system was. I picked it up after my Proactiv set ran out and I didn't want to wait/pay for shipping, having heard about the toner here on MakeupAlley.com. My local Walmart only had the 3 piece set of the cleanser, toner, and lotion so I bought that for $11.98. Packaging - it looks just like the original Proactiv packaging of 15-20 years ago. They are all squeeze bottles with screw on caps. The inside cap on the lotion popped off and spilled a puddle of product all over my counter the 3rd day. Annoying, but easily fixed. Cleanser - this feels and smells like the original formulation Proactiv, not the more recent formula that has more silica for exfoliation. Toner - this looks like the Proactiv and contains the same amount of glycolic acid and has all the same ingredients but in different concentrations and fragrance. Lotion - its more gel-like than Proactiv and a little thinner.
With both Proactiv and Equate, I had zero success with the system until I started massaging the cleaser onto my face for much longer, like instead of 2 minutes, i have been cleansing once a day for at least 4 solid minutes, and sometimes longer. I noticed an immiediate difference once I started using the cleanser this way. I have very oily skin and my pores seem to clog overnight and I end up with milia and commodones in my T-zones and, since I had my 2nd child, I get the occasional cyst that doesn't come to a head but stays as a raised, reddish bump under the skin on my cheeks or jawline due to crazy hormone changes post-partum. Derms always say, oh don't worry! You'll grow out of it! to teens and I never imagined my teenaged flare-ups would continue to my mid-30s. Anyway, using the cleaser more like a mini-facial made the rest of the products actually work for me. I noticed my skin is softer, more even, and generally happier with smaller pores. The Equate toner works adequately - Proactiv was more hydrating and soothing and i prefer the scent. With the toner, I completely saturate a cotton ball and dab on my face until it's wet and then let air dry before applying a light layer of the lotion. I've been using the Proactiv oil-free moisturizer with spf 15 during the day after the lotion dries and it makes a nice matte but non-dry primer base for mineral makeup application. I generally don't moisturize as night, however. I do the long cleanse usually at night after wearing makeup all day. My morning routine in the shower is lighter, but i still really wet my face with the toner.
Since I tend to go through the kit faster with my routine, especially the toner, I'll likely be continuing with Equate until I run out of the Proactive moisturizer and have to repurchase. Even if Proactiv hasn't worked in the past for you, you could try the Equate and use it like I do and see if that makes a difference. With such effectiveness in a product, you might wonder if it's a HG candidate. I would say it could be, if the packaging were a little more secure and the toner was more like Proactiv. As it is, it's pretty great! Overall, I like this product and you just can't beat the price!