Cleansing Body Bar

Price:
$40 - 2 bars
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Category:
Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:
9/20/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This very expensive bar cleanser is essentially the classic Dove Beauty Bar medicated with the anti-acne active ingredient salicylic acid. Unfortunately, the salicylic acid won't help acne in this case because it's rinsed down the drain before it can work. Plus, this bar cleanser leaves a residue on skin that can, over time, impede the effectiveness of other ingredients.

The price is worth a comment because even though you get two bars, you can buy similar bar cleansers at the grocery store for less than $5; so why pay several times that amount for such a basic product? It's actually embarrassing that the dermatologists behind this brand thought this bar cleanser was a good idea, at any price!

One more comment on the price: Cleansing Body Bar is nearly identical to the main ProActiv line's Medicated Cleansing Bar, which costs less.

More cause for concern (and more of a wonder why the doctors behind this line don't seem to know better) is how strongly this bar cleanser is fragranced. Fragrance isn't skin care, and using heavily fragranced products won't help acne in the least. See More Info for details. The strong fragrance pushed this over the top for earning our lowest rating.

Pros:
  • Cleanses thoroughly.
  • Soft, cushiony lather, just like classic Dove Beauty Bar.
Cons:
  • he active ingredient is rinsed from the skin before it can help improve acne.
  • Highly fragranced formula poses a strong risk of irritation.
  • Leaves a soap-like residue on skin.
More Info:

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

Deep-cleansing, exfoliating, medicated, lather-rich bar fights body acne all over. Salicylic acid helps unclog pores and prevent future breakouts, while exfoliating beads gently remove dead skin. Gracefully ergonomic bar acts as a mild, soap-free cleanser that contains no fats, sulfates or dyes.

Active: Salicylic Acid 1%. Inactive: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Water, Sodium Isethionate, Fragrance, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Chloride, Galactoarabinan, Polyethylene, Disodium EDTA, Pentasodium Pentetate, Titanium Dioxide.

Created by dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, Proactiv launched in 1995 as a three-step system sold via infomercial. With the doctors' endorsements and winning personalities along with a heap of testimonials from people who use the routine (including a rotating list of celebrities, which always garners attention), Proactiv remains a very successful brand that is still going strong. The effusiveness, medical background, accurate information about how acne forms, and sincerity of its creators definitely makes for compelling television (we admit to catching the infomercial on more than one sleepless night), but what about the products themselves? Are they the answer the ads promise?

The core system consists of a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide and scrub particles, a toner with glycolic acid, and a lotion that contains a low (but still effective) amount of benzoyl peroxide. No questions here, this is a straightforward routine and hardly unique to Proactiv! Some percentage of people will benefit from daily use of this system (it contains the basics that are necessary for over-the-counter treatment of acne), but it's definitely not for everyone, and every dermatologist knows that (just check out the American Academy of Dermatology Web site at www.aad.org, for example, on their recommendations for battling blemishes).

It also goes without saying that other lines offer many less expensive versions of all the Proactiv products. However, for those who choose this system, the key is compliance, at least as long as you're seeing good results. Anyone battling acne needs to know that, barring a successful experience with the prescription drug Accutane, it cannot be cured—only controlled. We don't doubt that many people have seen their acne respond positively to a daily routine of the core Proactiv products, and for some it has been a life-changing experience—but it's not the answer for acne for everyone.

Although they still appear in ads and literature for the brand, Drs. Rodan and Fields have branched out to create their own namesake line, reviewed elsewhere on this site. While the Rodan + Fields line is not acne-centric like Proactiv, they did include products for blemishes, a few of which are similar to but more expensive than their Proactiv counterparts. And of course, this dual branding begs the question: if Rodan and Fields believe that Proactiv is the best option for those struggling with acne, why did they create alternative products in their namesake line? Why not just mention to Rodan + Fields customers dealing with acne that the Proactiv line has exactly what they need?

Along with Proactiv and the namesame Rodan and Fields line, these dermatologists also created Proactiv+, which is supposed to be smarter and faster than original Proactiv. For the most part, these products are quite similar, they just have a stronger emphasis on anti-aging issues such as uneven skin tone and enlarged pores from sun damage. We wish these products were more compelling, but many of them are truly problematic and not something two reputable dermatologists should feel comfortable putting their names on.

For more information about Proactiv, call (800) 876-9717 or visit www.proactiv.com. For more information about Proactiv+, visit www.proactivplus.com.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
Page of 1
  1. April, c
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 15, 2014
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    one of a kind cleans
    • Deep down clean fresh feel amazing leaving a fresh sent #1 in my book

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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