Pros: Easy to apply, removes excess oils
Cons: Small amount easily runs out before the other products, slight offensive odor
I have been dealing with moderate acne over my entire face for several years, and thus far nothing has ever seemed to work. Two years ago I saw the late night infomercial for Proactive Solution, and how great their system worked. Afterwards I decided to order the basic 3 step package with a bonus tube of Refining Mask cream. This package cost approximately $45.00, and I even managed to pay by check over the phone! It's possible to order each individual bottle depends on your needs, but they tend to cost more that way.
This particular review covers Proactive Solution Step 4: Refining Mask. There are a total of 4 reviews (listed below) covering the entire basic package of Proactive Solutions.
Proactive Solution Step 1: Renewing Cleanser
Proactive Solution Step 2: Revitalizing Toner
Proactive Solution Step 3: Repairing Lotion
Proactive Solution Step 4: Refining Mask
The final step in the Proactive Solution acne treatment package is the Refining Mask. This particular product comes in a small white tube 2.5oz, which must be squeezed onto your fingers for application. In fact the product itself looks and feels just like toothpaste. It's recommended to apply this mask after using the cleanser and toner applications. The directions clarify that it should only be used 2 to 3 times per week as needed. After one or two weeks it's best to decrease the weekly usage so you do no dry up your skin. The directions are very clear as to how the product should be used. The main purpose for using the Refining Mask is to remove excess oil and dirt from your face, specifically deep pore cleansing. This will help eliminate the possibly of future breakouts that are caused from buildup of dirt and oil in your skins pores.
Generally the Refining Mask is to be used on your tzone areas: forehead, nose, chin. These areas are prone to blackheads and other gunky buildups. Since my acne was also located in other areas: cheeks, neck, sideburns... I simply dabbed the cream in those troubled spots as needed.
Application is easy as can be. You simply apply a small dime sized amount onto your damp face until a thin layer of cream covers trouble areas. It's directed to leave the cream on for at least 10 minutes or until the mask is hardened in all areas. It is then cleaned off with warm water and your hands, or a gentle wash rag. Proactive also suggests leaving the mask on overnight while you sleep, especially in tough affected areas. I've never attempted this process, but I'd imagine the product would rub off on your bedding even though the mask is dry.
Overall I found the Refining Mask to be useful and effective in acne treatment. It definitely removed excess oil and blackheads, and I believe it helped stop breakouts before they started. And the biggest bonus is, you only have to use this mask a couple time per week instead of everyday. However there are several negatives to using the mask. The cream is very thick and hard to clean up, not only from your fingers after applying, but also washing it off your face. It's thick, creamy, and sticks to your skin like glue. Others have noted a slight offensive odor, most likely caused by the ingredient, sulfur. I noted the odor as well, but it did not bother me at all. The product comes in a 2.5oz tube, which is not very big. Since I required a heavy amount of cream it only lasted 45 days, whereas most people could get at least 60 days out of it.