Proactiv's Skin Smoothing Exfoliator comes in an attractive, albeit clinical looking white squeeze tube with a flip top cap and turquoise accents. The product name and Proactiv+ logo are printed on the front of the tube, with the back of the tube offering detailed directions and plenty of product information. Sadly, the packaging does not seem to be recyclable.
The Skin Smoothing Exfoliator is a creamy white cleanser with a slightly gritty texture, thanks to the plentiful, evenly sized exfoliating granules. Once Proactiv's exfoliating cleanser comes into contact with water, it works into a light lather and spreads around the skin easily and with a moderately abrasive feel. Aside from it's exfoliating properties, Proactiv's Skin Smoothing Exfoliator is an entirely average cleanser that washes away a day's worth of grime (but not a day's worth of makeup) without drying or stripping the skin. Due to this cleanser's scrubby nature, Skin Smoothing Exfoliator should only be used a couple times a week, as opposed to twice a day, as Proactiv recommends (it's far too harsh for that kind of frequency!). This exfoliating facial cleanser is difficult to rinse away, and it tends to leave behind a few granules on the cheeks if you're not thorough. Even more unpleasant than the occasional residual grittiness is the scent of this product! Somewhere between the hand soap in public bathrooms and burning plastic, the scent of Proactiv's Skin Smoothing Exfoliator is nearly intolerable and I hate using the product because of it. Worst of all, the 'fragrance' is fairly potent and lingers for several minutes post-use.
The Skin Smoothing Exfoliator has a base of water, glycerin, and gentle coconut derived surfactants, thickened up with some average, non-problematic fillers. Skin nourishing ingredients like vitamins E and F are present in fairly high concentration. These soothing ingredients balance out the drying effects of the 2.5% benzoyl peroxide - an extremely effective acne fighter. Much lower on the ingredient list, you'll find exfoliating glycolic acid - an extremely beneficial ingredient that can't possibly make an impact in the few seconds this product will exist on the skin. As a whole, this cleanser's formula is fairly non-problematic, aside from the inclusion of fragrance, which appears at the very end of the ingredients.
In my opinion, Proactiv's Skin Smoothing Exfoliator is best suited to those with normal to oily skin. Despite Proactiv's focus in acne treatment and prevention, I wouldn't recommend this exfoliating cleanser to those with active acne, due to it's abrasive nature. Often times, physical exfoliators like this one can irritate acne, and cause microtears in the skin that can cause acne to spread and worsen. For the same reasons, I'd advise people with sensitive skin to avoid the Skin Smoothing Exfoliator as well.
In closing, I think Proactiv's Skin Smoothing Exfoliator is decent product. I don't have any qualms with the formula or the packaging, but I hate the scent so much that I couldn't bare to repurchase another tube. I also find the price point of Proactiv's exfoliating cleanser pretty disagreeable, especially when it's almost identical to Vasanti's Brighten Up Enzymatic Exfoliator or Epice's Purifying Exfoliant in texture and function - both of which are more affordable. I'd recommend either Vasanti or Epice's option over Proactiv's Skin Smoothing Cleanser, as both of them are better value and have a less offensive scent, while offering similar results.
Active: Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%. Inactive: Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Paraffin, Lauryl/Myristyl Benzoate, Coconut Acid, Tocopherol, Linolenic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.
This product was sent to me for review by Proactiv. My opinions are not influenced by Proactiv, Blue Planet PR, or any other third party.