Our Unbiased Proactiv Dark Spot Corrector Review – How Does it Stack Up?

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Dark spots or hyperpigmentation can happen at any time. They are unpredictable but usually due to the sun or the use of tanning beds. Common locations of skin spots include the face, back, shoulders, arms, and the back of hands. Fortunately, for those who desire, you can lighten or completely remove these spots using a dark spot corrector.

We’ve researched and reviewed quite a few dark spot correctors and skin lighteners, so we’ve come to the next, which is made by Proactiv. It’s called Proactiv Dark Spot Corrector!

Why are we hesitant about this product?

Proactiv Dark Spot Corrector

Before we used the product, we read the ingredients, of course. And the active ingredient in Proactiv is hydroquinone. You may have heard of this ingredient if you have read our other reviews. It is possible that hydroquinone causes cancer, and the FDA has blacklisted it for that reason.

Proactiv only uses a 2% concentration in its dark spot corrector, and that’s lower than the usual 4% of many prescription products. Despite that, we just don’t think it’s worth the risk to use this ingredient on your skin, especially when there are natural ingredients that do almost as well at lightening skin.

What is it Designed to Do?

Since they have a lot of experience in skin care, it was natural for Proactiv to branch out and market a skin lightener. The product was created to treat darker spots that may be left on the skin by acne scars, and other possible causes [1].

If you buy the Proactiv three-step acne kit, you can get the dark spot corrector free, or you can purchase the skin lightener separately at retailers including Amazon.com. You’ll usually get the most value for your money buying directly from Proactiv. However, it doesn’t hurt to compare prices with other affiliate sites!

What Other Types of Ingredients are there?

This Proactiv product includes not only hydroquinone, but also glycolic acid and retinyl palmitate. It’s not paraben-free [2], since it has proplylparaben and methylparaben included, and they also add fragrance to the mixture.

Again, we are not too crazy about the ingredients that go into this dark spot corrector. This would probably have to be the biggest downfall. We don’t feel comfortable using a product that hasn’t been approved by the FDA.

What Do We Like?

Woman with smiley drawn on paper

We like the fact that you can get this product free to try, even though you have to enroll in the Proactiv auto-shipment program to get it free.

If you’re serious about lightening your skin, this is something to consider. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt to speak to your dermatologist before using this cream, especially if you have sensitive skin. Another suggestion is to take a look at other Proactiv Dark Spot Corrector reviews by users to see what others have to say about it!

What Don’t We Like?

Woman covering her mouth in shock

Hydroquinone is usually effective at fading acne scars, melasma and liver spots. But there are tests confirming the danger of using the product, and the benefits simply don’t outweigh the risks.

Besides hydroquinone, there are no other skin lightening ingredients in this product.

In addition, it’s pricey, for a product that only has one useful ingredient and one that is potentially dangerous to your health, as well.

We also discovered that the Proactiv Dark Spot Corrector isn’t strong enough to help in fading many age spots. We don’t know why they included hydroquinone at all, if they only use a 2% concentration that simply isn’t that effective in clearing up dark spots.

What About Comparisons vs. Other Similar Products?

This product simply doesn’t compete with products like Xtreme Brite Gel and Meladerm Cream. They have safer ingredients, and they use more than one ingredient to lighten dark spots. We also looked at other Proactiv Dark Spot Corrector reviews to see what others were saying about this product and to keep our review as unbiased as possible. We found that we shared similar thoughts on the pros and cons of this cream.

All in all, we don’t want to disapprove of this product completely. However, there are other affordable options available to you that are safer for use.

What Do Customers Think?

I am adult female that has struggled for years with ongoing acne breakouts. I tried this product primarily because my prescription cream for bleaching dark spots was no longer available through my insurance plans. Initially, I saw results that seem to indicate that this would work just as well as my prescription medicine. Today, I’m not so sure. I’ll continue using it since I purchase 3 tubes of it. After I’ve exhausted my supply, I will consider biting the bullet and pay the cost of my prescription medicine.

– By Divacheryl at Amazon.com

I must say, I have been a fan of the old “skin lightening lotion” from ProActiv before they changed it and made it the new and improved “Dark Spot Correcter”. I had been using the old version off and on for over a period of years and I always got excellent quick results when I used it even when I would only apply it for one application as suppose to the 2 they always recommended. I notice when I had a bit of the older left my skin spots were clearing fine, but as soon as I starting using the new version nothing. I feel like my face is actually getting worse as far as complexion. I’m very disappointed by this and I feel like it’s a completely different product. I will certainly be checking out the complaint and suggestion line with ProActiv. I feel like they keep the same expensive price but made a cheaply made product. I may have to try something else at one point PA was the only lightener that worked on my skin.

– By Jane Wonderfalls at Amazon.com

Our Evaluation

You may see improvement with Proactiv if you have minor hyperpigmentation, but you can find products that will work better, with no dangerous ingredients. Try safer formulas first before you risk your health for these moderate results.

If you decide to use, we’d love to hear about your experience with this product! Let us know how it worked for you, what you liked, and what you didn’t like!

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[1] https://www.verywellhealth.com/causes-of-dark-spots-1069545
[2] https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/paraben-free-what-does-it-mean

Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.