Monday, April 23, 2007

Product Sucker or Product Genius: Proactiv Skin Care System

I am six months away from my second marketing degree, so I'm pretty cynical when it comes to trying new products or buying into magical claims that any one product will solve all of your cleaning, cosmetic, entertainment or dietary needs. I am never first in line to buy the latest technology gadget and I never take dietary supplements that claim I will be bikini ready miraculously in two weeks. I tend to catch the train as its leaving town or wait by the tracks hoping another one will arrive with the same destination or cargo.

This is not to say I have never bought something that was a total disappointment, which made me feel like a product sucker lead astray by marketing geniuses who successfully convinced me that their product would fullfill all of my needs and desires and wipe my rear end too. This has happened with floor cleaners, the collection of cameras I have tried and rejected, 7up plus which is really plus nothing except bad taste, but I bought it once while on the South Beach diet 15 months ago and for some reason Jason STILL thinks I like it. Those damn pink cans keep popping up in my kitchen from the deepest darkest holes and no matter how many times I tell Jason I don't like it, he kept coming home with a new 12 pack. Jason doesn't go to the store anymore.

So, ramble shmamble, here's my first product review as a "domestic relations manager". Fahhncy term for "housewife". I hate that word.


I'd seen celebrities from Vanessa Williams to Kelly Clarkson to Jessica Simpson push this stuff for years and if I've learned anything over the years its that celebrity endorsements only serve to push me further away from ever trying the product. I know no matter how much of their cream I slather on my face, I will never be a black woman with blue eyes, a ditzy blonde singer with big boobies or an overnight pop sensation from Burleson, TX. Once I accepted that and after seeing Proactiv advertised for years on everything from TV infomercials to irritating magazine inserts to the local valuepak coupons I get in the mail, I decided to give into the product hype and try the stuff.

30 day supply....$19.95. Not bad considering the pledge to Origins for my third born child I'd placed several months ago for the promise of clear and healthy, glowing skin, which seemed to work more in my head than in reality.

It might be important to note here too that since I was 12 I have tried, Cetaphil face soap, tetracycline, accutane, clearasil, alcohol, mud masks of all brands and colors, eating differently and Origins products of all colors, smells and fancy shmancy bottles that now take up most of my under cabinet real estate in my bathroom.

I wasn't really keen on the three step process. I hated washing my face twice a day with a one step process, so I was skeptical I could keep up the routine. A week into using the stuff, I noticed a difference, but the true test came when my monthly "visitor" would arrive, which was when I felt 14 again and wished baseball hats were acceptable "business attire" at the office. First month in, it passed the test! Close ups in my bathroom mirror were easier to take and my face was consistently soft rather than overly dry or oily.

I quickly told my mother and brother as they were the only ones I could openly suggest this to without hurting their feelings. Every day I see people at the gym or the grocery store and I want to HELP by suggesting the stuff, but I guess its like giving a fat lady a lean cuisine coupon. Too bad.

My only problem with the stuff is that I focused only on my face because that's where the problems were, but I neglected my neck. So, while my face is good to go, my neck is needing special attention. Dammit, I thought by rinsing the stuff off it would hit my neck by default.....kind of like "washing your feet in the shower." :) Guess not. (Maybe my feet aren't as clean as I think either.)

Mom said she ordered her first Proactiv supply this weekend for brother and Dad. We'll see what they think.

Proactiv gets the Product Genius designation. I'm glad I found it - my boys might need it later (poor things).

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