Review: X Out One Step Acne Treatment by Proactiv

There are so many over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatments, it can take a lot to get excited about yet another one. However, since X Out is made by the producers of Proactiv, it was worth a look. All in all, this has been one of the better OTC acne products for a while. And definitely the most interesting.

x out product photo

Teens Like the Simplicity

Instead of the 3-step treatment program we're used to, X Out is just one step. Wash it in for 2 minutes, rinse it off, and you're done. This was a big plus for the teens who tried it out (since it's marketed toward teenagers, they were testers). They liked the simplicity of a one-step treatment.

How It Feels

The cleanser itself is thick and creamy feeling and foams up nicely. It has just enough of that "scrub" feel to exfoliate the face, but not so much that you feel like you're tearing up your skin.

And if you like mentholated products, this one packs a punch. It feels extremely cooling. Some product testers really liked it, but others felt it was a bit too overpowering.

Surprisingly, though, there were no complaints about stinging or burning, even with the strong cooling feel and the high percentage of benzoyl peroxide, which can definitely be drying when you first start using it. You might want to start off using X Out just 3 times per week, and slowly work up to using it more often.

Overall Impressions

The teens generally really liked this product and said it made their skin feel clean and smooth. They also liked that the product pulled double-duty as a mask and a spot treatment.

No one cared for the smell, though. The descriptions given were "cheap shampoo" to "rubber." Not great.

The Best Feature

Scent notwithstanding, the coolest feature of this product is the QR code stamped on each bottle. You scan the QR code with your smartphone and it takes you to a new video every time. Each video runs two minutes. Wash your face while watching the video, and when it's done you know it's time to rinse the product off. The makers of X Out call this the "Daily Distraction." A total marketing gimmick, but in this case, it works. Teens who don't have a smartphone can get their "Daily Distraction" online.

How Well It Works

Like all OTC acne products, this one will work best for mild to (possibly) moderate acne breakouts.

Active Ingredient

Benzoyl peroxide 8.5%


$19.95 for a 30-day supply, $39.90 for a 60-day supply. You have to pay shipping on that too, which runs between $6-$8.

Where You Can Buy It

Available online at the X Out website.


  • You can also use it as a mask (leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing) and as a spot treatment. Dab a bit on a particularly stubborn pimple before going to sleep.
  • The pump makes it easy to dispense the product. Just one pump is enough to do your entire face, so a bottle will last a long time.
  • The cleanser has just enough grit to exfoliate the face and leave the skin super smooth, but not so much that it will irritate the skin.


  • A 60-day supply, along with shipping, is pushing $50. This may be cost-prohibitive for some people.
  • Probably too strong for anyone with more sensitive skin.
  • The smell isn't fabulous.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.

By Angela Palmer
Angela Palmer is a licensed esthetician specializing in acne treatment.