Benzoyl Peroxide Review
Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most common ingredients in topical acne treatments, whether spot treatments or scrubs. It is used in many different forms including bars, lotions, liquids, creams, and gels. Many people use benzoyl peroxide once or twice a day for the best results.
Although benzoyl peroxide is arguably one of the most popular acne treatments, is it the right ingredient for you to look for? Or are there other ingredients that work just as well that you should be using instead?
About Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl Peroxide is an organic compound in the peroxide family. It consists of two benzoyl groups bridged by a peroxide link. Benzoyl peroxide for acne treatment is typically applied to the affected areas in concentrations ranging from 2.5% to 10%.
This ingredient creates oxygen when it is applied to the skin. Because certain bacteria that cause acne (such as p. acnes) cannot live when saturated by oxygen, they die. Killing off all the acne bacterium has been shown to be one of the most effective methods for reducing acne.
A small percentage of people are much more sensitive to it and liable to suffer burning, itching, peeling and possibly swelling. It is sensible to apply the lowest concentration and build up as appropriate. Once tolerance is achieved, increasing the quantity or concentration and gaining tolerance at a higher level may give better subsequent acne clearance.
To get the full results of benzoyl peroxide most people have to use for 4 to 6 weeks.
Benzoyl peroxide has long been known to be effective but it carries numerous unpleasant side effects. If your skin is sensitive it is probably not the best option.
Some potential side effects you may experience with benzoyl peroxide use include dry, peeling skin; tingling, stinging, or warm feeling skin; burning; blistering; itchiness; redness; and swelling.
Not everyone who uses benzoyl peroxide experiences these side effects but it’s something you should be aware of. In addition, be sure to stay out of the sun when using a product with benzoyl peroxide because it makes your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
Including benzoyl peroxide in your skincare routine may help you see an improvement in acne. However, for many people the side effects outweight the potential benefits. If you decide to use benzoyl peroxide, look for a smaller concentration and then work up to a higher dose to minimize the risk of unpleasant side effects.
For similar results and fewer side effects, consider using an ingredient such as tea tree oil. Clinical studies have proven that tea tree oil is just as effective as benzoyl peroxide but causes far fewer side effects.