Benzoyl Peroxide


Benzoyl peroxide is primarily an antibacterial agent. Its main effect on the skin is to introduce oxygen to the clogged parts of the skin’s pores. The more oxygen, the more fatal the environment is for the anaerobic bacteria. It is capable of wiping out acne-causing organisms, such as P. acnes.

Fortunately, for us, benzoyl peroxide can be purchased directly from drug stores. It’s an over-the-counter treatment for acne vulgaris.

When a cream or an ointment with benzoyl peroxide is used on acne-ridden skin, the dead layer of the skin is shed off. The very root of the acne problem, blocked pores, are dealt with as well. It has a very efficient cleansing mechanism.



There are several brands of benzoyl peroxide-based products on the market today. This includes the following:

Exposed Skin Care


Clean and Clear

PanOxyl Bar


Take note that you have many, many choices when it comes to the topical treatment of acne. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one type. If one type of topical treatment doesn’t work for you, try another:

• Creams

• Gels

• Lotions

• Foams

• Soaps

• Facial washes

• Facial masks

• Medicated scrubs



When it comes down to the effectiveness of the different appropriations of benzoyl peroxide, it appears those gels, creams and other medicated substances are more effective. Often, facial washes cause very little noticeable improvement on acne because of the low levels of active ingredients.

How much benzoyl peroxide should be in your products? When you look at the back of your product, you should see at least 5% concentration or 10% concentration. There’s no need to get more than 10%, as this concentration is enough to cause sufficient changes in even severe facial acne.

Nevertheless, remember that there is the possibility of allergies. To make sure that there are no such allergies, start with 2.5% concentration. When you’re comfortable with 2.5%, move on to 5% if you wish.

If you’re still unsatisfied with the results, move on to 10%. It’s a matter of gradually introducing higher concentrations to such a sensitive organ such as the skin.



Benzoyl peroxide may cause dryness of skin. You can easily counter this by making use of facial products that make use of a moisturizing base. Reddening of the skin may also be seen after prolonged use of the product.

There have also been some reported severe side effects to the use of benzoyl peroxide. Many doctors warn of effects of the misuse of such chemicals. Too much pure benzoyl peroxide can cause the skin to be injured.

Will the reddish patches on the skin disappear? Usually, they do. They will disappear within less than a month of continuous use. To avoid undesirable consequences, start with a low dose first. If the dose does not affect your skin, you may gradually increase the dose.

Benzoyl peroxide products have different concentrations, so you can easily pick the lowest doses first. You may consult the aforementioned list for benzoyl peroxide products you can try.



Benzoyl peroxide is available in different forms. Popular products often come in an acne treatment scrub form, which used daily can exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. The treatment also can be in cream, gel or soap form. If using benzoyl peroxide for acne, it is important to find the form that will be easiest to use as part of a regular daily cleansing routine.

Step 1

Before applying benzoyl peroxide acne treatment, it is important to wash the skin well using warm water and a mild soap to remove dirt and oil. Be careful not to be too rough when washing, yet work up a good lather for several seconds to really cleanse the skin. Using fingertips instead of a washcloth may be a bit gentler on the skin.

Step 2

Use a clean towel and gently blot the skin to dry. Again, be sure to refrain from rubbing the skin to dry off as this can add to further skin irritation. Be sure the skin is completely dry before applying the benzoyl peroxide. It might be a good idea to air dry for 10 to 15 minutes to be sure the skin is thoroughly dry before putting on the benzoyl peroxide.

Step 3

Follow the doctor’s recommendations along with the product package instructions for applying the benzoyl peroxide. Spread it evenly to cover the areas of the skin being treated. Avoid getting the product near the eyes, nose and mouth. Benzoyl peroxide is a strong bleaching agent, so be careful not to get it on clothing or hair. It is important to wash hands well after using the product.

Step 4

Considering applying an oil-free moisturizer to the treated areas a few minutes after using your benzoyl peroxide wash, or if the acne treatment was applied and left on overnight, apply the moisturizer in the morning after washing the face with soap and warm water. This can help to prevent the skin from getting too dry which is a common effect of using benzoyl peroxide formulations.


Benzoyl peroxide has a high drying factor so may easily irritate the skin and some people will not be able to use it because of that reason. Additionally, some people are allergic to this chemical and may need to use less initially, switch to a lesser concentration or discontinue the product completely. If excess redness, peeling or irritation occurs, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.

Benzoyl peroxide is a strong and effective acne prevention and treatment medication. When used correctly on a daily basis, it helps to promote clear skin by preventing new acne from developing. Because of its strength, it may not be suitable for everyone, but for some, it can be an important part of an acne-prevention regimen.