Read on to find every thing you need to know about Benzoyl Peroxide – what benzoyl peroxide is, is it safe & effective, how does it work against acne, its side effects, tips for minimizing side effects, & a handy list of top benzoyl peroxide acne products for you to choose best BPO solution according to your skin type.
What Is Benzoyl Peroxide OTC?
Benzoyl peroxide is an over the counter acne medicine. It has an antibacterial effect. It also has a mild drying effect, which allows excess oils and dirt to be easily washed away from the skin. The dermatologists often recommend it for treating mild to severe acne conditions.
Is Benzoyl Peroxide Effective For Acne Treatment?
Benzoyl Peroxide is regarded as one of the most powerful and effective compounds for fighting acne. It is an excellent balance of strength, safety and results. Its reputation as an acne killer is well established as can be seen from the fact that it has been featuring in acne treatments for over half a century
A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology suggests that:
“Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) has been an important component of topical therapy for acne vulgaris for more than five decades due to its ability to markedly reduce Propionibacterium acnes and inflammatory acne lesions and its ability to moderately reduce noninflammatory acne lesions.” [source]
How The Products With Benzoyl Peroxide Work Against Acne?
Acne products with benzoyl peroxide work by drying the skin and exterminating the bacteria that leads to acne. They are effective since they take a comprehensive approach for treating acne. They attack all the root causes of acne, instead of the most other products that just focus on one or two. For example antibiotics kill the bacteria, but do nothing for oil levels in the skin or clogged pores. Similarly, exfoliators remove dead skin around follicles but don’t kill the bacteria causing the acne or reduce oil levels. Benzoyl peroxide tackles all three at once.
Are OTC Benzoyl Peroxide Products Safe?
According to Dr Amanda Oakley, of Waikato Hospital’s Department of Dermatology, they are safe to be used by adults, children, and even pregnant women.
A Benzoyl peroxide product is so safe that it’s available over the counter in a variety of forms including topical face/body washes, gels, liquids and creams. You just need to apply it directly to the skin in the form of a gel or cream. And it will work straight away, without requiring your body to metabolize it first, unlike the products that are taken orally.
Side Effects Of Topical Benzoyl Peroxide
Like any other good acne treatment product, it also has side effects. It can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Such reactions may occur for just a few minutes after you apply the medicine, or within a day or longer afterward.
Common side effects may include:
(i) Mild stinging or burning
(ii) Mild itching or tingly feeling
(iii) Mild skin dryness, peeling, or flaking
(iv) Mild redness or other irritation.
But if a product brings you serious side effects like the following, you should stop its use immediately and consult with your Dermatologist ASAP.
(i) Severe blisters, itching, rashes or burning
(ii) Severe stinging or redness
(iv) Severe Peeling.
Tips To Mitigate Its Side Effects
Benzoyl peroxide is very strong, meaning you don’t need much of it to be effective. The benzoyl peroxide products come in various strengths (typically from 2% to 10%), but more isn’t necessarily better, especially because benzoyl peroxide can irritate the skin. Use it too often, or too much in an attempt to get acne under control, and your skin may become dry, red, and peel, and you may feel stinging and tingling.
In order to minimize the risk of side effects, you should use an appropriate concentration for your specific skin type. Here are some cues to choose the right strength for you:
(i) A very small percentage of the people is allergic to benzoyl peroxide. So, if you suspect you may be allergic, test it on a small area (the meaty part of the inner forearm is a good spot) for a few days before diving in.
(ii) Before using an OTC benzoyl peroxide acne product on a minor below 12 years of age, we recommend that you check with dermatologist first.
(ii) In case teenagers and adults, it’s important to understand the concept of concentration. 2.5%, 5%, and 10% – the usual BP concentration in most products. The higher the concentration, the stronger / harsher the treatment gets.
In case you have sensitive skin, make sure to stick with the 2.5%-5% concentration. More so, since a study published in The International Journal of Dermatology reported that a 2.5% BP dose worked as effective as 5% and 10% concentrated doses against acne vulgaris. Therefore, it really isn’t worth the risk to go for greater concentration if your skin is sensitive.
(iii) Also suggested is the use of a good moisturizer after using a product containing Benzoyl Peroxide to help deal with the drying effect of the BP.
(iv) Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and apply a sunscreen (SPF 30 or above) before you go out in sunlight.
(i) Benzoyl peroxide can bleach dyed fabrics, so keep it away from clothing that you love.
(ii) Benzoyl peroxide may also bleach hair and eyebrows in some people to some extent. So keep it away from these areas.
Now that you are equipped with enough knowledge about this effective acne treatment, let us look at some of the top most Benzoyl Peroxide products so you can have a chance to pick the right product for you.
It’s a gel-based 2.5% benzoyl peroxide product. It spreads, absorbs and clears out acne easily. Many Studies have reported that 2.5% works as good as 10% products, without causing excessive dryness and irritation.
(i) It is pharmaceutical grade and triple pulverized, thus it can penetrate your skin better than most other benzoyl peroxide products.
(ii) Gel based – so it disperses smooth, absorbs speedily, does not “clump up,” and does not go white when you sweat.
(iii) Works best with most of the people to attain completely clear skin, eliminating acne, pimples, zits and spots.
(iv) It’s pH balanced, free of fragrance and dye.
(v) Large 8 ounce size that can last for 1-2 months.
(i) Comes with a 100-DAY NO HASSLE 100% MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE – Even no need to return the item!
(ii) This acne treatment works as a wash for your face as well as body. Comes with pump bottle, so convenient to use.
(iii) It’s especially designed as non-irritating medical grade mirco-benzoyl peroxide formula that can penetrate deep to treat acne where they begin.
(iv) Made in USA and recommended by dermatologists.
(v) Free of parabens.
(vi) Generous 8oz size, which can last 1-2 months.
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(i) Reported to be Number 1 prescribed BPO wash formula (data on file).
(ii) Acne creamy wash contains 4% benzoyl peroxide, plus a patented delivery system that reduces irritation and inflammation common with most BPO acne products.
(iii) Offers incredible P acne kill rate.
Oxy Balance Acne Medication product is made with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide and comes in a set of 3 packages with a size of 1.5 ounces each. It is designed to work on acne and best is to apply in a thin layer regularly on the skin 1 to 3 times daily.
(i) Good for treatment and prevention of acne pimples, acne blemishes, blackheads or whiteheads.
(ii) Penetrates deep into pores where pimples begin, so the active ingredient (Benzoyl Peroxide 5 %) works quickly.
(iii) Dermatologists recommended. In fact the same prescription formula has recommended by doctors for many years, and now available without prescription.
(iv) Free of oil and odorless.
Note: Users have stated that they have been using this product for years and it worked with great success. Several of them have also reported that it shrank their pimples overnight.
This strong benzoyl peroxide (10%) acne product is not meant for sensitive skin. Treats P. acnes bacteria effectively on your skin and also helps fast shedding of dead skin cells. Humane Acne Wash is suitable for combating from moderate to severe acne where milder acne treatments don’t seem to work.
(i) Humane’s acne wash clears up your skin by removing existing blemishes, pimples, whiteheads and blackheads and helps in preventing new ones from forming. It’s a potent medication that exterminates acne-causing bacteria deep in the skin pores where pimples start.
(ii) Non-foaming lotion that absorbs quickly.
(ii) Works for face, body & back. Great for teens as well as adults.
(iii) Comes in a pump bottle (let you control the amount of the wash that comes out of the bottle) with a volume of 8 ounces, and can last up to 1 on 2 months with normal usage.
(iv) Does not contain any chemicals, parabens, preservatives linked to cancer, fragrance or SLS.
(v) Made in USA in an FDA/cGMP compliant facility. Highest EWG safety rating of one.
(i) To help treat and prevent breakouts, the gel quickly penetrates deep into the skin pores and works by releasing benzoyl peroxide deep inside where pimples begin.
(ii) The #1 pharmacist-recommended prescription strength formula for concentrated pimples-fighting power.
(iii) It quickly gets on to direct its full strength to eliminate existing acne and prevent future blemishes before they begin to form.
(iv) Regular use of this acne medication gel helps to keep skin looking clear of acne and blemishes.
(i) It not only works very well to treat existing acne but also helps preventing new breakouts.
(ii) This creamy product is neither gritty nor messy and goes smoothly as compared to most other BPO products.
(iii) It absorbs into the skin fairly quickly and heals acne breakouts in a gentle manner.
(iv) This product doesn’t irritate the skin and isn’t overly drying as compared to many other BPO products.
(v) Oil free and does not have a bad fragrance.
Suitable for: All skin types
This is a very powerful acne treatment formulated by amalgamating goodness of Benzoyl Peroxide, Organic Tea Tree Oil and Alcohol. Designed to be used for difficult acne cases and as an effective spot treatment.
(i) Control sebum production, helps combat follicle bacteria and breakouts, soothes inflamed skin, can be used as a spot treatment.
(ii) The presence of alcohol, a natural preservative, provides antibacterial and antiseptic effects.
(iii) Another effective ingredient – Tea Tree Oil also has antibacterial properties and is proven to similarly effective and as good as 5% concentration Benzoyl Peroxide.
(iv) NON-DRYING – Alcohol and Benzol Peroxide as such can dry out the skin. To mitigate their drying effects, a unique ingredient – alcohol soluble Castor Seed Oil has been added which provides moisturization and occlusion.