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Home Blog How Does Benzoyl Peroxide Work?

How Does Benzoyl Peroxide Work?

Let's talk about acne. Nearly everyone has experienced acne breakouts from time to time. Whether it's something that pops up on occasion or is an issue that you struggle with daily, the most common cause of acne is clogged pores. And while there are numerous reasons pores become clogged, there are just as many acne treatment products that offer solutions on the market! Many of these acne eradicators contain the ingredient benzoyl peroxide.

If you haven't heard of benzoyl peroxide treatment, then don't let its scientific name scare you away. Benzoyl peroxide is a common and FDA-approved way of preventing and treating acne3. If you're searching for a product that will help improve the appearance of your skin and banish your blemishes and mild acne for good, then a benzoyl peroxide treatment might be the skincare ingredient for you. Read on as our Skin Health Experts reveal the many blemish-fighting benefits that benzoyl peroxide offers.

What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

Now that we know that it’s a common ingredient in acne-fighting skincare products, it's time to dive into the questions we get asked every day in our clinic and online. Specifically, "What is benzoyl peroxide?" and, more importantly, "What does benzoyl peroxide do for acne?" Benzoyl peroxide works to eradicate the acne bacteria responsible for causing breakouts. Not only is it an antimicrobial ingredient, but it also offers comedolytic properties, which means that it works as an exfoliating agent4. It’s a treatment that has proven to be powerful in treating mild to moderate acne of all kinds (pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads)1.

Because it takes time to clear acne-causing bacteria, it’s important that you give this ingredient some time to work. While it does work rather quickly, consistent use for up to 4 weeks should be allowed before determining its effectiveness. And while benzoyl peroxide is an excellent treatment for acne, for more severe cases, it may be necessary to use it alongside antibiotics. If you're struggling with severe acne, we recommend speaking with your dermatologist to determine which combination of active skincare ingredients is best for your skin's individual needs.

Model touching face

How it Works

Still asking yourself, "How does benzoyl peroxide work?" Let us explain. While washing your face is a great way to help prevent bacteria from developing, it’s often not enough. Excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells are all potential causes of clogged pores that can cause acne to form. Benzoyl peroxide helps reduce these breakouts by carrying more oxygen into the pores of your skin2. Because it’s difficult for bacteria to survive in an oxygen-rich environment, there is less of a chance for a breakout when more oxygen reaches your pores!

In addition to its bacteria-fighting properties, benzoyl peroxide is also known to be an excellent treatment for inflamed acne; acne that is accompanied by swelling and redness. Not only does it work to reduce the appearance of redness, but it also helps encourage the shedding of dead skin cells. This gentle exfoliation helps unclog pores that are blocked because of dead skin buildup.

Benzoyl Peroxide Products

Adding new anti-acne products to your skincare regime can be a daunting task. With online retailers and local drug and beauty store shelves overflowing with numerous solutions that treat acne, choosing the best one for your skin can seem overwhelming. Benzoyl peroxide has been used as an acne treatment for years and is a well-known ingredient that many dermatologists trust. But don't take our word for it, try it out yourself. When introducing benzoyl peroxide to your skincare routine, we recommend starting with a product strengthener somewhere between 2.5% - 5%. By starting at this strength, you can help avoid skin irritation that stronger solutions might cause like dryness while still enjoying all of the benefits.

If you're beginning your skincare journey and aren't sure which benzoyl peroxide treatment to use, then try out our Anti Bac®. The Kate Somerville Anti Bac® Lotion uses a 5% benzoyl peroxide base to help clear up existing acne while also helping to prevent new acne from forming. It's the perfect product for those suffering from mild to moderate acne and looking to obtain clearer skin.

Anti Bac Flat Lay

Deemed one of the most effective acne-treating ingredients, products containing benzoyl peroxide are not hard to find. Its gentle nature and FDA approval make this ingredient one of few that don't require a prescription. Now that you better understand what benzoyl peroxide is and how it helps treat and prevent acne, it's time to add it to your skincare routine.

Before choosing a new acne product, consider the state of your skin. Do you have dry skin? Are you experiencing inflammatory acne? If so, then maybe applying benzoyl peroxide lotion would be the right fit for you. Whatever it is that your skin craves, it's essential to find a product and skincare routine that works for you! Whether it be benzoyl peroxide vs. salicylic acid, you’ll want to make sure that the ingredients you use will benefit your skin type the most. As you craft the perfect skincare regimen, be sure to identify your skin type first and listen to what your skin needs. Once you find the right regimen, you’ll be on your way to healthy, beautiful, blemish-free skin.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3016935/
  2. http://www.dermatologyandskinsurgerycenter.com/acne-treatment/do-your-acne-products-have-the-right-stuff
  3. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/facing-facts-about-acne
  4. https://www.fdahelp.us/fda_otc/antimicrobial.html

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