How to Treat Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide: Easy Guide

Treat Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide

Treatment of acne with Benzoyl Peroxide which is a well-known acne-fighting chemical. This chemical is available in over-the-counter (OTC) gels, cleansers, and spot treatments in various dosages for mild to moderate outbreaks.

While benzoyl peroxide may successfully remove germs and dead skin cells from your pores, it does have certain limits. Let’s go through the benefits and drawbacks, as well as when to consult a dermatologist (skin care professional) if over-the-counter treatments aren’t working.

About Benzoyl peroxide

Acne is treated with benzoyl peroxide. It acts as an antiseptic, reducing the number of germs (bacteria) on the skin’s surface.

It is frequently advised as one of the initial treatments for mild to severe acne.

It comes in the form of a gel or a face cleanser containing 5% benzoyl peroxide. Acnecide is sold in pharmacies and stores under the brand name Acnecide.

Sometimes benzoyl peroxide is used with potassium hydroxyquinoline sulfate. This is an antibiotic that destroys microorganisms on the skin. Quinoderm cream is available at pharmacies.

Some benzoyl peroxide products are only accessible with a prescription. This is because they contain additional medications like antibiotics or retinoids (exfoliants). Duac Once Daily, for example, comprises benzoyl peroxide and the antibiotic clindamycin. Epiduo gel includes benzoyl peroxide and a retinoid, adapalene.

Many prominent skincare companies also produce products with benzoyl peroxide but at a lesser concentration. You can purchase these items at pharmacies, supermarkets, and retail stores. Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, and Clearasil are some of the brands available.


  • It takes around 4 weeks for benzoyl peroxide 5% gel or washes to begin functioning. It may take 2 to 4 months to fully take effect.
  • You’ll probably use it once or twice a day.
  • Skin discomfort is the most prevalent adverse effect. If this occurs, apply it less often at first, then gradually increase as your skin adjusts.
  • When using benzoyl peroxide gel, avoid direct sunlight. Use an oil-free sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Consult a pharmacist to determine which sunscreen is best for your skin type.
  • Be careful with benzoyl peroxide since it might bleach and discolor your hair and clothes.


Is benzoyl peroxide effective for acne?

Benzoyl peroxide can be used to treat acne by eliminating germs beneath the skin and assisting pores in shedding dead skin cells and excess sebum (oil).

Benzoyl peroxide for pimples

Benzoyl peroxide exhibits exceptional effectiveness in treating inflammatory acne, characterized by the presence of red lumps containing pus, such as pustules, papules, cysts, and nodules, as opposed to whiteheads and blackheads.

Benzoyl peroxide for cystic acne

Cystic acne is the most severe kind of acne, and it is also the hardest to cure.

It is distinguished by hard lumps beneath the skin’s surface. While these pimples may contain pus, it is difficult to distinguish any obvious “heads.” P. acnes bacterium is one cause of cystic acne, which can be treated with benzoyl peroxide in conjunction with prescription drugs.

Consult a physician for the best treatment choices if you have this form of acne.

Benzoyl Peroxide with Acne

Benzoyl peroxide for blackheads and whiteheads

Acne still includes blackheads and whiteheads. They fall under the category of noninflammatory since they do not produce the red bumps associated with other forms of acne pimples.

You may have both forms of acne and be wondering if you may also use benzoyl peroxide in non-inflammatory places.

While benzoyl peroxide can help cure oil and dead skin cells that clog your pores, it may not be the greatest option for treating blackheads and whiteheads.

Benzoyl peroxide for acne scars

Treatment of Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide can help clear scars that can occur as a result of an acne breakout. Even if you successfully avoid the impulse to pick at the lesions, this is especially true with inflammatory acne.

Sun exposure can aggravate acne scars, therefore it’s critical to apply sunscreen every day. In principle, benzoyl peroxide might also aid in the removal of dead skin cells, making scars less visible. However, research does not support this application.

See: The Difference Between Acne and Pimples?

Best Usage of Benzoyl Peroxide

Treat Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide

Many acne treatments contain benzoyl peroxide. It is critical to choose the best one for your skin care needs and preferences. For example, you might decide to use a wash designed for your body rather than your face. You might also go with a gel.

Another important factor is selecting the proper concentration. The concentration you use will be determined by your skin.

Some persons can tolerate treatments with a high concentration of benzoyl peroxide (up to 10%) on their skin. Others may want a lesser proportion.

The concentration to use is also determined by where the benzoyl peroxide is applied.

Since the face is more sensitive, many people use a lesser dose (about 4%), but the chest and back are more durable and can handle a larger concentration.

Acne treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide include:

Acne creams and lotions: These are normally used once or twice daily on the full region of the skin as a therapy and preventative precaution.

Face washes and foams: used once or twice daily to prevent acne and treat existing lesions.

acne Body washes and soaps: good if you have recurrent breakouts on your chest, back, and other parts of the body.

Gels: often come in the form of spot treatments with higher concentrations that are administered solely to the afflicted area.

Benzoyl peroxide side effects on the skin

While most people believe benzoyl peroxide to be safe, it might have negative effects. This is particularly true when you initially begin utilizing the product.

It may be beneficial to apply it once a day at first, and then gradually increase the frequency of application if your skin tolerates it. You can also reduce the likelihood of adverse effects by beginning with a lower concentration.

Consult a dermatologist about the following benzoyl peroxide side effects and precautions.

Side effects on the skin

Benzoyl peroxide removes dead skin cells, excess oil, and microorganisms that may be trapped beneath the skin by peeling away the skin.

Such impacts might include dryness, redness, and severe peeling. Itching and general irritation may also occur at the location of the application.

If you have a sunburn, avoid using benzoyl peroxide.

Hair and clothes stains

Benzoyl peroxide is notorious for discoloring fabric and hair. Make care to fully wash your hands after each usage.

You should also avoid applying sunscreen just before a workout to avoid transferring the substance to your hair and clothing through perspiration.

Reactions to allergens

While adverse responses to benzoyl peroxide are uncommon, they are possible. If the treated areas develop redness and irritation, discontinue use immediately.

If you experience significant swelling and difficulty breathing, you should go to the emergency department immediately since these are symptoms of an allergic response.

Skin disorders and benzoyl peroxide

If you have sensitive skin, a dermatologist may not prescribe benzoyl peroxide since this skin type is more prone to side effects such as rashes and irritation.

If you have eczema or seborrheic dermatitis, benzoyl peroxide may not be the best option.

 Benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid?

While benzoyl peroxide serves as a standard treatment for inflammatory acne, you should consider salicylic acid if you also experience noninflammatory acne (blackheads and whiteheads).

Both serve to clear pores, but salicylic acid’s principal function is to remove dead skin cells. Such exfoliating actions may aid in the treatment of noninflammatory lesions.

It will also not discolor your hair or clothes like benzoyl peroxide. However, it can still cause dry, red, and peeling skin, especially when you first begin using a salicylic acid-containing lotion.

As a general rule, if you have inflammatory acne as well as greasy, less sensitive skin, benzoyl peroxide may be a better option.

Other over-the-counter acne remedies

Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide
Acne treatment

Benzoyl peroxide isn’t your sole choice for treating acne and acne scarring. Other over-the-counter treatments can also help cure germs, excess oil, and dead skin cells. Consider the following options:

  • Adapalene
  • Salicylic acid
  • Sulfur
  • Tea tree oil

When should you see a doctor?

No acne treatment will remove blemishes and scars overnight. This is true of benzoyl peroxide. New products might take up to six weeks to fully take effect.

If you haven’t seen any change after six weeks, consult a dermatologist. If your acne is severe, they may recommend a prescription-strength solution. They may even suggest a completely other therapy option.

Prepare to answer questions regarding your acne and its severity so that your dermatologist can provide the most effective treatment choice. They will also do a skin examination to determine the type of acne you have.


One of the various acne treatment alternatives is benzoyl peroxide. Beyond its accessibility and price, benzoyl peroxide can help treat inflammatory acne lesions and accompanying scarring. It works best when combined with other therapies, such as topical retinoids.

However, everyone’s skin is different, and benzoyl peroxide may not be effective for everyone. Allow several weeks for every new acne treatment to have a full impact before moving on to the next one. Consult a dermatologist if over-the-counter treatments aren’t working or if you have an allergic response to benzoyl peroxide.

Read more: How to lose weight in less than two weeks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *