Posted by Vivant Skin Care

Everything You Need to Know About Benzoyl Peroxide

Everything You Need to Know About Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide has been used to treat mild to moderate acne for many years, both alone and in combination with other medications and acne treatments. It can be found in various strengths from 2.5% to 10% and is a mainstay of effective acne treatments.

Benefits of Benzoyl Peroxide

Because it has antibacterial effects, benzoyl peroxide works by reducing and eliminating bacteria that cause blemishes, and by drying out skin so that oils won't clog pores. Benzoyl peroxide can be especially effective on whiteheads.

Despite studies showing that some anti-bacterial products can contribute to resistant strains of bacteria, this effect has not happened with benzoyl peroxide even though it has been used to treat acne for over 50 years.

Benzoyl peroxide also has mild anti-inflammatory effects to reduce swelling and inflammation associated with acne. Additionally, it can help to clear pores so that acne cannot develop.

Other Things to Know About Benzoyl Peroxide

Like its chemical relative hydrogen peroxide, benzoyl peroxide can have a bleaching effect on whatever it touches. Users should be careful with clothing and other fabrics like pillowcases and linens. Also, those with dark skin may find that their skin becomes discolored when using benzoyl peroxide and may want to use other products such as mandelic acid which has the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties without the side effects. 

Some users are sensitive to benzoyl peroxide and should only apply it as a spot treatment or stick to a lower concentration. Starting with a lower concentration is typically the best course of action. If the lower concentration isn't effective, then a higher concentration can be tried.

Vivant Skin Care's BP 3% Exfoliating Cleanser is a good choice to start with when using benzoyl peroxide as part of your skin care regimen. The exfoliating beads help cleanse skin, and glycerin provides moisture to balance the drying effects of the treatment. On days when exfoliation isn't needed, BP 3% Acne Wash provides the same acne-fighting power without microbeads for exfoliation.


Side Effects and Cautions

Benzoyl peroxide rarely causes any serious reactions, though some users do have skin flakiness, redness, or irritation that doesn't get better with regular use. Benzoyl peroxide makes skin more sensitive to sun, so all users should be advised to wear sunscreen and protective clothing outdoors and to avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps.

This medication should only be used when clearly needed during pregnancy. Whether it passes into breast milk is not known. Your doctor can give you advice about using benzoyl peroxide during pregnancy or breastfeeding and whether the benefits are greater than any possible risk.

Using Benzoyl Peroxide

Starting with a lower concentration and using only once per day will help prevent dryness and irritation. If irritation does occur, users may cut back to every other day for an initial period until the skin adjusts. After the initial adjustment, increasing to 2 or 3 applications per day is considered normal use.

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