The P.acnes bacteria that cause acne can not live in an oxygen rich environment which Benzoyl Peroxide provides when it comes in contact with the skin so breakouts are reduced. It is also a keratolytic, providing exfoliating benefits in the pores to prevent clogging. It is used in 2.5%, 5% and 10% concentrations depending on the severity of acne and sensitivity level of the skin although higher concentrations are not always more effective.
Benzoyl Peroxide can be found in many over the counter creams, gels and lotions as well as in stronger prescription products. After acne has improved, product usage is still necessary for preventative reasons.
Benzoyl peroxide products should be discussed with your physician if you are pregnant or nursing. It can also bleach fabric so it’s best to protect your clothing and linens when using products with this ingredient. Side effects range from mild to severe dryness, peeling and swelling so careful selection of other skin care products should be made so as not to increase the severity of these effects. It should not be used in conjunction with any acne prescriptions to avoid drying and irritating the skin.