What is Benzoyl Peroxide?
This product is included in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of most essential medicines. This highly effective acne cream has great properties that help fight and prevent acne breakouts.
It is commonly found in gels or creams (sometimes as a secondary compound) with concentrations that vary from 2.5 to 10%. Basically it acts as a topic solution that clears bacteria that cause acne infection off from the pores.
How does it work?
The best acne cream works by shedding away old skin cells and accumulated sebum that build up on the pores and cause acne. The magic of this organic compound is that it releases oxygen and these oxygen molecules get to the inside of the pores unclogging them.
Benzoyl acts as an effective antibacterial solution and also as an agent that clears up the area and prevents any other acne breakouts.
Will Benzoyl Peroxide work for me?
The good thing about it is that it is fairly unexpensive and very effective. Because of this it is a very common agent in acne treatment products. It is fairly easy to find it under a generic brand name.
This product has a very effective action upon bacteria and may clear up your acne breakout; however, if you have a more severe and persistent acne, the bacteria develop resistance and you will have to look for a more powerful and adequate solution to clear up your acne.
Its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, however, are fabulous to combat bacteria.
What forms does benzoyl peroxide come in?
There are many choices when it comes to over-the-counter products that contain this peroxide. Luckily, that means that you do not have to limit yourself to one type of treatment — you can continue exploring various options until you find the one that works for you. Here are various forms that acne treatments with this substance are available in:
Studies show that this product appears to be most effective in gels, creams, and other medicated substances, whereas facial washes have very low levels of active ingredients for less noticeable results.
If you do use a benzoyl peroxide wash, you do not have to use a standard soap bar to cleanse the same area as this might cause excess irritation, drying, and redness. Consider adding a moisturizer to your regimen.
For Mild Acne
Try cleansers with smaller concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, usually 2.5%, which can release sebum (oil) from pores. Additional ingredients can help loosen up the dead skin cells that may block pores.
For Severe Outbreaks
For severe acne, higher concentrations help clear bacteria and dead skin cells, while boosting oxygen in pores to prevent new bacteria from forming. Test any cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide before you use it for the first time, especially if you have eczema. About 2% of people are sensitive to the cleansers. Put a dab of the cleanser on your forearm and leave it there for 30 seconds. Wash off, pat dry, and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction on your forearm, then you can use it on your face.
Keep in mind that it may take up to six weeks to see the full effect of the treatment.
What to look for in benzoyl peroxide wash?
With so many different options available, check to see whether your acne cleanser contains an antibacterial agent, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and anti-inflammatory properties. These are key ingredients in helping to rid your skin of acne.
Your wash should help remove excess oil from the skin as well as significantly destroy acne-causing bacteria while removing dead cells. Many dermatologists suggest finding hypoallergenic products that have little to no fragrance and choosing formulations suitable for normal to sensitive skin types. Look for acne cleansers that are non-comodogenic (do not clog pores), non-drying, water-based (washes off easily and keeps pores clear) or oil-free.
Most face and benzoyl peroxide body washes can be purchased over-the-counter, but those requiring higher concentrations will need to see a dermatologist. Studies have shown that stronger concentrations are often not needed and can actually cause more skin problems than help alleviate them.
Possible side effects of benzoyl peroxide
Side effects caused by this product are really not alarming. Side effects that someone could experience is dry or flaky skin in the area where the solution was applied. This is easily overcomed by using an oil-free moisturizer. Sligh irritation or redness could also happen, specially in delicate skin. If this is the case using a lower concentration is definitely the best solution. Nevertheless, side effects are not common when using benzoyl and if it turns out to happen an easy solution is always at hand.