How to Treat Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide?

How to Treat Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide?

Acne. An unwelcomed, unstoppable gang wanders around your skin. Breakouts normally happen due to various factors, such as stress, excess oil secretion, poor health hygiene, and whatnot! While it is frustrating to see, especially if you have a special occasion to attend, there is no shortcut way out. But there is always hope. Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful over-the-counter (OTC) weapon in the fight against acne. But with so many products and skincare myths in the Internet world, how do you use it effectively? This brick-by-brick guide will help you know how to treat acne with benzoyl peroxide.


What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is a topical antimicrobial agent that aids in killing bacteria, commonly known as Propionibacterium acnes, inside the oil glands and on the surface.  In other words, it's a chemical compound that, through oxidising activity on the skin, can help treat acne. Benzoyl peroxide decomposes on the oil glands to release oxygen molecules, killing bacteria. As a result, it also alleviates inflammation and open pores, making benzoyl peroxide ‘comedolytic’. It also helps reduce the blockage in the oil gland duct or at the mouth of the oil gland.

The Science Behind How It Works

Benzoyl peroxide evolves oxygen into water and produces benzoic acid in the process. Benzoyl peroxide is not water soluble and can function as a thick film on your skin. In an environment of heat, benzoyl peroxide decomposes to generate free radicals, which actively fight breakouts. Hence, the film-forming property of benzoyl peroxide aids in treating acne, blemishes, age spots, and scars and drying up pus-filled pimples, which can further help with cystic acne treatment. Besides being used for teeth whitening. Certain other over-the-counter (OTC) benzoyl peroxide products may also contain potassium hydroxyquinoline sulfate, which can kill microorganisms on the skin.

Benzoyl peroxide works in two main ways.

  1. Antibacterial: It targets Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that thrive in clogged pores and contribute to breakouts. By reducing these acne levels, Benzoyl peroxide helps to prevent new pimples from multiplying further.
  2. Exfoliation: Benzoyl peroxide gently sheds dead skin cells that can clog pores, further preventing breakouts and promoting smoother skin.

What are the Different Forms of Benzoyl Peroxide? 

Benzoyl peroxide comes in various forms, each with its pros and cons.

  • Washes: Gently exfoliating cleansers/soap are suitable for everyday use, keeping acne at bay. 
  • Creams and Lotions: Increase concentration in the cream to target precocious pimples that are difficult to eliminate.
  • Gels: Usually spot treatments with high concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, which act quickly on single marks of a blemish.
  • Masks: Infrequent deep-cleansing procedures for oily complexion.


What Kinds of Acne does Benzoyl Peroxide Help Treat?

Benzoyl peroxide is not just an application. Besides, it can reduce antibiotic resistance in acne treatment. At the same time, it is the most common solution for the pustular acne type, which is famous for its efficiency. When you suffer from face acne, the body washes and cream face washes with benzoyl peroxide can help deal with body acne, back acne, chest acne and severe three and 4-grade acne. It can replace fluid in various types of acne, such as blackheads and whiteheads, cystic acne and ordinary pimples. Additionally, it is made to remove dead skin debris, thus improving the visibility of your skin layers and, therefore, can help remove acne scars.

How to Use Benzoyl Peroxide? 

  • Start slow: Use a low-concentration product (2.5% benzoyl peroxide). Gradually increase the frequency and intensity as your skin tolerates it. One pro tip for you: Do you get a lot of reactions after using it for the first time? You can use benzoyl peroxide once every 1–2 days until the skin becomes used to it.
  • Patch test: To check for any allergic reaction, shower a small amount of the treatment to a hidden spot (for example, your arm) 24 hours before using it on your face. Be on the lookout for any grooming issues.
  • Less is more: First, put on a thin layer, but avoid getting it on the mouth, lips, and nose.
  • Moisturize: Applying benzoyl peroxide is a typical process of draining your skin for the first few days. Hence, apply a moisturiser free from oil to your face afterwards.
  • Sun protection is key: BPO may make your skin more light-prone to the sun. Apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen daily.

Or, if you have already started using a 5% benzoyl peroxide wash, you can follow these steps:

  1. Wet the areas of acne-affected skin.
  2. Apply a small amount of the product over the skin with the hands
  3. Keep the wash on the skin for no longer than 1–2 minutes.
  4. Rinse the wash off thoroughly with water, and gently pat dry.
  5. Repeat these steps once or twice per day.

NOTE: It is essential to wash your hands before and after using benzoyl peroxide. 

What are the Common Side Effects of Using Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl Peroxide is generally well-tolerated, but some may experience: 

  • Dryness: Apply a moisturiser or reduce the application interval.
  • Redness and irritation: Begin with low concentration and use it less often.
  • Peeling: This ebbing should go without saying. Instead of brushing harsh scrubs, apply them on your skin and give yourself time to heal naturally.

Who Should or Shouldn’t Use It?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, benzoyl peroxide is highly recommended for people with skin of colour and will not cause light spots. The Benzoyl Peroxide option is an excellent way to treat mild to moderate acne, especially for oily skin types. However, it may not be suitable for: 

  • Sensitive skin: Easily inflamed skin may consider panel beating harsh.
  • Certain skin conditions: See a dermatologist if you have atopic dermatitis or rosacea.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women: Please consult with your doctor before using it.

Our Final Tip

Remember: Consistency is key! Within 4-8 weeks, the benzoyl peroxide method will show some apparent outcomes. If irritation persists or your acne worsens, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. 

Rest assured on your health journey with Rawafed!

Based in Dubai, our one-stop healthcare company aims to address overall health concerns and deliver high-quality products in return.

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