1. Get The Right Formula For Your Skin
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but here are some important things you should know before you buy an acne product with benzoyl peroxide.
Too Strong vs. Too Weak
Initially, benzoyl peroxide can cause side effects including redness, itching, mild swelling, and peeling.
The good news is that your skin is amazingly adaptable, and you'll get used to benzoyl peroxide over time.
Your benzoyl peroxide acne treatment needs to be strong enough to cause mild peeling inside the pores without making your skin burn, sting, or become painful.
If you're able to wear benzoyl peroxide overnight during the first two weeks of use without any irritation or flaking, it's highly likely that formula isn't strong enough to clear your acne long term.
On the other hand, you need a formula that's comfortable enough to wear every single day, because consistency is key. If you're only spot treating or using benzoyl peroxide every once in awhile because it's too strong, you'll have a hard time getting completely clear and staying that way.
Avoid The "One-Size-Fits-All" Acne System
Acne treatment benzoyl peroxide products range in strength from 2.5% up to 10%. The products you choose should be based on your skin type, your level of sensitivity to active ingredients, and your types of acne.
Avoid buying a "3 step system" or "acne kit" if it can't be customized.
Remember, it's practically impossible for most people to get clear using a "one-size-fits-all" routine.
Your skin has different needs than your neighbor's, and you'll need to be able to change the strength or activity level of your home care routine as your skin adapts to active ingredients. Most "acne treatment kits" just don't offer enough flexibility, and the last thing you want is to be stuck with products that aren't working for you.
Not All Acne Products Are Created Equal
The sad truth is there are loads of acne treatment benzoyl peroxide products on the market that contain comedogenic oils and pore-clogging ingredients.
Others are formulated with occlusive ingredients that prevent them from working the way they should.
Unfortunately, many skin care professionals and even dermatologists aren't screening their products for these ingredients. For example, dermatologists routinely prescribe Tretinoin Cream (Retin-A Cream) for acne, even though it contains a highly pore-clogging ingredient called Isopropyl Myristate.
Most over the counter benzoyl peroxide creams contain Isopropyl Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate, or Laureth-4. These ingredients help make a product feel more comfortable on your skin, but they don't belong in your acne treatment formula!
In addition to pore cloggers, manufacturers often put benzoyl peroxide in a cream or ointment that contains fatty acids and oils. These ingredients seal off the skin and prevent the medicine from getting into your pores. When benzoyl peroxide can't penetrate the pores effectively, it becomes practically useless.
That's why some popular acne treatments simply don't work as promised.
It doesn't make sense for you to use anything on your skin that contains occlusive or pore clogging ingredients.
Here's a list of ingredients to avoid in a free PDF download.
The Best Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatments
In my opinion, a benzoyl peroxide gel is the best choice for a formula that will be "worn" on the skin because it penetrates the pores better than a cream or ointment.
A benzoyl peroxide face wash is another good option, especially if you've got adult acne, highly sensitive skin, or skin of color that tends to get hyperpigmentation easily.
Choose a product without emulsifiers, fatty acids, or extra fillers. The strength of active BPO you choose will depend on the type and severity of your acne and your skin sensitivity.
2. Learn How & When To Use Benzoyl Peroxide
Yes, there is a right way & a wrong way!
Start Slowly And Let Your Skin Adapt. By allowing your skin time to adapt to active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, you'll be able to avoid extreme dryness, redness, and itching that can sometimes occur when using acne treatment products.
Don't Spot Treat. Benzoyl peroxide does work quickly if you need to dry up an active pimple, but it's most effective when used to prevent dead skin cells from clogging your pores in the first place.
Do Not Occlude The Skin. Benzoyl peroxide acne treatment gels need to be able to penetrate into your pores, so make sure you don't use moisturizing creams while wearing BPO.
Avoid Over Treating. More is not always better. Stick to the treatment timetable and user instructions for best results.
Protect Your Skin From Sun. Most acne treatments contain ingredients that will make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen!
For Best Results, Follow This BPO User's Guide:
Acne Treatment Benzoyl Peroxide -
User Instructions & Treatment Timetable
3. Consistency Is Key!
Dead skin cells and oil are shedding into your pores on a daily basis. When you have acne prone skin, that material builds up very quickly and forms micro-comedones (microscopic plugs we can't see or feel), which are the beginning of all types of acne.
Even when your skin looks clear, those tiny impactions are forming in your pores -- so, it's important to follow your acne treatment routine every single day to prevent new break outs.
Some acne lesions take up to 90 days to surface, so skipping your routine once or twice may not show up right away. You may not notice a problem until weeks later, and it will take much longer to get clear if you're not consistent with your treatments.
Your pores didn't get clogged overnight, and there's no acne treatment in the world that will clear up your skin that quickly either. Be patient and consistent.
Avoid the temptation to jump around from product to product. It will take at least 90 days of consistent use of benzoyl peroxide before you can expect significant clearing. And, you'll need to continue daily application to maintain clear skin long term.