Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most commonly used treatments for acne. Because of its wide availability over the counter and cheap price, it is the top choice for many looking for clearer skin.
But how effective is Benzoyl Peroxide?
Its effectiveness depends entirely on what it is being used for. If it is being used for a spot treatment, then yes. If it being used as a standalone to treat acne then no.
It’s hard to deny that Benzoyl Peroxide does work at reducing blemishes. I personally use it if I see a blemish coming to the surface, but that’s the only time I use it.
How Benzoyl Peroxide Works
BP works by attacking acne bacteria on and beneath the skin. It does this by forcing air into skin pores and “oxidizing” the skin to help flush out bacteria. It’s also an anti-inflammatory that reduces the redness that accompanies lesions.
What you’ll notice about BP is that it is effective at treating blemishes that already exist. This means that it is simply a Band-Aid treatment to acne, in that it does nothing to solve the underlying issues that cause acne.
I personally use Benzoyl Peroxide, but only on rare occasions. You shouldn’t have to use it frequently either. It should only be used as a spot treatment, and if you find yourself using it more than 2-3 times a month than you’re going to need to reevaluate your approach to fighting acne.
There are people that suggest you use it all the time. One such site is ‘acne.org’ where their routine consists entirely of Benzoyl Peroxide (I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that they sell their own brand of BP???). This may “treat” acne, but it will never solve the root causes (i.e. vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, poor digestive health). Therefore, it is a fool’s errand to use BP as the sole treatment to acne, and if a person or site recommends you do so than I suggest you take their advice with a grain of salt.
Like I said I do use BP on occasion. I recommend that you get some Benzoyl peroxide for those occasions when a blemish arises.
What Concentration of BP Should I Use?
There are 3 commonly used concentrations of BP: 2.5%, 5%, and 10%.
According to this study, there is no significant difference in the effectiveness of the varying concetrations of BP. Yet, for some reason 10% seems to work well for me. That makes sense because 10% is the strongest, but that may just be the case for me.
If I were to recommend a strength it would be 10%. In fact, I here’s what I like to use:
Again, keep in mind that you can’t use this stuff all the time. If you do you’re skin is going to get sensitive and flaky. I personally use 10% although studies show that the different concentrations are equally effective.
I hope that clears everything up. Post any questions or comments below.