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Benzoyl Peroxide: What Is It, and How Does It Fight Acne?

Benzoyl Peroxide is a frequently seen term on acne product labels. It is commonly used in a variety of skincare products and enhances the benefits of topical antibiotics.

When using Benzoyl Peroxide, you’ll maximize your results with consistent, daily use rather than just as needed. Read on to find out how Benzoyl Peroxide can be a vital part of your daily skincare routine.

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The functions of benzoyl peroxide

Acts as a keratolytic agent

Acne forms as a result of clogged pores, the inevitable result of skin cells clumping together. As a keratolytic agent, Benzoyl Peroxide speeds up the de-clumping process, thus reducing the likelihood of clogged pores.

Other commonly used ingredients in acne products have a similar mechanism, like Salicylic Acid and Retinoids, but Benzoyl Peroxide appears to be a little more effective and also seems to enhance the penetration of the other ingredients.

Eliminates bacteria

The skin is full of bacteria. Acne bacteria, however, is a different strain from the typical skin bacteria, and can cause blemishes to appear. Topical antibiotics are effective in eliminating at least some of these bacteria, but bacteria can become resistant to standard antibiotics.

In waltzes Benzoyl Peroxide, which uses a form of reactive oxygen to kill bacteria. Benzoyl Peroxide targets the main bacteria involved in the creation of acne and can also be combined with standard topical antibiotics to enhance their effect.

Penetrates deep

There are a variety of ingredients commonly used in acne products, but their effectiveness varies widely. Not all of them are able to penetrate deep enough to get to the bottom of the blemish. Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the few that are able to do so, as it is able to be absorbed by oil, which is plentiful in blemishes. When combined with other ingredients, it can also enhance the penetration ability of those ingredients.

A word of caution

Benzoyl Peroxide is easily absorbed into your skin, even more so if you have dry or irritated skin. Since Benzoyl Peroxide can increase both dryness and irritation, making this a vicious cycle, it’s important to monitor your use of this ingredient very carefully and make adjustments as needed. Use a more potent moisturizer to reduce skin dryness, and it may even be necessary to take a break from your treatment for a night or two while your skin recovers. Because this ingredient is so easily absorbed into the skin, it is advised to avoid using Benzoyl Peroxide products during pregnancy.

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