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5 Things You Need to Know About Benzoyl Peroxide

5 Things You Need to Know About Benzoyl Peroxide 5 Things You Need to Know About Benzoyl Peroxide

1. Banish Pimples With Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the 2 most popular acne-fighting ingredients; salicylic acid is the other one. Most acne cleaners and creams contain benzoyl peroxide. Products containing benzoyl peroxide are popular because they're available over-the-counter, although prescription products containing a higher concentration of benzoyl peroxide are also available.

2. Sunlight and Sensitivity

Benzoyl peroxide can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so use it sparingly during the summer months, especially if you plan to be outside for an extended period of time. Also, avoid using products containing benzoyl peroxide too many times in 1 day. Twice a day is usually sufficient. Overtreating acne by using too much of a good thing can actually make your acne worse. You'll end up with dry, irritated skin, and your sebaceous glands will produce more oil. This will result in even more clogged pores. Remember to use sunscreen when outdoors.

3. Spot On

Acne cream containing benzoyl peroxide is a great spot treatment for pimples. You can apply the cream directly to pimples, limiting how much cream you use and therefore limiting possible skin irritation and redness. Benzoyl peroxide is safe for us on the face, but you can also use it to treat acne anywhere on the body. You can apply toner containing benzoyl peroxide to back acne as well. Keep in mind that skin on the back is thicker than facial skin, so it might take longer to clear up.

4. Treat Acne Double Time

One beneficial aspect of topical treatments such as benzoyl peroxide is that topical treatments usually can be used while you're also taking oral medications. If you take oral acne medication and want to continue doing so, you can still benefit from topical benzoyl peroxide applications without having to worry about potential interactions. Check with your dermatologist if you're interested in both oral and topical acne medications. As always, let your dermatologist know what types of over-the-counter products you are using.

5. A Word of Caution

Consult your dermatologist if you experience redness or blistering. Overall, most individuals with acne won't experience harmful side effects from benzoyl peroxide as long as they don't overuse it. Some evidence investigated a possible link to increased skin cancer risk, but moderate use doesn't appear to be problematic. Still, it's best to use benzoyl peroxide as sparingly as possible and only apply it directly to the areas that need it.

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