How does benzoyl peroxide work and what type of acne does it work best on?
What is benzoyl peroxide? Benzoyl peroxide is a common active ingredient found in many acne medications. It is a powerful chemical that works by reducing the amount of bacteria on the skin, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation. It is often considered a first-line treatment for mild to moderate acne and is available in a variety of formulations including creams and washes.
The Mechanism of Action
Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful oxidizing agent that works by breaking down into benzoic acid and oxygen when it comes into contact with the skin. The oxygen that is released from benzoyl peroxide is toxic to the bacteria that cause red bumps and acne. It also helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells, which can clog pores and contribute to the development of acne. It prevents future breakouts while clearing current ones.
Benzoyl peroxide also has an exfoliating effect on the skin. It works by increasing the turnover of skin cells, which can help to prevent the formation of new pimples. It can also reduce the appearance of existing acne by unclogging pores and allowing trapped sebum to flow more easily to the surface of the skin.
It is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It works by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines that are involved in the development of acne. By reducing inflammation, benzoyl peroxide can help to reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne.
Treatments for Acne: Treating Acne with topical treatments
Topical benzoyl peroxide is available in a variety of strengths and formulations. The most common formulations include creams and washes. A|S offers bp cream in 2.8%-10% as well as a bp cleanser.
Topical cream: Benzoyl peroxide creams are designed to be applied directly to the skin. They are typically more moisturizing than gels and can be useful for people with dry or sensitive skin. They are the most effective acne therapy.
Washes: Benzoyl peroxide washes are designed to be used as a daily cleanser. They are often less potent than creams and can be a good option for people with mild acne or for those who want to use benzoyl peroxide as a preventative measure. Bp washes are a great acne treatment for people with sensitive skin.
What type of acne does benzoyl peroxide work best on?
What is Mild Acne?
Mild acne is the mildest form of acne and is characterized by the presence of blackheads, whiteheads, skin redness and small pimples on the face, neck, chest, and back. Mild acne is the most common type of acne and usually develops during puberty, but it can occur at any age.
Causes of Mild Acne
Mild acne is caused by the overproduction of sebum, or oil, by the sebaceous glands in the skin. Sebum is a natural substance that helps to lubricate the skin and hair, but when too much is produced, it can clog the pores and lead to the development of acne. Dead skin cells and bacteria can also contribute to the development of mild acne and skin conditions.
Mild acne is often treated with over-the-counter topical medications, such as a benzoyl peroxide product, salicylic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids. These acne medications work by unclogging pores, reducing inflammation, and killing bacteria on the skin. It’s important to start with a low concentration of these medications and gradually increase to prevent skin irritation.
Other lifestyle factors that can help to manage mild acne include practicing good skincare habits, such as washing the face twice a day with a gentle cleanser, avoiding picking or squeezing pimples, and using non-comedogenic skincare and makeup products. A healthy diet that is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates and rich in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can also help to support healthy skin and prevent acne breakouts.
Benzoyl peroxide is effective for treating mild acne, which is characterized by the presence of blackheads, whiteheads, and small pimples. These types of acne usually occur when the pores in the skin become clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
Benzoyl peroxide (as a spot treatment or whole face application) works by reducing the amount of bacteria on the skin, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation. It is available in a variety of formulations including creams, gels, and washes. These formulations can be used to treat mild acne and are usually applied once or twice a day.
What is Moderate Acne?
Moderate acne is a type of acne that is more severe than mild acne but less severe than severe acne. It is characterized by the presence of inflamed pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads on the face, neck, chest, and back. The pimples in moderate acne are typically larger and more noticeable than in mild acne, but they are not as severe as the deep and painful cysts and nodules that are present in severe acne.
Causes of Moderate Acne
Moderate acne is often caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, hormonal imbalances, and lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, and poor skincare habits. Like all types of acne, moderate acne occurs when the pores become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, leading to inflammation and the development of pimples.
Hormonal imbalances can contribute to the development of acne, particularly in women. Fluctuations in hormone levels during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause can trigger acne breakouts. Stress can also play a role in the development of moderate acne, as it can cause hormonal changes that exacerbate acne.
Benzoyl peroxide is very effective for treating moderate acne, which is characterized by the presence of larger pimples and cysts. Moderate acne usually occurs when the pores in the skin become more severely clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
A benzoyl peroxide product can help to reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin and can unclog pores, but it may not be enough to treat moderate acne on its own. In some cases, benzoyl peroxide may need to be used in combination with other acne medications such as AHA’s and BHA’s.
What is Severe Acne?
Severe acne is a type of acne that is more intense and persistent than mild or moderate acne. It is characterized by the presence of deep and painful cysts, nodules, and pustules, which can lead to scarring if not treated properly. Severe acne can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, causing embarrassment, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Causes of Severe Acne
The exact cause of acne vulgaris is not fully understood, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of factors that include genetics, hormones, and lifestyle factors such as stress and diet. Severe acne is often associated with overactive sebaceous glands, which produce too much oil and can cause clogged pores. When combined with bacteria on the skin, this excess oil production can lead to inflammation and the development of acne.
Hormonal imbalances, particularly in androgens like testosterone, can also contribute to the development of severe acne. This is why acne is more common in teenagers and young adults when hormone levels are in flux. In women, hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause can also trigger severe acne and prompt the need to use benzoyl peroxide as an acne treatment.
Other lifestyle factors that can contribute to the development of severe acne include stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep. Stress can trigger hormonal changes that exacerbate acne, while a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and dairy products can cause inflammation in the body that can worsen acne.
Benzoyl peroxide is very effective for treating severe acne, which is characterized by the presence of deep cysts and nodules. It usually occurs when the pores in the skin become deeply clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. This type of acne can be painful and may cause scarring if left untreated.
Cystic acne is a severe form of acne that occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog hair follicles deep beneath the skin’s surface. Cystic acne produces acne nodules. This type of acne results in painful, large, red, and inflamed cysts or nodules that can be filled with pus. Unlike regular pimples or blackheads, cystic acne often doesn’t have a visible head, and it can take a long time to heal, leading to scarring and dark marks.
Cystic acne typically affects the face, but this type of acne can also occur on other areas of the body, such as the chest, neck, back, and shoulders. It is more common in teenagers and young adults but can occur at any age. Cystic acne can be a result of several factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, stress, and poor skincare habits.
Benzoyl peroxide is very effective for treating cystic acne, which is a severe form of acne that is characterized by the presence of large, painful cysts that can be difficult to treat. Cystic acne occurs when the pores in the skin become deeply clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.
A benzoyl peroxide product (even as a spot treatment) can help to reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin and can unclog pores, which can help to reduce inflammation and prevent new cysts from forming. However, benzoyl peroxide may not be enough to treat cystic acne on its own. In most cases, cystic acne will require a combination of medications such as topical retinoids like our Vitamin A Level 2. Other acne products we carry are mandelic, glycolic, and salicylic.
Side Effects of Benzoyl Peroxide
Like all medications, benzoyl peroxide can cause side effects. The most common side effects include dryness, peeling, and redness of the skin. These side effects are usually mild and can be managed with moisturizers or by reducing the frequency of use. Here at A|S we have you be careful to time and wash off the bp cream so you don’t have a severe reaction or unnecessary side effects.
In some cases, benzoyl peroxide can cause more severe side effects such as severe dryness or allergic reactions. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop using benzoyl peroxide / bp medication immediately and seek medical attention.
Benzoyl peroxide is generally safe for use in most people, but there are some precautions that you should take when using this medication.
Avoid using benzoyl peroxide in combination with other acne medications unless directed by a healthcare professional.
Do not apply benzoyl peroxide to broken or irritated skin.
Use sunscreen and avoid direct sun exposure when using benzoyl peroxide as it can increase the risk of sunburn.
Do not use benzoyl peroxide if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without consulting a healthcare professional.
How long does it take for acne to go away?
When you treat acne, it takes 90 days for an acne lesion to come to the surface that’s why we say it takes 3 months to clear. Some clients take longer and others clear up very quickly with acne treatment.
Can I get rid of acne scars?
Red marks left after acne lesion can take up to a year to go away. The reason is your affected skin is rebuilding tissue and capillaries. It’s called PIH or post inflammatory hyper pigmentation.
Pit marks or ice pick scare are from your body attacking the tissue. It “eats” through your collagen to get to the infection and damages your tissue.
Customized acne products now available in 2 at home acne programs
Our acne products are designed to prevent new acne from forming (some with benzoyl peroxide and some without it). With our program you get a complete set of your initial products you will need. They last 1-3 months depending on the product.
We have two acne therapy programs: Long Distance and DIY. The long distance program is a complete consultation, all of your initial acne medication products, and we check in with you every 2 weeks to adjust your skin care routine. You can email anytime you have a question. The DIY program is for the self starter, on a budget, and follows manuals very easily. It also includes your initial set of products, but you will be in charge of adjusting your acne treatment and routine based off of the instructions from the manual.