Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient in over the counter acne treatment medications used to treat mild to moderate acne. It is common to combine several acne treatments with a benzoyl peroxide medication. Benzoyl peroxide works by reducing the amount of bacteria (topical antiseptic) on the skin that causes acne, causing the skin to dry and peel.

Benzoyl Peroxide Overview - Everything You Need to Know

The Skinny

Benzoyl Peroxide
avg. recovery
0 days
$10 - $237

About the Procedure

Last Updated: 08.02.2021

Most people have used a benzoyl peroxide product for acne treatment. Benzoyl peroxide comes in many forms including cleansers, gels, lotions, soaps, foams, and more. It is important to use products as directed or as instructed by a skincare professional. It has a bactericidal effect on Propionibacterium acnes bacteria associated with acne and does not cause antibiotic resistance. It often is combined with an antibiotic such as clindamycin or salicylic acid, which has shown to be more effective then Benzoyl peroxide alone. Apply the chosen benzoyl peroxide based product to the areas of your skin affected by acne. Avoid getting this medication into your eyes, nose, mouth, or on any areas of broken skin since it may cause irritation. If irritation occurs, wash the area with water. Be advised that benzoyl peroxide may have a bleaching effect on hair or fabric. If diligent use of benzoyl peroxide products do not clear up the skin, or more severe acne breakouts occur, prescription strength medications such as Spironolactone may be necessary to clear up blemishes.

The goal of benzoyl peroxide is to reduce the appearance and occurrence of mild to moderate acne breakouts.


Benzoyl Peroxide addresses concerns such as:

Recovery Notes

No recovery is needed during or after acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for benzoyl peroxide is someone experiencing mild to moderate acne breakouts.

Not Recommended For

Benzoyl peroxide is typically well tolerated by most however is not recommended for people who have an active rash or skin sloughing in the area to be treated.

Side Effects

Side effects from benzoyl peroxide may include mild stinging or burning, itching or tingly, skin dryness, peeling, flaking, or redness and other irritation. Although the skin develops tolerance to the product after approximately a week, and the symptoms resolve. A small percentage of people are much more sensitive to it and liable to suffer burning, itching, crusting, and possibly swelling.


  • fast acting
  • anti-inflammatory properties


  • dehydrating
  • hyperpigmentation
  • higher risk to sun damage skin

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