Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful acne medication that can be extremely effective in treating breakouts. However, it can also cause some serious damage to the skin if it’s not used correctly.
While acne treatments should be a staple in your skin care routine if you are suffering from breakouts, they can wreak havoc on your skin if used incorrectly.
Benzoyl peroxide can have harsh side effects on the skin such as redness and dryness. In order to prevent benzoyl peroxide from damaging the skin barrier, you must ensure that you use a good quality moisturizer, apply sparingly, and add it to the correct step in your routine for optimal results.
How Does Benzoyl Peroxide Affect The Skin?
Benzoyl peroxide is an over-the-counter acne treatment that directly targets acne-causing bacteria. This bacteria is known as Cutibacterium acnes. It has an antimicrobial effect. It also unclogs pores to reduce the chance of a breakout.
You can use benzoyl peroxide in the form of a cream, gel, or cleanser.
It’s available in different strengths ranging from two and five percent. Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most common ingredients in acne treatments because it works so well to target acne-causing bacteria.
However, benzoyl peroxide can also be very harsh on the skin. It’s a strong oxidizing agent. This means that it can cause irritation, redness, and dryness. In some cases, it can even lead to skin peeling.
Damage To The Skin Barrier
Benzoyl peroxide can damage the skin barrier if used incorrectly.
The skin barrier is a thin layer of lipids that protects the skin from environmental aggressors like pollution and bacteria.
It is made up of a sturdy structure that contains a network of proteins to keep water in the skin.
By doing this, it maintains hydration levels in the skin which prevent excessive dryness and flaking, which can lead to inflammation and breakouts.
When the skin barrier is damaged, it can lead to inflammation, dryness, and a loss of moisture.
Benzoyl peroxide can also cause photosensitivity. This means that the skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight and is more likely to experience sun damage. It’s important to use sunscreen when using benzoyl peroxide treatments and to avoid prolonged sun exposure.
How To Use Benzoyl Peroxide Correctly
To prevent benzoyl peroxide from damaging your skin, it’s important to use it correctly.