Acne makes daily life difficult. The worst part is that it comes with self-image issues, but others who haven't dealt with it personally are blind to these effects. Remember your first ever breakout, which was presumably when you were 12 or 13 and was probably incredibly stressful. What did you reach for when you saw those pimples developing on your skin? There's a good possibility you used a cleanser, face scrub, spot treatment, or lotion that contains benzoyl peroxide, whether you went to the drugstore alone or depended on whatever your elder sibling had sitting around.
Ever wondered why? Let’s take a closer look!
Benzoyl peroxide is an old-fashioned and unfashionable chemical in skin care, but that's part of what makes it so effective: It's dependable. But how precisely does benzoyl peroxide function when used topically and is it effective in treating acne? And what kinds of acne does it most effectively treat? Let’s dive deeper into this!
What is Benzoyl Peroxide?
In a technical sense, benzoyl peroxide is an organic peroxide that functions as an all-purpose oxidizer. Um.. what? Let’s break it down further.
Benzoyl Peroxide is a chemical that can destroy bacteria by releasing oxygen into the skin (hence applied on open cuts) and can open up the pores of the skin. Hint: acne is caused by clogged pores and this skincare ingredient can open up those pores. Connected the dots yet?
As it operates simultaneously through numerous distinct pathways, benzoyl peroxide is both dependable and efficient for treating acne. It works as an exfoliator and an antibacterial, eliminating germs and other microorganisms while also clearing clogged pores and gently scraping the skin's top layer. So there you have it: an effective acne-fighting substance that combines antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and exfoliating properties.
It's crucial that the component stops acne-causing germs in their tracks because it may occasionally be used in place of antibiotics to treat acne. And everyone is aware that overuse of antibiotics leads to resistance. Benzoyl peroxide can be used instead of or in addition to antibiotics to help solve the problem. That too without any side effects. Isn’t it great?
Now that we have got the hold of some basic information about this anti-acne treatment, let’s debug a common myth around acne and this ingredient.
Why Women Suffer With Acne More Than Men?
Although adult female acne is very common, when you are the one going through it, it seems that you are alone in this battle and others have this perfect fairy-like skin. But that is not the case. Adult acne is frequently impacted by hormones, much like the acne that teens get, and in women, it may change with the menstrual cycle. It is the major reason why women suffer from acne more than men, as their hormonal cycles vary frequently.
Acne develops on your skin when pores clogged with dead skin cells prevent sebum, your skin's natural moisturiser and defence mechanism, from being released. Under the skin's surface, this oil accumulates and, when combined with germs, can result in irritation, discomfort, and a noticeable blemish.
When you do this repeatedly, you give birth to a pimple! Not good news, right?
There are certain factors that might make you more likely to develop adult acne. To name a few, endocrine disorders, smoking, stress, hormonal abnormalities, and certain drugs.
So, the question arises?
Can Benzoyl Peroxide treat all kinds of acne?
- Treating pimples with Benzoyl Peroxide
Although it can treat all forms of acne, the red, inflammatory pimples can benefit most from this skincare ingredient. These are the most common kind of acne which occur in large numbers especially on the cheeks and foreheads.
- Treating cystic acne with Benzoyl Peroxide
Cystic acne is thought to be the most severe kind of acne, making it the most challenging to cure. Under your skin's surface, there are rough bumps that are its defining feature. Even though these pimples could contain pus deep inside, it's challenging to spot any obvious "heads." One cause of cystic acne, which benzoyl peroxide may help cure in conjunction with prescription drugs, is P. acnes bacterium.
- Treating blackheads and whiteheads with Benzoyl Peroxide
Whiteheads and blackheads are still seen as acne. However, because they don't result in the red bumps that are connected to other forms of acne pimples, they are categorised as noninflammatory. These are the least likely to be treated with BP.
How to use Benzoyl Peroxide in the best way possible?
Benzoyl peroxide doesn't require a prescription to purchase. As we previously stated, you can find it all over the skin-care aisle of your nearby general store. Although it's not always the number you should be focused on, the ingredient percentage in over-the-counter products ranges from 2.5 to 10%.
It's interesting to note that benzoyl peroxide has the same anti-acne effects at 2.5 percent and 5 percent as it does at 10 percent. However, the greater percentages run the danger of causing excessive skin irritation or dryness. Although every person's acne is unique, it is advisable to stay between the 3 to 5 percent range.
Along with different concentrations, this ingredient comes in various formulations and skin care products too. You'll find it in anti-acne face wash, blackheads scrubs, anti acne face masks, spot treatments, and other types of leave-on creams and anti-acne night gels.
After these many skincare tips, we have another tip, slightly out of our zone but important for you to note that this ingredient might bleach your towels. The fact that benzoyl peroxide may bleach items like dark towels, linens, and clothes is the final point and possibly the largest criticism of the substance. To avoid an ugly stain, you should be aware of washing it off fully while using a cleaner or allowing the leave-on skincare products to dry entirely before you wear any clothes.
Another important thing and we promise this is the last! You should completely avoid Benzoyl Peroxide if you are pregnant or want to become pregnant. Pregnancy category C safety labelling for benzoyl peroxide indicates that it has shown unsafe results when tested on animals, but no studies have been done on people or pregnant women. So, it is better to avoid it if you have bigger plans than eradicating acne, like increasing the world’s population.
Skincare ensures a clean and healthy skin and safety comes first so if you are sceptical about anything, consult your dermat and stay and play safe when it comes to the most precious and largest organ of your body - your skin.