Understanding Benzoyl Peroxide For Skin


Acne is one skin concern that has affected almost everyone at certain points in their lives. While many pass through with mild and moderate breakouts, others feel the heat of severe and painful acne. Of the many treatment options available, benzoyl peroxide stands out for its effective results. Let’s explore all about benzoyl peroxide.

What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is a chemical compound. It is an FDA-approved prescription medication for the treatment of acne. It is also available over-the-counter in the form of gel, cream, lotion, and face wash and is often used as a first line of treatment for mild to moderate acne. 

How Benzoyl Peroxide Works?

Benzoyl peroxide is a proven acne treatment. It helps treat the condition in two ways:

1. Antibacterial Properties 

Benzoyl peroxide is highly regarded for its bactericidal properties. The compounds target and eliminate the acne-causing bacteria by oxidizing bacterial proteins. One notable advantage that benzoyl peroxide enjoys over antibiotics is that it does not make the area antibiotic-resistant when overused, making it a reliable and long-term solution for managing acne. 

2. Keratolytic and Sebostatic Properties 

Benzoyl peroxide is also known to be keratolytic and sebostatic in nature. Being keratolytic means that it promotes the shedding of dead skin cells and facilitates the clearing of blackheads and keratin blockages from the pores. This helps prevent the buildup within the hair follicles, which is a common cause of acne. Moreover, benzoyl peroxide has a great sebostatic effect. This means it effectively regulates excessive sebum production in the skin, as high levels of sebum clog skin pores and create a favorable environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive. 

Benzoyl Peroxide Benefits for Skin

Benzoyl peroxide is an effective way to treat acne. The key benzoyl peroxide benefits for the skin are:

1. Pimples

Benzoyl peroxide for pimples is especially helpful for treating types of acne marked by red papules, pustules, cysts, and nodules. 

2. Cystic Acne

Cystic acne, a severe variant of inflammatory acne, is marked by deep, pus-filled cysts. The use of benzoyl peroxide helps treat the condition through its antibacterial, keratolytic, and sebostatic properties 

3. Blackheads and Whiteheads

Comedones comprise both blackheads and whiteheads. These are noninflammatory acne lesions that result from pore blockages. Benzoyl peroxide serves a dual role as it’s both keratolytic and sebostatic.

4. Acne Scars

Benzoyl peroxide aids in cleaning the skin so it helps reduce the visibility of scars. Moreover, it helps by preventing scarring through the treatment of acne lesions. Fewer and smaller acne lesions result in reduced acne scarring over time.

Common Benzoyl Peroxide Products

Use of benzoyl peroxide for skin is safe and effective. It is a common ingredient in many acne-care products. The most common variants include:

  • Acne creams and lotions – These are for topical treatment and are directly applied to affected areas.
  • Face washes and foams – These are cleansers designed to clear pores and reduce acne symptoms.
  • Acne body washes and soaps – These are cleansing products that target acne on the body.
  • Gels – These are designed to spot treatment pimples.

How to Use Benzoyl Peroxide Safely?

To reap the maximum benzoyl peroxide benefits, it is important to use it correctly. Here are a few tips for its effective use:

  • Start with a low concentration, usually 2.5% or 5%. Read product labels carefully to know about benzoyl peroxide concentration. 
  • Wash your face with a mild cleanser before applying benzoyl peroxide.
  • Apply a thin layer of benzoyl peroxide to the affected areas of your skin. 
  • Use an acne-friendly moisturizer on top of the benzoyl peroxide layer. 
  • Use high SPF sunscreen to protect from sun damage.


Benzoyl peroxide is a chemical compound known to be highly effective in treating acne concerns. Benzoyl peroxide benefits are attributed to its antibacterial, keratolytic, and sebostatic properties. Benzoyl peroxide uses are particularly helpful for pustules, cysts, blackheads, and whiteheads. The product is available in cream, face wash, and gel form. Choose the one that best meets your skin concerns.