Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient found in many acne treatment products. It works by drying out the skin and also by killing the bacteria that cause acne. While this medication works well for many patients, it's important that you use it properly in order to avoid side effects like dry skin. Here are three tips for getting more out of your benzoyl peroxide-based acne treatments.
Start with once-a-day application.
Some acne treatments will tell you to use them two or three times a day. However, it's always best to start by using the medication just once a day. For instance, if you're using a face wash with benzoyl peroxide, start off by using it just in the morning; use a mild, non-medicated wash in the evening. This will give your skin some time to get used to the medication, so it does not get too dry and irritated. After a week or two, you can switch over to using the medication twice per day. If the label calls for using the medication three times per day, add that third use in after an additional week or two.
Make sure you're only using one product with benzoyl peroxide.
A common mistake among acne sufferers is to choose medicated versions of every product. You might reach for a moisturizer for acne-prone skin, plus a wash, spot-treatment, and makeup. A lot of these products contain benzoyl peroxide, so you might be unknowingly using three or four with the same ingredient. This increases your risk of skin dryness and is simply not necessary.
Choose one medicated product to use, whether that be a spot treatment, face wash or astringent. For all of your other products, choose a non-medicated version made for sensitive skin. This way, your other products will help soothe the dryness that may result from your benzoyl peroxide use, rather than making it worse.
Switch to a product with a lower concentration, if needed.
Some acne treatment products contain only 1 or 2% benzoyl peroxide, while others contain 8 or 10%. If you're using a higher-concentration product and it's making your skin red or causing it to peel, don't give up on benzoyl peroxide completely. Switch to a product with a lower concentration, and your symptoms may subside.
If benzoyl peroxide-based acne treatments do not seem to be clearing your acne, or if they give you dry and peeling skin in spite of following the tips above, speak to your dermatologist, such as one from http://ADCderm.com. He or she may be able to recommend a different acne treatment that works better with your skin.