Is Benzoyl peroxide a Safe Acne Treatment?

Is Benzoyl peroxide a Safe Acne Treatment?

Is Benzoyl peroxide a Safe Acne Treatment?

Benzoyl peroxide remains one of the most widely used preparations in acne treatment products. When applied topically, benzoyl peroxide works by releasing oxygen to the pores of the skin to help kill off the acne causing bacteria (p – acnes) which cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment. It is also a powerful exfoliator that removes dead surface skin cells and clearing up pore-clogging debris that causes blackheads and whiteheads. This exfoliating action helps to clear your pores to reduce sebum blockages.


From popular brands like Clearasil to Neutrogena to Proactive, you will find benzoyl peroxide as one of its main active acne fighting ingredient. Though it may be effective for mild acne, as with any medical drug topically applied or taken, it is not without adverse side effects. The following are some of the common side effects reported from its use.

– The most common adverse effect is extreme dryness of skin. (For acne sufferers with extremely oily skin, this might actually be a favorable effect to have)

– For some people, the dryness can become too intense causing severe irritation and allergic reactions leading to stinging, burning, rashes and peeling of skin. Formulations containing benzoyl peroxide comes with varying strengths normally ranging from between 2.5% – 10%.

– May cause allergic contact dermatitis

– It can cause bleaching of hair and clothing. (Common sense tells me this is a strong chemical).

– Temporary skin discoloration may occur if benzoyl peroxide is used with sunscreen containing PABA.

– Causing permanant brown spots on the skin.

– Benzoyl peroxide should not be used in pregnancy as its safety during pregnancy is not documented.

– The safety in breast-feeding women and children is also not established.

The possible side effects are clearly stated on the product packaging, instruction booklets or information leaflets. However, what booklets don’t list are the possible long term irreversible side effects which may occur 10 – 20 years later after its initial use. Its long-term use has the potential to irreversible skin damage increasing free-radical organisms and stripping away the skin’s natural protective layer making it more vulnerable to the sun’s UV radiation, leading to premature aging and increased chance of skin cancer. Additionally, some chemicals can even be absorbed into the skin and have varying levels of systemic toxicity. Warning on the package to avoid the sun while using benzoyl peroxide should not be taken lightly.

Now, this article is not intended to scare anyone away from benzoyl peroxide products, because I know of people that have seen positive results in reducing acne lesions after its use. But you need to weigh up the risk versus the benefits. If getting rid of those horrible pimples outweighs all the possible adverse side effects, then by all means experiment with its use. For some acne sufferers, taking the risk is actually more justified than it seems, because the pain that they have to go through can be quite unbearable at times, and anything that helps to clear up the skin to increase the self esteem and self confidence may be well worth it. Keep in mind that as with any treatment program, no guarantees are made to work for you and results may only be temporary.

For a safe natural acne treatment solution which has proven results, try solutions containing herbs such as calendula, tea tree oil, Psidium guajava and Juglans regia leaf extracts, Granulysin peptides and many more.

4 thoughts on “Is Benzoyl peroxide a Safe Acne Treatment?

  1. natural skin care products

    Benzoyl Peroxide is one of acne-cure agent used as a fast-cure to acne. One thing is common among fast-cures, it fosters an enumerable side effects. So why risk your skin when you can have Aromatherapy essential oils as Natural skin care products? Check Hippocrates files on this!

  2. pauline

    I absolutely love this the Made from Earth Green Tea Toxin cleanser! I had been using the AcneFree Severe Acne Treatment System however, I do not feel the system is designed for prolonged use. Recently though my break-outs were horrible and my skin was over-producing oil. I tried switching makeup and then cleansers (I tried Purpose and Neutrogena Oil Free), but neither of these worked. So I then switched to the Made from Earth Toxin Cleanser (Green Tea). It honestly has worked miracles for me. I use it in conjunction with the Rooibos Face Detox from Made from Earth (only 2-3 times a week because its so strong!) and my face has never looked better. My face is NEVER oily now which is a complete turn-a-round. This product can be a little drying so you may need/want to use a moisturizer (I can’t use moisturizers because they cause my skin to break out).

    If you struggle with oily, acne-prone skin you may want to give the Green Tea Toxin cleanser a try. It was definitely the right move for me!

  3. Justin

    Why would you put anything with oil in it on your face? “Essential Oils” essential for what? Making money yes, helping the consumer no.


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