My Favourite Acne Treatments - Benzoyl peroxide

Acne

My Favourite Acne Treatments - Benzoyl peroxide

Acne is still the biggest beauty bugbear we face - and it needs special consideration as we head into cooler weather with the added hurdle of mask-wearing to negotiate. So I thought it the perfect time to revisit my favourite tried-and-tested acne solutions and how they fit together into a cohesive routine for you to build. 

Let's start with trusty benzoyl peroxide!

What exactly is benzoyl peroxide?

It’s an organic peroxide that acts as an oxidizing agent and it’s manufactured in the laboratory.

It’s available over the counter in the UK with a pharmacist’s guidance. Acnecide 5% gel is the one I recommend.

What’s it for?

It’s main use is in the treatment acne.

What does benzoyl peroxide do?

It has 3 main actions - all the best acne treatments work through multiple actions and benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is no exception. It’s antiseptic, meaning it reduces the number of skin surface bacteria. It’s also anti-inflammatory and it helps unclog pores. In practical terms this means it reduces the appearance of angry red spots and prevents new ones from appearing. The great thing about BPO is that bacterial resistance doesn’t occur, which is very desirable.

What strength does it come in?

It’s percentage will be disclosed on pack - whilst it’s available in up to 10% strength, a strength of 2.5-5% is usually sufficient.

Can benzoyl peroxide be paired with other active ingredients?

Some formulations combine benzoyl peroxide successfully with other actives - for example, Epiduo (on prescription) combines benzoyl peroxide with adapalene, which is a retinoid. It can also be combined with an antibiotic, such as clindamycin or erythromycin, to amp up its anti-bacterial effect (known as Duac and Benzamycin, respectively). Combining BPO and antibiotics has the added benefit of decreasing the amount of antibiotic resistance that develops, so the treatment stays efficacious for longer.

How can benzoyl peroxide-containing products be used in my routine?

I usually recommend that it's used in the morning - that’s because I’m typically recommending the use of a retinoid like tretinoin at night, which will help increase the absorption of BPO. These are best used separately as the BPO will otherwise degarde the retinoid. Some newer preparations (like Epiduo) have solved this issue, which is great for increasing compliance with treatment as it allows you to apply treatment just once a day.



Related Articles

The Ultimate Guide: How to Incorporate Vitamin C into Your Skincare Routine
Actives

The Ultimate Guide: How to Incorporate Vitamin C into Your Skincare Routine

We know Vitamin C is an integral part of a routine for healthy skin. But how do we get the most out of it? Here’s the low-down! How do I use vitamin C in my routine? The first thing to say is that...

Why I Created Flawless Vitamin C NAD+ Serum
Actives

Why I Created Flawless Vitamin C NAD+ Serum

Have you ever wondered why it took me so long to introduce a vitamin C serum into my skincare line? I mean, six years is quite the wait, right? Well, let me peel back the layers and share the jour...

Why Is Vitamin C So Important For Healthy Skin Ageing?
Actives

Why Is Vitamin C So Important For Healthy Skin Ageing?

  When it comes to skincare ingredients that work, we only really have a handful that are truly transformative. When it comes to combating the signs of ageing, one of those is vitamin C.That’s beca...