When you think of acne treatment, the first thing that would come to mind is benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is commonly used by acne treatments as an active ingredient to kill the acne causing bacteria. It is said to be very effective. However, other acne victims claim that benzoyl peroxide made their acne worse. Is benzoyl peroxide the best acne treatment? Or is it something that you need to avoid? To understand if benzoyl peroxide is really the best treatment for acne, let us take a look at how benzoyl peroxide works.
The acne causing bacteria is a type of bacteria that cannot survive in the presence of oxygen. This type of bacteria is normally found on the skin. In moderate amounts, these bacteria can be actually good for your skin. However, when they multiply they cause an inflammatory reaction. This brings the signs and symptoms of acne.
Benzoyl peroxide targets the acne causing to prevent overgrowth. Benzoyl peroxide introduces oxygen into the skin. When you apply benzoyl peroxide on your skin, you will notice small bubbles. This bubbles are actually produced because of the oxygen. Because the acne bacteria cannot survive in the presence of oxygen, the bacteria automatically dies. This is a good thing. However, too much benzoyl peroxide can also damage your skin. It cause skin dryness and flaking, two things that can aggravate your acne condition.
The oil produced in your sebaceous glands, is used to keep your skin soft and it also conserves the moisture of your skin. In a way it protects your skin from drying out. When your skin is dry, this triggers an automatic response in your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. The more oil is produced, the worse your acne will get. Benzoyl peroxide also increases cell turnover, causing healthy skin cells to die. When dead skin cells cover your pores, it traps the dirt, oil and bacteria inside, making your acne even worse.
Benzoyl peroxide can be effective as long as it addresses two main things. It should have the right strength and it should be used in combination with other acne treatments. You should look for treatments with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, no more, no less. Increased benzoyl peroxide strength can cause skin irritations while lower strength benzoyl peroxide might not be able to effectively kill the acne causing bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide should be used after exfoliation so that it can penetrate deep down into your pores.