Benzoyl peroxide – or BPO – is a scientifically-proven acne treatment. Effective and safe, it’s recommended by dermatologists and is even on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.
Benzoyl peroxide was first discovered as an effective cure for acne in 1934. Today, it’s still one of the most successful and reliable acne treatments on the market, and in the US, acne skincare products containing it can be bought over-the-counter with no prescription.
Acne is caused when excess skin oil, called sebum, combines with dead skin cells to form pore blockages, trapping bacteria underneath. As the bacteria multiply, blockages become inflamed and pimples appear. About 40 to 50 million Americans have acne at any one time.
Although we can’t control the amount of oil our skin produces – it’s mainly dictated by genes and hormones – benzoyl peroxide is highly effective at treating the other causes of acne in three major ways:
Benzoyl peroxide helps the skin shed more effectively to keep pores from becoming clogged
Benzoyl peroxide releases oxygen free radicals, which destroys the acne-causing bacteria beneath the skin
Benzoyl peroxide keeps bacteria levels down and reduces inflammation to help break the acne cycle*
Benzoyl peroxide can be used twice daily on both inflamed and non-inflamed acne on all common problem areas – such as face, neck, shoulders and back.
Benzoyl peroxide can be used at different strengths depending on your needs. PanOxyl benzoyl peroxide washes are available in concentrations of 4% in our Daily Creamy Wash, which is best for mild to moderate acne, or 10% in our Acne Foaming Wash, which is best for more severe acne.
It’s usually also fine to use benzoyl peroxide products in conjunction with other treatments in your acne skincare routine – such as antibiotics, retinoids and salicylic acid. Always check with your dermatologist before combining acne treatments.
Benzoyl peroxide works faster than many other acne products, and most people start seeing results after about four weeks of use. It’s an excellent long-term acne treatment, since unlike with antibiotics, the skin doesn’t build up resistance to its effects.
The best thing? Applying benzoyl peroxide to the entire acne-prone skin area – even if it’s not currently pimply or inflamed – can actually prevent acne in the long term, helping you say goodbye to acne—for good.