Many acne treatment products contain the ingredient benzoyl peroxide, or BP. It's excellent for fighting acne pimples since it kills the bacteria that contribute to so many breakouts, but using it is not always as straightforward as you'd think. To help avoid side effects and other common issues when using BP, follow these tips.
Don't just buy your benzoyl peroxide wash and start using it three times per day right off the bat. BP is rather drying, and it can take your skin some time to get used to it. Jumping in too quickly can lead to dry, peeling skin, and that's no more attractive than broken-out skin! Instead, start by using your BP treatment just once per day, and do any other washes with a mild, non-medicated cleanser. After a few weeks, start using the treatment twice per day.
Don't use more than one BP treatment.
There are washes, rinses, and all-over creams that contain BP. If you use multiple products with BP all at once, you'll probably over-dry your skin. So, either use a wash, rinse, or cream with BP, and then choose mild, non-medicated versions of your other skincare products. The one exception to this would be spot-on treatments, which you apply only to small portions of your skin. It's okay to use these along with another BP product, since you don't put them all over your face.
Use light-colored pillow cases.
BP has a tendency to bleach out dark colors. If you curl up in bed on a dark-colored pillowcase after using your BP treatment, you'll probably wake up to a discolored pillowcase. So, stick to white or very pale pillowcases. And remember to wash them often so they don't become a harboring point for the bacteria that cause your acne.
Use a moisturizer.
Look for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer that you can use in conjunction with your BP treatments. Apply it once or twice per day. This will help combat the dryness and redness that can come with BP. Applying a moisturizer after your BP treatment, but before you apply your makeup, will help your makeup go on more smoothly and will also help prevent the makeup from settling into pores.
If you follow these tips and still struggle with side effects and other issues related to using benzoyl peroxide, talk to your dermatologist like one from Heibel Dermatology. They may be able to recommend a different product that's formulated in a way that's better for your unique skin type.