Using A Benzoyl Peroxide-Based Acne Cream? Follow These Tips
Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient in acne fighting creams. It helps prevent breakouts by killing the bacteria that often cause or worsen acne. There are many over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide acne creams available, and they may be a good choice if you have mild to moderate acne. However, there are a few tips you'll want to keep in mind when using them in order to increase their effectiveness and prevent common issues.
Give your skin time to adapt.
Don't jump straight into using your benzoyl peroxide cream twice per day. It can be pretty drying, and it will take your skin some time to adjust. If you start using it too often from the get-go, you may experience a lot of peeling and itching, which can be just as annoying as acne! So, start off by using the cream just every other day. After a week or so (longer if you experience some dryness), increase usage to once per day. Then once your skin no longer seems extra dry, use the cream twice a day if you desire.
Use a good moisturizer.
Even once your skin adapts to the benzoyl peroxide, you'll want to use a good moisturizer to keep it from becoming over-dry. Typically, it's best to apply the benzoyl peroxide cream first and let it soak in, and then apply the moisturizer. Look for a moisturizer without added fragrances or colors, as these can make acne worse in some cases. An oil-free formula may be best if you are especially prone to breakouts. If you're not sure which moisturizer is best for you, ask your dermatologist for a recommendation.
Use light-colored pillowcases and wash cloths.
Benzoyl peroxide has bleaching properties. So, if you get it on a pillow case, clothing, or washcloth, it might bleach the color out of that fabric. Use light-colored or white pillowcases and washcloths to prevent this from happening. Always apply your product after you put your shirt on so you don't get it on the collar of your shirt as you pull it over your head.
Use non-medicated versions of other products.
If you use a benzoyl peroxide cream and also use other acne-fighting products like an acne wash and astringent, you may over-expose your skin to these medications and make dryness and breakouts worse. So, when using a benzoyl peroxide cream, use gentle, non-medicated versions of all other cosmetic items like makeup, moisturizers, and face washes.