Many over-the-counter acne treatments contain the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide. This substance is excellent for treating acne, since it kills bacteria and also dries out the skin at the same time. However, you need to be very careful how you use it in order to ensure it's as effective as possible and does not just leave your skin overly dry and irritated. Follow these tips for success with any benzoyl peroxide acne treatment.
Just because a cream or wash says you can use it two or three times per day does not mean you should do so instantly. It can take your skin some time to get used to benzoyl peroxide based acne treatments, and it you start using them too often right off the bat, your skin will end up dry and peeling. Start by just using whatever product you have chosen once per day. Then, after a week or two of use, you can move up to using it twice per day (or even more often, if recommended on the label).
Only use one acne treatment product.
Often, people who have acne buy a wash for their acne, a cream for their acne, an astringent for acne, and so forth. This can be too much for your skin to handle. When using a benzoyl peroxide based treatment, whether it be a cream or a wash, make sure all of your other skincare products are basic, non-medicated versions.
Pair it with a good moisturizer.
People with acne often assume that they should not use a moisturizer because it might make their acne worse. However, this is not the case. If your skin gets too dry (and this can easily happen when you're using benzoyl peroxide) your breakouts might get even worse as your skin produces more oil to compensate. Using a good moisturizer at least once per day before bed will enhance your treatment regimen. Look for one that's non-medicated and designed for sensitive skin. A lighter, easily absorbed moisturizer is ideal. Oil-free moisturizers, which have water or glycerin as a base, work well for many people.
If you moisturize your skin, start slowly, and are careful to use just one acne treatment product at a time, then you should find that your acne improves with the use of benzoyl peroxide-based treatments. However, no single treatment works for everyone. If you're struggling to find relief with over-the-counter treatments, talk to a dermatologist. He or she may prescribe a treatment that works better with your unique skin. Contact a clinic like Medical Skin Care Center for more information.