Is Benzoyl Peroxide good for acne ? 7 Questions for our experts

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If you struggle with breakouts and acne-prone skin, you may have heard about benzoyl peroxide. This traditional skincare ingredient is widely touted as an effective skin-clearing treatment: in fact, recent research has revealed it to be one of the top ten searched-for skincare ingredients of 2020.

That said, it’s not as common in off-the-shelf products as some other breakout-tackling ingredients (such as salicylic acid), leading to confusion about where to get it and how exactly it works to clear your skin.

Here, we’ve enlisted the skincare experts to answer your most-asked questions about benzoyl peroxide, so you can finally break up with breakouts.

7. What is benzoyl peroxide?

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“Benzoyl peroxide is an organic peroxide that acts as a non-specific oxidising agent,” explains Dr Emma Cunningham. “In simple terms, it works by releasing oxygen on the skin to help destroy bacteria.” What’s especially great about benzoyl peroxide is that bacteria does not easily develop a resistance to it, as can be the case with antibiotics, so you can use it for a more prolonged length of time if required.

You’ll often find the ingredient in gel form for use as a spot treatment, but it can also be utilised in liquid washes or creams (often in lower concentrations). Some body products that directly target breakouts also contain benzoyl peroxide, as do a few exfoliating formulas designed to treat blocked pores.

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