Skip Nav
Beauty Tips
6 Easy Ways to Instantly Declutter Your Vanity
Beauty News
This New Trend Proves That Silver Foxes Come at Any Age
Gigi Hadid
This Gigi Hadid Makeup Tutorial Is Equal Parts Impressive and Insane

Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid: Which Is Better For Acne

Benzoyl Peroxide vs. Salicylic Acid: Which One Is Better For You?

Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are both excellent acne fighters, and definitely the most affordable treatments on the market. Almost any drugstore acne treatment is going to have one or the other. But it's impossible to tell from the bottle which product is going to help clear up your specific acne. If you end up with the wrong one, it can actually make things worse. To help you determine which product you actually need, I've put together a quick comparison. Ready to know which one you need once and for all? Then just keep reading.

Benzoyl peroxide

When you use benzoyl peroxide, what you're actually getting is benzoic acid and oxygen, because the product breaks down on contact with your skin. The oxygen helps kill P. acnes, the bacteria that contributes to acne. Benzoic acid causes skin to peel and dry, exfoliating out the plugs of dead skin and sebum that inflame follicles, causing bumps. Benzoyl is sold in concentrations up to 10 percent, but studies show that concentrations of 2.5 percent are just as effective and much less irritating than stronger ones, so that's what I'd recommend you use.

Benzoyl is a powerful product that can penetrate pores deeply, but it can also be very drying. If the spots you're seeing are deep under the skin, red, and/or pus-filled, benzoyl is probably a safe bet because you need both bacteria killing and deep-down exfoliation. Neutrogena On-the-Spot ($7) is one of the most popular benzoyl treatments, and the Proactiv system is also benzoyl-based. If you've got sensitive skin and light acne, though, think twice before you pick this one up because you can actually exacerbate the problems you're having if you over-apply.

Salicylic acid

For the sensitive type and people plagued by blackheads, salicylic can be a life saver. Salicylic acid, like benzoic acid, is a good peeling agent, though it's gentler and lacks the oxygen to help kill acne bacteria.

If you have lots of blackheads and spots but no deep, closed comedones, salicylic is the best choice for you. Clean & Clear's treatment ($8) is mostly salicylic acid-based, as are the Oxy pads ($7) you see everywhere. Salicylic won't be as sensitizing and is less likely to dry you out. Again, don't overuse it — doing too much actually makes things much worse.

Image Source: IMAXTREE
Around The Web
Lipstick Print Tattoo Ideas
Beauty Valentine's Day Gifts For Friends | 2016
Best Beauty Products For February 2016 | Winter Shopping
The Best Acne Coverage Tutorials on YouTube
The Best Treatment Foundations | Charlotte's Book
How to Soothe Your Overexfoliated Skin
Kendall Jenner Wearing Pink Outfit

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
Stefanie86 Stefanie86 2 years
How come I don't hear or see anyone using cleansing balms? Is that just not used here in the states? The cleansing balm regime works wonders without having to use all these chemicals I see you all commenting on. I just don't get it. I've been using cleansing balms now for three and a half months. I started with Eve Lom's and then I switched immediately after a friend turned me onto Hush&Dotti's. Within 2 weeks my acne started going away and has stayed away since. Plus I've looked at what I ate and made a change in what and how I eat. My skin is radiant now. Either way I'm surprised more people here in the US don't do cleansing balms. Back home in England it is widely used.
Brittany14880480 Brittany14880480 2 years
I used to use the Neutrogena Spot Gel in my mother's bathroom, but I also agree that Citrus Clear Grapefruit spot treatment works way better. And now my mom uses Citrus Clear also! Stress makes me break out like crazy and the larger the stress... the harder the break outs to control. I used the Neutrogena ointment onto my zits - Ouch, but it did burn! I have used every facial product that I can get my hands on. Most just make your blemishes rise to the surface and make you wonder why you really bother in the first place. But, Citrus Clear will dry out those pimples and make it worth it to even clean your face in the first place. You can the Citrus Clear Grapefruit Spot Gel while you sleep, but you can use it during the day too (as long as you don't dump your make up on top of it!) it is a clear product so if you have an errend to your tiny town grocery store then you can do that
Nicolas14878661 Nicolas14878661 2 years
What is the source of evidence for the author's claims? Why not use both ingredients -- one day and one night?
Dawn3079944 Dawn3079944 3 years
i have used both ProActiv and Murad. from what i just read, i would think that salicylic acid would work better for me. besides the acne, my skin sensitive, has large pores, and lots of blackheads. however, Murad was a huge mistake for me. i started to break out in areas i never have before and i couldnt even look at my face without being sad. on the other hand, ProActiv worked for me but that stuff gets pricey. 
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Never stop using an antibiotic early unless you are having severe health complications.  This is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance and at the very least will likely prevent that drug from ever being effective on you again.  Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the skin (dry), the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines and fatigue. It *may* contribute to certain permanent digestive diseases, but the evidence is still out on that. These are (usually) temporary side-effects, however, and they are a highly effective acne treatment and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment than topicals, potentially resulting in cure. You cannot stay on them forever, though, unlike topicals, and there is no guarantee of a cure after one or two courses. They are the most expensive acne treatment and insurance will likely require significant hurdles to allow. The "Pledge" program is one of those, along with requiring evidence of ineffective conventional treatments. Some insurers won't cover it at all. Pregnant women must also wait until after the baby since they are teratogenic.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) Carbomer or ionic surfactants (including Sodium/Aluminum Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates), as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Never stop using an antibiotic early unless you are having severe health complications.  This is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance and at the very least will likely prevent that drug from ever being effective on you again.  Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the skin (dry), the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines and fatigue. They *may* contribute to certain permanent digestive diseases, but the evidence is still out on that. These are (usually) temporary side-effects, however, and they are a highly effective acne treatment and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment than topicals, potentially resulting in cure. You cannot stay on them forever, though, unlike topicals, and there is no guarantee of a cure after one or two courses. They are the most expensive acne treatment and insurance will likely require significant hurdles to allow. The "Pledge" program is one of those, along with requiring evidence of ineffective conventional treatments. Some insurers won't cover it at all. Pregnant women must also wait until after the baby since they are teratogenic.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Never stop using an antibiotic early unless you are having severe health complications.  This is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance and at the very least will likely prevent that drug from ever being effective on you again.  Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the skin (dry), the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines and fatigue. It *may* contribute to certain permanent digestive diseases, but the evidence is still out on that. These are (usually) temporary side-effects, however, and they are a highly effective acne treatment and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment than topicals, potentially resulting in cure. You cannot stay on them forever, though, unlike topicals, and there is no guarantee of a cure after one or two courses. They are the most expensive acne treatment and insurance will likely require significant hurdles to allow. The "Pledge" program is one of those, along with requiring evidence of ineffective conventional treatments. Some insurers won't cover it at all. Pregnant women must also wait until after the baby since they are teratogenic.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Never stop using an antibiotic early unless you are having severe health complications.  This is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance and at the very least will likely prevent that drug from ever being effective on you again.  Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the skin (dry), the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines and fatigue. It *may* contribute to certain permanent digestive diseases, but the evidence is still out on that. These are (usually) temporary side-effects, however, and they are highly effective acne treatment and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment than topicals, potentially resulting in cure. You cannot stay on them forever, though, unlike topicals, and there is no guarantee of a cure after one or two courses. They are the most expensive acne treatment and insurance will likely require significant hurdles to allow. The "Pledge" program is one of those, along with requiring evidence of ineffective conventional treatments. Some insurers won't cover it at all. Pregnant women must also wait until after the baby since they are teratogenic.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together.   Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the skin (dry), the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines and fatigue. It *may* contribute to certain permanent digestive diseases, but the evidence is still out on that. These are (usually) temporary side-effects, however, and they are highly effective acne treatment and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment than topicals, potentially resulting in cure. You cannot stay on them forever, though, unlike topicals, and there is no guarantee of a cure after one or two courses. They are the most expensive acne treatment and insurance will likely require significant hurdles to allow. The "Pledge" program is one of those, along with requiring evidence of ineffective conventional treatments. Some insurers won't cover it at all. Pregnant women must also wait until after the baby since they are teratogenic.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Never stop using an antibiotic early unless you are having severe health complications.  This is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance and at the very least will likely prevent that drug from ever being effective on you again.  Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together.   Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the skin (dry), the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines and fatigue. It *may* contribute to certain permanent digestive diseases, but the evidence is still out on that. These are (usually) temporary side-effects, however, and they are highly effective acne treatment and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment than topicals, potentially resulting in cure. You cannot stay on them forever, though, unlike topicals, and there is no guarantee of a cure after one or two courses. They are the most expensive acne treatment and insurance will likely require significant hurdles to allow. The "Pledge" program is one of those, along with requiring evidence of ineffective conventional treatments. Some insurers won't cover it at all. Pregnant women must also wait until after the baby since they are teratogenic.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together.   Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the skin (dry), the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines and fatigue. It *may* contribute to certain permanent digestive diseases, but the evidence is still out on that. These are (usually) temporary side-effects, however, and they are highly effective acne treatment and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment than topicals, potentially resulting in cure. You cannot stay on them forever, though, unlike topicals, and there is no guarantee of a cure after one or two courses. They are the most expensive acne treatment and insurance will likely require significant hurdles to allow. The "Pledge" program is one of those, along with requiring evidence of ineffective conventional treatments. Some insurers won't cover it at all. Pregnant women also should not use them since they are teratogenic.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together.   Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the skin (dry), the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines and fatigue. It *may* contribute to certain permanent digestive diseases, but the evidence is still out on that.  These are (usually) temporary side-effects, however, and they are highly effective acne treatment and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment than topics, potentially resulting in cure. You cannot stay on them forever, though, unlike topicals, and there is no guarantee of a cure after one or two courses. They are the most expensive acne treatment and insurance will likely require significant hurdles to allow.  The "Pledge" program is one of those, along with requiring evidence of ineffective conventional treatments.  Some insurers won't cover it at all.  Pregnant women also should not use them since they are teratogenic.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together. Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines. But they are highly effective and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment. You cannot stay on them forever though, unlike topicals. Pregnant women also should not use them since they are teratogenic.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together. Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines.  But they are highly effective and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment.  You cannot stay on them forever though, unlike topicals.  Pregnent women also should not use them since they are tetogenic.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together. Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injury rates), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines.  But they are highly effective and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment.  You cannot stay on them forever though, unlike topicals.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together. Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injuries), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines.  But they are highly effective and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment.  You cannot stay on them forever though, unlike topicals.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both. Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together. Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injuries), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines.  But they are highly effective and can have a longer-lasting effect after treatment.  You cannot stay on them forever though, unlike topicals.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together. Ingested retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injuries), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines.   VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
Benjamin2577031 Benjamin2577031 3 years
Use them both.   Put SA on, then a few minutes later put on the BP. You can't store them together, but they're fine on the skin. Different people will respond better to different BP concentrations. There is evidence that 10% works better than 2.5% and the studies people have used to claim it didn't weren't actually saying that, only that 2.5% is effective and generally better tolerated. It should be pointed out that SA is anti-inflammatory, while BP is antibacterial (and can be inflammatory. They both exfoliate and prevent skin cells from being too "sticky" but have different mechanisms for action and thus can work together. Alcohol in most SA preps also increases the skin's readiness to absorb the BP. Long-term use of BP with a break in treatment at some point (to try something else) can actually lead to an allergy to BP, preventing its later use. This is less likely to happen with SA, but some people are already allergic to salicylates (like aspirin), and will have to avoid SA by default. If you're allergic to SA, then an alcohol-based toner (without SA, of course) prior to the BP is a good idea.   Retinoids are the other non-antibiotic topical treatment and can also be used in combination with SA or BP or both. They tend to be rather fantastic, in my opinion. The more exotic and pre-metabolized they are, the more effective retinoids are in most people. But different people metabolize the more basic & conventional retinoids at different rates, and in spite of that, each metabolite has its own receptor's in the skin so they all have their use individually or together. Injected retinoids are rather problematic due to their effects on the bones (makes them brittle and prone to micro-fractures), and tendons & ligaments (makes them harden & calcify over time, increasing injuries), and the fact it passed the blood-brain barrier and can contribute to migraines. VERY stubborn acne should be treated with antibiotics in combination with some topical regime, but you have to stay on the specific drug for at least 45 days to make it worth while and judge effectiveness. Otherwise, all you've done is given the bacteria a chance to adapt to it.   Finally, the type of cleanser you are using is important. These can contain BP or SA, but can also contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which is almost as effective as BP and far less irritating. CG should not be used in the presence (before or after) ionic surfactants like Sulfates and Carbomer, as it becomes deactivated by them.
esummey15 esummey15 4 years
I like benzoyl peroxide better. 2.5% was ineffective for my acne. I use 10%. Yes it is drying and irritating, but if you use the micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide then it isn't as bad. I used to use AcneFree Severe system but I now just buy the products with the same ingredients as it is cheaper. I use a 2.5% BP wash, then I use a witch hazel toner. I wait 10 minutes, then use a 10% BP lotion on my face, but only in the morning. At night I use a retinol cream. Never use those two together because BP will deactivate the retinol. I will occasionally use a 20% salicylic acid facial peel which works, but I have found that salicylic acid in the 2% concentrations are ineffective for my acne.
BeamerCG BeamerCG 6 years
Thanks for the info!
BeamerCG BeamerCG 6 years
Thanks for the info!
Latest Beauty
X