After hearing all of those benefits, it’s pretty obvious that acne-prone and oily skin can benefit from benzoyl peroxide face washes. But if you have the occasional breakout, you can also add it to your routine to keep those p. acnes at a minimum, suggests board-certified dermatologist Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, MD, FAAD, owner of Vibrant Dermatology and SkinBar MD.
In particular, the ingredient is best for inflammatory acne. “Benzoyl peroxide is also an anti-inflammatory and helps to unclog pores by promoting exfoliation,” Aguilar says. “Benzoyl peroxide helps with inflammation, making it an ideal treatment for inflammatory acne, which is characterized by raised, red bumps that may or may not contain pus. Although whiteheads and blackheads are still considered forms of acne, they are not inflamed, and using BP may be too harsh of a treatment.”
And while we’re on the topic of its harsh and powerful effects, some skin types should stay away from the ingredient, as it can cause dryness and irritation, even in lower doses. “Those with sensitive skin should steer clear from benzoyl peroxide. It is notoriously irritating,” adds Imahiyerobo-Ip. “Even in those with more resilient skin, it can cause redness and peeling.”