A lot of people will pick up the highest strength benzoyl peroxide they can find, which is usually is 10%. This leads to several mistakes.
Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #1
First is that they will dry out their skin really quickly to the point where the dryness becomes unbearable so then one would think that the logical next step would be to slather on a thick moisturizer to combat the dryness. Unfortunately heavy moisturizers interfere with the benzoyl peroxide’s anti-bacterial properties so it becomes less effective against the acne.
Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #2
The second issue with jumping straight away into a high strength benzoyl peroxide is that you have no room to strengthen it up. You see acne has this crazy ability to adapt to the products you use on your skin. That’s why if you’ve ever tried a new acne product you may have noticed that it works a little bit at first, but then before you know it the improvement stops and you’re back at square one with the same amount of acne. This occurs because you never strengthened up your routine to stay ahead of the acne’s ability to adapt.
At Luminosity we remedy both of these issues by starting our clients out on a low strength benzoyl peroxide and strategically increasing it every couple of weeks. This allows the skin to slowly adjust with it and while some dryness will still occur, most will be able to avoid the extreme uncomfortable dryness that occurs with the higher strength benzoyl peroxide, thus eliminating the need for a heavy moisturizer which as I mentioned can interfere with the benzoyl peroxide doing its job properly. For those clients that still need a bit of moisture we recommend out Hydra Boost Gel which is a light weight hyaluronic acid gel serum that can be used in conjunction with the benzoyl peroxide without stopping it from working.
Starting out with a low strength benzoyl peroxide will also allow us to steadily increase the strength of it over time so that we don’t allow the acne to adapt. I also want to mention that we aren’t increasing the benzoyl peroxide forever. We only need to increase it until you clear up. Once you are clear we can keep your routine the same to maintain the clear skin result.
Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #3
Another issue that occurs when making the mistake of starting off with a high strength benzoyl peroxide is that many will stop using it or cut back on how much they are applying to their skin at the first sign of dryness. While we don’t want your skin uncomfortably dry, it’s important to understand that dry and flaking skin is normal to occur.
Benzoyl peroxide has this great ability which allows it to peel or exfoliate the inner lining of the pore wall. You see on a daily basis your pores are shedding up to 5 layers of dead skin cells, and on a side note non-acne-prone pores shed only 1 layer of dead skin cells per day so the difference is huge. These daily 5 layers of cells first cling to the sides of the pore wall and then they start to continue piling up and clogging the pore. Benzoyl peroxide comes to the rescue by exfoliating that liner of cells clinging to the pore wall so some of the flaking you are seeing is just exfoliation at work which is a great thing if you want clear skin!
But if you back off of your benzoyl peroxide at the first sign of dryness or flaking then you are allowing these 5 layers of dead skin cells to get a hold inside of the pore again and create a clog which will only continue to result in breakouts. So remember not to skip your benzoyl peroxide and not to use less of it and that dry skin isn’t the end of the world, in fact it’s a good sign as long as it’s not extreme.
Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #4
Another mistake I see people making with benzoyl peroxide is by exclusively spot treating their individual pimples rather than applying it all over. I’ve written a previous blog post on this subject and you can click here to read it.
Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #5
Another mistake is by not rubbing it into the skin thoroughly enough. Make sure that you really work it into your skin so that it can deliver its anti-bacterial properties properly.
Benzoyl Peroxide Mistake #6
Finally the last mistake we see people making with benzoyl peroxide is that they don’t pair it with a good exfoliating serum. While benzoyl peroxide does have the ability to peel inside the pore, your skin will clear up much quicker and better if you pair it with a serum that is designed to exfoliate. That’s because as I mentioned earlier acne-prone skin sheds up to 5 layers of dead skin cells per day so it’s important to really focus on exfoliation so that we don’t allow those cells to create clogs.
Now many people opt for salicylic acid or glycolic acid, but the superstar at our office is our Mandelic Maven Serum which contains Mandelic Acid. Mandelic Acid is superior to any other acid on the market because it tackles every aspect of acne clearing. It’s anti-bacterial to kill the acne causing bacteria, it’s exfoliating to prevent dead skin cells from clogging the pores, it has anti-inflammatory properties to bring down cysts, and it has hyperpigmentation lightening properties to speed up the fading of any leftover dark marks from past breakouts. It really does it all for acne, but it’s important to always pair it with benzoyl peroxide in order for each of these products to work to the best of their abilities to fight acne.
So those are all the mistakes that I see people making when it comes to using benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide can be amazing at fighting off acne but you need to use it properly or else it won’t be effective.
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Watch Carmen’s Video Version Of This Post: Benzoyl Perodixe Acne Mistakes