Yesterday, I happened upon a video where a beauty guru with amazing skin mentioned that her skin's turnaround was a direct result of partnering with a dermatologist. He gave her a small suggestion that really made a difference in her acne routine. After following his advice, her skin transformed.
First, he inquired about her current process. As she shared her daily routine, he interjected by informing he to switch her cleanser. His recommendation was to use a benzoyl peroxide based cleanser. She advised him that a benzoyl peroxide cream was already a part of her regimen.
He responded by informing her that benzoyl peroxide as a cleanser was more effective than in cream form.
Interesting piece of advice, but she didn't elaborate on why. So I had to find out more.
After a little bit of research, I think I understand the logic behind his thinking. First, we must understand how benzoyl peroxide works. I didn't know this but benzoyl peroxide has exfoliating properties. Essentially, it cleans and clears out pores while helping to prevent blocked comedones. BP also kills bacteria on the skin that promotes breakouts. It sorta makes sense to enjoy these benefits while washing to ensure the pores are clean and clear of bacteria. Benzoyl Peroxide also has a pH similar to water so, in theory, it remains effective as a wash vs. salicylic acid with a lower pH. Once salicylic acid comes in contact with water, it loses its acidic power.
A study was conducted with 56 participants suffering from acne. They were instructed to use a 6% benzoyl peroxide wash plus a 0.1% Retin A gel. The control group relied solely on the use of Retin-A to treat their breakouts. At the end of 12 weeks, the group that paired both a benzoyl peroxide cleanser and retin-A experienced a 59% decrease in acne compared to their counterparts without the BP cleanser who saw a 30% reduction.
In this particular experiment, a BP cream was not utilized but the results were evident. This confirms that benzoyl based cleansers are indeed effective. That dermatologist definitely knew what he was talking about. Post wash, the guru applies a prescription based antibacterial cream. Perhaps you might want to experiment with using topical probiotics as a suitable alternative.
I'm not saying that BP based creams are ineffective. But there appears to be some value in adding it to your cleansing routine. Looking back, I realized that I rarely used acne medicated cleansers. Perhaps if I would have known this piece of insider information, things could have been different.