Although you probably recognize the names of topical acne-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur, you may not know exactly what they are doing. It can all be used to treat acne, but it works differently and is best for mild to moderate acne.
In many over – the – counter acne treatments, benzoyl peroxide is the active ingredient. Whether you’ve just started treatment or used benzoyl peroxide for a while, a week – by – week guide on what to expect can help.
Your skin may become irritated during the first 3 weeks you use benzoyl peroxide. Your acne may also appear to be getting worse before it gets better.
Check with your doctor if your skin problem has not improved within 4 to 6 weeks. However, since the results may differ from one person to another, these are the few reasons cause acne worse after using benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl Peroxide treats only part of the process of acne formation
Acne is the outcome of a long sequence of events. Our choices in genetic make-up and lifestyle (diet and stress) affect certain levels of hormones in our body.
These levels of hormones affect the skin oil production rate (sebum). Sebum binds to sloughed skin cells that lead to blocked pores over-produced. Blocked pores are deprived of oxygen and are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria with Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).
P.acnes activity causes an inflammatory response and the symptoms of acne result from the entire sequence. Red, painful pimples inflamed.
P.acnes bacteria are only one part of the entire process of acne formation. The elimination of P.acnes results in a reduction in acne symptoms, but in the long term, it will not prevent breakouts.
You can use it to remove the p. acne bacteria on your face, but if you don’t address the other parts of the acne formation process, your pores will continue to be blocked and bacteria will continue to thrive.
At best, benzoyl peroxide is just a hygiene treatment and acne cannot be cured by hygiene alone.
Benzoyl peroxide may cause acne to increase.
The elimination of P.Acnes will reduce acne in the short term – without this bacteria, the inflammatory response of the body will be reduced and the symptoms will improve.
However, acne can return within weeks or even days. The reason is sebum, the natural oil skins that lubricate and waterproof the skin.
By breaking down and forming oxygen, benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria. P.acnes requires a low oxygen environment to survive and is therefore destroyed by the influx of oxygen from Benzoyl Peroxide.
However, oxygen is highly reactive and binds to a substance called squalene peroxide with the sebum on your face. It is known that squalene peroxide is highly comedogenic – it blocks pores. Animal studies have shown that acne is caused by the application of squalene peroxide to rabbit ears.
Benzoyl peroxide, like a very effective soap, is essentially a very strong hygiene treatment. To control P.acnes (the bacteria will always return after treatment), the regular application is required.
Unfortunately, the regular use of Benzoyl Peroxide also leads to an increase in the number of blocked pores that provide more bacteria with the breeding ground. A vicious cycle is entered -Benzoyl peroxide is used and the level of P.acnes decreases, but levels of squalane peroxide increase, which leads to an increase in the number of blocked pores.
This, in turn, leads to an increase in the possibility of growing more bacteria, which leads to wider inflammation. You must continually treat the skin to kill the bacteria, but for the simple reason that it does not affect any of the root causes behind it, you can never completely fix your acne problem.
Supporters of benzoyl peroxide often claim that sebum production is reduced -partly because it can significantly reduce the oiliness of the skin. However, clinical evidence is the opposite (here and here) and the internet is awash (no pun) with stories of oily skin from Benzoyl Peroxide coming back after a period of time.
Benzoyl Peroxide disrupts the natural balance of good – bad bacteria in your skin
Benzoyl peroxide is not only aimed at P.acnes. It is a powerful bactericide and kills nearly all the bacteria it encounters, like a bacterial bomb.
The skin surface has its own ecosystem-consisting of living biological and physical components in different habitats and a delicate balance between the host and the microorganism. Skin disorders or infections can occur in the balance on either side of the equation.
It is believed that normal (non – acne) levels of P.acnes contribute to skin health, preventing the colonization of opportunistic pathogens by converting sebum into free fatty acids and maintaining an acidic pH of the skin.
The scientific community is currently concerned that you create a vacuum in the ecosystem by reducing skin bacteria and risk allowing the growth of dangerous pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus.
Acne is a very individual thing -the reasons behind it are not fully understood and cure can be a curse for someone else. Benzoyl peroxide is widely used (probably because it is relatively effective and cheap to produce in the short term and therefore makes a good commercial product) and many people achieve great results, but there are also many people who make their acne worse.