Why Is My Benzoyl Peroxide Wash Irritating My Skin?

One thing that’s not up for debate in the world of acne is the fact that benzoyl peroxide wash is one of THE best ways to deal with the problem. However, results do vary from person to person. Why? Because it’s essentially an acid and it needs to be used the right way. 

This means getting the frequency and concentration right. When looking at the market for benzoyl peroxide, you’ll usually find it’s available in three different strengths;

  1. 2.5% – for people with sensitive skin or mild acne
  2. 4.0%  – for mild to moderate acne
  3. 10% – for moderate to severe acne 

So, depending on the severity of your acne, you’ll need a product that suits you. To provide a little clarity on the subject, let’s look at what to expect in those first few weeks. 

Start Using Benzoyl Peroxide Wash Cautiously

If you’ve found a little irritation in weeks 1-2, it’s not enough of a reason to stop. A minor irritation is very common when using this type of product, to begin with, and it often takes just a little while to balance out and become accustomed to it. You should only worry if you get a severe reaction.

The only reasons why you should experience severe irritation are:

  • Your benzoyl peroxide wash is too strong for your skin. That means the best option would be to drop down to a lower concentration. 
  • You’re using your BP wash too often, meaning you’d benefit from dropping the frequency of application e.g. go from daily use to use every other day. 
  • You’re allergic to benzoyl peroxide – meaning you should stop use immediately. Anaphylaxis is what you might experience, so it’s quite serious.

For the reasons listed above, your dermatologist will always tell you to start using this type of acne-control product cautiously. It’s much easier to move up in concentration and frequency when you feel ready than jump in with both feet and end up hurting yourself unnecessarily. 

Minor Irritation Will Fade Over Time 

You see, a little irritation is completely normal. So long as things don’t get out of control and you’re getting severe redness and pain, you should persist with treatment. Over time, you’ll slowly see your skin condition improve and while it might feel right to attack your acne full-on, most often it’s best to take things nice and slow. 

Try a non-comedogenic moisturizer after each application, and you’ll do much to minimise any irritation you might experience. Nobody is saying you need to suffer, but don’t give up at the first sign of adversity, as the results will come! 

Benzoyl Peroxide Wash Does Work When Used Correctly

The time you spend getting to know your skin as you start using BP wash on a regular basis will pay you back in the long run. If you talk to your dermatologist, they will recommend a suitable product based on you and your acne. Sure, it’s easy to get carried away in the quest to kill your spots, but you’ll simply serve to make things worse by not being cautious.

If you’re lucky, your skin will just cope. If not, you can look forward to redness, blistering and more by using a product that’s too concentrated for your complexion. 

This stuff is great for getting rid of acne, but it does need to be used correctly. That means knowing your skin and understanding what it needs.

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