But how are you supposed to know the difference and ensure you use the right product for your specific type of acne? That’s where your skin care professional comes in! But allow us to arm you with some educational info on these ingredients, so that you are well prepared when consulting with your provider.
Salicylic acid is a favorite when it comes to banishing blemishes, because it has the unique ability to clear up the skin while providing soothing relief at the same time.
Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA), which works to clear up the skin by exfoliating and dislodging stubborn skin cells that can clog pores and result in pimples. It’s no surprise that salicylic acid has such powerful soothing and anti-inflammatory properties due to a chemical makeup closely related to acetylsalicylic acid (also known as aspirin).1
So to sum it up, salicylic acid helps to exfoliate and calm skin. It’s also wonderful for reducing the look of pore size, something oily skin sufferers long for.
This powerful acne ingredient, also known as BPO, works on all kinds of acne lesions by effectively targeting acne-causing bacteria in the pores.
Benzoyl peroxide helps to exfoliate and remove the buildup of dead skin cells and sebum from the pores. Benzoyl Peroxide does not simply slow the growth of bacteria; it halts it right in its tracks by killing bacteria right away.
So to sum it up, benzoyl peroxide is great for all types of acne and it works by targeting bacteria in the pores. If your acne is particularly severe and you are also on antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide is great right alongside your meds, as it can help overcome antibiotic resistance.2
Always be sure to consult with your dermatologist or skin care specialist before starting salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide as an acne treatment. They will be able to ensure you use the right protocol and frequency of use, based on your skin, to help prevent or reduce side effects that could include peeling, dryness or redness if used incorrectly.
Products We Recommend
We recommend using products with both ingredients as part of a complete and balanced acne treatment regimen. This has shown to be highly effective, with benzoyl peroxide actively targeting bacteria, while salicylic acid gently exfoliates and calms skin. View our CLENZIderm M.D.™ system here.
The products in this line with 2% salicylic acid are CLENZIderm M.D. Daily Care Foaming Cleanser and CLENZIderm M.D. Pore Therapy.
You can find benzoyl peroxide in our CLENZIderm M.D. Therapeutic Lotion (5%).
If your skin gets too dry during treatment, we recommend our Therapeutic Moisturizer, a glycerin-rich, non-comedogenic moisturizer that keeps skin hydrated and protected during treatment.
References: 1. Arif, T. Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015; 8: 455–461. Accessed Feb 20, 2018. 2. Tanghetti EA, Popp KF. A current review of topical benzoyl peroxide: new perspectives on formulation and utilization. Dermatol Clin. 2009 Jan;27(1):17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2008.07.001 Accessed Feb 20, 2018.