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I’m about to break out-does my skin need salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide?



So you are going to break out. Maybe you look in the mirror and you see angry red bumps erupt. Or, it may be that all pores are blocked and whiteheads and blackheads are all over your skin. Either way, you are looking for a solution.

All these searches may lead you to find two heroic ingredients in the acne fight world: salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Although these ingredients have their own effects, they are often used interchangeably by people trying to clear their skin. It̵

7;s okay, isn’t it? They both fight acne and are effective, so it doesn’t matter which one you use, right? wrong. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are not the same, not in the long run. Everyone has its own unique purpose, advantages and disadvantages, so the difference between the two must be recognized. That is our purpose here. Keep scrolling to learn all about the difference between salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Also, learn how to recognize which one your skin needs.

What is salicylic acid?

Let’s start by discussing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is an ingredient that can be found from cleansers to facial masks, oils, moisturizers, etc. According to Corey L. Hartman (Corey L. Hartman) of FAAD, the founder of Skin Health Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid derived from willow bark . “Salicylic acid acid He explained that it penetrates the lipid layer between skin cells into the pores, unclogs the pores, dissolves skin fragments, reduces skin inflammation, and treats acne papules and pustules. It can also destroy the connections between skin cells, thereby increasing the shedding of keratin and cells. turnover. “

A dermatologist certified by the Miami Board of Directors, the founder of Dr. Loretta Skincare, and Dr. Loretta Ciraldo of FAAD, said that salicylic acid is the only β-hydroxy acid (other lactic acid and ethanol) The acid is an α-hydroxy acid). “In all hydroxyl acid, Salicylic acid She is the best choice for deep penetration into the pores, therefore, it is very effective in squeezing out debris and oily accumulation on the pores and skin surface. “

What is benzoyl peroxide?

Hartman explained: “Benzoyl peroxide is a peroxide with antibacterial, irritation, stratum corneum breakdown, anti-inflammatory and acne breakdown effects.” “It is the mainstay of acne treatment and has been a skin disease for decades. Part of nursing.”

It is different from salicylic acid in that it does not shed the skin. On the contrary, it provides powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it first directly targets the bacteria that cause acne outbreaks. According to Ciraldo, benzoyl peroxide kills Propionibacterium acnes, which is the acne-causing bacterium.

Which one do I need for my skin?

You can determine which ingredients your skin needs based on the type of breakthrough you encounter. Since salicylic acid is an abscisic acid, it can dissolve the debris of clogged pores, so Hartman said: “It is the most effective for blackheads and whiteheads”, although “it is good for aging skin, light damaged skin and pigment Uneven skin tone affected by composure is also ideal.”

According to Ciraldo, benzoyl peroxide “is most effective against red, inflamed acne lesions, because inflamed acne lesions are the cause of the overgrowth of P. acnes.” This is different from whiteheads and blackheads, which are clogged pores. , There is no excessive bacterial growth.

In summary, if blackheads and whiteheads are your basis for survival, then buy a product containing salicylic acid., It can break down the debris that clogged pores and increase cell renewal, thereby making the skin clearer and smoother. If you are dealing with angry, red, and inflamed acne, buy products that contain benzoyl peroxide. It will kill the bacteria that cause acne and reduce existing inflammation.

What else do I need to know?

Both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are not without their disadvantages. Let’s talk about salicylic acid first. “If concentrated Salicylic acid acid Hartman explained: “Too high or too high frequency of use can irritate the skin and cause excessive dryness of the skin, especially for those with inherently dry skin.”, or itching.

Benzoyl peroxide is drier than salicylic acid, so “it is completely cautious if you have dry skin, eczema or seborrheic dermatitis.” It can also be unpleasant, which is why you should introduce it slowly To the reason in your routine. Hartman said: “Benzoyl peroxide has been proven to be irritating, especially for people with darker skin.” “It also bleaches clothing and should be used with caution to avoid damage to textiles. After applying it on the skin, Hands should be washed thoroughly.”

Both ingredients should not be overused, so as not to cause irritation and dryness. Having said that, if used sparingly, both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can effectively fight acne.

Products containing salicylic acid

Dr. Loretta Micro-Exfoliating Cleanser ($35)

Ciraldo said: “Our sulfate-free Dr. Loretta micro-exfoliating cleanser is perfect for acne.” “We formulate it with organic virgin coconut oil to replenish skin moisture and have a calming effect to counteract salicylic acid. Acidity.”

Skin care products LHA Gel Cleaner ($41)

“Skinceuticals LHA Cleanser contains salicylic acid acid In addition to other polyhydroxy acid The gentle foaming gel can eliminate clogged pores, treat acne and prevent aging, so that the skin is clean and moisturized. “

Tata Harper Reshape AHA + BHA Serum ($88)

This is another Hartman (Hartman) suggestion, he said, it is “an effective serum that contains both alpha and beta hydroxy acids in natural excipients, and has clean start-up credentials.” We like The fact that it contains vitamin C, it has the effect of antioxidant protection and brightening skin tone.

Alchemist who grew up Blemish Care Gel ($49)

The growing alchemist’s spot treatment gel will prevent bursts on its trajectory without causing excessive dryness or irritation. This is all thanks to chamomile and arnica extracts, both of which reduce inflammation, calm and soothe the skin.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicinal Gel Salicylic Acid Facial Cleanser ($15)

This is one of our favorite drugstore brands. The salicylic acid cleanser is part of the brand’s Effaclar product line, which is specially formulated for acne-prone skin.

Verified Keep Peace Acne Calming Cream Cleanser ($17)

Versed’s acne calming cream cleanser contains apple fruit extract, which has a slight exfoliating effect, and blue tansy has natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Zitsticka Goo Getter ($19)

Senior beauty editor Erin Jahns swears that these hydrocolloid spots can extract impurities, while salicylic acid, tea tree oil and niacinamide can treat blemishes.

Zo skin health Skin tone renewal pad ($51)

Jahns also swears to these pads, which contain glycolic acid and salicylic acid, and can be punched once or twice for exfoliation (not to mention the physical exfoliation obtained from the texture of the pad).

Products containing benzoyl peroxide

Cherava Acne Foaming Cleanser ($12)

Beauty editor Courtney Higgs bought this benzoyl peroxide cleanser when it broke out. She said: “I usually don’t suffer from breakout problems, but in a few cases, I need hand care for emergencies.” “I firmly believe that this foaming cleanser can wash even the most stubborn skin on my skin. In fact, when I use a lot of moisturizer for several days and nights, I sometimes use it, which causes the product to accumulate and makes my skin mild. The cleanser can’t remove it.”

Gloss Sitting stick ($14)

Higgs also likes this fashionable spot care from Glossier. She said: “It is very effective in removing one-time acne and reducing swelling.” “It has all three acne ingredients that can quickly clear spots: benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil and less irritating derived from salicylic acid. Things.”

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide ($30)

When we say that La Roche-Posay is one of our favorite brands, we are not joking. This on-site treatment is no exception. It contains 5.5% benzoyl peroxide, which can quickly eliminate acne-causing bacteria.

Kate Somerville Anti-acne acne cleansing lotion ($52)

Together with 5% benzoyl peroxide, this Kate Somerville lotion contains argan, saw palmetto and sesame seed extracts to absorb excess oil, which means it is another option for people who want to keep their shine .

Obagi ClenziDerm MD Therapeutic Lotion ($84)

Of course, the price tag cannot be understated, but using 5% benzoyl peroxide, this moisturizing cream will definitely prevent blemishes.

Paula’s choice Use 2.5% benzoyl peroxide for regular-intensity daily skin cleansing treatment ($18)

This facial cleanser contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, which can target acne bacteria before they can cause serious damage to the skin. It is also set to a matte finish, which means your skin will not look shiny after application.

Next: I stimulated my skin care routine with this random ingredient and the acne disappeared

This article originally appeared on “Who Wears What”

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