Benzoyl Peroxide vs. Salicylic Acid

Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are the top two active ingredients that you will find in any OTC acne medication. In my opinion, they are both effective in treating acne, but there are certain times in which I prefer to use one over the other.


Benzoyl Peroxide: reduces acne causing bacteria, oxidizes pores to loosen dirt and oil buildup and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Salicylic Acid: dissolves keratin and the layer of skin that clogs the sebaceous gland.


I prefer to use benzoyl peroxide (BP) during the warmer months of the year. It is a bit drying, but I find it is beneficial during the hot and sweaty spring/summer months. It works more like a mattifier if I apply it when my face is slightly damp from cleansing or toning. It also pairs well with my sunscreen.   I only use it 1-2 times a day so I don’t experience any peeling or irritation. I find that BP is most effective in reducing pimple size at whatever state that it is in. The brand that I use is Clean & Clear Persa- Gel 10 Acne Treatment, Maximum Strength, 1 oz, 2 pk

I prefer to use salicylic acid (SA) during the cooler months when my skin is a bit drier. The kind that I use comes in a gel form and it dries clear so there is generally no residue left behind. The brand that I use is  Clean & Clear Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment, 0.75 oz. When I do use SA, I apply it at night because it does not pair well with sunscreen. It tends to flake up when I combine the two.

The only time when I DO NOT use SA is when I have an open pimple. I have found that it burns the skin around the perimeter of the pimple, which has already been compromised, and creates an even worse scar. For women of color (WOC) with hyper-pigmentation this can be a two headed monster.

·        BP can be used throughout the entire life cycle of a pimple (active/healing). SA can be used to prevent pimples, but not when you have broken skin due to an open, active pimple.
·        BP pairs well with sunscreen, SA does not.
·        BP can be drying, but SA (gel/serum form) is less drying.

I hope this was helpful! I’ve included some links to the actual products that I use to make things easy for you guys.

Bye Beauties,

xoxo ChrissyXtina xoxo

For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: He will beautify the meek with salvation.
Psalm 149:4

Source: Livestrong


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