Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are the best anti-acne ingredients available today. They are significantly better than any over-the-counter and prescription topical medications (creams/gels) that one can get. Benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria, while salicylic acid exfoliates and unclogs pores.
Can you topically use benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid at the same time?
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid both have exfoliating effects and using them at the same time can dry the skin. The good news is that using these two topical anti-acne ingredients on alternating days is a magically effective combination!
What is the best active ingredient for an acne treatment cleanser, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid?
Due to its lipophilic properties and ability to quickly penetrate pores and oil glands, salicylic acid is the best ingredient for a medicated anti-acne cleanser. The strength of the salicylic acid can range from 0.5% to 2.0%, depending on the user's skin type. A cleanser with salicylic acid 0.5% would be better suited for someone with dry or normal skin, and salicylic acid 2% for those with oily skin. On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide cleansers only stay on the skin for a short period, so they do not have time to penetrate the pores to destroy acne bacteria, making them less effective than salicylic acid cleansers.
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid acne treatment creams – how do they compare?
As benzoyl peroxide has a stronger anti-bacterial effect, it is more effective on active red and inflamed acne. Salicylic acid is typically the best fit for mild or comedonal acne (mainly blackheads and whiteheads) and adult acne.
Best Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% (Amazon).
Best Benzoyl Peroxide 5% (Amazon).
Best Salicylic Acid 2% Cream (Amazon).
To find the right acne treatments for your unique skin, take the free skin assessment by clicking here.