Your Cart is Empty

Start your journey to clear skin.
Take the quiz
Shop all products

What is benzoyl peroxide? Who invented it?

BPO MDacne acne

The first mention of the medical use of benzoyl peroxide dates back to 1929, when Lyon and Reynolds reported the effective treatment of burns, wounds, and varicose veins by benzoyl peroxide [1]. Subsequently, it was found that it has antibacterial [2,3], anti-inflammatory [4], keratolytic [5], and wound healing [6.7] effects.

Benzoyl peroxide is a widely used agent for acne treatment because of its efficacy and tolerability in patients [8,9]. Benzoyl peroxide is an excellent alternative to topical antibiotics for treating Acne vulgaris caused by antibiotic-resistant strains, for example, Propionibacterium acnes [10,11].

Best Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% (Amazon).
Best Benzoyl Peroxide 5% (Amazon).


1. Cotterill J.A. Benzoyl peroxide. Acta Derm.-Venereol. Suppl. 1980;(Suppl. 89):57–63.
2. Leyden J.J., Wortzman M., Baldwin E.K. Antibiotic-resistant propionibacterium acnes suppressed by a benzoyl peroxide cleanser 6% Cutis. 2008;82:417–421.
3. Burkhart C.G., Burkhart C.N., Isham N. Synergistic antimicrobial activity by combining an allylamine with benzoyl peroxide with expanded coverage against yeast and bacterial species. Br. J. Dermatol. 2006;154:341–344.
4. Hegemann L., Toso S.M., Kitay K., Webster C.F. Anti-inflammatory actions of benzoyl peroxide: Effects on the generation of reactive oxygen species by leucocytes and the activity of protein kinase c and calmodulin. Br. J. Dermatol. 1994;130:569–575.
5. Waller J.M., Dreher F., Behnam S., Ford C., Lee C., Tiet T., Weinstein G.D., Maibach H.I. ‘Keratolytic’ properties of benzoyl peroxide and retinoic acid resemble salicylic acid in man. Skin Pharmacol. Physiol. 2006;19:283–289.
6. Merker P.C. Benzoyl peroxide: A history of early research and researchers. Int. J. Dermatol. 2002;41:185–188.
7. Alvarez O.M., Mertz P.M., Eaglstein W.H. Benzoyl peroxide and epidermal wound healing. Arch. Dermatol. 1983;119:222–225.
8. Sagransky M., Yentzer B.A., Feldman S.R. Benzoyl peroxide: A review of its current use in treating acne vulgaris. Expert Opin. Pharmacother. 2009;10:2555–2562.
9. Burkhart C.G., Burkhart C.N. The chemistry and synergy of benzoyl peroxide with clindamycin. Br. J. Dermatol. 2008;159:480–481.
10. Kaur J., Sehgal V.K., Gupta A.K., Singh S.P. A comparative study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination topical preparations in acne vulgaris. Int. J. Appl. Basic Med. Res. 2015;5:106–110.
11. Burkhart C.G., Burkhart C.N. Treatment of acne vulgaris without antibiotics: Tertiary amine–benzoyl peroxide combination vs. Benzoyl peroxide alone. Int. J. Dermatol. 2007;46:89–93.

To find the right acne treatments for your unique skin, take the free skin assessment by clicking here.

Start your journey
to clear skin

  • Custom acne treatment cream, cleanser and moisturizer
  • Unlimited Dermatologist support
  • Ongoing skin monitoring