The Impact of Benzoyl Peroxide on Skin Health and Barrier Function
Benzoyl peroxide (BP) is an effective first-line treatment for acne vulgaris, as well as offering some beneficial effects on skin health and barrier functions. It is important to understand its effects on the skin before beginning any treatment with BP.
How Does BP Work?
Benzoyl peroxide works by producing free radicals which kill P. acnes, the bacteria that cause acne. It also breaks down fatty acids and sebum cells in the sebaceous glands that block the pores and cause blackheads. Additionally, BP reduces inflammation and helps to balance the skin’s pH.
What Are the Benefits of BP?
In addition to its acne-fighting effects, BP has been used to treat other skin conditions, such as rosacea, dermatitis, and eczema. It can also help reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots, as well as reduce skin oiliness and blackheads. As BP can swell the hair follicles, it is often used to help loosen ingrown hairs. Finally, it can even help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What Are the Side Effects Of BP?
BP is a very potent active ingredient, and those who use it can experience dryness, irritation, and redness. People with sensitive or oily skin may find they are particularly susceptible to these side effects. It is important to take precautions and always wear sunscreen to protect your skin. Additionally, it is advised to start BP off slowly and build up usage as your skin adjusts.
Can BP Affect Skin Barrier Function?
It is important to note that BP can affect skin barrier function in the short term. Research suggests that the use of BP can temporarily impede the skin’s natural moisturizing capabilities, reducing the skin’s ability to retain moisture. However, BP does not have a lasting, detrimental effect on skin’s natural moisturizing capabilities and does not cause permanent damage to the skin barrier. In fact, many studies have shown that BP can help to create a healthier and more effective skin barrier.
Benzoyl peroxide is a potent active ingredient that has very effective antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an excellent first line of treatment for acne, as well as being beneficial for a variety of other skin conditions. Although it can temporarily prevent the skin from retaining moisture, research has shown that it does not cause permanent damage to the skin’s barrier and can actually help to strengthen it. It is important to start off slowly when using BP and to protect your skin with sunscreen.