Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid for Acne - Mario Badescu Skin Care
Acne Skin Care - Mario Badescu Skin Care
Shipping in U.S.
Mario Badescu Skin CareMario Badescu Skin Care ProductsNY Beauty Salon & Day SpaMario Badescu Gift CertificatesCelebrity Skin CareSkin Care AnalysisMario Badescu In The NewsMario Badescu ReviewsSkin Care RegimensSkin Care Advice
Acne Treatment Center


Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid for Acne

Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are two of the major over the counter approved ingredients for treating acne effectively. They work in different ways on the skin, each with their own pros and cons. Here at Mario Badescu we have always used Salicylic Acid along with other anti-acne and anti-inflammatory ingredients for over 40 years with excellent results.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is also known as Betahydroxy acid or BHA. It is derived from a bitter powder that comes from the bark of a willow tree. It is a ďkeratolyticĒ (keratin-dissolving) which is the technical term for exfoliating ingredient. It actually can penetrate into the pore to dissolve dead skin cell build up and encourages the shedding of the top layer of skin which prevents the pores from becoming congested. Though it does not have any effect on the acne bacteria in the pores or the excess production of sebum that cause acne, .5% -2% concentrations of salicylic acid are effective at clearing mild to moderate acne effectively without over drying the skin. It does, however need to be applied even after the acne has cleared to continue its exfoliating and pore clearing benefits. In some skin creams for dry or mature skin, salicylic acid is used in lower concentrations as an exfoliating ingredient which increases the efficacy of active ingredients.

Since salicylic acid can be slightly drying to the surface of the skin, it is advised not to use it along with topical acne prescriptions, aggressive cleansers and astringents. For the best results, a balanced acne regimen with moisturizing and soothing products is recommended along with salicylic acid products. Pregnant and nursing women should check with their physician about using salicylic acid since some advise against it.


The P.acnes bacteria that cause acne can not live in an oxygen rich environment which Benzoyl Peroxide provides when it comes in contact with the skin so breakouts are reduced. It is also a keratolytic, providing exfoliating benefits in the pores to prevent clogging. It is used in 2.5%, 5% and 10% concentrations depending on the severity of acne and sensitivity level of the skin although higher concentrations are not always more effective. Benzoyl Peroxide can be found in many over the counter creams, gels and lotions as well as in stronger prescription products. After acne has improved product usage is still necessary preventative reasons.

Benzoyl peroxide products should be discussed with your physician if you are pregnant or nursing. It can also bleach fabric so itís best to protect your clothing and linens when using products with this ingredient. Side effects range from mild to severe dryness, peeling and swelling so careful selection of other skin care products should be made so as not to increase the severity of these effects. It should not be used in conjunction with any acne prescriptions to avoid drying and irritating the skin.

 Re-order your favorite products with:   Quick, convenient on-line shopping