Benzoyl peroxide is a well-known ingredient for fighting acne. Available in over-the-counter OTC gels, cleansers, and spot treatments, this ingredient comes in different concentrations for mild to moderate breakouts. While benzoyl peroxide can effectively get rid of bacteria and dead skin cells that clog your pores, it has limitations. Benzoyl peroxide works to treat and prevent acne by killing bacteria underneath the skin, as well as helping the pores shed dead skin cells and excess sebum oil. Benzoyl peroxide works particularly well for inflammatory acne , which is characterized by red bumps that contain pus — pustules , papules , cysts , and nodules — instead of whiteheads and blackheads. Cystic acne is considered the most serious form of acne, which also makes it the most difficult to treat.
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We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Benzoyl peroxide works as an antiseptic and may be an effective topical treatment for acne. People can find benzoyl peroxide in various skin care products, including gels, creams, and face washes.