The 5 Best Benzoyl Peroxide Face Washes

Benzoyl peroxide is a broad-spectrum antibacterial ingredient that targets acne-causing bacteria and clogged pores, but it can also potentially cause dryness and irritation, dermatologist Dr. Tiffany Libby tells Elite Daily. For this reason, Dr. Libby says the best benzoyl peroxide face washes contain a lower percentage of the ingredient (even concentrations as low as 2.5% can be effective, she explains), while that stronger 10% benzoyl peroxide cleansers are better reserved for your body. If you have sensitive skin in particular, Dr. Libby advises looking for face washes with moisturizing ingredients to offset any potential irritation.

Use your face wash once or twice a day, and to give the active ingredient enough time to work, work it into a lather, then leave the cleanser on your skin for one to two minutes before rinsing it off, advises Dr. Libby. Do not use cleanser with benzoyl peroxide at the top of another benzoyl peroxide productas doubling up can lead to dryness and redness, although she says it’s okay to use products with other acne-targeting ingredients, such as beta hydroxy acids or alpha hydroxy acids.

To shop for the best benzoyl peroxide cleansers, keep scrolling; then, choose one of the best moisturizers to use with benzoyl peroxide. While you’re at it, you might also want to buy benzoyl peroxide-resistant pads, as the ingredient — just like bleach — can cause white spots.

1. Doctor’s Choice: Best Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash

“My favorite BP cleansers are PanOxyl Benzoyl Peroxide Washes, both the 4% creamy wash and the 10% Foaming Wash. The 4% is my first-line recommendation for acne sufferers because it targets acne-causing bacteria, reduces oil, and unclogs pores, which treats and reduces acne breakouts,” explains the Dr Libby. “The 4% Creamy Wash is also pH balanced and formulated with humectant and emollient moisturizers like glycerin and dimethicone to nourish the skin and minimize irritation,” she adds, while noting that she loves the PanOxyl Cleanser 10% for the treatment of body acne.

2. Best Benzoyl Peroxide Foaming Face Wash

If you prefer a foaming cleanser, try this bestseller CeraVe facial cleanser, which balances 4% benzoyl peroxide with the gentle moisturizing properties of glycerin, barrier-strengthening ceramides, soothing niacinamide and hydrating hyaluronic acid. The formula is fragrance and SLS free, so it’s a safe choice for sensitive skin, but note that those with dry skin may prefer a creamy cleanser over a foaming cleanser.

3. Best Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash with AHA

If you find higher percentages of benzoyl peroxide too strong for your skin, start with the lowest effective level and see if it’s enough to keep your skin clear without causing redness or irritation. Acne Free Oil-Free Acne Cleanser contains 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, the lowest of any cleanser on this list, so it’s a good bet if washes over 4% were too strong for you. Plus, it contains AHA glycolic acid to double down on skin-brightening ingredients, while ceramides and glycerin are included in the formula to help prevent dryness.

4. Best Extra Strength Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash

At the other end of the spectrum, Differin Daily Deep Cleanser contains 5% benzoyl peroxide and is, along with the PCA skin cleanser below, the strongest cleanser you will find on this list. Although it also contains glycerin for hydration, it is the best choice for people with oily, acne-prone skin who are not prone to dryness or skin sensitivities. If you’re looking for a good moisturizer to use with this cleanser, Differin is great too. daytime and night creams.

5. Best Luxury Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash

In the prestige beauty category, there is BPO Cleanser 5% from PCA Skin – one of the few luxury cleansers with benzoyl peroxide. It contains soothing botanicals like chamomile, aloe, and cucumber to counteract any reactivity that may occur with benzoyl peroxide, as well as two mild acids – gluconolactone and phytic acid – which work to gently exfoliate and brighten skin tone. skin.


Dr. Tiffany LibbyMD, FAAD, Board Certified Dermatologist

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