Almost everybody, if not all, has experienced mild acne breakout at least once. Hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy, stress, pollution and the food that we eat are some of the causes of these mild zit breakouts. The funny thing is, a big red pimple is almost always sure to break out on the eve of a special event, such as the prom, wedding day, or important job interview.
If your acne problem is not severe and you only encounter breakouts once in a while, you can actually just let your immune system do its job in fighting off the bacteria that caused your small zit and instigate the healing process of your skin. More often than not, if you leave your tiny pimple to expire on its own, you won’t have any scarring problems in the future.
However, if you want your mild to moderate acne breakouts to disappear at the shortest possible time, then you might need the help of topical creams and medications. Although there are many types of acne medications on the market, the best or most ideal to mild and moderate acne problems is topical benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl Peroxide Unveiled
Look at the different over-the-counter pimple fighting gels, creams and ointments. You will discover that most of them have benzoyl peroxide as an active ingredient. Basically, benzoyl peroxide can be classified as a chemical under the peroxide family. As the name implies, however, this ingredient is a fusion or combination of peroxide and benzoyl.
Pimple-killing properties of benzoyl peroxide
A number of studies have already confirmed the effectiveness of this active ingredient in the drying up of pimples and the prevention of further breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide is being considered as a best acne buster because it acts three ways: as an oxidizing agent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
As an oxidizing agent, benzoyl peroxide helps in drying out the skin blemishes. Since this chemical is a very potent oxidizing agent, the concentration of benzoyl peroxide in anti-acne creams and gels should be lower than ten percent. You need to know that anything that is more than this percentage might irritate and damage skin.
Some people get an allergic reaction to this chemical, primarily because of its oxidizing property. If you are one of the few who develops a skin allergy after using products that contain high concentration of benzoyl peroxide, do not despair. Instead of utilizing an anti-acne cream that has 10% benzoyl peroxide, just find one that only has a 2.5% concentration
The antiseptic property of benzoyl oxide helps in bringing down the number of yeast, bacteria and other microbes on the surface of the skin, thereby decreasing the chances of getting an infection. In short, the antiseptic property of benzoyl peroxide cleanses the surface of the skin from harmful bacteria and microorganisms.
In just a few hours after applying the benzoyl peroxide-based product, you will notice the significant decline in the puffiness or swelling of your acne. The reason for this is the anti-inflammatory property of benzoyl peroxide. Actually, if your acne problem is just mild and moderate, you will notice that after a day or two, your acne will have completely flatten and healed.
Common Side Effects of Benzoyl Peroxide
Although you can buy topical benzoyl product with less than 10% concentration over the counter, it does not mean it is safe to use regularly or frequently. Many people experience adverse effects from this product because they overuse it and do not follow the recommended usage.
This acne medication should only be applied directly on the affected area because the area where the benzoyl peroxide is applied will surely be dry in just a couple of hours. You will also notice that frequent use of benzoyl peroxide will make your skin a bit scaly.
Despite the minor side effects, anti-acne cream containing benzoyl peroxide still remains as the best acne medication for slight to moderate acne breakout by many magazines and lifestyle articles on the Net.