Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) – an oil-soluble acid which chemically exfoliates the skin, helping speed up the shedding of dead skin cells. It also acts as a peeling agent to help break down blackheads and whiteheads while unblocking pores. Often it needs to be left on the skin to be the most effective.

Benzoyl peroxide helps the skin to shed more effectively too, but – unlike salicylic acid – it also has powerful antibacterial properties. This crucial difference means it kills the acne-causing P. acnes bacteria, prevents new acne from forming and helps break the entire acne cycle. It’s available in wash off or leave-on formulations.

Benzoyl peroxide is the ingredient that makes PanOxyl® acne washes so effective. They do not contain salicylic acid, but can be used in companion with a salicylic acid product.

Using Benzoyl Peroxide Wash Vs Salicylic Acid Treatments

Both acne treatment ingredients are available in various forms over the counter, including gels, creams and washes. Usually they appear in separate products, but sometimes are combined in the same treatment.

Separate salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide products can be used in combination with one another, but it’s usually best to start with just one of the ingredients to avoid over-drying the skin. For example, you could try a benzoyl peroxide acne face wash for several weeks, and then if needed, apply a topical salicylic acid treatment as an extra step in your skincare routine.

Since benzoyl peroxide is such a powerful ingredient, we recommend using a product with a lower concentration at first. PanOxyl® washes are available in two formulations depending on your skin’s needs – 4% in our Daily Creamy Wash for mild acne or 10% in our Acne Foaming Wash for more severe acne.

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Benzoyl Peroxide

Salicylic Acid

Kills bacteria that causes acne

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Available in washes, creams, gels, cleansing pads

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Available in different strengths 2%-10%

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Can be used in conjunction with other topical and oral acne treatments

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Works by exfoliating (removing) the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin that can clog pores

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Helps the skin to shed more effectively to prevent pores from becoming clogged

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Keeps bacteria levels down and helps to reduce inflammation to help break the acne cycle

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Benzoyl

Peroxide

Salicylic

Acid

Kills bacteria that causes acne

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Available in washes, creams, gels, cleansing pads

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Available in different strengths 2%-10%

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cross_org

Can be used in conjunction with other topical and oral acne treatments

right_org
right_org

Works by exfoliating (removing) the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin that can clog pores

cross_org
right_org

Helps the skin to shed more effectively to prevent pores from becoming clogged

right_org
cross_org

Keeps bacteria levels down and helps to reduce inflammation to help break the acne cycle

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