Benzoyl Peroxide: it might sound like a term from freshman Chemistry, but I can almost guarantee that you have used it before. It may even be lurking in your medicine cabinet as you read this post.
“BPO” is an ingredient in many—forget that, in most—anti-acne facial cleansers. So why the hype? What is it about BPO that earns its prominence in the skincare world?
First, it promotes “skin turnover.” By making your surface skin peel, it allows new cells to replace the old ones. Additionally, it reduces bacteria counts, specifically the propionibacterium varieties, which are responsible for acne flare-ups.
Ready to go stock up? Not so fast. Just because BPO is the current “go-to” ingredient doesn’t mean it is without risks. For starters, that “turn-over” process can be quiet irritating, especially if you already have sensitive skin. It also increases sun-damage susceptibility and can raise your risk of hyper-pigmentation—those dreaded “brown spots.” But the biggest problem with BPO is tolerance. After about a week of use, your skin becomes acclimated; you’ll soon need higher doses of BPO to match that initial efficacy.
Ok—so maybe tolerance isn’t quite the “biggest” problem. Some studies link extended BPO usage with increased risk of skin cancer. However, many medical professionals privilege its acne-fighting benefits over this danger.
“Keep Calm and Avoid BPO”