Benzoyl peroxide, known for its ability to kill bacteria, has been used to treat skin infections since the 1890s. A synthetic chemical that is distilled from petroleum, this old school chemical remains the most widely used over the counter acne medication in the United States and continues to be the primary active ingredient in many of the most advertised acne brands. The side effects of benzoyl peroxide continue to be the culprit responsible for the fear many have of acne treatment and the reason that the European Union has banned the chemical from all over the counter skin care products. Benzoyl peroxide causes the familiar “red face” during the first 6-8 weeks of treatment, as the top layer of skin is literally burned away. Benzoyl peroxide cannot discern between eradicating the healthy bacteria and the acne causing bacteria, so it attacks all bacteria equally. Elimination of the good bacteria, and drying the skin to the point of being raw from peeling and flaking leaves skin vulnerable to secondary infections.
Your skin is the body’s largest organ and quickly absorbs whatever chemical or compound placed upon it directly into the bloodstream. With modern plant derived acne treatments offering safe and effective alternatives to old school industrial chemicals, why would anyone continue to place petroleum distillates on their skin?