Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid: Which is Better for Curing Acne?

Benzoyle Vs Salicylic for acne treatment 1

Acne is a chronic inflammation skin disease that affects your oil gland found beneath the skin; your sebaceous gland that responsible for the production of oily substance called “Sebum”. The small holes found on your skin surface is connected to the previous mentioned oily gland by a canal called follicle; inside the follicle the oil carries dead skin cells to the skin surface, when the follicle(canal) blocks; the pimple eventually grows! It may also associated with bacteria that may cause swelling of the hair follicle. Pimples can found in any part of your body and it is not life threatening but can cause skin scares.

Pimples are not of the same size or kind

As shown in the below picture, there are more than one type for pimples;

Pimples types

Which are:

  1. Whiteheads
    • Pimples that usually stays under the skin’s surface
  2. Blackheads
    • Pimples that appears on the skin’s surface and seems black
  3. Papules
    • The small tender red bumps
  4. Pustules
    • Pimples that are red at the bottom and secretes pus on the skin’s surface
  5. Nodules
    • Solid, painful pimples that are deep in the skin

Who gets acne and what’s its 8 causes?

Everyone can gets acne; it is considered as a common skin disease especially in the teenagers and young adults. Based on studies, it has been found that 85 percent of people between the ages of 11-30 have acne outbreak. Indeed there are many reasons behind the truth of this percentage; let us discus in details its causes and how to treat it.


  1. Hormonal changes during sexual maturity that can vigorously affect the skin’s gland; causing them to secrete more oil. Therefore, the oil releases through the follicle reaching the surface of the skin in order to keep it moist, at the same time acne may starts to develop due to the mixing of oil with dead cells as a result the skin pores are blocked.
    • Bacteria may also develops on this mixture causing swelling as mentioned before that make the situation getting much worst!
  1. Studies also shows that dairy products and carbohydrates rich food such as bread and chips may cause an acne to develop. In addition to eating chocolates that may also make the situation much worst.  
  2. Certain medications such as corticosteroids and lithium can cause acne to develop.
  3. Usage of Contraceptive
  4. Hormonal changes during pregnancy.
  5. Usage of greasy makeups
  6. Emotional stress
  7. Menstruation

So how can I deal with acne?

In the treatment of acne; medications usually try to fulfill more than one target and I can say they are the triple R:

  1. Reduce the oil production
  2. Reduce the inflammation
  3. Reduce the total bacterial count found on the surface of the skin

Recommended: 14 Days To A Completly Acne Free Skin With Revitol Acnezine

Individuals with chronic acne case usually spend too much time trying to find the best skincare products that also meets their skin type. One of the most frequently asked questions while dealing with your chronic acne is whether to choose products that contain salicylic acid or products that contain benzoyl peroxide.

Both of them are the best in the treatment of acne but knowing the effect & how it works for each product is essential and will resolve the conflict of whether to choose salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

Salicylic acid Vs Benzoyl Peroxide For Acne Treatment

What is Benzoyl Peroxide? What is salicylic acid?
The well-known organic compound that registered on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicine.


It is considered as bleaching agent therefore it used for teeth whitening, in addition to its effect in the treatment of acne.

It is phenolic acid that derived from the bark of willow tree, that has anti-inflammatory property as well as its role in many different formulations that used to treat different kinds of pain in addition to its effect in acne treatment.
Benzoyl peroxide and Acne Salicylic acid and Acne
The reason behind the effectiveness of Benzoyl Peroxide in the treatment of acne is that it has Antimicrobial effect; it mainly reduces the total no. of bacterial colonies (Propionibacterium Acne)  in addition it clear the pores of the skin’s surface area from both the dead skin and excess oil found on the surface of skin.


The Beta hydroxy acid “Salicylic acid”  considered as an excellent exfoliator agent; that shed the dead skin away and prevent its mixing with the oil found on the skin’s surface therefore prevent the formation acne


Possible side effects of Benzoyl Peroxide Possible side effects of Salicylic Acid
Benzoyl peroxide may cause redness, dryness to your skin and may increase your skin sensitivity towards the sun. Therefore make sure to use an appropriate moisturizer and wear your sunscreen whenever you exposed to sun.


But if you find any kind of up normal symptoms such as

  • Severe Redness and itching for the skin
  • Blistering of the skin
  • Swelling of the skin, lips and tongue

You have to stop using benzoyl peroxide product and contact your doctor immediately

Salicylic acid may cause dryness and peeling for your skin as benzoyl peroxide do. So as mentioned before moisturize your skin regularly.


A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing; you have to contact your doctor immediately.

 How effective is the benzoyl peroxide and Salicylic Acid?

Like many other acne treatment products, Both of them takes time to see its results and you have to wait at least from Two to Eight weeks therefore be patient it is a matter of time.

What are the Optimum Concentration Levels of Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in products?

Benzoyl peroxide is sold in concentration up to 10% but based Salicylic acid is sold in many forms such as pad, gel, cream,
on studies, it shows that 2.5% concentration is much more lotion with a concentration range from 0.5% to 2.0% and
effective and less irritating than 10% concentration. It should be applied only on the affected part of the skin

Good Choices Always Matter, so Which Best Acne Treatment Should You Go For?

Benzoyl Peroxide Is a Good Choice for You Ifyour acne is contaminated with bacteria, in addition, if your acne is red and inflamed.

Salicylic Acid Is a Good Choice for You If…you need dissolve pore blockages and smooth out the skin.

You don’t have to choose one ingredient over the other, either. Using both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid together can help increase their effectiveness as each one work probably on different targets as mentioned before.

However, we highly recommend Acnezine Acne Treatment Ointment. It helped many users to achieve great results in just 14 days.

Click Here To Read Acnezine Detailed Review With Users Before And After Pics


About Dr. Saleh

Dr. Saleh is an active author in the beauty & health industry. He is well known for his unprecedented research and advocacy efforts to support safe cosmetic products and healthy way of living.

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