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Two major combatants against acne are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, both of which are inexpensive and easy to find. But there are many different types of acne, so the question remains, which product works better on which acne. Problems can be aggravated if the wrong treatment is conducted, so we will try to aid you in getting a good fighter for your problem. We will compare them and provide more information on both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Oxygen and benzoic acid are ingredients of benzoyl peroxide and once it connects with the skin, it breaks down. The P. acne which helps the development of the acne and this bacterium, will be destroyed by the oxygen. The bumps are created by the inflamed follicles and this is caused by the dead sebum and skin. This sebum and skin can be removed by exfoliating, drying and peeling off of the skin and this is an effect of benzoyl peroxide. You can get 2.5% or 10% benzoyl, and even the one with less concentration is equally effective as the other, and it causes less irritation. So we recommend the one with 2.5%. However, although benzoyl can make your skin excessively dry, it will reach the deepest of pores. Benzoyl should be used on the red spots deep in the skin, with or without puss. You can get the Proactive system or Neutrogena On-The-Spot, which are both effective and based on benzoyl. But be careful if you are using such products if you have light acne or sensitive skin because the problem may become worse if you apply the treatment excessively.

Salicylic Acid

This treatment is best for blackheads and those who are sensitive. It is a great peeling agent, but it has less amount of oxygen. Salicylic acid is best for spots, blackheads that are not deep and closed comedones. One of products based on this acid is Clean & Clear. Also, be careful when using it because it can lead to dry skin if used excessively, especially if you have sensitive skin.


Know that skin irritation will be aided by the sun exposure, so be careful about this. Unbleached clothing or hair need to stay clear from products with benzoyl peroxide. Irritated skin, with cuts or if it is swollen, should not be applied with salicylic acid. Overdose with salicylic acid can happen if swallowed, because it is toxic in high doses.

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