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For People Intolerant to Benzoyl Peroxide

By Cynthia Bailey MD.

best acne treatment without benzoyl peroxide

Intolerance to benzoyl peroxide may be an allergy or simply an irritation from using a product that is too strong or drying.

If you have facial acne, but your skin is intolerant to benzoyl peroxide, you may have trouble finding an acne treatment that works. Don't worry. There are effective facial acne treatments that do not rely on products containing benzoyl peroxide.

Use compatible acne treatment products and acne-friendly products in your skin care routine without benzoyl peroxide

best products to treat acne without benzoyl peroxide

You always get the best results treating acne if you use a Complete Skin Care Routine that protects your skin from facial dryness and UV rays as well as treats acne.

Complete Skin Care involves layering products to give your skin what it needs to stay healthy. This includes the 4 steps of:

  1. CLEANSE
  2. CORRECT
  3. HYDRATE
  4. PROTECT

Dr. Cynthia Bailey's Complete Skin Care Routine to Treat Acne Without Benzoyl Peroxide

Follow the four simple steps below to tackle your facial acne.

Step One: CLEANSE

Best facial cleansers for acne without benzoyl peroxide

Thoroughly wash your face once or twice a day using salicylic acid, glycolic acid and/or pyrithione zinc to combat acne. 

best acne facial cleanser without benzoyl peroxide

My Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser contains medicated salicylic acid at the highest 2% concentration allowed. This medicated ingredient penetrates deeply into oily pores to break up blackheads. The cleanser also contains 10% glycolic acid, which helps brighten your complexion and break-up blackheads.

If your acne is mild, Triple Action Exfoliating Cleanser is made with 0.5% salicylic acid and 10% glycolic acid along with exfoliating eco-friendly beads. This formulation brightens your complexion beautifully at the same time it treats acne.

If you are allergic to salicylic acid, Glycolic Acid Cleanser is an option to brighten skin and keep pores clear. It contains 10% glycolic acid. 

Calming Zinc Bar Soap is made with a full 2% pyrithione zinc to help combat fungal acne, also known as Pityrosporum folliculitis. Often fungal acne and acne vulgaris happen at the same time and it's nice to target both.  

My top choice among these options is Foaming Acne Treatment Cleanser in the morning and Calming Zinc at night.

Step Two: CORRECT

Best products to treat acne without benzoyl peroxide

best acne treatment products without benzoyl peroxide

Once your face is clean and dry, you are ready to apply treatment products that fight pimples and blackheads. To do this, use either my Salicylic and Glycolic Acid Acne Treatment Pads for oily skin and clogged pores. You can use the pads once or twice a day.

control acne and oil with green tea cream

If facial redness is a problem, apply Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy twice a day. Green tea antioxidants have been shown to reduce sebum production and acne lesions. I always recommend my patients consider adding the Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy to their acne skin care routine. 

Apply Glycolic Acid Face Cream during the day and/or with Retinol Night Cream at night. Retinol Night Cream contains green tea and so you don't need to apply Green Tea Antioxidant Therapy at night.  

best retinol for acne

I like the Glycolic Acid Face Cream used during the day and the Retinol applied at night. Or, you can top the Retinol with the Glycolic Acid at night if your skin can tolerate the combination. I recommend starting with what you know that your skin can handle and working up.

I recommend the Acne Treatment Pads followed by Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy during the day and Retinol Night Cream at night. This fights both acne and the signs of skin aging and gives you the best antioxidant skin care for acne.

Step Three: HYDRATE

acne treatment without benzoyl peroxide

best face cream for acneSkin hydration is important to prevent dryness and irritation. Always protect skin from dehydration by using a moisturizer especially since acne treatment can dry your skin. My acne patients love my Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin. It is the ideal moisturizer for acne because it hydrates with an oil-free formulation that feels light on your skin. If you are using the Glycolic Acid Face Cream it hydrates skin with a nice oil-free moisturizing base. 

Step Four: PROTECT

best sunscreens for acne

Always use a mineral zinc oxide sunscreen to protect against hyperpigmentation of acne scars. Chose a product that feels light on your skin and that won't clog pores. The most popular sunscreens for acne-prone skin in my practice are my Sheer Strength Pure Physical Sunscreens: Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray SPF 50+ Sunscreen and Sheer Strength Matte Tinted SPF 50+ Sunscreen. The tinting technology in the Matte Tinted blends into all skin tones. 

Know that wearing sunscreen every day is the most important step you can take to protect your skin from other damaging effects of the sun such as premature skin aging.

Start Your Acne Regimen Today Dealing with acne-prone facial skin can seem like a losing battle, but it doesn't have to be. Follow the above treatment steps to effectively combat your acne and keep it from coming back.
References
  1. Suzana Saric, Manisha Notay, and Raja K. Sivamani, Green Tea and Other Tea Polyphenols: Effects on Sebum Production and Acne Vulgaris, Antioxidants, (Basel). 2017 March; 6(1): 2.Published online 2016 December 29. doi: 10.3390/antiox6010002 PMCID: PMC5384166
  2. Elsaie ML, Abdelhamid MF, Elsaaiee LT, Emam HM. The efficacy of topical 2% green tea lotion in mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris. J Drugs Dermatol. 2009 Apr;8(4):358-64.