Benzoyl Peroxide Information & Side Effects

What does benzoyl peroxide do?

Benzoyl peroxide is used to treat mild and severe acne. It works as an antiseptic to reduce the number of pesky bacteria on the surface of your skin. You can buy benzoyl peroxide in either a gel form or as a wash.

Everyone is different and so is their skin. Therefore, when trying a new skincare product, it’s always best to do a patch test first. This will help determine if you are sensitive to the product and active ingredients before you use it on your face. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend that you consult your healthcare professional.

Benzoyl peroxide sensitivity side effects are common amongst treatments. Though the good news is that skin does recover and gradually builds up tolerance to this acne treatment over time. Usually the side effects peak in the first week or two.

5 things to help with benzoyl peroxide side effects:

  • Check your daily skincare routine: Cleanse your face for a maximum of twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Over cleansing can disrupt your skin’s barrier and lead to more irritation. Do not use products with exfoliants (physical or chemical) as the treatment is already providing an exfoliating effect. Use a good non comedogenic, hydrating sensitive skin moisturiser after applying the treatment.
  • Start using the treatment once daily every other day, and gradually build this up over several weeks to use once daily every day, then up to a maximum of twice daily.
  • Do not be tempted to use too much gel - applying more will not clear acne faster, but may just irritate the skin more.
  • If the skin becomes irritated, drop the frequency of application down again, to every other day and allow it to recover before gradually building up again to a more tolerable frequency.
  • Many acne treatments can make the skin more sensitive to light, so it is really important to protect the skin from UV light in the day with a UVA + UVB protective SPF moisturiser, around SPF 30 or more is recommended.

If the skin reactions are more severe, and causing problems, please do seek advice from a GP or Pharmacist.

Acnecide’s Medicinal products all contain benzoyl peroxide. If you’re unable to use benzoyl peroxide, you can still benefit from our Daily Cosmetic Skincare.

Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at
Adverse events should also be reported to Galderma (UK) Ltd.
Tel: +44 1 923 208950