Benzoyl Preoxide Acne Treatment (2.5%)

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Recently, i just bought an acne treatment gel that contains 2.5% of benzoyl preoxide, i was just confused as to how can i do a routine properly.

Can i apply it before i went to sleep and wash off the next morning and apply sunscreen?

And is it true that i need to apply moisturiser after the acne treatment gel has dried up, to prevent any dryness on my skin?

Dr. Teo Wan Lin Answered question February 23, 2021

Hi Jannah,

Avoid acne spot creams with synthetic active ingredients such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, salicylic acid, as these will cause increased skin irritation (irritant contact dermatitis), especially when applied under the occlusion of a face mask. Individuals who apply retinoids or benzoyl peroxide for night acne treatment may find that wearing a mask in the day increases the risk of retinoid dermatitis, a form of eczema that leads to redness and flaking on the skin.

Instead, I recommend anti-inflammatory acne spot creams. Acne formulations with botanical actives such as Chlorella Vulgaris work by regulating sebum production, whilst natural moisturizing factors like amino acids fight inflammation and have additional moisturizing properties to protect the skin barrier.

Furthermore, in today’s mask-wearing environment, it is best to avoid sunscreen under your face mask as the occlusive effect of a face mask will increase comedogenecity of the sunscreen. Sunscreen under mask can increase irritation as well as reduce the effectiveness of the sunscreen because of moisture levels. Instead, UPF50+ biofunctional textiles like our CUIONS and ZINCOOL mask should be the gold standard in sun protection for the lower part of the face.

This topic is also covered in my book, Masking Up: Dermatologist’s Guide to Maskne. The book comes with a complimentary Blemish Spot Cream for you to try as well!

Dr. Teo Wan Lin
TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre

Dr. Teo Wan Lin Answered question February 23, 2021
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