How Much Benzoyl Peroxide is Enough?
ANSWER: It Depends on Your Complexion Problem.
Benzoyl peroxide penetrates into pores, kills the bacteria that aggravates acne and improves the complexion problem. For some, the 2.5% to 3% perfect. If used twice daily in the shower there is enough benzoyl peroxide to penetrate into the pore and reduce the fatty acid content of the oil about 20%. It is also helpful to apply the 3% benzoyl peroxide wash or cleanser and leave the suds on the area of the complexion problem as long as possible. We recommend sudsing up the face, taking the rest of your shower, and then rinsing the benzoyl peroxide from your face.
Some patients are quite sensitive to benzoyl peroxide gels 5% or 10%. Using them causes dryness or even a rash. However, most adults are able to tolerate 3% BP wash or cleanser twice daily without difficulty. The 3% wash or cleanser is especially effective when combined with the Clear Complexion Kit. The combination of the benzoyl peroxide cleanser, ice compresses to reduce inflammation, and the Normalizing Tonic to remove dead skin cells makes a potent combination. This is especially true when it's combined with Derm-A Gel, the vitamin A conditioning lotion which promotes new cell proliferation. These healthy cells don't stick and force out the acne impaction.
For those with oily skin or for patients that have been using the Vivant product line for a while, they can increase their benzoyl peroxide application by using the 5% or 10% gel medication in conjunction with their skin care regimen. Apply the chosen gel medication two to three hours in the evening or depending on the tolerance level, all night. This is a much more potent combination. The 5% gel will lower the fatty acids in the surface oil about 40% and the 10% gel will lower the fatty acids about 60%. When combined with the routine skin care products applied during the day and the 5% or 10% gel applied at night, it is often possible to clear up problem complexions.
However, some individuals cannot tolerate the 5% or 10% gels all night. The skin around the eyes or mouth may get too dry. If this is the case, apply the gel medication for a few hours in the evening, and then wash it off. If neither the 5% or 10% gel medication is not tolerated (even in small amounts) you should just use the 3% wash or cleanser. This is particularly true of patients who are allergic to benzoyl peroxide. They may tolerate the 3% wash or cleanser, but not the 5% or 10% gels. Unfortunately, some individuals are so sensitive to benzoyl peroxide they can't even tolerate the 3% cleansers. In that case, they need to use the buffing grains and normalizing tonic combined with one of the stronger vitamin A conditioning lotion.
In summary, a word of caution about benzoyl peroxide. Though it is an effective anti-bacterial that improves acne complexions, it is also a powerful oxidant similar to oxygen in the air. Its use may be very safe for a year or so but chronic use over many years can cause fine lines to develop. We do not advocate the chronic use of benzoyl peroxide gels in those who have dry skin or live in a dry atmosphere or where the acne problem has improved. These patients should come off the benzoyl peroxide gels and use Clear Complexion Kit I or II that only contains benzoyl peroxide 3%.