Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are common ingredients in many acne products. They have each shown to be effective at clearing up and preventing acne breakouts. But, can you mix benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid at the same time? Does doing so create a more effective acne treatment, or could it be potentially dangerous or just ineffective? Keep reading, and we’ll share more about mixing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid together.
Table of Contents
- What Is Benzoyl Peroxide?
- What Is Salicylic Acid?
- Can You Mix Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid?
- What Is the Best Way to Add Both Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide to My Routine?
- Mixing Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid
What Is Benzoyl Peroxide?
Before we get into whether you can mix benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, let’s take a small step back to understand what each ingredient is and what they are good for.
Benzoyl peroxide – an organic acid – is an ingredient you’ll find in many acne treatments. It kills bacteria beneath the skin, decreases inflammation, and helps remove oil and dead skin cells from the pores. This can help to clear up acne breakouts and prevent future breakouts from occurring.
Some individuals do experience irritation when they use benzoyl peroxide, especially formulations that have a higher concentration (between 2.5% and 10%). If you notice that your skin is peeling too much or is too red, it could mean that benzoyl peroxide is not a good match for you.
What Is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA). Compared to AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) which are water-soluble, BHAs are oil-soluble. This means that they are able to exfoliate the skin and penetrate deep into the pores to clear out oil and debris.
This makes them an excellent tool for fighting acne, since clogged pores can lead to acne breakouts. Salicylic acid toners also work as an anti-inflammatory to reduce redness and inflammation. It is most effective on clearing up blackheads and whiteheads because it is able to dissolve keratin plugs. However, it can also help some when fighting cystic acne.
As we mentioned earlier, benzoyl peroxide can irritate the skin for some individuals. One benzoyl peroxide vs salicylic acid difference is that salicylic acid is less likely to cause this type of reaction. However, take care not to overuse salicylic acid, as it could still cause some drying or irritation, particularly in those who have sensitive skin, are pregnant, or are taking blood-thinning medications.
Can You Mix Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid?
After reading about the benefits of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, you may want to maximize the effectiveness of each ingredient by mixing them together. So, can I use benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid at the same time?
In theory, you could mix benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid together and apply them to your skin. However, doing so isn’t the best idea.
While each ingredient can be quite powerful on its own, mixing them together can lead to negative effects. It can make your skin too dry or cause it to peel. When salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are mixed together, it can also cause redness or irritation.
Can I use benzoyl peroxide after salicylic acid face wash? This isn’t a great idea because it would involve putting the benzoyl peroxide on your face right after washing off the salicylic acid. This could make your skin red or dry.
If you search benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid together Reddit, you may find some users who have had success mixing the two ingredients together. However, you’ll likely also find that many individuals found that the combination of both mixed together left their skin too dry.
What Is the Best Way to Add Both Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide to My Routine?
While you shouldn’t mix benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid together, this doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate both of them into your skincare routine. So, how are you supposed to do this if you shouldn’t use them both at the same time. There are actually a few different scenarios that could work:
- Use one ingredient in the morning and the other in the afternoon: Try using either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in the morning and the other ingredient later in the evening. This should give your skin time to process each ingredient and should help decrease dryness. Should I use salicylic acid before benzoyl peroxide? It is up to you which ingredient you want to use in the morning and which you’d like to add to your evening routine.
- Alternate using benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid each day: If you’d prefer, you could also alternate using benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid on different days. This will also help prevent the two from being used too close to one another and can help keep your skin from drying out.
Mixing Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid
Now that you’ve learned more about the acne-fighting power of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, you may be ready to add both ingredients to your skincare routine. Remember that mixing the two isn’t recommended in most cases, as it can make your skin too dry. You can use one in the morning and the other in the evening or on alternative days, however, if you want to take advantage of what each of these ingredients has to offer.
Learn more with these related posts on our blog:
Can you use benzoyl peroxide and BHA together?
Using benzoyl peroxide and BHAs at the same time is not typically recommended by skincare experts as it can make your skin too dry or cause redness.
Can I use benzoyl peroxide in the morning and salicylic acid at night?
Yes, using benzoyl peroxide in the morning, followed by salicylic acid at night is fine. This spaces the ingredients out and can help prevent the over-drying effect of using them together.
Can you mix salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide?
Can you mix benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid for acne? While both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can help clear up acne breakouts, mixing the two ingredients together isn’t advisable. When mixed together, they can cause redness or make your skin very dry.
Can I use salicylic acid before benzoyl peroxide?
You shouldn’t use salicylic acid immediately before benzoyl peroxide because using both ingredients at the same time can make your skin too dry. However, you could use salicylic acid in the morning and benzoyl peroxide in the evening.