Whether you’ve been dealing with breakouts for a while or they’re completely new to you, you probably feel hideous and fed up with your acne.
While there are plenty of products out there that claim to fix your acne problems, few can live up to the claims.
Benzoyl Peroxide products are some of the most effective out there, but not everyone is made equally. That’s why we’ve created a guide of the best Benzoyl Peroxide acne treatments out there, so all you have to do is choose the one here that fits your needs best! Let’s get started!
The 6 Best Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatments For 2021
Here are 6 of the best acne treatments with benzoyl peroxide.
|Product||Type||At a Glance|
|Proactiv 3-Step Acne Treatment 30-Day System||3-step pack||Gets rid of current acne, prevents future breakouts, kill acne-causing bacteria, cleanses/revitalizes/repairs, very easy to use|
|BPT 10.1 Tea Tree Oil and Benzoyl Peroxide||Moisturizer||Organic plant-based formula, no parabens or fragrance, made in US, safe and effective, anti-bacterial, softens skin|
|Claridad Acne Treatment||Gel||Medical-strength, paraben-free, fast-acting, smooth gel, very lightweight-feeling, great for spot treatment or all-over|
|Clean and Clear Persa-Gel||Gel||Great spot treatment, very portable, prescription-strength formula, helps treat existing pimples and prevent breakouts, fast-acting|
|Paula’s Choice CLEAR||Serum||Oil-free, works on contact, minimizes acne, fights redness, controls excess oil, hydrates skin, good for dry/oily/normal/combination skin|
|Humane Acne Wash (Editor's Pick)||Wash||Kills bacteria, prevents breakouts, non-foaming lotion, cruelty-free, no parabens/SLS/fragrance, works for face and body|
Now that you’ve had a chance to look at each of the best benzoyl peroxide acne treatments, you probably want to know a bit more about some of the ones you’ve got your eye on! Scroll down a bit further to read in-depth about each one!
Proactiv 3 Step – Most Well Known Product
If you already knew that, then you’ve probably seen Proactiv Solution commercials on the tv, or come across their kiosks in the mall.
This combination therapy system is one that really helped to put benzoyl peroxide on the map in the world of acne-fighting! The 3-step system is unique in that it’s not just one product, but an entire system that works together to get rid of acne effectively.
What does it consist of?
It has a renewing cleanser, a revitalizing toner, and finally, a repairing treatment.
The renewing cleanser is preventative and works to exfoliate the skin, helping to unclog pores while also preparing it for the absorption of the following acne treatments. It has Pore Resurfacing beads, which work to smooth and soften the skin while getting rid of any dead skin cells to make room for new ones. The cleanser is great for all skin types.
The revitalizing toner works to balance the skin. A huge reason why acne occurs (although it’s not a rule) is because there is something imbalanced in the skin. This toner gets rid of any impurities that may be aggravating your skin while removing excess oil. As it includes Witch Hazel, it does an amazing job of neutralizing skin, balancing its pH level, and reducing the size of pores.
Finally, we have the repairing treatment.
It’s also preventative with battling the appearance of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and clogged pores, in general. However, it also works to clarify, by helping provide a clearer, smoother complexion.
Application is pretty simple, but if you’re someone that’s always on-the-go, or doesn’t have much time to get ready in the morning/night, then you might want to skip this one as you’re going to have to dedicate at least 15 minutes of your time to apply this 3-step kit once or twice a day.
While we did find it generally effective, there have been many users who didn’t.
Also, it’s not necessarily ideal for those with sensitive skin. It can cause even further breakouts in the first couple weeks, too. This can be off-putting for many.
What We Loved
- Very well-known name brand
- Battles the appearance of pimples/blackheads
- 3-step product kit each functions separately, and best together
What We Didn’t Like
- Doesn’t work for everyone, especially those with sensitive skin
- Relatively expensive
BPT 10.1 Tea Tree Oil – Best Antibacterial Product
This nurturing formula is a powerful moisturizer that uses organic, plant-based ingredients that help to nourish the skin, rather than strip it of nutrients and oils it needs. This benzoyl peroxide face wash features no parabens, fragrance, animal products, nor has any animal testing. This US-made product features 10% benzoyl peroxide, which is great for severe body acne. However, there is also a 3% version, that works well for many not used to benzoyl peroxide, or for those with sensitive skin.
So, how does it work?
It works to eliminate acne by boosting skin turnover, while also clearing pores. This is further aided by the plant-based non-comedogenic oils which penetrate deeper into the skin. This helps to make it a bit more effective than many other comparable products that are water-based. It doesn’t dry as much, and we felt balanced skin better.
The inclusion of tea tree oil is also very important.
Why? Tea tree oil works as an anti-bacterial and is also anti-inflammatory. This is a solid selling point because it remains gentle while being effective. Many benzoyl peroxide products work by using brute force and can be harsh on the skin.
Not this one.
Overall, the formula features 89% natural, raw materials, 55% organic raw materials, and 11% man-made raw materials.
Like with many other benzoyl peroxide products, it can be a little harsh on sensitive skin, but is nowhere near as harsh as comparable products. What we mean by that, is that while you may see some dryness, that can be easily helped with the addition of a moisturizer.
What We Loved
- Gently and effectively clears skin of acne and blemishes
- Almost entirely comprised of all-natural products
- Comes in either 10% or 3% product
What We Didn’t Like
- Can be a bit harsh for sensitive skin
Claridad Acne Treatment – Best Spot Treatment Product
Look no further than Claridad.
Meaning “clarity” in Spanish, we have to say that this product lives up to its name rather well.
This benzoyl peroxide gel is one of the most effective we’ve used, and we think it’s definitely worth a try for new users. It works by targeting the acne-causing product at its roots, rather than treating it on a surface level only.
Claridad focuses both on treating already-existing breakouts/acne, while simultaneously working on the prevention of future breakouts. This means that you’ll see clearer, more even skin in no time while no longer having to worry about the next breakout.
How does it work?
The gel works to unclog pores, get rid of acne-causing bacteria while reducing inflammation and aiding in the boost of skin cell regeneration. By improving this process, the skin heals quicker. This medical-grade acne treatment uses the highest pharmaceutical-grade micronized benzoyl peroxide, which works to dry out existing pimples fast while calming redness.
The paraben-free formula also works well if you just need to spot-treat certain breakout areas or pimples. This is nice because you don’t have to risk drying out areas of your face that aren’t affected by acne.
That it can also be quite tough on sensitive skin. This is due to the whopping 10% medical-grade benzoyl peroxide.
What We Loved
- Medical-grade benzoyl peroxide formula clears already-existing acne treatments while preventing future breakouts
- Can be used for spot treatments
- Works to battle problems at the root
What We Didn’t Like
- Can be too strong for some users
Clean and Clear Persa Gel – Best Fast Acting Product
The Persa Gel has a 10% benzoyl peroxide concentration, which is pretty strong, but as it works as a peeling agent, it increases skin turnover rate and is also very good at cleaning out pores and reducing acne-causing bacteria that could be the reason why you’re having breakouts in the first place.
How big is the product?
Not too big; in fact, it comes in a one-ounce tube, which is perfect for carrying with you on trips or just to the office. Where this product really shines, is in those times where you have a huge pimple on your face and need to get rid of it in time for a big event. In our experience, it can get rid of a deep, disturbing pimple in just under 12 hours!
As it is so high in benzoyl peroxide, you must use a moisturizer before applying the product, or your skin will probably become dried out. Also, be careful not to use it more than once a day, or you might find out that you have an adverse reaction.
What didn’t we like, then?
We weren’t huge fans of the fact that you have to use white pillowcases and towels around this product, or else your linens will become bleached. Other than that, it’s great!
What We Loved
- Great at getting rid of individual pimples quickly
- Reduces acne-causing bacteria
- Great for taking with you on trips
What We Didn’t Like
- Not ideal for all-over use
- Bleaches non-white linens
Paula’s Choice – Most Natural Product
What Paula’s Choice does, is clear out your face. It works ideally for moderate-to-severe forms of acne, including cystic acne. Cystic acne can make you feel so hopeless, as they’re so deeply-rooted, deep, and often don’t have a head to them.
This is a great fix.
You may see the products come in a three-piece kit similar to the Proactiv Solution one, however, we liked this product on its own a ton, too!
The light and oil-free formula works instantly, on contact, which helps to calm redness, control excess oil while keeping skin hydrated. We loved that it doesn’t include a ton of harsh ingredients. After application, it dries to a nice, natural, matte finish. Oh, and did we mention that you can also use it on your back and body, too?
What we didn’t like was that it can be too mild for some users, and they may require the entire set.
What We Loved
- Very light, medicated treatment
- Can heal cystic acne and mild acne
- Oil-free formula calms redness, controls excess oil, and keeps skin hydrated
What We Didn’t Like
- Not strong enough for some users
Humane Acne Wash – Editor’s Favorite
The medication works to attack breakouts and kills acne-causing bacteria. Not only that, but it also calms any inflammation that may exist, and clears skin pores which can also be a huge reason for acne.
However, not every acne solution works identically for everyone.
Think about what type of skin you have. This wash isn’t recommended for those with sensitive skin, as it’s used to treat moderate-to-severe acne. Mild acne may not react as well to the formula, so keep that in mind!
One of the first things we liked about the product, was the packaging. It has a convenient pump that puts out just enough product without wasting excess. Not only that, but it’s nice to not touch the product with your hand inside, or have it exposed to the air for hygienic purposes.
The bottle also lasts a good amount of time for its size; around 2 months!
Another feature we also loved, was that the cleanser is free of potentially-harmful products such as parabens, propylene glycol, formaldehyde, and any sulfates. The product is vegan, and animal cruelty-free, too!
If you have more than just facial acne and need to treat your back or other parts of your body, then you can also use this benzoyl peroxide acne treatment on those breakouts, too.
Now, let’s move on to what we didn’t like.
First, is more of just a personal preference, but the scent was an issue for some. While it is technically fragrance-free, it does have a bit of an unpleasant smell. The good thing is that it wears off quickly. In addition, it can leave a thick layer on your face, so you have to scrub hard to clean the lotion off.
What We Loved
- Free of harmful substances like parabens, sulfates, etc.
- Works to efficiently treat inflammation, clogged pores, and acne-causing bacteria
- Very durable, long-lasting bottle
What We Didn’t Like
- Can have an unpleasant smell to some
- Can leave a thick layer on the face
How To Pick The Right Acne Treatment For You
Now that you’ve had the chance to take a look at each of the best benzoyl peroxide acne treatments, you may still have some questions about which product is best for you and your needs. That’s great! That’s why we’ve gone ahead and created the buying guide below.
First, it’s important when selecting any skincare product, that you know your skin type. If you don’t know yours, simply evaluate your skin or ask your doctor. You can also do a spot test on the back of your hand, to make sure that the product you’re interested in isn’t going to give you some kind of adverse reaction. If you have any kind of skin condition, such as eczema, for example, it’s best to consult your doctor beforehand.
If all else, it’s always a good idea to start with a lower level of benzoyl peroxide and work your way up to find out which amount works for you.
Are you looking for a gel? Perhaps a face wash or a serum? In the end, this may not matter too much to you, but the thickness and the feel sometimes differ, as well as how quickly it’s absorbed into your skin.
Also, take into consideration what kind of acne treatment you want. Do you need a full 3-step process or a simple face wash? Or maybe you don’t even need a face wash; maybe all you need is a spot treatment to just hit trouble areas?
Make sure you know this before you start your search, so you pick the appropriate product for your needs. Many times, people just need a little spot treatment and instead, opt for a whole face wash, which ends up drying out the areas that didn’t suffer from acne.
What kind of lifestyle do you lead? If you’re always out-and-about or traveling, then you’re probably not going to want to bring along a full 3-step kit. You may not even want to lug around a full-size face wash. In these cases, you may want to just have a spot-treatment in your bag, or make sure you carry around a smaller bottle of your acne treatment.
Besides, if you don’t have a lot of time to get ready, typically. You may want to opt for an easier process. For example, the Proactiv kit is going to take you at least 15 minutes to apply properly. Factor in drying time and that could take up a big chunk of your morning or evening.
If that’s not for you, think about a treatment that is instantly absorbed, where you can still go on with your normal routine without too much interruption.
Acne treatments with benzoyl peroxide vary greatly in price! For example, a 3-step system could cost upwards of $100, which will last around 3 months. Meanwhile, a face wash that’s less than $10, could last you the same amount of time, or even longer, in some cases.
However, a lower price doesn’t always equal lower quality. Think about what your skin situation is and what your lifestyle is like. If you’re not even going to use the full 3-step treatment, then you’re better off with a less-expensive, more simple product.
Benzoyl peroxide has been a crucial part of many topical therapies for acne, for over 50 years now, because of its ability to noticeably reduce the appearance of acne, inflammation, and more. However, it’s always important to make sure you’re not using a product that’s too strong for you, and BP products can easily irritate the skin if too much is used.
Now that you know pretty much all there is to know about the best benzoyl peroxide acne treatments, which one is the one for you? If you’re still undecided, let us reiterate how much we loved the Humane Acne Wash.
As you can tell by the name, it focuses on creating products that are healthy for the environment, and for the people who use them. They’re cruelty-free, as well as free of any sulfates and parabens. Not only that, but it’s an effective acne treatment that gets rid of acne-causing bacteria, regulates oil, reduces inflammation, and helps to unclog pores.
Oh, and it lasts a long time considering how small the bottle is.
However, know that whichever one of these best benzoyl peroxide acne treatments is going to be an excellent option, as long as you keep in mind your skin’s sensitivities.