If you’ve ever tried to use benzoyl peroxide for acne, then you know that the results are pretty hit or miss.
Some people swear by it and others say it’s a complete waste of money.
If you’ve been one of those unlucky few who got no results from benzoyl peroxide, there’s a good chance you might have experienced a purging period.
The purging period is when your body reacts negatively to the benzoyl peroxide and causes further breakouts—usually in the first couple of weeks of using this product on your skin.
But don’t worry! We’ll explain how long the purging period lasts as well as what causes it so that you can keep calm during this time 🙂
How Long is the Purging Period for Benzoyl Peroxide?
The purging period can last anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.
This is because you are shedding the acne bacteria that caused your acne.
You might be experiencing redness, inflammation, and peeling of skin while this happens.
It’s okay to experience these side effects, but if they start getting worse or don’t go away in a few days, then it may be time to stop using benzoyl peroxide and talk to your doctor about something else!
Everyone’s body reacts differently with benzoyl peroxide products so each person will experience their own unique results when using them.
Some people end up having longer-than-normal purging periods and others don’t have any issues at all with it!
What Causes the Benzoyl Peroxide Purging Period?
Right off the bat, it’s important to note that benzoyl peroxide is an effective acne treatment.
Benzoyl peroxide works by killing the bacteria that cause acne and drying out your skin to help prevent new breakouts.
Because of this, you may experience a purging period—a short span during which your skin may become worse before it gets better.
What causes the purging period?
- When you first start using benzoyl peroxide as an acne treatment, it’s likely that your skin will have a reaction to it.
- Benzoyl peroxide can cause dryness and irritation in some people who use it regularly.
- This happens when too much of the chemical gets absorbed into your bloodstream rather than being left on top of or in between layers of skin cells (the stratum corneum).
- It can also happen if you apply too much benzoyl peroxide at once or use products with very high concentrations of benzoyl peroxide.
How to Treat the Purging Period of Benzoyl Peroxide
You can treat the purging period of benzoyl peroxide by:
- Using only a pea-sized amount of benzoyl peroxide.
You don’t need a lot to get results, so it’s better to start with less and build up than use too much and have issues with dryness or sensitivity.
- Using a gentle cleanser and moisturizer that’s compatible with your skin type.
Because you’re more sensitive during the purging period, you’ll want to avoid anything harsh on your face such as scrubs or exfoliants in general.
Instead, use something mild like CeraVe Foaming Cleanser ($12) or Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($13).
And remember that moisturizing is just as important as washing off dirt—without it, the redness caused by irritation could become permanent!
Try Cerave Moisturizing Lotion ($14).
- Avoiding other acne products during this time period because they might irritate your skin even more (like salicylic acid).
This includes masks containing sulfuric acid or retinol products like Retin-A Micro 0.04%.
Both types of products are extremely potent for clearing out pores but also very drying—and since dermatologists report seeing increased irritation during this time frame, especially among menopausal women who tend not to be able to tolerate these ingredients well anyway … why take the risk?
Stick with benzoyl peroxide until things settle down then consider trying another treatment option once they do!
How to Avoid a Benzoyl Peroxide Purging Period
To avoid a benzoyl peroxide purging period, you should ensure that your skincare routine is prepared.
Here are some tips:
- Use a moisturizer with benzoyl peroxide. This will help to reduce irritation and dryness during the first few weeks of use.
- Use benzoyl peroxide along with gentle cleanser, toner, and other treatments for acne. These products can help to boost results and minimize irritation caused by benzoyl peroxide on its own without causing further damage to the skin’s barrier function or irritating inflammation in sensitive areas like the cheeks and jawline (source).
- Avoid using additional medications such as retinol or salicylic acid if you’re using benzoyl peroxide because these ingredients may cause severe irritation to those who are already experiencing redness from using this ingredient alone.
When Should You Stop Using Benzoyl Peroxide?
To determine when you should stop using benzoyl peroxide, first consider whether your acne is completely gone.
If so, then it’s best to phase out the benzoyl peroxide since it is no longer helping with the problem and could be causing adverse side effects.
If your acne is not completely gone and/or you’d like to continue treating it with BP, then consider if your skin has been exposed to BP for a long time.
If so, there’s a chance that your body has developed some resistance against this treatment and won’t respond as well as before.
At this point in time, it might be best for you to try another method of treatment or seek help from a dermatologist who may recommend an alternative treatment method for their patients who have become resistant to using BP on their skin regularly (such as clindamycin phosphate 1% lotion).
Does Everyone Experience a Purging Period When Using Benzoyl Peroxide?
Not everyone experiences a purging period when using benzoyl peroxide.
How long the purging period lasts depends on the individual, but it can last up to six months.
The purging period is not permanent and does not mean that your benzoyl peroxide product is ineffective or causing you harm in any way.
When Can You Start Using Other Acne Products After You Stop Using Benzoyl Peroxide?
Now that you have stopped using benzoyl peroxide and are on the path to clear skin, you might be wondering when it’s okay to start using other acne products.
Benzoyl peroxide is notorious for drying out the skin, so there will be a few things you need to wait for before adding new products into your routine.
First, make sure your skin has healed fully—you will notice this when there are no more open pimples and all visible redness has gone away.
This can take anywhere from two weeks to a month or two (though this varies from person to person), so don’t rush through this step!
Another important thing is making sure your oil production has normalized after using benzoyl peroxide.
If not, then it could be too soon for introducing another product into your routine due to an increase in oil production leading back towards more breakouts as a result of clogged pores caused by overproduction of sebum as well as irritation caused by active ingredients within other skincare products applied directly onto oily areas like the nose bridge where they may not be recommended or tolerated well at all
Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful tool for treating acne and other skin conditions.
However, it can cause some unwanted side effects during its purging period.
If you experience these side effects or are concerned about the purging period of benzoyl peroxide, remember that there are many other acne products available on the market today.