Benzoyl peroxide and adapalene are both very effective at treating cystic acne.
They are both topical medications that come in the form of a gel, liquid, or cream.
Both products can be found over-the-counter but only one—adapalene—is prescription strength.
Let’s discuss how they work and which is better for you:
Is Benzoyl Peroxide or Adapalene Better for Cystic Acne?
Benzoyl peroxide (BP) and adapalene are both topical medications used to treat acne. While each has its own benefits, BP is generally a safer option for most people with cystic acne.
Adapalene is a retinoid, which means it works by increasing skin cell turnover and reducing the amount of oil your skin produces. BP, on the other hand, kills bacteria and reduces inflammation in the skin.
Both treatments can be effective in treating cystic acne and minimizing the scars that often result from this type of acne.
The choice between them depends on your specific needs and preferences.
What is the Difference Between Benzoyl Peroxide and Adapalene?
Benzoyl peroxide is a topical treatment that’s available over the counter.
It’s an antibacterial agent, meaning it targets acne-causing bacteria.
Benzoyl peroxide can also help to dry out your skin and reduce inflammation.
Adapalene is a retinoid, which means it works in two ways: it prevents clogged pores from forming and helps to unclog existing ones.
Retinoids are derived from vitamin A, so they’re often used in conjunction with other forms of acne medication (like benzoyl peroxide).
Both treatments contain active ingredients that penetrate deep into the skin to kill germs and clear up pimples; however, each product has its own unique benefits:
How Do You Use Benzoyl Peroxide for Cystic Acne?
Step 1: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and warm water.
- For example, you may use a cleanser like CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser to gently cleanse your skin.
Step 2: Pat dry with a clean towel and wait for the skin to air-dry completely before applying benzoyl peroxide, as this will prevent irritation or burning.
Step 3: Apply a pea-sized amount of benzoyl peroxide to the affected areas on your face once daily at bedtime or as directed by your doctor.
How Do You Use Adapalene for Cystic Acne?
To effectively use adapalene for cystic acne, follow these steps:
- Apply a thin layer of adapalene to the affected area twice per day.
- Wait 30 minutes before applying a moisturizer over the adapalene.
- Do not apply adapalene to skin that is sunburned, irritated, or broken.
How Long Does It Take for Benzoyl Peroxide to Work?
Benzoyl peroxide may take a few weeks to work.
It will probably take several months of using it before you see the best results, so be patient.
And if you stop using it once your skin clears up, the acne will come back if you don’t change your lifestyle.
So make sure that when your acne is gone, you keep up with eating healthy foods and exercising regularly!
How Long Does It Take for Adapalene to Work?
If you’re wondering how long it will take to see results after beginning treatment, the answer depends on the severity of your acne.
In general, it can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks for an effective treatment to start working.
Adapalene works by killing acne-causing bacteria and drying up excess oil production in pores.
For some people who use adapalene as part of their skincare routine, they’ll notice improvements within a couple of weeks; however, this is not typical.
It’s generally recommended that if you’re using adapalene as part of your skincare routine for cystic acne (or any other type), you wait eight weeks before deciding whether or not it’s working for you.
If you are also using a benzoyl peroxide wash with your adapalene treatment, however, the time frame is shortened by about half:
Most people with mild-to-moderate cases of cystic acne start seeing results within four weeks when using both products together.
What Are the Side Effects of Benzoyl Peroxide?
Side effects of benzoyl peroxide include redness, peeling, and burning.
Benzoyl peroxide can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so use sunscreen every day when you’re outside.
You may experience itching and rash as well as acne flare-ups while using this medication.
What Are the Side Effects of Adapalene?
Side effects of adapalene include:
- Redness and dryness
- Peeling, flaking, and scaling
- Itching and burning
As you can see, there are some significant differences between the two products.
They work in different ways to treat acne, and they have different side effects.
If you’re trying to decide which product is right for your skin type or needs, it may take some experimentation before you find what works best for you.