Benzoyl peroxide and retinol are both powerful skincare ingredients with the potential to improve your complexion.
When used properly, benzoyl peroxide can reduce breakouts and pimples, improve skin texture, and prevent new blemishes from appearing.
Retinol also helps fight acne by exfoliating dead skin cells and encouraging collagen growth.
However, some people who use these two products together report irritation or redness after applying them both at once.
If you experience irritation when using benzoyl peroxide or retinol together, there are a few things you can do in order to minimize any side effects while still reaping the benefits of each product individually:
What Happens if You Mix Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol?
While both products work to fight acne, they also can cause irritation.
Before you begin using benzoyl peroxide and retinol together, consider using them separately for a few weeks to see if you have any negative reactions.
If you don’t experience any problems, then it’s likely safe for you to use both over-the-counter topical treatments at the same time.
It’s important to note that although these two medications are often used together by dermatologists and other medical professionals, there are some risks involved in mixing them.
While this isn’t an issue when applying each medication individually (as long as directions are followed), combining the two together may increase the risk of side effects such as skin irritation or redness; this increase in risk is particularly pronounced when applying these medications directly on your face rather than through internal consumption (for example drinking or eating them).
Can You Use Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol Together Safely?
Both benzoyl peroxide and retinol are effective at treating acne.
However, they work differently in the body.
Benzoyl peroxide is more effective at killing bacteria and reducing inflammation of the skin by decreasing sebum production and clearing pores.
Retinols can repair damage to your skin caused by acne, but they will not kill bacteria or reduce inflammation.
If you have been prescribed both benzoyl peroxide and retinol creams for your acne, it’s safe to use them together—just remember that it will take longer for the medications to work if you are using both products at once!
What is the Best Way to Use Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol Together?
To use both products together, apply the benzoyl peroxide first and then follow it with a retinol product.
This will help to prevent the two products from interacting with each other.
It’s best to apply them at different times of the day as well—start with your retinol in the morning and finish with your benzoyl peroxide at night.
This ensures that you are only putting on one new layer of product after another, which may help reduce any potential irritation or sensitivity issues associated with mixing these ingredients together.
Does It Matter Which One You Apply First (Benzoyl Peroxide or Retinol)?
If you’re using both on your face and need to cleanse it off every night then it might be best to apply one first and then the other.
However, if you’re using each product in different parts of your body (e.g., retinol on your face and benzoyl peroxide on your back) then it might make sense to apply one first before getting into bed.
Are There Alternatives to Combining Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol?
There are many ways to both use and avoid using benzoyl peroxide and retinol together.
Below are some tips for using these two ingredients separately:
- Use a gentle cleanser:
When applying benzoyl peroxide, it is important to use a gentle cleanser so that your skin doesn’t get irritated.
A mild cleanser that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or perfumes can be used instead of an acne treatment, such as Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion 3 (available at Dermstore for $17 USD).
- Use a moisturizer with SPF:
Retinol increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so if you’re planning on spending time outdoors or have sensitive skin in general (which makes you more prone to sunburn), consider adding an SPF moisturizer into your routine.
Some examples include CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($10 USD) and Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($15 USD).
How Do You Stop the Irritation From Occurring When Using Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol?
You can prevent irritation from occurring by using a gentle cleanser, a hydrating mask, an SPF-containing moisturizer, and/or avoiding the sun.
The most important thing to remember is that if you are having irritation from using a combination of benzoyl peroxide and retinol, stop using them.
Allergic reactions can be serious and could lead to complications if not treated.
Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into how these two products work together and how they might interact with each other.
If you’re looking for ways to treat acne without irritating your skin, check out our guide on choosing the best face wash for your needs!