Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is a chemical that is commonly used to treat acne. BPO is available over the counter (OTC) in concentrations of 10%, 5%, and 2%. It is also available in prescription strength concentrations of 5%, 2.5%, and 1%.
BPO is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) and it works by killing the bacteria that causes acne. It does this by disrupting the cells that make the skin oil and Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), the bacterium that causes acne, cannot survive.
To use BPO, you will need to wash your face with a mild soap and warm water. After washing your face, dry it off with a towel. Apply a pea-sized amount of BPO to your acne area. Massage the BPO into your skin for one to two minutes. Rinse the BPO off your face with cool water. Repeat this process twice a day.
If you are using BPO in combination with another acne treatment, you should wait at least one hour before applying BPO to your skin.