Benzoyl peroxide is an acne treatment that unclogs pores, kills bacteria, and increases skin cell turnover by exfoliating dead skin cells faster. But can it be used overnight safely?
Many people prefer to use it at night. However, it can have different effects on different kinds of skin and different kinds of acne. The key is how you can best use it for your skin and acne.
Can You Leave Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash On Overnight
You should not leave a benzoyl peroxide face wash on your skin overnight.
Face washes not only contain your acne treatment, but also skin cleansing detergents and other ingredients that make them effective face washes.
Leaving these on your skin overnight can irritate your skin and dry it out, causing your acne to get worse, or causing new problems.
Can You Leave Benzoyl Peroxide Cream/Ointment On Overnight
Once your skin can tolerate it, you can leave benzoyl peroxide on overnight.
Benzoyl peroxide comes in different concentrations and formulations that can be safely left on the skin for an extended period of time. These include serums, creams, and ointments.
Leaving benzoyl peroxide on overnight can allow it to work more effectively, especially when treating acne. This is because the benzoyl peroxide has more time to work without being washed away by sweat or so which happens more during the day.
It is best to patch-test your skin first to see how it will react before going to sleep and leaving it on all night.
If you find that your skin cannot tolerate this overnight treatment, there are various short-contact formulations available that you can apply for a few minutes or hours and then wash off. Be sure to ask your dermatologist about the right ones for you!
Why You Should or Shouldn’t Leave Benzoyl Peroxide On Overnight
Whether you should or shouldn’t leave benzoyl peroxide on your skin overnight will ultimately depend on how your skin tolerates the treatment.
People who have dry skin, very sensitive skin, or are allergic to willow bark should not leave benzoyl peroxide on overnight. Doing so will increase their risk of irritation, and worsening dryness which can lead to peeling and damage, sensitivity reactions, and allergic reactions.
However, people with oily skin and who can tolerate the treatment may benefit rather nicely from using benzoyl peroxide overnight. It may help to control oiliness (which also worsens acne) and may help with persistent, hard-to-treat acne.
Precautions To Take When Using Benzoyl Peroxide Overnight
Here are some things to consider when leaving benzoyl peroxide on your skin overnight:
Always patch test your skin first
This will provide some insight into how your skin may react to the treatment.
Instead of using benzoyl peroxide every night in the beginning, start by using it only a few times a week. Gradually increase the frequency until you can safely use it every night. This will give your skin time to get used to the treatment and avoid adverse reactions.
Adjust your concentration
If you have already adjusted your frequency and your skin is still getting irritated, try adjusting the concentration that you are using. You may need to switch to a lower concentration.
Related Article – Benzoyl Peroxide To Treat Acne Scars & Dark Spots
Use a moisturizer
Some dermatologists recommend using a thin layer of moisturizer before using benzoyl peroxide which kind of dilutes it and makes it easier on the skin.
However, you can also use some moisturizer immediately after applying the benzoyl peroxide which will have almost the same effect. Do not use ointments or oil-rich creams, as these could clog your pores again.
Related Article: Using Moisturizer After Benzoyl Peroxide: Tips to Follow
Do not mix with other active ingredients
If you are using benzoyl peroxide at night, you will need to avoid using retinol, tretinoin, vitamin C, salicylic acid, or any other active ingredient or acids at the same time. Using these together will irritate and overdry your skin.
Stick to the treatment for at least 4-6 weeks
If you notice that your acne seems to be getting worse, your skin could actually be purging. Stick to the treatment for at least 4 weeks, up to 6 weeks, and see how your skin will look after that.
If your acne is persistent for longer than 6 weeks or is still getting worse, then see your dermatologist. You may need to try a different treatment.