How Long to Leave Benzoyl Peroxide On & How Often to Use

How Long To Leave Benzoyl Peroxide On & How Often To Use
How Long To Leave Benzoyl Peroxide On & How Often To Use

Benzoyl peroxide is available in many OTC formulations and concentrations.

However, many of us are still figuring out all the dos and don’ts when using this magic ingredient. 

We’ve decided to compile and answer as many of the most frequently asked questions we could find on how you should use benzoyl peroxide. 

This article will cover face washes, serums, and lotions that use Benzoyl peroxide as an active ingredient.

Can you use benzoyl peroxide every day?

If your skin can tolerate benzoyl peroxide well and it is necessary, you can use it every day. 

However, not everyone’s skin can tolerate daily benzoyl peroxide use. Furthermore, not everyone will need to use it every day. 

Some people’s skin will resolve nicely with just periodic use of benzoyl peroxide while others will not see any difference in their ance unless they are using it once or twice per day! 

It all depends on your skin. 

Why shouldn’t you use benzoyl peroxide too often?

Using benzoyl peroxide too often can irritate your skin and cause it to become too dry. 

This irritation can make your acne worse and even damage your skin. This irritation can cause your skin to become very dry, red, itchy, and even a little swollen, or you may experience skin cracking and peeling.

In the worst cases, some people experience sunburn-like symptoms and blisters. 

Benzoyl Peroxide FaceWash

How long should you leave benzoyl peroxide face wash on your face? 

A benzoyl peroxide face wash is usually left on your face for 1-2 minutes. 

This product was designed to cleanse your face and then be washed off. You should not leave it to dry on your face, nor should you leave it on for more than a few minutes. 

What happens if you leave benzoyl peroxide face wash on for too long?

If you leave benzoyl peroxide face was on your face for too long, it makes dry out your skin and irritates it.

Apart from the benzoyl peroxide, face washes also contain cleansing skin detergents that can strip the natural oils from deeper into your skin if left on too long. 

How often can you safely use a benzoyl peroxide face wash?

Most benzoyl peroxide face washes are designed to be used daily, but you may need to tailor the frequency based on your skin’s sensitivity. 

Some people will need to use their benzoyl peroxide face wash twice daily to see results. 

However, some people might find that using it every day is too much for their skin. To avoid dryness and irritation, most dermatologists recommend using your face wash once per week at first. Then, gradually increase the frequency until your skin can tolerate daily use. 

If you find that your skin is not getting used to the treatment and it breaking out, peeling, or getting more and more irritated, see a dermatologist for advice. Your skin may be purging or you might need to change your treatment. 

Related Article – Benzoyl Peroxide Soap: Benefits, Side Effects & Best Ones

How long should you leave benzoyl peroxide wash on your back or other areas?

Benzoyl peroxide face washes can also be used on your back and can be left on for longer than on your face. 

They still need to be washed off. However, since your back and other areas of the body have less sensitive skin, your wash can be left to absorb into the skin for a few more minutes. How long you leave it on will also depend on how strong the concentration is. 

Ensure that you do not let it dry on your skin and make sure to moisturize the area afterward to prevent dryness. 

Benzoyl Peroxide Cream or Gel

How often can you safely use a benzoyl peroxide gel/cream?

The safest way to use benzoyl peroxide cream is to start using it gradually until you can use it daily if your skin tolerates it. 

Benzoyl peroxide gels and creams will come in different concentrations and are used to treat acne of different severities.

Here is what you can do:

  • The first step is to choose the right concentration for you. 
  • Then patch-test your skin to see how it will react. 
  • Follow the instructions on the product. 
  • Start by using your gel or cream a few days a week for a few hours at a time.
  • Then gradually increase the time and frequency until you can use it daily.  

Did you know that Benzoyl Peroxide can be used to treat Acne Scars & Dark Spots, click here to learn more.

How long should you leave benzoyl peroxide gel/cream on your face? 

Benzoyl peroxide gels and creams should be applied and left on your skin for as long as the directions say on the medication, or for as long as your skin can tolerate it. 

This will vary for every person. 

The best thing you can do is to read your product instructions carefully and use them as directed. Always remember to patch test first!

Some gels and creams are applied to the skin, left on for a few hours, and then washed off. Others can be left on the skin all day or all night. 

If your skin seems to be easily irritated by the gel or cream, you can leave it on for a shorter time and wash it off when required. 

Most dermatologists recommend starting any benzoyl peroxide gel or cream gradually. They recommend that you start by using it in small areas for only 1-2 hours every day (wash off after a few hours) or on alternate days. Then gradually lengthen the time it stays on your skin. 

You might be able to leave Benzoyl Peroxide on Overnight, click here to learn more.

How long should you leave benzoyl peroxide gel/cream on your back or other areas?

Benzoyl peroxide gels or creams can be left on the skin of your back or other body areas for a few hours or all day, depending on the product instructions and your skin itself. 

This will depend on what kind of gel or cream you are using (some are designed for all-day use and some are specifically designed to be washed off) and on the concentration. 

This will also depend on how your skin tolerates the gel or cream as well. 

Be sure to always patch-test the product on a small area of your skin first. 

Related Article – Effects of Benzoyl Peroxide on Pores: What You Need to Know

What is the best concentration of benzoyl peroxide to use?

The concentration of benzoyl peroxide that will be effective to treat your acne without irritating your skin will depend on your skin. 

Benzoyl peroxide is typically available in concentrations ranging from 2% to 10% over-the-counter. Anything stronger would have to be prescribed and monitored by a dermatologist. 

However, some people will need stronger concentrations than others while some will not even be able to tolerate the lowest concentrations. 

Dermatologists recommend that when starting this treatment, you start with the lowest available concentration that you can find. Then gradually work your way up to stronger concentrations if necessary. 

When choosing a concentration, you also want to consider where you will be applying it. Your face is generally a more sensitive area than your chest or back areas. 

Additionally, how often you will need to use a specific concentration of benzoyl peroxide to see results will also depend on the formulation that you are using and your skin’s reaction to the product. 

I recommend Using a Moisturizer After Benzoyl Peroxide click here to learn more

Will benzoyl peroxide clear up your acne?

If used correctly for your skin, benzoyl peroxide will show significant improvement and even resolution of your acne. 

Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria, breaks apart clogs, dissolves oil, and exfoliates dead skin cells which can all block pores and result in acne. 

Related Articles:

Can Benzoyl Peroxide Make Acne Worse: What To Expect & Do

Benzoyl Peroxide Skin Purge – Everything You Need To Know 

What are the side effects of benzoyl peroxide?

The most common side effects of benzoyl peroxide include:

  • mild stinging or burning
  • itching or tingly feeling
  • skin dryness, peeling, or flaking
  • redness or other irritation

Allergic reactions to benzoyl peroxide are rare but possible click here to learn more.

Do you need to see a dermatologist before using benzoyl peroxide?

Even though benzoyl peroxide is easily available over the counter, you should see a dermatologist before you start using this ingredient. 

They will help you to identify:

  • The kind of skin you have
  • What kind of acne you have
  • The concentration of benzoyl peroxide might be best for you
  • What formulations may be best for your skin
  • How often you will need to use it
  • And how your skin is reacting to the treatment in your follow-up visits

Using Benzoyl Peroxide For Underarm & Body Odor: A Guide

How can you choose the right kind of benzoyl peroxide treatment for you?

You can choose the right benzoyl peroxide treatment for your skin by consulting with your dermatologist or skincare professional about your skin type, acne patterns, lifestyle, benzoyl peroxide concentrations and their formulations. 


1-Benzoyl Peroxide (Topical Route) Description and Brand Names – Mayo Clinic 

2-Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment 

3-Benzoyl Peroxide (Topical Route) 

4-Benzoyl Peroxide for Acne: How it Works and How to Use It 

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