benzoyl peroxide and why you should avoid it by Leigh Ann Lindsey

Harmful effects of benzoyl peroxide

This article covers:

DRYNESS & DEHYDRATION

Even low dose forms of topical benzoyl peroxide cause dryness to the skin, which in turn, can lead to flaking and dehydrated skin cells…AKA that haggard look we are all trying to avoid (source).

The chemical also causes irritation, redness and itchiness which can increase inflammation in the skin actually making acne worse in the long run (source).

WEAKENS PROTECTIVE BARRIER

Benzoyl peroxide is such a strong exfoliant that it breaks down the top layers of skin allowing free radicals to more easily penetrate. Excess free radicals lead to increased fine lines and wrinkles as well as slower cellular turnover and wound healing. In other words, you skin is not able to produce young healthy skin as easily with a heavy free radical load. Along with this, the broken down skin is now more photosensitive and likely to experience sunburn (source).

KILLS GOOD SKIN BACTERIA

By now, the topic of our gut microbiome is becoming common knowledge. Did you know, however, that your skin has a microbiome of bacteria too? The microscopic bacteria living on our skin play a critical role in skin health. Just like the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut can lead to a range of health issues, so too can an overgrowth of bad bacteria on the skin lead to acne, redness, irritation, rosacea, rashes, eczema, adult acne and photosensitivity. There must always be a balance of both bad and good bacteria on the skin to maintain optimal skin health.

While powerful antibacterial agents like benzoyl peroxide kill acne causing bacteria on the skin, it also kills all the good bacteria on the skin as well! Fun fact…the European Union recognizes the many hazards caused by benzoyl peroxide and has actually banned it completely from being used in all over-the-counter skin care products (source).

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