waiting between cleansing and treating

The Regimen calls for waiting 5-15 minutes after cleansing before you applying benzoyl peroxide. For the past few weeks, I’ve been eliminating this wait. I have been cleansing my skin, patting dry, and then immediately treating with benzoyl peroxide. I’m questioning the waiting time after cleansing for a couple of reasons:

• People often simply do not have the time
• It may not be necessary

I want The Regimen to be as easy as possible to follow. Eliminating the waiting between cleansing and applying benzoyl peroxide could be a good step in that direction.

So far, my skin is still perfectly clear even though I am not waiting the prescribed 5-15 minutes after cleansing.

My question for you guys: Have you experimented with not waiting after cleansing like I’m currently doing? How did it go?


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  • Momo

    I usually just pat dry my skin, then apply the BP. I have not have any problems with this step… I just make sure my skin is not wet. Just dry enough to apply.

  • HK

    Never waited longer than 1 min. When the weather is dry (winter), 5-15min wait time would result in dry, peeling skin. Between wash, BP and moisturizer, I just made sure surface of skin is not “wet” before applying the next item. The final moisturizer is the only thing allowed to “dry”.

    • Kim

      I agree with this – if I wait too long, my skin starts to get flaky looking. I make sure my skin is just dry and start on the BP. I do wait a little longer to add the moisturizer, so the BP can do its work.

  • Monique Casale

    No need to wait 10 minutes. Only when i shower i wait 5 minutes because my pores are open, other than that, the bp can be applied immediately after once the face is completely dry

  • Jessica

    It is a big thing to wait for your face to dry when it comes to Retin-A. I remember that when I used Retin-A to treat my acne, I stopped getting results when I didn’t wait 15-30 min for my face to dry. Apparently, Retin-A doesn’t work when it has contact with water, so you have to make sure that your face is completely dry. I am staying safe with the Regimen by making sure that I wait so that I can get results. I am not sure if benzoyl peroxide works or not when in contact with water, but I do know that you should let the benzoyl peroxide absorb for at least 5 min before putting on moisturizer. It’s like that because moisturizer is thicker than benzoyl peroxide and can minimize benzoyl peroxide’s effect on acne, thus making treatment less effective. So I wait to make sure that I am doing it right.

  • Ada

    I usually wait at least 3 minutes and then I applied BP. Then I let it air dry for 6 mins, while I get dressed, Then I applied moisturizer. I have not experience any dry skin. The Regimen works effectively. I haven’t had any breakouts.

  • Will

    I find that the best time to apply the BP is when my skin is most ready to absorb whatever I put on it. There is a moist dewy and maybe well described as clammy quality to my facial skin right after a good cleansing with a ph balanced cleanser and a shave with a quality cream. I can tell when my face is ready. Sometimes it does not feel this way, but most of the time I know what to use to get my skin to behave. The acne.org treatment is funny in the sense that, although I know it doesn’t, it seems to change thickness and absorbability. When my skin is like it is just after a wash and a shave I find that it feels more thick and that it coats the skin more like a lotion or cream. When I wait the prescribed amount of time I find that my skin dries out and that the treatment feels like it is thinner and is just running around on the outside of my skin. I do not feel like it absorbs very well at all sometimes. I can also notice this in the results. When my skin is freshly prepped to apply the treatment and it works like I like it to then I notice the efficacy of the product is greatly enhanced. When my skin is not ready to absorb and correctly balanced and hydrated then I do not notice that the product will give much of a result in the days time it is sitting on my skin. So, most of the I will wash with a good cleanser with room temp water, I will then shave and rinse with fairly cold water, then I will pat dry and pretty much apply the BP heavily immediately. I will only wait for that BP to dry to the touch before applying the moisturizer which may be 5-8 minutes. I think this is what works best for me.

  • Voce

    I’ve always applied the BP immediately. And then once it’s dry, apply moisturizer. I think they changed the formulation of my Devita moisturizer, because lately, I need to wait about 5 min. before applying to keep the BP from balling up underneath.

    Dan, just in case you haven’t heard how your products work for the old folks: I started the Regimen at 45 & it worked great with no wait time between application. At 53, I’m on what I’d call a “Half Regimen,” because my pores did clog when I tried stopping the BP.

    Anyway, I do the Regimen in the mornings, (your cleanser & BP) & at night do nothing but use Simple cleanser (with an Olay Pro-X Brush, on makeup days) & then swipe with a .5% salicylic acid treatment. I have no flakiness or irritation. And people are always telling me I have beautiful skin! WTF?! For someone who had acne all her life, this is miraculous! Thanks again for making such great, gentle products.

    • Voce

      Oh, & I never mention this, because I don’t know if applies to younger users, but since I was 45 when I started the Regimen, my acne wasn’t as severe as in my youth. But I will now confess that I’ve NEVER used as much BP as recommended! It just didn’t take that amount for me. And, I never waited more than a couple minutes between steps. Blasphemy! But the takeaway here might just be that the Regimen is so good on a basic level, that even when we improvise, it’s still good! But of course, I would advise others to follow the rules exactly until you get clear, & only then…tweak it to your own skin’s liking.

  • Jennifer Hoffman

    I am also an older customer. I am 48 year old female. I first discovered your products after Googling for back acne. I followed your regimen exactly….and my “bacne” has not come back. I get a few pimples here and there, but it cured it! I have been using Retin A for over 20 years, and I always wait 20 minutes for my face to fully dry. I also wait at least 20 minutes to apply BP or AHA for spot treatment. I also started 1/2 and 1/2 with the AHA and moisturizer. I am still in the experimenting phase to see if there is a difference for me. I was following your directions, and using the AHA first, and then moisturizer on top, and then sunscreen. I just find over things to do while my skin is drying, like make my bed, or have a cup of coffee. That’s just my routine. Hope this helps. Don’t forget about your “older” customers. We get pimples too!

  • Dave

    I haven’t done extensive testing on the short wait time. But my skin definitely feels a lot more ready to absorb the BP when I wait after rinsing. When I started The Regimen (6 years ago) I remember “feeling” the difference of waiting for a while before beginning my treatment. It seems like a good practice in general before any acne treatment, and I will continue to do so.

  • Dan

    This is great you guys. I’m reading every reply and taking it under consideration. I’m on 3 weeks now of not waiting for my skin to completely dry after cleansing and so far so great. I am perfectly clear still. I really want to hear from as many people as possible on this. I’ll go post in The Regimen forum too.

  • Mike

    I’ve found slightly better results if I wait to let my skin dry which I hate because I rarely have the discipline to actually wait (I either give up too soon or I walk away and forget to the moisturizer for hours or completely).

    However, something that’s really helped is putting a fan in my bathroom. It was such a ‘why didn’t I think about this earlier’ thing. I recommend the “Cool on the Go” or Vornado’s Flippi if you have a plug as they give the most powerful focused jet of air I have found (I’ve tried many fans to try to speed up the drying). I also get the eye burning sensation some days from the benzoyl so I was almost forced to stop using the regimen until I started using the fan.

    But even still a lot of days I just put one on after the other because I want to go to sleep or have to go somewhere. I think maybe a good follow up question instead of wait vs don’t wait is how can we get our faces as dry as possible the fastest. I’m always on the search for a more powerful small fan myself.

  • Abhishek


    When i wash with cleanser, I close my eyes and meditate. Relax my mind for 15 minutes

    We get 14,400 minutes in day 🙂

    I think we can take 15 minutes out to let our skin be normal after cleansing for BP or AHA + and in this time we can relax our mind which is stress buster

    Less Stress = Less Irritation

    I put 15 minutes alarm and i love those 15 minutes. I am in my own world with my eyes closed. Heavy breath in and out.

    After you open your eyes…BP or AHA+ or anything looks more lovely..

    Try it !!

    Do not judge day in terms of 24 hours..I am sure you can take 15 minutes out of 14,400 minutes 🙂

  • Abhishek

    I forgot to mention..I can kiss my Gf in this time..Cleanser smells great 😛

    And he throws me off after applying BP or AHA + 😛

    So here you go..Love your wife or GF in 15 minutes 🙂

    She told me once i had applied BP “You taste like medicine ” and I said “No,I taste like BP ” 😛

  • Mike

    There are 1,440 minutes in a day, not 14,400.

  • Bianca

    I find it close to impossible to wait the full 15 minutes. My skin is already about to tear up on me if I do that. I find it painful. I do wait a little bit though, maybe 2-3minutes. BPO always sinks in really fast for me either way. Then I apply moisturiser after when my skin starts feeling dry like it wants to tear. That typically takes less than 5 minutes. I get about 2-3 minutes wait between steps before my dry skin becomes unbearable.

  • Anonymous

    I usually wait at least 5 minutes just because I’ve found (and also found this with sweating for the first 2-3 hours after applying peroxide) that it stings and turns my face red. :0

  • Jenn

    I pat dry and brush my teeth and then apply! Perfect timing!