What was once my best friend is now my enemy. In the beginning, benzoyl peroxide helped me prevent acne and get rid of the current acne that I had. Eventually, it caused my skin to become dry and oily at the same time. It happened so gradually that I didn't realize that benzoyl peroxide was ruining my skin.
I started using benzoyl peroxide religiously my sophomore year. There were a few times when I would use it on and off, but altogether, I used benzoyl peroxide for 3 years. At first my skin was normal. Not too oily, not too dry. It was completely fine. I just needed those annoying pimples to make like a tree and leave. It worked for me in the beginning, and it worked for me in the end. However, I decided to quit benzoyl peroxide because it was just too irritating for my eyes. When I applied bp, my eyes would get so red and watery that I couldn't bare to open them while and after I applied bp. I also realized bp was doing something weird to my skin texture. After a year of using it, my skin switched from normal to oily, and a year and a half of using bp, I noticed that my skin was dry even if it had sebum sitting on top. I was so confused, so I used different moisturizers: creams, gels, lotions, no moisturizers, spearmint tea, even the Clarisonic Mia, but nothing worked. "It's got to be this darned benzoyl" I thought. I didn't know the science behind it, but I knew one thing: having oily skin that was starting to wrinkle on the forehead and would show pronounced little lines when pulled was not good. Finally in May, (if I had to give a specific date, I would say May 7 although I know I quit earlier than that) I quit using benzoyl peroxide cold turkey. Has my skin gotten worse? Oh yea, but i'm not going to put my skin's age in danger even if it means having less acne. I decided to go for a different approach, a holistic approach, for my acne and let my skin recover from the ravages of benzoyl peroxide. I'm at that "2-month mark" when people supposedly get worse acne when they quit using these acne products. My skin has definitely gotten worse than it was the beginning of the summer, but it happened gradually. Now, I have whiteheads and comedonal acne, but no cysts (thank God). It is highly likely that my skin is responding to my quitting benzoyl peroxide, but I'm not 100% sure. There is also the chance that my skin is detoxing due to recent diet changes I have made.