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Benzoyle Peroxide has damaged my skin, made me oily and breaking out again!

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

Back in August 2019 I went to the doctors about the nodular acne I was getting on my face, it wasn't severe, but i'd get one on my cheek or nose every month that took weeks to go away. In retrospect there were things I probably could have researched first before doing it, but nonetheless the GP gave me Epiduo (2.5% BP and 1% Adapalene) and Oxytetrocycline. This actually improved me skin but dried it out for the first month, then it suddenly started getting oily.

I stopped for two weeks that Christmas and in Jan 2020 when I reapplied it my face went extremely red. The doctor then gave me Duac (which didn't work), and was told to stick with Acnecide (5% gel). I've been using this ever since, and the nodules on my face stopped appearing. The oil production ramped up though. I did notice whenever I got out theshower the skin on my face looked like it was peeling (literally everywhere), but I carried on, after an application of BP it all disappeared. I was using La Rosche Posay Purifying Gel in the morning and evening and Epiduo+ in the morning as my moisturiser. 

This year it's become intolerable. I stopped using it end of March 2022 and the oiliness is ridiculous. My pores are more noticable, and my acne is coming back and scarring. I'm also getting oily around my eye contours and eye lids and I never put BP on those areas!

I went to the GP last week and the most unhelpful of doctors gave me Epiduo again and basically told me to keep using Acnecide in the morning and Epiduo at night to dry my skin out, also told me "oily skin is good, it's better for you when you're older"...

I feel like i've done permanent damage to my face. It gets oily about an hour after washing my face and i'm having to spot treat with BP now. Any kind of zit leaves a mark or just won't go away, I often wake up with whiteheads or they form during the day because of the oil, and the texture looks shiny and orange peely.

I've no idea what to do or try next :(


Edited by BluesFanUK
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I had a little trouble following that, but have you tried the regimen? If you're scarring you want to get it under control right away.

As you've seen, yeah, you have to really be your own advocate, so that's good you are doing that.


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Apologies, here's a quick run down:

  • Aug 2019 - prescribed Epiduo and Lymecycline, dried skin out for 1st month, then started getting oily
  • Jan 2020 - Reaction to Epiduo so prescribed Duac - didn't work, then prescribed Acnecide at the end of January.
  • 2020-2022 - Used Acnecide each night, skin got very used to it, became increasingly more oily
  • Feb 2022 - Acne started come back worse than when I started using BP in 2019.
  • Mar 2022 - Skin texture looks different, looks wet even when it's dry, oiliness has gotten out of control. Stopped using BP.

I want to eliminate BP entirely, it's doing more harm than good. Right now i'm not sure if i've got a damaged moisture barrier, dehydrated skin, or if there's something more sinister going on. I saw a GP last week and he basically told me to use Epiduo again and put Acnecide on in the morning. 


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That's tough because the regimen is really what works and it's BP-based.

If you don't want to do that, and I'm getting the feeling you want to do less, not more, you could try the holistic route by eating keto and taking fish oil and zinc supps. That should help...I would guess...about 50% (the science isn't in yet but that's my guess). If that's not enough, you could add in a sal acid topical product or a retinoid (ask your doc if a retinoid is a good choice, like tretinoin). 


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