Topical Antibacterial
20758 Reviews
Topical Antibacterial
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
Note: Benzoyl peroxide clears the skin completely when applied correctly.
Topical Antibacterial
Side Effects
Topical Antibacterial’s Real World Take
It’s been a staple of acne treatment for decades for a reason. When used properly it can completely clear the skin and it is widely available and affordable. Comes with annoying side effects for the first few weeks and can bleach fabric.
Topical Antibacterial
How to Get It
This is an over-the-counter treatment. Here are some places you can find it online.
Read All About Benzoyl Peroxide

Used Benzoyl Peroxide? Rate It:

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December 11, 2022
Topical Antibacterial
BP 2.5% Good for Active Acne but has Several Shortcomings
I am a man who has been using the BP treatment for almost a decade now and looking to move on to something else. It's difficult for me to rate the product alone, when it's part of a larger routine, but I will do my best. 2.5% BP works well against active acne, quite well. I'm someone who has active acne and acne scars. As I type this, I currently have 3 fading pimples that were extremely large. This still happens nearly a decade later, but 90% of the time when my routine is perfect (as in I use the treatment 2x a day for 1 month), I will not have any active acne. The biggest short coming is that the treatment demands perfection. Any missed application means that I'm going to have active acne appearing in a day and resuming the routine won't stop that from happening. I don't want to use the phrase "wasted time" lightly, but it does feel like I wasted time with BP when I could have been using a superior product and have better looking skin now. It does very little for acne scars (not that I expect it to, but I want others to know). My skin with the treatment and a cleanser +moisturizer, does not look great. I have blackheads, I have enlarged pores, my acne scars are visible, and my face still sometimes will get that burning sensation and feel overly tight from the BP. BP is just for active acne in my eyes and nothing else, but it's strong enough that it limits what other products you can use in a routine. I saw someone in another review mention it, but efficacy wanes QUICKLY. 2.5% BP has maximum efficacy in the first month and there is a steep drop off after that. I do not recommend a bottle passed two months, which means more money being spent. The last negative point is that 2.5% BP bleaches everything. A very small amount getting on my hair over the course of a couple months means that the front of my hair is going to look bleached. People cutting my hair ask if I bleach it because of the treatment. I make that my hair is back when I apply it and this still happens over time. It will also bleach clothing and bedsheets if you're not careful. Overall a light 3/5 stars. It works well enough for active acne, but the downsides like hair/clothing bleaching, being highly addictive to the skin, demanding a perfect routine 2x a day, and quickly waning efficacy of the treatment, all make it lose 2 stars.
November 16, 2022
Topical Antibacterial
Product used: The Regimen
Still in the adaptation phase.

I'm starting my second week and my face feels like it burns like napalm in the morning. My skin is red, but I can see that some spots are gradually being removed. I can't use it twice a day because it burns too much. I have been using jojoba oil and it is helping but the flaking continues. I hope my skin clears up. I suffer from moderate acne.

December 1, 2022
Hi, I would trying a gel cream mousterizer. I use the byoma one at ulta that has niacinamide and green tea and it definitely helps with redness. Also make sure you are not using benzoyl peroxide at the same time you apply acids or retinol because that can also irritate skin. Use a hydrating cleanser then benzoyl peroxide and then gel cream. If benzoyl peroxide is too strong try using gel cream then benzoyl peroxide. Just advice from another acne patient who is studying medicine.
December 1, 2022
Try using a gel cream like byoma gel cream containjng niacinamide and green tea after the benzoyl peroxide it helped my redness
August 22, 2022
Topical Antibacterial
Ordered a fresh bottle and redness is gone. Used for 2 months redness back. Buying again.

Been using 8 years. Last year severe redness started to appear making me look like a red racoon. However, this is the only thing that works, it's like my skin is dependent on this stuff. So I ordered a fresh bottle thinking maybe a bad batch. Bottle arrived and BOOM... redness was gone it just looked like a sun tan. 

After two months on the same 8 oz bottle. Redness appeared again. So i am back on the website to order a new one. I'm going to order the small 4 oz travel size because i only do once a night.. it should last me a month. 

It's my strong opinion that this formulation of BP goes bad after 30 days and does not maintain the quality and the structure of the chemicals anymore. From here on out i will be ordering monthly BP until i can successfully wean off of this skin dependent product (BP). I will wean off by using a retinoid that my dermatologist recommends. Maybe i'll try every other day, it's called aklief. I tried weaning off bp last year but i had atopic dermatitis so bad with such a broken skin barrier i was forced to go back on BP. I've tried to wean off of it also 5 years ago unsuccessfully. (P.S) it's also my strong opinion that BP affects male testosterone hormones. When i was off of it, voice was deeper and sex hormones off the charts.

However, i been taking high dose vit e, Milk Kefir, sauerkraut, and cod liver oil and been eating more fiber, fish and washing my face with distilled water only. I think this next transition from BP to a retinoid will be successful. Pray for my journey and I will pray for the acne community. We are more than our skin, remember to pray and thank god each day. 

December 11, 2022
I've used BP for about as long as you have and I have also noticed that efficacy quickly wanes. By month 2.5-3, it's not much better than water. I'm looking to transition off of BP for good. The point you made on hormones is a little concerning, since I've been using it for so long. Hopefully that isn't the case!
April 30, 2020
Topical Antibacterial
Very watery, transfers easily

I'm a big fan of the regimen, but this brand benzoyl peroxide isn't great. It's incredibly watery even when shaken before use, which makes it travel onto other areas and surfaces more easily. When using target to cvs brand benzoyl peroxide, I don't have to worry about bleaching my clothes and sheets, but the brand bleaches everything so much. It also doesn't seem to work as well as formulations that are thicker and less watery, and makes my eyes water even when applied to my chin.

May 7, 2020

The thing is you have to stick to the regimen and literally follow the guidelines. I have been using this product for 4 years now and it’s just amazing.


March 27, 2020
Topical Antibacterial
A burning feeling

I recently bought this product but for some reason the smell tends to irritate my eyes like it’s having a burning feeling in my eyes. And on my skin as well.

April 2, 2020

me too. its normal though.

March 4, 2020
Topical Antibacterial

Did work for the first 3 months then started to break out again, i emailed them and says i should start using it in the afternoon aswell, im not disagreeing with them, i just hate putting on more products in my face.:smileys_n_people_15:

March 2, 2020
Topical Antibacterial
Worked, Kind of

The product like in their website stated that my acne would flare up in the first 2 weeks, well it did, but for 3weeks lmao but point being that im in the 4th month of using it now and my acne came back worst, it did help for the first 3 months, i started using OTC products with it since i emailed them if i could put OTC Products on my face because my hyperpigmentation is really really bad, they responded with yes, use the kit for a month then i can use OTC product so i did, It improved my face alot i just exchanged the moisturizer with a CeraVe Pm moisturizer, because it had niacanamide. U Still dont know the pH of the cleanser, it would probably be acidic since the cleanser contain azeleic acid.

February 24, 2020
Topical Antibacterial

This product does work well on my skin but WATCH OUT I use it on my back and it bleached my dark clothes and sheets. I always have to wear a white shirt now after I put it on because if I wear a dark shirt it will leave permanent orange bleached spots on it. So use carefully because it will permanently BLEACH YOUR CLOTHES!!!


March 6, 2020

It's literally labeled on the Package... That's your own fault.

October 7, 2019
Topical Antibacterial
Good potential, impossible transition. Maybe later?
I tried Carley's based on the great overall review rating, and what I learned after looking at their ingredients and approach. But, it didn't work out for me. I think that my skin is going to need a while hidden from view to make the switch from a conventional benzoyl peroxide regimen to Carley's products, or just a loooooong transition period of sloooowly phasing down my BP regimen and phasing up Carley's, over a couple months--something that I'm not going to be able to do anytime soon. I'm a very very veery natural and holistic-health person, but I swallowed the proverbial pill and got on BP in order to get consistently clear enough to a) do atrophic scar treatments (in the past, I would break out badly after microneedling); and b) move and interview for new jobs and make new friends. Once clear on BP, I thought, 'Ok, now I can go back to my healthy natural cosmeceuticals, and Carley's seems good.' But, no, that was a mistake. I really like the ingredients and what they're doing, but right now I have to return everything because I started to break out worse than ever while I was on Carley's, so I had to stop.
Once I started to break out, I read many, many of the 1-star reviews for the Industrial Strength KickA** scrub, to see what other people were experiencing -- a lot of people complained of getting tons of small hard red little bumps all over, about 7-14 days in. That is exactly what happened to me; so it seems there's a consistent type of skin response out there. The first 14 days were perfectly fine for me, but then literally overnight, the bumps and stinging started. The bumps were so dense and sudden, it felt like a rash. But, I don't think I'm allergic to BP, because I've been on a Face Reality BP regimen for a while. I don't think I'm allergic to any of the herbs or oils in the scrub, because I've either used them before or am familiar enough with them to not suspect them as problems. I didn't think I'd get a purge period, because my skin was already really clear from BP. So, I really don't know what caused the breakout. Perhaps it was the sudden use of oils and ph 7 products after using no oils and ph 5-ish products for so long? 

So I got a million little superficial bumps on my forehead, temples, ear area, neck, and jaws, and eventually they spread more toward the center of my face on on my back and chest too. I stopped the Kickass and just used the natural soap for a couple days, to see if the bumps would go down; they just stayed put, no real change. Then I added in the sample of the MSM cleanser they sent for a few days, and that seemed to be having some effect, but not enough to take hold; my skin was responding really inconsistently day to day. I know that skin needs more time to get used to a new product, but I quit all Carley's after 20 days, because the bumps were starting to grow, and I couldn't risk them all turning into cysts, because that would have been a horrorshow. So, I went back to my BP regimen, and now I'm almost completely cleared up again after 4 days back on that. Phew!!!!
I am keeping the Sea Buckthorn / Rose Otto / Broccoli moisturizer (I think it's the "anti-aging / acne prone moisturizer"?) , because I like the ingredients a lot. I little does go a long way. I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that I can incorporate it into my BP regimen to help nourish my skin, since it gets pretty dull looking with BP over time. It's non-comedogenic too, according to the long list of comedogenic ingredients that Face Reality programs tell you to avoid.
March 2, 2019
Topical Antibacterial
Product used: The Regimen

I’m three months in and have noticed a slight change not enough to give a full 5 star review. My acne is not as bad anymore  and I still have blemishes that I’m trying to banish. Like in the whole three months there has never been a day or days that I haven’t had a breakout. I’m going to push through and finish the kit and give an updated review later. 

Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.