Benzoyl peroxide — an antibacterial ingredient commonly used in acne treatments. It functions by forcing an oxidant (peroxide in this case) into the philosebaceous orifice where it releases oxygen, thereby diminishing the P. acnes population.
Why I prefer substitutes to benzoyl peroxide…
Benzoyl peroxide is VERY drying may cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. In some people, it can cause oil glands to kick into over-drive to produce more sebum so you end up in a vicious dry/oily cycle. When oily skin becomes dehydrated, the surface layers of cells harden up and block oil secretion. The result is an entrapment of the oils under the stratum corneum layer. This is particularly detrimental in the case of someone with acne because it also results in the entrapment of the infection. I much prefer the use of glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid when dealing with acne, along with good moisturizers. The use of glycolic and lactic acids (also exfoliating agents) can activate the water-retention capability of glycosaminoglycans and normalize epidermal structure, stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin and can be complemented with ingredients that add moisture to the skin, such as glycerin, niacinamide, urea, and hyaluronic acid. Salicylic acid - a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) commonly used as an acne active, can be a more effective when paired with glycolic acid.