Benzoyl Peroxide + Retinol = Peeling, Flaking Skin You'd think by the time you're contending with crow's feet that acne would be a thing of the past. But that's not the way the beauty compact crumbles. What desperate woman hasn't covered her face in both acne-zapping benzoyl peroxide and wrinkle-reducing retinol? The problem is that, like retinol, benzoyl peroxide stimulates skin cell turnover, often causing the face to flake and peel. Combining these two products is a bit like mixing Red Bull with amphetamines. It's just too much stimulation for your poor body to handle. Using retinol and benzoyl peroxide at once can lead to all sorts of problems, from extreme peeling, dryness and redness to blistering and scarring.
Dr. Graf says you can use these two products, but you should use one in the morning and one at night. She recommends sticking with a lower-concentration retinol to avoid irritation, and using it at night, since sunlight renders retinol ineffective. Use a benzoyl peroxide treatment that's no stronger than five percent during the day as a spot treatment. (Our readers give Kate Somerville Anti Bac Clearing Lotion, which contains a five percent concentration of benzoyl peroxide, a perfect "10" rating).
Ready to unleash your inner beauty junkie?
Enter your email and check the boxes below to get
free samples, exclusive deals, discounts at Total Beauty Shops,
and expert beauty tips delivered straight to your inbox!