The Benefits of Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid for Body Breakouts

Body breakouts can be challenging: they’re often deep, stubborn — and they can be downright hard to reach. Ironically, the onset of summer weather often exacerbates body acne, right as we’re exposing more skin (not cool).

So what’s the best way to banish body acne? We’ve got the lowdown from Dr. Sandra Lee (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) herself.

Body acne that can be treated with benzoyl peroxide

What causes body acne?

According to Dr. Lee, there are a host of factors that commonly contribute to body breakouts:

  • Genetics: you’re more likely to have body blemishes if your family members do, too.
  • Hormones: fluctuations in the balance of testosterone — true for women, too! — cause sebum levels to rise.
  • Lifestyle: not showering after a workout and wearing tight, non-breathable clothing both promote the growth of acne-causing bacteria.
  • Weather: hot, humid conditions combined with sweat and occlusive sunscreen can cause clogged pores.

Where does body acne most often occur?

Because pimples are so dependent on sebum production, it comes as no surprise that body acne is more common in areas with more sebaceous glands, including:

These areas are prone to both comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) as well as inflammatory blemishes (papules, pustules, nodules and cysts).

What’s the best ingredient for treating body acne?

One of Dr. Lee’s favorite dermatological ingredients for acne-prone body skin is benzoyl peroxide — a potent acne fighter first introduced in the 1920s. Its benefits include:

  • Antibacterial: it releases oxygen that kills the P. acnes bacteria living on the surface of skin.
  • Anti-inflammatory: benzoyl peroxide helps reduce the redness and swelling associated with inflammatory acne.

SLMD Skincare BP Body Wash for Body Acne

Dr. Lee also loves salicylic acid — aka beta hydroxy acid, or BHA, which is an oil-soluble exfoliant that penetrates into pores. Here's why it works so well for acne:

  • Anti-inflammatory: it calms down angry skin with the same ingredient found in aspirin.
  • Anti-bacterial: salicylic acid attacks infection-causing microbes.

What are the best products for body acne?

Using a combined approach, with both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, is very effective in getting rid of body acne. Dr. Lee’s top picks for body breakouts are:

These two body acne all-stars are available in SLMD Skincare Body Acne System.

Dr. Lee’s last word

Body acne is actually extremely common, but there are ways to manage it. The best solution is to use benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid regularly — this combination is an incredibly effective acne fighter that helps clear buildup and bacteria out of pores. I recommend SLMD Skincare BP Body Wash and Salicylic Acid Body Spray: just like facial blemish care, consistency is key here, so use daily — and shower more if you’re working out, sweating, slathering on sunscreen...anything that causes the buildup of oil and bacteria.

—Dr. Sandra Lee


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