Step 2 in the anti-acne skin care regimen
Disinfection helps to kill the P. acnes bacteria that causes the infection and inflammation associated with acne. Disinfection as recommended has a side effect, however:
Redness, scaling, blotchiness and itching frequently occur at the beginning of regular use of benzoyl peroxide. Fortunately, these symptoms will subside over a period of days or weeks. This series of events is well-known to dermatologists and is referred to as the "well-known hardening effect" of benzoyl peroxide.
The important thing to note is that benzoyl peroxide can make you feel worse before it makes you feel better. This is why we recommend daily moisturizing as a part of the anti-acne skin care regimen. Stick with the regimen and your skin will clear up.
After exfoliating and/or cleansing, gently pat the face dry with a towel. Barely touch your skin with the towel! Give yourself 5-10 minutes to completely dry.
Squeeze a generous portion of the disinfection product onto your finger. Starting with one region of your face at a time, lightly dab the product onto your skin. Now work very gently until absorbed. You should only barely be touching your skin as you rub the product in.
Working on one zone of your face at a time allows you to get the product worked into your skin before it dries on the skin's surface. Be patient and go slowly. Cover all problem areas, not just the pimples.
Leave the benzoyl peroxide on for 10-15 minutes. You can do other things but don't get dressed -- benzoyl peroxide can bleach clothing.
We recommend twice-daily disinfection with a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide product. Yes, you can get a higher concentration of benzoyl peroxide -- but according to laboratory studies, it doesn't work any better. In fact, it has a more irritating effect on the skin. So 2.5% is the best concentration.
Neutrogena On-The-Spot acne treatment is a good product for disinfection.
After you've fully completed disinfection, it's time to move on to the next step: exfoliate