Spa Skincare

Advanced Acne Med: Unleashing the Potential of Benzoyl Peroxide

There're many misconceptions around what acne truly is. Affecting more than 50 million people annually, acne is the most common skin condition in North America. At its core, acne is a hereditary disorder of the follicle caused by retention hyperkeratosis, excess sebum production, systemic inflammation, and proliferation of c. acne bacteria. Retention hyperkeratosis is the excess shedding of corneocytes within the follicle, and the retention of those corneocytes.  An average follicle sheds one layer of cells per day while an acne-prone follicle sheds up to 5 layers a day. The body can’t keep up with this level of desquamation, culminating in a microcomedone, the beginning of all acne. This then turns into open and closed comedones, known as noninflamed acne. If bacteria are introduced, the microcomedone may then form into an inflamed lesion such as a papule, pustule, cyst, or nodule. Envision your white blood cells being sent to the follicle to fight off the infection creating redness and inflammation, that is the process that leads to inflamed lesions.  Though acne is caused by only one thing, there are many contributing factors like foods, medications, and ingredients that play a role. Not all acne types will be treated the same because acne is a unique condition that varies based on the individual therefore not everyone will have the same acne triggers. This is where it gets fun as their Acne Expert, we get to put on our acne detective hat and help clients identify what their triggers are and work with them to get to the root cause of their acne. If we can’t identify the root cause, clients will continue to experience acne, though it may not be bothersome to all; it can greatly impact one’s mental health and affect their daily life.  

Identifying lifestyle factors and triggers is just a part of the journey in clearing acne. Additionally, curating a custom home care routine for clients based on a multitude of factors including acne type, skin type, and more is essential.  Daily use of home care is an important part of the clearing process as we can utilize products to prevent new acne from forming and target active lesions and new breakouts. The tried-and-true preventative product that’s been a staple in the Face Reality Clear Skin Method™ for almost 20 years is the Advanced Acne Med containing benzoyl peroxide (BPO).  Benzoyl peroxide is one of the 5 ingredients FDA approved for the OTC treatment of acne. We love BPO because it works in many ways to fight off acne.  It is a bactericidal and keratolytic with activity against C. acnes bacteria on the skin and within the follicle. It was officially approved for the treatment of acne in the US in 1960. Unlike other acne medications, the skin cannot develop a resistance to BPO, making it a product that will work for the treatment of acne indefinitely.  While acne is not curable, it is controllable.  It works by controlling and preventing acne and because it’s lipophilic, penetrating deeply to remove dead skin cell build up. Benzoyl peroxide oxygenates the follicle, killing C. acnes bacteria and reduces inflammation. Imagine an oxygen bubble inside the follicle that creates an unfriendly environment for bacteria to thrive. Not often discussed, BPO is also a great exfoliant that loosens dead skin cells and sebum.


A few factors to consider when mitigating irritation include avoiding thin parts of the skin such as the eye and lower neck area. Though allergies are rare, it can happen. Typically, when things go wrong, it’s because benzoyl peroxide isn’t being introduced slowly enough to maintain skin barrier health. For example, using a high percentage benzoyl peroxide both morning and night may cause adverse reactions. This is where the adaptative Clear Skin Method™ proves to be so useful. We introduce BPO on a timed schedule to ensure we’re being mindful of barrier health. We often get asked if benzoyl peroxide is appropriate for all skin types, and the answer is, yes! Though safe for almost all skin types, we need to be extremely mindful of our clients’ Fitzpatrick type when selecting the percentage and stay within 2.5%, no higher than 5% for higher Fitz clients. With the launch of our new Advanced Acne Med, we’ve made our already amazing formula even better, featuring proprietary new Micro-Smooth Technology. We’ve upgraded to a micronized benzoyl peroxide that penetrates deeper into the follicle than traditional forms making it even more effective in reducing breakouts and irritation.  Also included are soothing and calming ingredients like bisabolol and sodium hyaluronate that make the formula less drying and better tolerated by the skin. This is the same acne-fighting product you’ve come to love with an improved ingredient deck to ensure better compliance, and leaves clients with optimal results when using benzoyl peroxide in their clear skin arsenal. 

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