We have all suffered at the hands of clogged pores at some point. Choosing to strike at the most inconvenient time, they’ve cause a fair deal of mental anguish even after the teenage ‘pizza face’ years. Though common during puberty due to rising testosterone levels, around 50% of adult women and 25% of men also suffer from acne. We’re tempted to blame this on poor food choices or lack of sleep but often it can be down factors out of our control, such as genetics. Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide (BP) claims a gentler approach to tackling the problem, but with mixed reviews we’re going to investigate a little further…

Spots are primarily caused by an overproduction of oily sebum which combines with dead cells to block hair follicles. The resulting ‘comedones’ which form can be open (these are what we know as blackheads) or closed (what we know as whiteheads). Certain strains of bacteria, commonly the Proponibacteria, infect these comedones and the resulting inflammation gives rise to the angry red spots we’ve come to hate! Check out our Acne Anguish Ask the Expert for more info on this process!

So how does Benzoyl peroxide (BP) work to tackle this mess?
This lipophilic (lipid-loving, water-fearing) compound is drawn into oily skin and oxidises, producing benzoic acid, hydrogen peroxide and free radicals. The reactivity of the free radicals then oxidise (and damage) bacterial proteins, which is thought to be the mechanism underlying BP’s potent anti-bacterial activity. By oxidising on contact with the skin BP also has a keratolytic effect, breaking down fatty acids of the cellular debris. In fact, studies have shown that its application noticeably reduces inflammation.
This bacteria-busting approach is sound pretty good, but what about the downside? Side effects include erythema (redness), dryness and even burning. Neutrogena have decreased the concentration of BP to a lower level to try and avoid these unwanted effects, but some users do still experience these symptoms. This might sound a little alarming at first, but as many acne-prone Beauty Geeks will inform you, we would expect this from most acne medications. Dry skin in particular is a very common side effect of these vigorous skin cleansing approaches.

It’s important to note that BP isn’t for your one-off small-scale, but is recommended for at least ‘moderate’ acne. The small tube is the first indication that this is a product to be used sparingly and the usage instructions do specify to ‘apply directly on pimples’. For those with acne who have never used benzoyl peroxide, Neutrogena could be a good place to start, using it once every few days as necessary, and a light moisturiser can be used to help avoid dryness.

In theory, adding a moisturising layer onto acne-prone skin is not ideal, as over-hydrating can lead to more acne (it’s all swings and roundabouts!), however reviewers have seen their skin improve despite using moisturiser. It’s a careful balancing act between miniaturisation and cleansing to battle acne without drying the rest of the skin out!
We’ve seen a lot of complaints that the Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment left users’ skin feeling dry and uncomfortable, but that really is the idea! It’s a no-nonsense anti-sebum treatment. Use with care and try not to pick those pesky pimples (leaving them be can help avoid the chance of scarring too).

Coming in at $5.99, Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment seems cheap as chips compared to many other acne products out there, and certainly compared to some of our top-of-the-line skin care potions! With some solid anti-acne science and many reviewers sharing very good experiences, this looks like a good basic at a reasonable price, nice one Neutrogena!

If you like the sound of this, you can purchase on-the-spot HERE!

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