Does Benzoyl peroxide bleach skin?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Does Benzoyl peroxide bleach skin?” and provide information on what exactly is Benzoyl peroxide, its side effects, how much of it can be used, how to apply them as well as how long does it take to show effects.

Does Benzoyl peroxide bleach skin?

Yes, Benzoyl peroxide can bleach the skin. It can end up making the skin more white. If Benzoyl peroxide is applied topically, you might notice your skin turning more light. 

As a result, Benzoyl peroxide is not recommended to be added to your scalp as it can turn the hair white.

What exactly is Benzoyl peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is an antiseptic solution that can be applied to your skin or face. Some apply it to remove acne or other skin issues whereas others apply it to treat wounds or cuts on the skin.

Benzoyl peroxide works by killing bacteria on the skin and by reducing inflammation. It can also open clogged pores on the skin and lighten them too.

What are some uses of Benzoyl peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide can be used as a treatment for excessive acne. Benzoyl peroxide creams with higher strength can help reduce acne levels moderately.

Certain kinds of acne or pimples can leave dark spots or marks on the face. Papules and pustules can also leave behind marks. 

Benzoyl peroxide can remove dead skin cells and reduce the marks formed on your skin. However, more studies need to be conducted on this function of Benzoyl peroxide.

Warts are small bumps that can appear on your face or limbs. The application of Benzoyl peroxide can reduce warts. Usually, dermatologists recommend around 5 percent Benzoyl peroxide for the removal of warts.

Some even apply Benzoyl peroxide on boils. Apart from this, it can be used for the treatment of a skin condition called Rosacea (the appearance of blood vessels on the face).

What are some side effects of using Benzoyl peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide can cause dryness of the skin. In some people, the skin might start peeling after becoming flaky. There can be burning and itching sensations observed in some people.

In such cases, it would be better to stop using them. It can also increase the sensitivity of your skin to the sun. As a result, after Benzoyl peroxide treatment, apply sunscreen before going out into the sun.

Some individuals might observe blisters and swelling on the use of Benzoyl peroxide. In such cases, discontinue its use and immediately consult a doctor.

People suffering from dermatitis, eczema, or other skin conditions are advised to not use Benzoyl peroxide.

How much Benzoyl peroxide can you use?

Do not use more than 2.5 to 10 percent of Benzoyl peroxide on your skin. Make sure to start applying them with a very low concentration and gradually increase the dose only if required.

Do not leave Benzoyl peroxide on the skin for more than 2 days. It is better to rinse them off after 1-2 minutes.

How to apply Benzoyl peroxide on the skin?

There are face washes and cleansers containing Benzoyl peroxide solution available in the market. 

For applying Benzoyl peroxide face wash, rinse your face with water and then gently apply the cleanser or facewash all over your face.

Keep them on for 1-2 minutes before you wash them off your face. Use a towel to dry your skin off. You can also creams or gels containing Benzoyl peroxide to remove acne from your face. 

It is important to be careful while applying Benzoyl peroxide to your face. The cream or cleanser should not enter your eyes. If it enters our eyes, rinse it immediately using water.

You can apply Benzoyl peroxide twice a day. Do not use Benzoyl peroxide in the morning if your skin is very sensitive to sunlight.

If the application of 2 percent Benzoyl peroxide does not show any effect, you can gradually move to higher strengths like 4 percent. 

If your skin seems to be devoid of moisture or shows some side effects on the application of higher-strength cream, switch to a lower-strength version.

How long does it take for the Benzoyl peroxide to work?

Benzoyl peroxide can take around 6-12 weeks to show some effect. Do not apply high amounts of Benzoyl peroxide to get faster results. This can end up destroying your skin.

If you have applied Benzoyl peroxide for over 12 weeks and still do not notice any changes, you can consult a good dermatologist.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Does Benzoyl peroxide bleach skin?” and provided information on what exactly is Benzoyl peroxide, its side effects, how much of it can be used, how to apply them as well as how long does it take to show effects.