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Here's what I know from talking to my Derm and other research on HP.

Propionibacterium Acnes is a bacteria responsible for many of the acne problems. As we all know, many acne treatments on the market use benzoyl peroxide. Peroxides releases oxygen in chemical reactions. Benzoyl peroxide was used, for this purpose, to liberate oxygen. At the time, it was more stable than hydrogen peroxide and could be formulated in several forms, for application to the skin.

The following is very basic chemistry, and should make all this clear.

Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2), has a molecular weigh of 34.02. It is 94.06% oxygen and 5.94% hydrogen. It breaks down to oxygen and water.

Benzoyl Peroxide (C14H1004), has a molecular weigh of 242.22. It is 69.42% carbon, 4.16% hydrogen and 26.42% oxygen.

Based on the percentages of oxygen available in each of the above, there is no question about which peroxide can liberate more oxygen. This has been known for a long time. The problem was, hydrogen peroxide was not available in a form suitable for use as a skin application. It isn't very stable in creams or gels but it is fairly stable in its liquid, diluted form that you will find in any drug store.
I will not argue with you in the effects of oxygen - bacteria cannot live in it, that is how our skin heals itself. In other countries, they use pure oxygen to fight major diseases and infections such as cancer. Here in the US, however, the medical field would never explore the uses of oxygen in curing diseases (including acne) because it would destroy their economy - everything from drug companies to insurance companies to medical schools. People have known about the power of oxygen for a long time. Some companies have tried to bottle it to sell to acne sufferers (oxzit) but it is not that simple. Yes, oxygen is the cure to acne, but not through hydrogen peroxide or benzoyl peroxide. They are both way too harsh and in killing some bacteria, they will destroy your skin. If you are a scientific guy(?) like you sound that you are, please help us find this oxygen cure, not just for acne but for even more destructive diseases. Sorry to go on, perhaps this should be another thread. I'm just saying that I see where you are coming from with HP but I still would not recommend it, it upsets the chemistry of your skin.
Always consider the source of a point of view and their inherent self serving interests that may be behind it.

some info for those who are interested (sry for the long post!)

-I would also recommend those who apply HP for an extended period also take a good vitamin E and other anti oxidants as a daily supplement to ward of the remote chance of free radical damage.


Scientific evidence strongly encourages the development of ways to enhance oxygenation of skin, and perhaps all other organs as well. Several means exist to accomplish this objective, but one with the longest history of safety is to apply stabilized hydrogen peroxide lotions to the skin.

Critics of this cosmetic formulation concept raise a cry against adding (hydrogen) peroxide to the skin, but say nothing about the widespread use of (benzoyl) peroxide.

Cosmetic class hydrogen peroxide emulsions are an economical and effective source of oxygen for hypoxic adult skin. Oxygen is released rapidly upon topical application which decreases remaining hydrogen peroxide. Solubility of oxygen in lipid domains of epidermal cells does not raise concentrations higher than attained by ortho and hyperbaric oxygenations. vitamins E and C protect epidermal cells against lipoperoxidation, and are included in hydrogen peroxide cosmetic emulsions.

Hydrogen peroxide is FDA safe and effective as and anti-infective and cleansing agent for open wounds. It is used extensively in dental products. Years of use by mass market consumers have not revealed dangerous side effects that would prohibit continues application to skin surface.

Upon comparison with benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen peroxide is much less a risk for tumor induction and promotion of epidermal skin cells. Benzoyl peroxide is of such far greater risk that the FDA Anti-Acne Final Monograph removed benzoyl peroxide from safe and effective classification. Efficacy is not the issue; safety is being reviewed extensively with animal studies to determine its risk for long term human use.

It must also be pointed out that hydrogen peroxide is readily available, as a 3% aqueous solution for use as an antiseptic, on broken skin and is used orally for periodontal conditions. Since the gums and lining of the mouth, are soft tissue mucosa, if hydrogen peroxide, was in any way detrimental, it would have been a well-published fact, decades ago and its use would have been restricted by the FDA. Hydrogen peroxide has been in use for over a century.

Controversy will always exist. Like the AHA’s, varying opinions always abound concerning formulations, buffers, pH, percentages, benefits, disadvantages, etc. The number of papers published on oxygen, free radicals and alpha hydroxy acids proves that there is great scientific interest in these subjects and the emerging technologies behind such products. In addition to the scientific interests in these subject matters, there are also financial and legal issues.

As with everything in life, use some commonsense. Review the available information; test the products or the technology; evaluate the results, and then make up your own mind.





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