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Hi again coloradogirl, thx for your input on this topic. You have obviously done some major digging of your own. What are you currently using and is it effective for you? I will give witch hazel a try I think and see if I can continue the results I get from HP. It's just so hard to stop something when you are seeing results. In the meantime I am using HP sparingly and watching for signs of skin damage. There used to be some others on this board using HP and I hope that they share their experiences as well.
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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