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Acne Message Board

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Salicylic acid is an exfoliant, meaning it helps your skin slough of dead skin cells which will keep your pores clear. Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial that kills the bacteria that cause acne. I think salicylic acid is much better than benzoyl peroxide. First of all, it's gentle and can be used every day, morning and night. It makes your skin smooth and prevents pimples by preventing clogged pores. It works best if you use in consistently, all over your face. I used Proactiv (main ingredient is Ben. peroxide) and my skin was so freaking dry and red it hurt to talk! It was horrible. Plus, I think that since BP is an antibacterial, after extended use the bacteria will become resistant to it. I've read some other posts here about BP causing free radicals and cancer and I totally agree with them. Anything that drys your skin out that much has got to at least cause wrinkles in the future. I'd go with salicylic acid and stay away from benzoyl peroxide. Some good products with salicylic acid are Neutrogena Clear Pore gel, Skin Clearing Moisturizer, and Oil-Free Acne wash. Those are the ones I use, plus a spot treatment gel with 2% Salicylic acid. Clearasil has one...I use the Clinique one. They're all good though. Just use them consistently and your skin should look great.
Personally I've never used Benzol P, I did go through a phase of using Clinique's night time gel (salicyic acid) and it made no difference to my condition..
Then I went to the Docs and was prescribed topical anitbiotic solution (clindamycin phosphate) and within a week i was clear!

Hope this isn't going off the topic too much.. It's just that I went through a phase of thinking that over-the-counter medecines could clear up my zits (which were mainly in the form of large pimples and cysts around my chin area) I was quite afraid of going to the doctor, and admitting to myself that i had 'acne'. But it was well worth it as I don't get v many spots at all now. OK, lecture over.. ;)
I think that both salicyclic acid and BP have their good points and bad points, but I don't believe that BP causes cancer. A few people have posted about this, but neither I, nor my dermatologist believe it for a second. ANYWAY, I used BP for a while... both Proactiv and prescription, and both are very harsh at first. Red, itch dry skin.. bleh. But my acne did improve significantly over time. Salicyclic products have left me wondering if they even DO anything... I have yet to see the results with myself, but I suppose you need to try it to make up your own mind. Everything works different for different people.

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