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I was just wondering what people's views are towards these two chemicals. Is one more effective than the other, or is a combination of both best? Also, what are some pros and cons of each one?

P.S. If someone could list how they actually work that would be great.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
It's been my experience that salicylic acid makes my skin feel better and more healthy than benzoyl peroxide. When I use benzoyl peroxide, it turns my face red. For the past 4 months, I've been using a liquid form of salicylic acid after I wash my face (morning & night) and I can see the difference. Also, I've been told that benzoyl peroxide only protects against bacteria for about 6 hours. I use an antimicrobial face wash that has Chloroxylenol which really helps to exfoliate my skin....leaving it smooth. I then use the salicylic acid which also has lactic acid which helps the dead skin to shed easily. Hope this helps. Later.
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.
Not all BP dries your skin out. I use Paulas Choice 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide solution and it doesn't dry me out or make me red at all. Other BP products have, however, so it really depends on what you use.
LoL, didn't I just see this thread? Hehe, oh wait, different one. ;)

But on to the question. Let's see, I used BP for...oh...7, almost 8 years. It worked okay. Better than nothing! But like most people I had bad reactions to it. My skin would get really dry and flaky. My face would feel tight and uncomfortable. So then I would end up having to stop using the BP for a week just to let my face get back to normal, and then I would start the whole thing over again.

Then about two months ago I discovered Neutrogena's Clear Pore Gel with 2% salicylic acid and my skin has never been better. I'm doing other things too like vitamin suppliments and Aloe Vera Gel, but I really do believe that the salicylic acid has done wonders for me. My breakouts have been less frequent and also less dramatic. Best of all the SA doesn't seem to be as harsh as BP, so it doesn't dry my skin or make it feel tight. No more flakes! I'm a raving SA fan.
BP has been found to be more effective for men, but I find a combination of Salicylic Acid and BP works best.

I was my face twice daily with Clean & Clear Continuous Control face wash (2% Salicylic Acid) and use Clearisil Ultra (10% BP) cream on my face at night.
I suggest using salicylic acid. BP causes hyperpigmentation - those awful red marks we all loathe - no matter the %. Not to mention it is a skin irritant. Beta hydroxy acids and alpha hydroxy acids are great for the skin, so you can't go wrong by using them. Even sensitive skins types can use AHAs and BHAs.
I use BP every other day and I have no hyperpigmentation, so that is not true.
If you re-read my post, I did not say nor did I imply it causes hyperpigmentation in everyone. If your skin type is susceptible to hyperpigmentation, it does not matter the % you use.
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.
i find that bp prevents breakouts more effectively than sa does
My experience with Proactiv and a 2.5% BP face reacts fine for a month or maybe a month and a half, but then my face gets red splotches, which quite honestly looks WORSE than regular pimples. My skin on my forehead, cheeks and jawline also got flaky. The worst part was that I still had white head breakouts on my face as well.

In a 14 day cycle, I usually had one day where my skin was clear, 2 tops. Something has to give, so I'm trying the SA route. I've never used it on it's own, so I don't know what to expect.

So far after a week or so, my face seems to be clearing up and is less red and irritated. Just like one of the posters said, my face feels a LOT smoother using SA.

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