Benzoyl Peroxide Vs. Salicylic Acid: Which Is Safer For Sensitive Skin?

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Navigating the world of skincare can be challenging. There are tons of different ingredients, brands, and keywords to look out for. Things can get all the more challenging when you have sensitive skin. 

Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are two of the most common skincare ingredients. If you're a sensitive skin shopper, don't just follow the trends. There's one skincare ingredient that you'll want to steer clear of next time you're shopping for products, and it's actually one of the most popular ingredients.

Buying skincare items is a bit more challenging than shopping for makeup. Unlike makeup, you put your skincare on at the end of the night instead of taking it off. That means doing a bit more research before you buy on impulse, even when it comes to highly rated ingredients. The difference between salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide might not be all that different, but one of the two is better for sensitive skin than the other. 

Salicylic acid is better for sensitive skin

When it comes to fighting acne, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two heavy-hitters. But if you've got acne and sensitive skin, there's one that's better than the other. According to Healthline, salicylic acid is better for sensitive skin than benzoyl peroxide. The publication says that while they both dry skin out to fight acne, benzoyl peroxide is more drying than salicylic acid.

To put it simply, those with sensitive skin should steer clear of benzoyl peroxide. NBC News states that benzoyl peroxide has side effects like "dryness, irritation, and sun sensitivity." Sensitive skin users simply can't handle those side effects, so they should steer clear.

Don't feel left out by not being able to use benzoyl peroxide, though. Think of it this way: You only have one skincare ingredient to search for as you're standing in front of the wall of skincare items. You can easily navigate the skincare aisle and zero in on the right ingredient for you.

Salicylic acid's benefits go beyond treating acne

Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are almost always lumped together because they both fight acne. But salicylic acid does more than that. According to NBC News, salicylic acid buffs away dead skin cells as it works, making it great for treating psoriasis, warts, calluses, and dandruff, as well as whiteheads and blackheads. That means that while you can use it on your face, it's also a beneficial ingredient to use in body wash.

Ready for the best part? You can use salicylic acid every day, even if you have sensitive skin, per Procoal

Of course, if you have extremely sensitive skin, you might want to talk to your doctor to make sure salicylic acid is right for you. And as with any other skincare product, you'll want to ease it into your routine at first so that your body can get used to it.

The top salicylic acid products are affordable

Salicylic acid products are available in all different forms and are surprisingly affordable. Whether you're looking to use the sensitive-skin-approved skincare product on your face or on your body, you have plenty of options.

According to Harper's Bazaar, Versed Skincare's Keep The Peace Blemish Calming Cream Cleanser is one of the best salicylic acid face washes out there. The publication also suggests trying out Beauty Pie's Super Pore-Detox Purifying Black Clay Mask for a nightly pamper or Medik8's Blemish Control Pads for a quick refresher. There are tons of over-the-counter skincare options waiting in your local drugstore as well.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to salicylic acid, so don't even get bummed out that you need to steer clear of benzoyl peroxide. Your skin will thank you later for skipping the harsh products and sticking to something a bit more soothing.