Is it safe to use Hydrogen peroxide for acne?


Hydrogen peroxide or H2O2 is a liquid denser than water in its purest form. Most often, available at stores with a three percent concentration. Used for household cleaning and wound healing. Some people also use it for acne removal due to its antibacterial properties. But does it effects positively? To answer this question, various experts and dermatologists were studied. So before using this for the skin as the right product, let us view the experts’ opinion.

  • Is Tea Tree Oil Good For Acne?
  • What is hydrogen peroxide? 

    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a chemical compound; according to experts, it is a reactive molecule and used for multiple purposes as bleach or wound healing. It does not occur naturally but is produced artificially. It is cheap and easy to find; a bottle of it is found in almost every home. It is used as an antibacterial item. It is important to note that it breaks down in the air quickly, so if the bottle is kept at home for more than six months, then the chances are it will not work effectively. To test this, Schultz suggests pouring out a little from the bottle and seeing if it bubbles or not, and if not, it needs to be changed.

    Can we use hydrogen peroxide for the skin?

    According to a study, apart from using it for cuts and wound healing, it can also treat acne as an antibacterial molecule and kills bacteria from the skin, and helps dry up the extra fats from the skin that may cause pimples. In a way, it can also be used for acne removal. It is an oxidizing agent and may kill living cells like bacteria through a process called oxidative stress. This also means that it can damage skin cells with regular use.

    Moreover, it can damage fibroblasts cells; these cells help in healing wounds and making connective tissues. A study about fibroblasts suggests that fibroblasts play an essential role in wound healing. And, regular use of hydrogen peroxide weakens this ability to heal wounds. Resultantly, it will cause to develop scars on the skin. However, a study suggests that one should not rely on it as their daily acne removal product. But it can be used for the short term.

    Additionally, it is essential to be well aware of the reasons behind acne. Different sources cause acne, and so are the other solutions for acne removal. Suppose if the acne is due to hormonal disturbances, then hydrogen peroxide can never treat that acne. Experts recommend using traditional acne-fighting components like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic over hydrogen peroxide. However, if the situation is worse and you cannot find anything without this, and you have to attend any party within a few hours, you can use it to shrink it a little bit.    

    What are the benefits of using hydrogen peroxide for the skin?

    Despite its limitations, hydrogen peroxide has some benefits if used properly. There are multiple uses of hydrogen peroxide, so it is essential to use it the right way for the right things. When it comes to treating acne, it kills bacteria, dries pimples, heals wounds, thus works well for healing acne. However, it depends on the skin, and it is essential to check it before using it, to see whether it suits the skin or not; in other conditions, it may irritate and harm the skin. It will be useful if used with caution in an emergency. However, its regular use may damage the skin. Moreover, the proper method of using hydrogen peroxide for skin acne is discussed below 

  • Using Baking Soda for Face Wash
  • How to use hydrogen peroxide for acne?

    It is essential to consult with the doctor or dermatologist before using it for acne. Research strongly opposes the regular use of hydrogen peroxide for acne removal. But it can be used occasionally when there is nothing without this. The method of application of hydrogen peroxide according to study is:

    • Use diluted hydrogen peroxide. Commonly used bottles at home contain a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Still, it is essential to read the label on the bottle carefully.
    • Use a cotton ball, dip it in the diluted hydrogen peroxide and, put it on the affected area carefully without spreading it on the surrounding area.
    • Hold it on the affected area for not more than five seconds, here oxygen bubbling starts, and that’s it, wash your face with clean water.

    The Study suggests using it twice a day for two consecutive days; if you did not get results, then stop using it and, better to visit your doctor or dermatologist. 

    Is using benzoyl peroxide for skin more effective than hydrogen peroxide?

    As mentioned earlier, hydrogen peroxide cannot be the permanent solution due to its massive side effects like scarring, irritation, and burning of the skin if used with high concentration. Thus the experts suggest using it only in the household cleaning product. However, some other options are always there that can treat acne safely over hydrogen peroxide. These options include benzoyl peroxide, which is also a chemical compound that works effectively against acne. American Academy of Pediatrics defined benzoyl peroxide as the best acne-fighter ingredient available.

    It is not water-soluble, so it does not absorb into the skin like hydrogen peroxide, but it coats the skin when applied. Benzoyl peroxide removes extra oil and dead skin cells. Additionally, it helps kill the bacteria beneath the skin that cause acne. One can think of using hydrogen peroxide as a cheap and instant treatment for acne, but avoid vast usage because it has side effects. Benzoyl peroxide, on the other hand, is an effective ingredient against acne. However, this molecule also has some side effects as it can harsh the sensitive skin. Still, dermatologists favor it over hydrogen peroxide.


    In a nutshell, there is no cure for acne. However, hydrogen peroxide and benzoyl peroxide may give temporary relief. These chemical compounds can remove the occasional pimples, but this cannot benefit in the long run. However, if you have the only choice between these two compounds, go for benzoyl peroxide, as the experts recommend it over hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, it is highly important to consult with the doctor for the best results.

  • Benefits of Using Baking Soda on your Skin
  • 2 thoughts on “Is it safe to use Hydrogen peroxide for acne?”

    Leave a Comment