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Salicylic Acid vs Benzoyl Peroxide

Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are active ingredients found in popular acne treatments. Some acne products contain Benzoyl Peroxide, a harsh ingredient that can irritate and dry out your skin-and even make your breakouts look worse.


Benzoyl Peroxide

Salicylic Acid
Benzoyl Peroxide is an acne-fighter that can sometimes do more harm than good:

»Can cause initial dryness and irritation to skin, such as redness and swelling

»Can remove the skin's top protective layer, increasing the risk of sunburn and premature aging (if sunblock is not used)

»Can bleach hair, teeth and clothing

»Can be flammable at high concentrations

Salicylic Acid is a welcome alternative for people with sensitive skin:

»In skin products it's used as a gentle exfoliant to clear dead cells and stimulate new skin cells

»In toothpaste it's used as an antiseptic to rid bacteria


»In medication it's used to aid stomach and fever relief

»In plants it can make flowers blossom



What is acne?
Hormones and genetics are the leading factors linked to acne. This common skin disorder is caused by excess shedding of skin cells, which block pores. Bacteria grow in the clogged pores, and the skin around the associated hair follicles swells and reddens, causing a pimple.

What is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic Acid is a vital ingredient in many skin care products, lotions and creams, used to treat acne and psoriasis, as well as hair products to treat dandruff. This Beta Hydroxy Acid, compared to Alpha Hydroxy Acid, is a great exfoliant used to treat acne and acne-prone skin. It effectively penetrates oil-filled pores and exfoliates the dead skin cells that build up inside , thereby reducing irritation and inflammation. Salicylic Acid also helps break down blackheads and whiteheads. If used continuously, this acne medication can effectively unclog pores and prevent future breakouts.

Where does Salicylic Acid come from?
Derived from the bark of the willow tree, Salicylate has been used for centuries, though primarily for the treatment of fever relief. Salicylic Acid literally, comes from word "salix", which is Latin for willow tree.

Who should use Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic Acid is tough enough to combat acne and gentle enough to soothe skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema and acne treatment. And it's great for all skin types! It works well for oily and acne-prone skin as it deep cleans pores. It's essential for dry/sensitive skin because it creates less irritation than AHAs and by removing the dead layer of skin it allows for moisturizer to be better absorbed. This exfoliating process is a must for aging skin, as it evens the appearance of tone and texture and allows for the growth of new skin.

Murad Canada offers acne products that do not contain Benzoyl Peroxide. While some skin products are all about acne, Dr. Murad is dedicated to helping individuals with acne and acne-like skin disorders.

Acne Complex and other Murad products are specially formulated with hydrating agents, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and specific acne-fighters, which work together to provide the best environment for achieving optimal health.

Acne Complex® Kit
In independent clinical studies, over 90% of the participants experienced a reduction in blemishes in just 4 weeks. Heal blemishes, prevent future breakouts and achieve healthy skin with this complete regimen.

The following Acne Complex products contain Salicylic Acid:

Clarifying Cleanser
Prepare for clarification. Scientifically proven to reduce 99.9% of irritating surface bacteria in less than one minute, this deep cleansing gel with Triclosan and 1.5% Salicylic Acid helps to gently but effectively reduce acne blemishes to keep skin clear.

Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel
Clear away while clearing up. This patented skin treatment blends Retinol with 1.0 % Salicylic Acid, as well as Glycolic Acid to penetrate pores and sweep them super-clean. Hydrogen Peroxide purifies without drying to keep skin clear and healthy.

Acne Spot Treatment
Banish the blemish now. This formula contains powerful acne medication, including 3% Sulfur to minimize the severity of current acne breakouts. Salicylic Acid exfoliates to accelerate healing. Zinc oxide soothes and reduces inflammation.