Benzoyl peroxide, an organic chemical compound, is very popular for its antibacterial properties. It is commonly used in a variety of over-the-counter acne products, including face cleansers, creams, gels, toners, and spot treatments. It works by killing bacteria under the skin that cause acne breakouts. Skincare brands utilize benzoyl peroxide at a low concentration, usually between 2.5% and 10%. In general, the topical use of benzoyl peroxide formulation is considered safe up to the concentration of 10%. But is this FDA-approved skincare ingredient safe for acne treatment during pregnancy?
Let’s explore what experts recommend about using benzoyl peroxide for pregnancy acne and safety precautions to take while pregnant.
Benzoyl Peroxide and Its Uses
So many women swear by its effectiveness in treating mild to moderate acne. Some of the potential uses for benzoyl peroxide include:
- Acne treatment: Benzoyl peroxide is a commonly used acne treatment, and it is effective at reducing the number of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads on the skin.
- Dandruff treatment: Since benzoyl peroxide has antibacterial and antifungal properties, it is effective on dry and damaged hair.
- Bleach alternative: Benzoyl peroxide can also be used as a bleaching agent in hair bleaching and teeth whitening products.
Is it safe to use benzoyl peroxide while pregnant?
Most oil-free face washes and cleansers are rich in benzoyl peroxide. There is limited research on the safety of using benzoyl peroxide while pregnant. However, it is generally considered safe during pregnancy when used in limited amounts. Fortunately, research suggests that skin care products with low concentrations of benzoyl peroxide are as effective as products with higher concentrations.
While the potential risks or benefits are not fully understood, it is crucial to speak with a healthcare provider before using any skincare products during pregnancy, including those containing benzoyl peroxide. Even though it’s rare, overuse or improper use of benzoyl peroxide can lead to skin irritation, dryness, and redness, which could be a concern for sensitive skin during pregnancy. If you experience any adverse reactions while using benzoyl peroxide, it is important to stop using the product and consult with your doctor.
Tips for using benzoyl peroxide while pregnant
When buying any acne-fighting skincare product while pregnant, learn about the ingredients first. Try to use products that don’t contain more than 2.5% benzoyl peroxide concentration. Also, avoid acne care products with retinoids or vitamin A derivatives.
Also, you might not want to keep the peroxide on your skin for a long time. Try washing it off after a while. If it’s a facewash, use it twice or thrice a week instead of every day. Even though the small amount won’t cause any problems, it’s better to stay in a safe zone.
When you are pregnant, every single skincare and beauty product ingredient might cause confusion in your mind. The same goes for benzoyl peroxide.
All pregnant women go through some hormonal changes, and a particular chemical might have different effects on different people. Since benzoyl peroxide is available in various strengths and forms, your doctor can provide guidance based on your specific needs and concerns.