How to Use Retinol with Benzoyl Peroxide Together?

How to Use Retinol with Benzoyl Peroxide Together

There are various ingredients and products in the market that promise to give amazing results if added to the skincare routine. However, the results not just depend on the efficacy of the ingredients but also the skin type. 

Both Benzoyl peroxide and Retinol individually have astounding effects on the skin. Yet, using them together needs careful consideration. If you are trying to figure out can you use Benzoyl peroxide with Retinol and how will this combination affect you, we have got you covered.

What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide has antibacterial properties that are effective in treating acne (1). It is widely available as an over-the-counter medicine and stops bacterial growth on the skin and the hair. It removes excess oil from the surface of the skin and prevents bacterial growth by releasing oxygen. This helps to reduce the acne and diminish inflammations. 

Benzoyl peroxide helps to clean up by shedding dead skin cells and heals pus-containing inflammatory acnes (2). It has also been effective in treating cystic acne along with prescription medications. If you have cystic acne, use Benzoyl peroxide after consultation with a dermatologist.

What is Retinol?


Retinol is a type of Vitamin A that is widely used in the cosmetic industry (3). It is used as over-the-counter medicine and is helpful in reducing pigmentation. It also makes the skin firm by stimulating collagen production and treating wrinkles. Retinol also regulates skin oil production and promotes cellular turnover. Hence, it helps to reverse the signs of early aging.

Retinol is also effective in controlling sun damage like fine lines due to exposure to ultraviolet rays. Also, it is effective in treating keratosis pilaris by smoothing bumpy and rough skin textures (4). Retinol can also remove dead cells of the skin effectively, thereby bringing new cells to the surface that makes skin look hydrated.

How to Use Retinol with Benzoyl Peroxide

Retinol with Benzoyl Peroxide

Some skincare products have both Benzoyl peroxide and Retinol in them. However, it is of utmost importance that you observe your skin type and use the ingredients accordingly. 

Benzoyl peroxide is oil soluble and can penetrate deep into oil-filled pores. Once it enters, it breaks down and creates free radicals that destroy bacteria through oxidative reactions. Retinol is also an antioxidant that can react with free radicals within the skin cells. As Benzoyl peroxide is an oxidising agent, while Retinol is an antioxidant, the two may react chemically and neutralise each other. 

Both Benzoyl peroxide and Retinol have different properties that react in various ways (5). Hence, most dermatologists suggest to use Benzoyl peroxide and Retinol at different times of the day. 

This may be a solution to avoid their harmful effects when mixed together. For example, you can use Benzoyl peroxide in the morning and Retinol at night. You may also try using Benzoyl peroxide and Retinol on alternate days. 

You may use Benzoyl peroxide with facial mosturiser to prevent skin dryness. Using it on a clean face helps to reduce inflammatory pimples and manages acne. By evening, once the skin has absorbed and utilised the goodness of Benzoyl peroxide, you may then apply Retinol to gently work overnight.

Both Benzoyl peroxide and Retinol can be used daily. Before using these products, it is important that you perform a skin patch test to check your skin’s reaction to the ingredients.

Sometimes, using them together could worsen the effect. They may lead to imitation and dryness, especially for sensitive skin. They might also lead to redness and peeling of the skin if not used properly. Hence, it is important that before you incorporate these two ingredients, you read in detail about them. Also, get a proper consultation from a dermatologist.

Be careful while including them in your routine. If your skin reacts to any of the ingredients, you may look for their alternatives. Retinol can be swapped with vitamin A derivatives like retinoids. Benzoyl peroxide may be replaced with salicylic acid or azelaic acid. 


Both Benzoyl peroxide and Retinol provide several skincare advantages. Though most skin types respond well to them and yield favourable results but still a lot of careful consideration is needed before including them in the skincare routine. You need to pay attention to the way your skin responds to each of them and consult a dermatologist if you notice any issues.

Image Source : freepik

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