Skincare Stacy

Skincare Stacy
Can I use moisturizer after benzoyl peroxide?

Can I use moisturizer after benzoyl peroxide?

Yes, you can use moisturizer after benzoyl peroxide treatment such as PanOxyl.

Benzoyl peroxide is a dermatologist approved ingredient found in cleansers and acne treatment. Most people with mild to moderate acne can benefit from concentrated treatments like benzoyl peroxide in their skincare products.

This post will teach you everything you need to know about benzoyl peroxide and how to use it in your skincare routine.

Should I moisturize after benzoyl peroxide?

How often should you use face moisturizer? With BowTiedFawn branding

Yes, moisturizing should go after benzoyl peroxide in your skincare routine. Ideally, you treat your skin first by either:

  • Cleanse: Washing your face with a medicated cleanser

  • Treat: Using benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment on acne breakouts

Then, you apply moisturizer to replenish your skin with fats and protect your natural barrier.

Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment

PanOxyl 10% Benzoyl Peroxide with BowTiedFawn branding

Benzoyl peroxide is one of my personal favorite acne treatments.

I like cleansing my face with 4% PanOxyl. It has benefits like effectively killing bacteria without being too harsh on my face or causing redness.

What is Benzoyl Peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient that helps clear out active acne caused by bacteria living on your skin. This bacteria thrives in an environment with:

  • Sweat
  • Dirt
  • Excess oil
  • Dead skin cells

Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient to help kill bacteria and get your skin back on the right track. Typically, you can find it in concentrations ranging from 4 to 10% over the counter.

How does Benzoyl Peroxide work?

Benzoyl peroxide product ingredients work by killing the acne causing bacteria that lives on your skin. This bacteria is also known as cutibacterium acnes.

Without active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, the bacteria combines with sweat, dead cells, and dirt to clog pores and cause breakouts.

Using benzoyl peroxide treatment and applying moisturizer in your skin care routine can be an effective way to treat acne.

Benefits of Benzoyl Peroxide

Paula's Choice 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide with BowTiedFawn branding

There are many benefits when you apply BP.

Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria that otherwise clogs pores and causes acne breakouts. It can help get rid of active acne and fits easily into a skincare routine alongside other acne medications.

Plus, unlike prescription topical treatments, you can get benzoyl peroxide acne treatments affordably over the counter.

My personal favorite way to use benzoyl peroxide in skincare products is through a low concentration medicated cleanser, like Paula’s Choice 2.5% benzoyl peroxide.

Benzoyl Peroxide Side Effects

PanOxyl 10% benzoyl peroxide and box with BowTiedFawn branding

Benzoyl peroxide can make your skin super dry and cause skin irritation and severe redness. We can reduce the side effects associated with applying benzoyl peroxide by using a moisturizer.

As a general rule, it is best to moisturizer twice per day to avoid irritation.

Benzoyl Peroxide and Other Active Ingredients

Differin Gel with BowTiedFawn branding

Unless otherwise directed by a dermatologist, you should minimize mixing benzoyl peroxide and other active ingredients such as:

Active Ingredients

  • Retinoids
  • Vitamin C
  • Alpha hydroxy acids
  • Beta hydroxy acids

However, everyone’s skin is different. Some people may be able to tolerate these combinations.

Good Ingredients to Combine with Benzoyl Peroxide

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream with BowTiedFawn branding

I like applying skincare products with soothing ingredients when using benzoyl peroxide. For instance, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream has 1% colloidal oatmeal to help soothe irritation.

Plus, Paula’s Choice Redness Relief Toner also has soothing ingredients to calm irritation and protect your skin barrier.

You can also look for moisturizers with green tea. Regardless, try to stick to fragrance free skincare products as a general rule.

Alternatives to Benzoyl Peroxide

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant with BowTiedFawn branding

There are a bunch of acne treatments you can try if cleansing or washing with benzoyl peroxide causes too much irritation for you.

Acne Treatments

  • Salicylic acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Retinol↗
  • Adapalene

SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 with BowTiedFawn branding


You can also consider seeing a dermatologist for a prescription for something like Epiduo, which is a benzoyl peroxide and adapalene combination medication.

Epiduo is one of many spot treatments you would use just on the affected area, unlike a cleanser which you would use on your whole face.

However, you would still use moisturizers with Epiduo just like you would with a face wash.

How to Use Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment

Adapalene gel with BowTiedFawn branding

To use a benzoyl peroxide cleanser like PanOxyl, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your face with the cleanser

  2. Apply a noncomedogenic moisturizer

  3. Consider laying a facial oil on top if you have a drier skin type

These are not hard and fast rules though. You can always add an additional cream if you feel like your skin type needs it.

On the other hand, if you have particularly acne prone skin, you’ll want to choose the lightest products possible.

Do you apply moisturizer before or after benzoyl peroxide?

Stratia Interface with Splash Background and BowTiedFawn branding

You apply moisturizer after benzoyl peroxide.

Can I apply moisturizer after benzoyl peroxide?

Yes, you can apply moisturizer after you apply benzoyl peroxide.

Concerns with Moisturizing with Benzoyl Peroxide

It’s worth noting that people with oily skin should stay away from heavier products like thicker moisturizers and creams.

Instead, opt for a lotion or a gel-based moisturizer from the Neutrogena Hydro Boost line.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Skincare Questions with BowTiedFawn branding
Can I use moisturizer after acne treatment?

Yes, you can use moisturizer after acne treament.

Does benzoyl peroxide cause dry skin?

Yes, benzoyl peroxide can cause dry skin.

Should I moisturize after acne treatment?

Yes, you should moisturizer after acne treatment.

Can I put moisturizer over acne medication?

Yes, you can put moisturizer over acne medication.

Can you use moisturizer after acne medication?

Yes, you can use moisturizer after acne medication.

Acne medication before or after moisturizer?

Acne medication goes before moisturizer.

Can I apply acne cream after moisturizer?

Yes, you can if you need to reduce the strength of the acne product you’re using. However, it is generally best practice to apply acne cream before moisturizer.

Do you put moisturizer on before acne medication?

No, you put moisturizer on after acne medication.

Do you put acne treatment before or after moisturizer?

You put acne treatment on before moisturizer.

Acne cream before or after moisturizer?

Acne cream goes before moisturizer.

Acne cream or moisturizer first?

Acne cream first.

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