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Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Skin Is 2% salicylic better than 5% or even 2.5% benzoyl peroxide for acne as said here?

  • Camel

    Member
    March 29, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    I would also like to know if anyone has some insight to offer. 

  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 29, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    According to this paper, there was no statistically significant difference.

    But it’s possible as 2% is the highest level of SA allowed while BPO is allowed up to 10%. It seems strange they would compare the maximum level of SA versus a lower level of BPO. The funding from the study came from La Roche Possay so it’s likely they have a salicylic acid product they were trying to sell.

  • Camel

    Member
    March 29, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    @Perry, I was curious because I have been prescribed BPO in the past by my dematologist and my skin experienced irritation even at the lower levels. After a couple of months, I switched to SA and found no irritation. So, it’s great to know they are comparatively effective. 

    Would you happen to know the efficacy of these ingredients in a cleanser? Is it worth using or is there low deposition?

  • Rockstargirl

    Member
    March 29, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    They work differently..BP creates an oxidized environment that p acnes does not do well in. SA breaks up the dirt and oil that clogs the pore. I think it depends on the type of acne you have as to which works for you. Also in Canada BP is only allowed at 5-% without rx. But they are not really easily compared. 

  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 30, 2022 at 12:38 am

    @Camel - As @Rockstargirl said, they work differently so they will have a different effect on different people’s skin. 

    This is an older study but it looks like an SA cleanser would be more effective than a BP cleanser. 

  • Camel

    Member
    March 30, 2022 at 1:21 am

    @Perry @Rockstargirl thank you! That was very helpful. 

  • Abdullah

    Entrepreneur
    March 30, 2022 at 2:31 am

    Is there any study that compares 2% salicylic acid cleanser vs leave on product?

  • Microformulation

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 30, 2022 at 12:50 pm
    You can’t say that neither is better. It isn’t an objective and homogenous response from the patient. Patients respond differently.
    Asking for an objective rating disregards the realities of Clinical practice.
  • esthetician922

    Member
    March 31, 2022 at 4:51 am

    You have non inflamed acne and inflamed acne. I would fight non inflamed with salicylic and inflamed with benzoyl. Not all acne is the same. The two ingredients are not in competition with each other but used for specific types of acne. If the person has a combination of both then use both ingredients. 

  • Abdullah

    Entrepreneur
    March 31, 2022 at 11:33 am

    You can’t say that neither is better. It isn’t an objective and homogenous response from the patient. Patients respond differently.
    Asking for an objective rating disregards the realities of Clinical practice.

    My question was not about the response or feelings of patients. My point was if in theory or research one works better than another for acne.

  • Abdullah

    Entrepreneur
    March 31, 2022 at 11:36 am

    You have non inflamed acne and inflamed acne. I would fight non inflamed with salicylic and inflamed with benzoyl. Not all acne is the same. The two ingredients are not in competition with each other but used for specific types of acne. If the person has a combination of both then use both ingredients. 

    Isn’t salicylic acid anti inflammation too?

  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 31, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    @Abdullah - your question is a subjective one though. What do you mean by “works better”?  Works better at doing what? What would it mean if one treatment was working better than another? How would you test that in a measurable way? 

    The only way really is to ask patients if they believe their acne is getting better.
  • Abdullah

    Entrepreneur
    March 31, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    @Perry thanks 
    Sorry but can you tell me what subjective and objective means here? As English is not my primary language i couldn’t understand this part properly.

    By working better i mean better at healing the current acnes and preventing future breakouts in teenagers.

    It would be hard and expensive to me that test these two ingredients against each other but if any other company or research team has tested it, i will accept there research and results. That is what i am doing mostly.

  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 31, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    Objective means you measure some characteristic with a device. For example you measure the length of something with a ruler. Everyone who does it should get the same result (theoretically)

    Subjective means asking people their opinion about some characteristic. For example instead of using a ruler to measure distance you just ask people how long they believe the length of something is.

    when there is a definitive characteristic to measure an objective measurement is better.  But when the characteristic is less defined like whether a treatment works or not, there are only subjective measurements you can take.

    Again you haven’t usefully defined “working”. You’ve just used another vaguely defined word. What does “healing” mean in this context? How would you measure “healing”?

    Look at it this way. You have two treatments. What experiment would you run to determine if one worked better than the other? What specifically would you measure to show one thing worked better than another?

  • grapefruit22

    Member
    March 31, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    Can’t count the number and size of acne lesions by fluorescence or CNN analysis?

  • Abdullah

    Entrepreneur
    March 31, 2022 at 2:28 pm

    Perry said:

    Objective means you measure some characteristic with a device. For example you measure the length of something with a ruler. Everyone who does it should get the same result (theoretically)

    Subjective means asking people their opinion about some characteristic. For example instead of using a ruler to measure distance you just ask people how long they believe the length of something is.

    when there is a definitive characteristic to measure an objective measurement is better.  But when the characteristic is less defined like whether a treatment works or not, there are only subjective measurements you can take.

    Again you haven’t usefully defined “working”. You’ve just used another vaguely defined word. What does “healing” mean in this context? How would you measure “healing”?

    Look at it this way. You have two treatments. What experiment would you run to determine if one worked better than the other? What specifically would you measure to show one thing worked better than another?

    Thanks for explanation.

    1. “Healing” was the best word i knew to use for the result.
    What result people want to get by using anti acne product if that is not called healing acne?

    2. I don’t know what experiment would i run to determine if one worked better that the other. But who knows what experiment did  FDA run so they did know salicylic acid worked better than for example citric acid or benzoic acid so they said salicylic acid is anti acne active and citric or benzoic acid is not?

    If it was like this that they took two products one with salicylic acid and one with citric, and the person who used salicylic acid or the area where salicylic acid was applied had less acne compared to citric acid, then has any company or researcher compared salicylic acid vs BPO the same way?

    If they have compared it directly then how? 

  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 31, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    @grapefruit22 - yes, those are the kind of objective measurements you could take. But of course there are numerous complications. For example…

    1. How big does something have to be to count as an acne lesion?
    2. How do you compare the size of two differently shaped lesions? They’re not all perfect circles. 
    3. What’s the expected healing rate of lesions verses an improved rate?
    4. What is a level that anyone would notice?

    and on and on. It just gets complicated.

  • Microformulation

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 31, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    Abdullah said:

    You can’t say that neither is better. It isn’t an objective and homogenous response from the patient. Patients respond differently.
    Asking for an objective rating disregards the realities of Clinical practice.

    My question was not about the response or feelings of patients. My point was if in theory or research one works better than another for acne.

    The clinical response of patients is by far the best objective measure of efficacy. In my experience, patients will generally rotate through several different products or get augmented with clindamycin.

  • emma1985

    Member
    April 1, 2022 at 3:26 am

    Anecdotally, BP worked much better for me when I had inflammatory hormonal cystic acne. 10% cleared it up pretty well, even though hormonal acne usually has to be treated systemically. I was shocked.

  • emma1985

    Member
    April 1, 2022 at 3:28 am

    You have non inflamed acne and inflamed acne. I would fight non inflamed with salicylic and inflamed with benzoyl. Not all acne is the same. The two ingredients are not in competition with each other but used for specific types of acne. If the person has a combination of both then use both ingredients. 

    Totally agree!! The ONLY topical that worked for my inflammatory acne was Benzoyl Peroxide at high concentrations. Even prescription topicals didn’t work as well (Clindamycin, Tretinoin.) It’s insanely effective!!

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    April 1, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    I occasionally get hormonal acne although retinol (and sometimes prescription tretinoin) is part of my daily routine. In such cases I stop retinol and switch to 20% Azelaic Acid for a couple of days. Works like a charm for me [forum member advisory:anecdotal opinion content].

    Tried benzoyl peroxide once and spent a night in an emergency room with severe allergy. To be fair to benzoyl I had no acne next day :)
  • Abdullah

    Entrepreneur
    April 2, 2022 at 12:57 am

    I occasionally get hormonal acne although retinol (and sometimes prescription tretinoin) is part of my daily routine. In such cases I stop retinol and switch to 20% Azelaic Acid for a couple of days. Works like a charm for me [forum member advisory:anecdotal opinion content].

    Tried benzoyl peroxide once and spent a night in an emergency room with severe allergy. To be fair to benzoyl I had no acne next day :)

    What percentage BP did you use?
    What was the side effect?
    Did you only use in face or larger body part? 

  • Pattsi

    Member
    April 2, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    The clinical response of patients is by far the best objective measure of efficacy. In my experience, patients will generally rotate through several different products or get augmented with clindamycin.

    Very true and some rotate through several different clinics. 

    @Abdullah - BP, you need drug manufacturing license and BP gel (made in India) is relatively low priced, it would be difficult or impossible to compete with mid-sized or large pharma.

  • Abdullah

    Entrepreneur
    April 2, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you all

  • ngarayeva001

    Member
    April 2, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    Abdullah said:

    I occasionally get hormonal acne although retinol (and sometimes prescription tretinoin) is part of my daily routine. In such cases I stop retinol and switch to 20% Azelaic Acid for a couple of days. Works like a charm for me [forum member advisory:anecdotal opinion content].

    Tried benzoyl peroxide once and spent a night in an emergency room with severe allergy. To be fair to benzoyl I had no acne next day :)

    What percentage BP did you use?
    What was the side effect?
    Did you only use in face or larger body part? 

    5% which I bought in a pharmacy over the counter.
    My face got swollen to the point where I had to use fingers to open my eyes and when my tongue started swelling I rushed to ER. They gave me steroids but it took 5 days for the swelling to go away.
     I didn’t even applied it on whole face. I used it as a spot treatment on 5 spots.

    The strangest thing is that my skin is an opposite of sensitive. I can use products with pH of 2 without irritation. I can use tretinoin and glycolic acid the same day you name it. It was the first time I had a reaction on something  that I applied on my face.

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