Can You Use Benzoyl Peroxide Face Wash With Retinol? Find Out Here

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Can you use benzoyl peroxide face wash with retinol? Is it safe?

The answer to this question is no. Although benzoyl peroxide and retinol are two very powerful ingredients that can help fight acne, they are incompatible with each other.

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about using benzoyl peroxide face wash with retinol.

Can you use benzoyl peroxide face wash with retinol?

The answer is no, and for good reason. Benzoyl peroxide face wash is a topical product that helps to kill the bacteria that cause breakouts (P. acnes).

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that causes skin cells to turn over faster while boosting collagen production. This can reduce the number of pimples on your skin by up to 80%.

The thing about these two ingredients is that they are chemically incompatible, so combining them can result in irritation, stinging, and other side effects.

Can you use benzoyl peroxide in the morning and retinol at night?

Yes, you can. Using benzoyl peroxide in the morning and retinol at night gives each of them enough time to work on your skin without interacting with each other.

When using benzoyl peroxide in the morning, it’s important to wear protective clothing and sunscreen. An SPF of 30 or higher is recommended even if you’re not going outside during the day.

Can you use benzoyl peroxide face wash every day?

Yes, you can. However, you should avoid using benzoyl peroxide every day if you have dry skin because it can make your skin drier and damage it over time.

If you have dry skin, use benzoyl peroxide face wash twice or thrice a week. Also, be sure to apply a moisturizer immediately after using the face wash to prevent your skin from drying out.

Can you use benzoyl peroxide with tretinoin?

No, you can’t use benzoyl peroxide with tretinoin. While both ingredients can help reduce acne symptoms, they act differently on your skin.

Benzoyl peroxide works by reducing acne-causing bacteria. Meanwhile, tretinoin works by boosting collagen production and increasing cell turnover.

For best results, use both ingredients on alternate days. If this doesn’t work for you, you may want to try using them every other week.

Can you use benzoyl peroxide with vitamin C?

The short answer is no. Benzoyl peroxide will oxidize vitamin C, making it less effective than when you use it separately.

If you have a history of rosacea, it’s best to avoid these ingredients altogether because they can irritate your skin. You may also experience itching, redness, or a burning sensation that doesn’t go away easily.

What are the side effects of benzoyl peroxide on the skin?

The most common side effects of benzoyl peroxide include dry skin, peeling skin, irritation, and stinging.

In some cases, these side effects can become severe if used in large amounts or for long periods. Symptoms such as itching, burning, or redness may also occur if your skin has become sensitive to benzoyl peroxide over time.

To avoid these side effects, always apply benzoyl peroxide after washing your face with a cleanser that won’t dry out your skin. Also, make sure to apply a gentle, hypoallergenic moisturizer afterward to seal in moisture and prevent irritation.

If you’re using prescription benzoyl peroxide, ask your doctor if it’s safe to use it with other products. Some products can cause irritation or redness when you use them in combination with benzoyl peroxide.

What ingredients can you use with benzoyl peroxide?

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid helps increase hydration levels, which keeps the skin healthy and looking younger. It also plumps up fine lines and wrinkles, making them less noticeable.

This ingredient works well with benzoyl peroxide, as it helps reduce the inflammation and irritation that occurs when you use benzoyl peroxide.


Niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinamide) is an anti-inflammatory that helps fight inflammation and redness in the skin. It also supports your skin’s structure while protecting it from sun damage.

Niacinamide helps to increase the effectiveness of benzoyl peroxide by increasing its penetration into the skin. The combination of these two can help treat acne, reduce pore size, and fade acne scars.


Panthenol, also known as pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, is a form of B vitamin that helps prevent dryness and irritation. It can also help make skin appear younger by preventing wrinkles and fine lines from forming.

Panthenol works well with benzoyl peroxide because it helps the peroxide penetrate pores more easily. The combination of these two ingredients also means you can use less of both, reducing the risk of side effects and creating a more effective treatment.


Squalene is a natural ingredient that reduces inflammation and allows the skin to properly absorb nutrients. It’s one of my favorite ingredients because it does work well with retinoids and benzoyl peroxide.

When you use them together, benzoyl peroxide and squalene can help clear up stubborn acne that doesn’t respond to other treatments. Squalene may also help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping the skin retain moisture.


Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. It works well with benzoyl peroxide because it helps keep the formula stable during application (which can be very important for oily skin).

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) derived from willow bark that has been used in skincare for decades. It works by dissolving proteins and exfoliating the skin, which then allows it to absorb other ingredients more easily.

Salicylic acid can help control bacterial growth on the skin, making it a great partner for benzoyl peroxide. It’s also photosensitive, so make sure you wear sunscreen when pairing it with benzoyl peroxide.


Retinol or benzoyl peroxide for acne?

Benzoyl peroxide and retinol are both effective acne treatments. You can use both ingredients alone, and you can also use them as part of a treatment plan with other acne medications.

Does retinol kill bacteria?

No, it doesn’t. Unlike benzoyl peroxide, retinol does not kill bacteria; instead, it stimulates cell turnover to get rid of dead cells and prevent new ones from forming.

Should you use benzoyl peroxide face wash?

Yes, you should. Benzoyl peroxide face wash treats acne by killing the bacteria that cause acne (P. acnes). Using this skincare product regularly will help clear up your acne and prevent future breakouts.

Is salicylic acid good for acne?

Yes, it is. Salicylic acid works by exfoliating dead skin cells, allowing your skin to breathe better. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which play an important role in reducing acne symptoms, such as redness and inflammation.


Benzoyl peroxide face wash and retinol are two products that counteract the benefits of each other, causing more harm than good when you use them together.

So if you’re thinking about using these products together — now’s the time to stop and reconsider. I suggest you pair your BPO face wash with gentler ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and niacinamide, to prevent unwanted side effects.

Thanks for reading.

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