4 of the Best Bargain Benzoyl Peroxide Face Washes

Using a face wash with benzoyl peroxide is an easy way to treat mild acne and prevent pimples. This ingredient kills acne-causing bacteria and is often a first-choice over-the-counter (OTC) option for taming breakouts. Washing with a cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide is an easy, inexpensive way to work acne treatment into your daily routine.

Aside from face washes, benzoyl peroxide is sold as an OTC topical cream and can be found in products like toners and treatment pads. Since most acne treatments dry the skin to some extent, you may want to start with once-daily use of a benzoyl peroxide face wash and only increase use and/or add on other acne products if and as your skin can tolerate it.

This article highlights four widely available, inexpensive face washes that contain benzoyl peroxide.

If you aren't seeing improvement after several weeks of treating your acne with over-the-counter products, contact your healthcare provider. Not all ingredients are right for everyone, and some cases may require prescription treatment.

Clean and Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser

Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser

Photo from Amazon

If you're looking for a basic cleanser, this one by Clean and Clear fits the bill. It contains 10% benzoyl peroxide to help reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria. Use it in place of your regular cleanser once or twice per day.

This is a great cleanser to help reduce oily shine. It can dry your skin, though, so make sure you use an oil-free moisturizer every day.

Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser / Mask

Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask, 4.2 Ounce

Photo from Amazon

Neutrogena has long been a skin care staple. This cleanser has a clean smell and leaves the skin feeling cool and refreshed. And don't think it isn't effective because it contains less benzoyl peroxide (3.5%) than other options.

Oxy Maximum Action Rapid Treatment Face Wash

Oxy Daily Defense Face Wash

Photo from Amazon

The packaging directions recommend using two to three times per day, but that might leave you feeling really dry and flaky. You might want to start off using this product just once per day, and slowly work up to twice daily if your skin can handle it. You may also want to try Oxy Face Wash Sensitive, with 5% benzoyl peroxide.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are common side effects of benzoyl peroxide?

    Overuse of benzoyl peroxide could cause excessive dryness, peeling, and redness. People with sensitive skin may need to restrict their use or avoid benzoyl peroxide entirely.

  • Is benzoyl peroxide safe?

    In general, benzoyl peroxide is considered safe to use for acne treatment. However, it may not be appropriate for some people such as those who are recovering from skin cancer treatment or who are pregnant.

  • Can benzoyl peroxide remove acne scars?

    Benzoyl peroxide can prevent serious acne that would cause scarring, but other treatments have been shown to be more effective in treating existing. These include microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and dermal fillers.

  • What should you not pair benzoyl peroxide with?

    Benzoyl peroxide has potential interactions, including with some other topical acne medications (e.g., salicylic acid, tretinoin) and products that contain them, like cleansers. Irritation and dryness are common side effects. Speak to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about whether or not it's OK for you to use benzoyl peroxide with other medications you're on.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Dermatology. Is any acne treatment safe to use during pregnancy?

  2. Northwestern Medicine. Acne Treatments.

By Angela Palmer
Angela Palmer is a licensed esthetician specializing in acne treatment.