Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Acne Prone Skin? Is it Safe?

woman with acne
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There are many home remedies for acne. Some are good, some are not so efficient, and some can actually do harm on your skin.

It is the same as with beauty products. Not all solutions work for your skin.

With that in mind, it can be challenging and tough to navigate between which home remedies help, and which one does not. But when it comes to hydrogen peroxide for acne, there are more than enough claims that it is an effective remedy to warrant a try.

When looking for natural remedies for acne or how to get rid of pimples, hydrogen peroxide is one of the solutions that come frequently. Hydrogen peroxide is a cheap solution, readily available, and has proven infection-fighting properties.

So, let’s get down to it. How to use hydrogen peroxide? Is it safe? Are there any precautions and side effects?

What is hydrogen peroxide?

Most of us have probably spotted hydrogen peroxide in their bathroom cabinet. But what is actually inside the brown bottle?

The solution is the simplest peroxide, and it comes as a clear and viscous liquid. In this form, peroxide has antimicrobial properties and can act as a strong oxidizer.

The reason why it is stored in brown containers is the properties of the solution. If exposed to light or heat, peroxide can disintegrate and lose its extra oxygen atom.

The brown containing keeps the light out and helps the solution remain stable. Most commonly, hydrogen peroxide is sold as 3% strength solution. Do not use any higher strength for your acne problems.

How does it help?

Acne is becoming more and more serious issue nowadays. That prompts people to look for the next best thing against acne.

Naturally, they also reach for one of the common solutions, which is hydrogen peroxide. So, is it good for acne? And is it safe?

There is no denying that the solution has an immediate effect on the appearance of acne. The solution helps by combating bacterial infections.

Hydrogen peroxide can also oxidize when applies to skin tissue, meaning it releases an oxygen atom. This oxidization forms a volatile environment for any bacteria, which prevents acne from surviving. After the bacteria dies, the blemish can heal.

Peroxide is a peeling agent, which means it removes the outer layer of the skin and serves as a chemical exfoliator. In the same time, hydrogen peroxide acts as a drying agent and dries out the oils present in the skin, preventing future acne breakouts.

What the science says?

Not only are people nowadays looking for home remedies for acne, but they are also looking for scientific evidence.

With that in mind, when it comes to hydrogen peroxide for acne, studies have shown that peroxide is an oxidizing agent. And we mentioned how oxidization helps your skin clears out acne.

Now, there are also studies that show hydrogen peroxide can slow down the healing of wounds. But no solution is perfect.

That is why you should try a patch test before trying hydrogen peroxide on your skin.

How to use hydrogen peroxide?

Before you try hydrogen peroxide on your skin, it is a good idea to consult with a dermatologist. The good news is that hydrogen peroxide is a versatile ingredient. That means you can use it on its own, or mix with other helpful ingredients for a more potent solution.

Before putting hydrogen peroxide on your skin, always dilute the solution. Never use anything higher than 3% concentration.

You want to dilute it with water up to 1% concentration.

You can do that by mixing 3 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Once you have a diluted solution, apply a thin layer on your skin using a cotton ball.

Make sure to avoid the eyes and eyebrows. Wait for five minutes, and then rinse.

Pat your face dry, and repeat a couple of times per week.

If your skin feels dry, use an oil-free moisturizer afterward.

With that in mind, here are some options on how to mix hydrogen peroxide for acne with other ingredients.

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

peroxide and soda

Baking soda will help maintain the pH balance of your skin. In the same time, baking soda is another exfoliating agent. You can use it on its own to treat acne.

However, in combination with hydrogen peroxide, the solution is that much more potent, destroying all the pimples and then allowing the skin to heal.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
  • Non-comedogenic moisturizer
  • Facial cleanser


  1. Wash your face with a facial cleanser and then pat it dry
  2. In a bowl, combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Stir the mixture until smooth with a spoon
  3. Apply on your face avoiding the area around the eyes. Leave it to stay for five minutes, and then rinse with cold water. Pat your face dry with a towel and apply moisturizer afterward
  4. Repeat once per week

Tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide

peroide and tea tree oil

Hydrogen peroxide provides antimicrobial properties, and tea tree oil has antibacterial properties. Together, they form a potent mixture that will ensure there is no acne on your face. Do not use more often than two times per week.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide


  1. Wash your face with a facial cleanser and then pat it dry before applying the acne mask
  2. Mix the ingredients in a bowl, and stir until smooth
  3. Apply on the affected area. Try to avoid the area near your eyes. Leave the mask for five minutes, and then rinse with cold water. Finish with a moisturizer

Aloe Vera and hydrogen peroxide

peroxide and aloe vera gel

Aloe vera can help calm your skin and soothe irritation. In addition, the gel of aloe has antibacterial properties and will boost the healing process of the skin.

It is a great complimentary ingredient to hydrogen peroxide, as it will soothe the redness after the peroxide.

You’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel


  1. After you wash your face with a facial cleanser, apply hydrogen peroxide using a cotton ball
  2. Leave it to stay for five minutes, and then rinse with cold water
  3. Pat your face dry and then apply a thin layer of aloe vera onto your skin. Leave the aloe vera to stay on

Lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide

Peroxide and lemon juice

As a natural lightening agent, lemon helps reduce acne lighten old acne scars. Combine it with hydrogen peroxide to control oil production and prevent recurring acne breakouts.

You’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide


  1. Wash your face and then pat it dry
  2. Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir until you get a smooth mixture
  3. Apply on the affected areas and leave it to stay for five minutes. Wash with cold water and pat dry with a towel. Apply moisturizer
  4. Repeat only once per week

Are there any side effects?

The most commonly reported side effect of using hydrogen peroxide topically on your skin is irritation of the skin at the affected area.

Be careful not to use a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The highest is 3%. Anything higher than that, and you risk causing serious skin burns and blisters.

Some people also have an allergic reaction to hydrogen peroxide. It is best that you perform a patch test before trying it on your acne.

And you should never apply to an open wound. If you do that, the hydrogen peroxide can create oxygen bubbles that will block flood flow and lead to embolism, a potentially fatal condition.

Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide For Acne Prone Skin? Is It Safe?

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