You shouldn’t need a degree in chemistry to understand common skincare ingredients. At Skincare-News, we strive to give you simple facts so you’re well-aware of the ingredients in your skincare products. Here’s a clear-cut look at hydrogen peroxide, a common chemical that’s found in a variety of products.
What is it?
Hydrogen peroxide (H 2O 2) is a member of the family of chemicals known as peroxides, which includes benzoyl and carbamide peroxide. A powerful bleaching agent and detergent, hydrogen peroxide is used in a variety of personal care products. Hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient in blonde hair coloring products, as it effectively reacts with the melanin in hair to produce a lighter color, according to About chemistry expert, Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.
In addition to lightening hair, hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient that treats the following conditions:
- Acne. Hydrogen peroxide helps reduce the appearance of unwanted blemishes and bumps by killing the bacteria that causes acne. However, long-term use may slow down the healing process, according to the blog, Daily Beauty.
Product pick: Oily skin types will find an effective acne treatment in Pevonia Spot Treatment. In addition to hydrogen peroxide, this spot treatment boasts glycolic acid and salicylic acid, calendula extract and horse chestnut extract to battle acne-causing bacteria and unclog pores.
- Minor cuts, scrapes and burns. Although hydrogen peroxide has long been a standby for quickly disinfecting minor scrapes and cuts, doctors note that this method is outdated. In Prevention magazine, David Goldberg, M.D., explains that even though hydrogen peroxide effectively attacks unwanted bacteria, it also kills healthy skin cells — which can delay healing.
Product pick: In place of hydrogen peroxide, try AmeriGel Wound Dressing. This gentle antiseptic contains natural active ingredients derived from tannins to keep wounds moist and clean.
- Body odor. WebMD points out that hydrogen peroxide is a great way to banish body odor. Simply combine one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with eight ounces of water and apply to affected areas to kill odor-causing bacteria.
In addition, hydrogen peroxide comes in handy when trying to cover up mistakes made when applying self-tanner. Simply use a cotton ball to apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the skin to clean streaks and blend hard lines, Melanie Towne, tanning salon owner, tells the Bend Bulletin.
If you have sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide, check with your doctor before applying any skincare product that contains this common chemical. Also, keep in mind that a small amount of hydrogen peroxide can cause yellow staining on the skin and clothes, so take caution when using it and be sure to wash hands carefully afterwards. Finally, follow directions and contact a doctor immediately if you notice any strange side effects.
Improving Acne Scars and Discoloration
Preventing and Treating Age Spots