Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash Facts, Risks, & Where to Buy

Updated on December 8, 2022
Shauna Freemantle By Shauna Freemantle
Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash Facts, Risks, & Where to BuyPIN

Table Of Contents

    Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash Facts, Risks, & Where to Buy

    We get it, benzoyl peroxide face cleansers can be intimidating. 

    Maybe it’s the fear of staining your clothes and sheets, maybe it’s the way they make your face feel tight, or maybe it’s just the name that’s holding you back. Whichever is the case for you, you need the lowdown on these so-called “acne miracle workers” and how to incorporate them into your skincare regimen (or not).

    Turning to the internet, you’ll likely hear about all kinds of cult-like faves including PanOxyl being used to treat acne, and also likely have questions about what it is, how it works, and if it’s even effective.

    We’re here to help answer those questions, and by the end of this post, you’ll be able to decide whether or not PanOxyl face wash is the right choice for your skincare needs.

    What Is PanOxyl Face Wash?

    From the time we experience our first breakout, a memory we’d probably all like to forget, products with benzoyl peroxide are there to clear things up. Whether you tried those little pads soaked in acne-fighting solution, a wash, a scrub, or topical treatment – many of the products targeted teens then and now offer the acne-fighting power of benzoyl peroxide, or BPO.

    A nonspecific oxidizing agent, benzoyl peroxide is an organic peroxide similar to hydrogen peroxide. That means it releases oxygen on the skin to kill bacteria. Aside from killing bacteria, benzoyl peroxide is also anti-inflammatory and comedolytic, which means that it works simultaneously to open up pores and decrease inflammation on the skin.

    PanOxyl says they use benzoyl peroxide to kill acne-causing bacteria fast, making them a popular solution for acne sufferers. Clinically proven to clear existing acne and prevent future breakouts, they offer daily washes that can be used on both the body and face.

    PanOxyl, and by extension, BPO-based products, work in four key ways, as outlined in the chart below:

    Property of PanOxyl How it Works
    Clears Pores Keeps pores from getting clogged by helping the skin shed more effectively
    Stops Future Breakouts The antibacterial action of benzoyl peroxide keeps blocked follicles from turning into spots
    Treats Existing Spots Destroys bacteria, including the spot-causing P. acnes, quickly and reduces the inflammation acne causes
    Breaks the Acne Cycle Benzoyl peroxide gets rid of existing acne and prevents new blemishes from forming

    With these properties, PanOxyl cleansers can help make your breakouts a thing of the past.

    PanOxyl acne foaming wash offers you a few different ways to treat your acne:

    • Oil Control Moisturizer (all-in-one daily moisturizer and sunscreen)
    • 4% Daily Creamy Wash (gentle cleanser with less BPO)
    • 10% Foaming Wash (cleanser with stronger BPO concentration)
    • Overnight Spot Patches (for treating individual zits)

    Depending on your needs, you may need more than one product in your rotation to get the job done. Though, it should be noted that sensitive skin may not love the stronger of the two daily washes, PanOxyl 10 percent, and may see better results with the 4 percent option.

    And sometimes, benzoyl peroxide is just not for your skin. The best thing to do is to consult a dermatologist that can help you determine which products are best for your skin type, or to patch-test products before use.

    PanOxyl Acne Wash Effectiveness

    Seeing past big claims can be hard, especially when it comes to acne treatments. After all, it’s one of the biggest skincare and wellness sub-markets out there. By 2029, the global acne treatment market is expected to grow from $9.36 billion to $12.97 billion. That means plenty of businesses are and will continue to try to cash in, and there are plenty of big marketing promises to be wary of.

    So is PanOxyl effective, and should you try to treat your acne with it? 

    The short answer is, yes, PanOxyl benzoyl peroxide wash is effective at clearing and treating acne, as well as preventing it. It’s also one of the most popular acne washes in the US, making it a fave and an effective one at that, thanks to its science-based approach to skincare.

    But let’s get further into the details as to why exactly PanOxyl is an effective product for many acne sufferers.

    Why Is PanOxyl Effective for Acne?

    So why is PanOxyl effective for acne?

    Acne treatments typically rely on active ingredients to treat breakouts. You can classify various acne products by their main active ingredient, and in the case of PanOxyl, it’s benzoyl peroxide you can thank for helping improve blemishes.

    As we mentioned earlier, benzoyl peroxide is a well-known, acne-fighting ingredient in skincare. It is a much-loved fave for its ability to effectively get rid of bacteria and dead skin cells that clog your pores. This ingredient can be found in over-the-counter gels, cleansers, and spot treatments at various concentrations, and in higher concentrations by prescription only.

    Other popular acne treatments that can be confused with a BPO-based product like PanOxyl include:

    1. Salicylic Acid
    2. Glycolic Acid
    3. Lactic Acid
    4. Retinols

    We’ll get into some comparisons later, but keep your eyes peeled for those terms when you’re wading through the seemingly endless amount of acne treatments on the market.

    Can You Use Panoxyl as Acne Body Wash?

    Body acne is as frustrating and painful as facial acne and can be stubborn to get rid of, too. PanOxyl is an acne treatment for the face and body that cleans and unclogs pores.

    Common areas that might break out, and lead to using a PanOxyl acne body wash include:

    • Chest
    • Back
    • Butt
    • Legs

    When we dove into the reviews on PanOxyl, we found tons of success stories, especially for clearing body acne. Ideally, you want to apply this product to wet skin, massage, and let sit for about 2 minutes to let the ingredients do their job and break down the oils and acne-causing bacteria under your skin.

    Zohna Tip

    If you are planning to use PanOxyl as acne body wash, make sure to keep it to external use only, and avoid contact with the eyes, lips and mouth. And if you’re using this acne wash on large areas of your body that can be exposed to the sun, be sure to use caution when outdoors and always wear sunscreen as the BPO can make your skin more photosensitive.

    PanOxyl vs Other Products

    PanOxyl is obviously at the top of the list for many skincare pros as a great BPO cleanser. But maybe you’ve tried PanOxyl, and it hasn’t exactly been your jam, or you’re just looking for something a little more gentle.

    Or maybe, you’re just curious about how PanOxyl stacks up to the other benzoyl peroxide cleansers on the market before you click ‘add to cart’. 

    We’ve gathered up a few options for PanOxyl acne foaming wash here so don’t have to wait any longer to find a BPO-based product that works for you.

    PanOxyl vs Cerave

    09/25/2023 08:45 am GMT

    For those with sensitive skin, it can be hard to find a cleanser with BPO that is supposed to be gentle on the skin but tough on acne. Cerave’s Acne Foaming Cleanser claims to tackle this challenge with a creamy, moisturizing formula featuring hyaluronic acid (helps your skin retain water), ceramides (maintains your skin’s natural barrier), and niacinamide (helps calm your skin). Those ingredients are designed to pack a powerful punch and serve up the 4% benzoyl peroxide in a gentle and calming way.

    A few reviewers did note that as much as the formula can help some people, it had led to others developing worse acne or allergic reactions. Overall, the consensus is that overall, this product is a good BPO cleanser and may be more gentle than PanOxyl.

    Cerave Pros Cerave Cons
    • Non-irritating formula good for sensitive skin
    • Moisturizing formula including hyaluronic acid
    • Thick, creamy formula that foams up
    • May not treat severe acne well
    • May be drying for those with sensitive skin

    PanOxyl vs Differin

    Differin Acne Face Wash
    $9.97 ($2.49 / Fl Oz)
    09/25/2023 06:58 pm GMT

    Differin, developed by dermatologists, is one of the most popular alternatives to PanOxyl. It contains 5% benzoyl peroxide to treat acne on all skin types. Both PanOxyl and Differin are designed to offer the benefits of a deep cleanse, a gentle moisturizer, and benzoyl peroxide treatment all in one step. They claim that the formula has less dryness and irritation when you compare PanOxyl vs Differin.

    Differin cleanses the pores deeply, removes excess oil, and uses moisturizers to help maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance. Reviewers agree that this product is highly effective at busting even the worst of cystic acne, but warn it is not effective for whiteheads or blackheads and will dry out your skin, causing irritation if you’re not treating active acne lesions, which is something you’ll definitely want to think about when comparing PanOxyl vs Differin.

    Differin Pros Differin Cons
    • 10% BPO content, a strong formula for eliminating acne bacteria
    • Easy to find, OTC available
    • Inexpensive cost
    • Drying and irritating for those with sensitive skin
    • Not ideal for daily use

    PanOxyl vs Neutrogena

    Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser
    $24.36 ($1.93 / Fl Oz)
    09/25/2023 07:35 pm GMT

    Whether you use it as a daily facial cleanser to kill bacteria or as an intensive mask for deep cleansing and extra shine control, with Neutrogena’s Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask you’ll feel the cooling intensity build as it penetrates into the pores. With 3.5% benzoyl peroxide, it can treat acne breakouts and prevent acne from cropping up again at a lower BHO level than PanOxyl.

    The main claim to fame this product offers is that you can use it as either a face mask or as a daily wash, simply by applying the product for longer. While plenty of reviewers noted they found success with this product, a few noted that when applying this product as a mask, they experienced severe irritation and itchiness. So if you’re the type of person who has had skincare allergies before, perhaps skip this product.

    Neutrogena Pros Neutrogena Cons
    • Able to use in two ways (daily cleanser and treatment mask)
    • Easy to find, OTC available
    • Inexpensive cost
    • Drying and irritating for those with sensitive skin
    • Not ideal for daily use
    • 3.5% BPO means it may not be enough for severe acne, but still irritating
    • Strong scent

    PanOxyl vs Clean & Clear

    09/25/2023 07:52 pm GMT

    Ugh, no one can forget their first pimple. And most of us turned to a longtime savior to teens – Clean & Clear. With an array of targeted acne products for adults and teens alike, you can find these products at almost any drug store and offer you an affordable price, too.

    Watch out, though. One of the most contentious features of this product is the ingredient Menthol. Known for a fresh, minty, distinctly tingly feeling that leaves you feeling really clean and refreshed can be either satisfying or uncomfortable depending on your skin’s needs. For dry skin or sensitive skin, avoid this product for more than occasional use.

    Clean & Clear Pros Clean & Clear Cons
    • 10% BPO content, a strong formula for eliminating acne bacteria
    • Easy to find, OTC available
    • Inexpensive cost
    • Thick, creamy formula
    • Strong scent (menthol)
    • Very harsh and strong formulation can irritate sensitive skin
    • May dry skin out through continuous use

    PanOxyl vs Paula’s Choice

    One of the pricier options on this list, Paula’s Choice offers you an effective acne treatment that works immediately to fight stubborn acne, prevent future breakouts and reduce red marks. One of the biggest benefits this product offers is that it contains no harsh ingredients that can cause dry, flaking skin.

    And while this product alone won’t cleanse your skin (it’s a lightweight lotion), Paula’s Choice has a full 3-step routine that contains a cleanser and toner as well as the lotion for a simple approach to treating and preventing acne — but that comes at a cost; the kit comes to a total coming in over the $65 mark, which may not be worth it for babes on a budget.

    Paula’s Choice Pros Paula’s Choice Cons
    • 5% BPO content, a strong formula for eliminating acne bacteria
    • Clears pores effectively
    • Moisturizing properties to keep skin soft and healthy
    • More expensive than other OTC options
    • Some reviewers note an allergic reaction after application
    • Not a cleanser, a moisturizer

    Best Places to Buy PanOxyl

    Who doesn’t love a deal! We’re always keeping tabs on the best prices and where our faves are available.

    Here’s a quick look at the best places to buy PanOxyl acne foaming wash:

    $9.77 ($1.78 / Ounce)
    $9.77 ($1.78 / Ounce)
    09/25/2023 10:15 am GMT

    PanOxyl Side Effects & Risks

    You’ve probably guessed it, but PanOxyl and other benzoyl peroxide cleansers aren’t perfect and have a few drawbacks and things we’d be remiss not to mention.

    Here are a few PanOxyl side effects and risks:

    • Damage to linens and towels (orange staining)
    • Possibility of benzoyl peroxide bleaching eyebrows and facial hair
    • Skin irritation including;
      • Dryness
      • Redness
      • Excessive peeling
      • Itching
    • Allergic reactions to benzoyl peroxide

    TL;DR: Sometimes, the active ingredient in PanOxyl, benzoyl peroxide, can lead to irritation, itchiness, and redness when used for short or prolonged periods of time.


    • Does PanOxyl Bleach Clothes?

      Like any cleansers, creams, and treatments containing benzoyl peroxide (BPO), PanOxyl 10 percent will likely stain any material it comes into contact with, such as towels or pillow cases. Often, it leaves that tell-tale orange stain behind. The best way to avoid ruining your favorite towels is to rinse your face extremely well before patting it dry.

      Another option is to opt for white towels and linens so you can’t bleach any stains into their fabric. You can even find other stain-resistant towels and linens if white isn’t your thing, or use salicylic acid-based products instead of a BPO-based one to avoid the bleaching altogether.

    • Does PanOxyl Bleach or Lighten Skin?

      No, there is no evidence that PanOxyl lightens skin. It can bleach textiles, but due to the differences in the way skin and fabric work, it doesn’t have the same effect. That’s thanks to melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) in the skin making new pigments constantly. This ongoing melanin-making is triggered by an enzyme called tyrosinase. The body’s tyrosinase must be blocked for the skin to bleach.

      Because they don’t react with tyrosinase, benzoyl peroxide-based products like PanOxyl don’t bleach skin. Benzoyl peroxide affects fabric and hair differently since neither is constantly producing pigment, unlike the skin.

    • Is PanOxyl Good for Acne Scars?

      PanOxyl can be used as an over-the-counter treatment to clear, treat, and prevent mild to moderate acne breakouts. While this can be helpful for treating acne, products that work on lightening spots can be more effective at treating severe acne scarring.

      There are three types of acne scars you may want to treat with PanOxyl:

      • Papules (pink raised bumps)
      • Pustules (pink bumps with white pus)
      • Cysts

      PanOxyl or other benzoyl peroxide-based products can be used in conjunction with over-the-counter products aimed at treating hyperpigmentation and scarring.

      Look for ingredients to use alongside PanOxyl like:

      • Kojic acid
      • Retinoid (retinol, tretinoin, adapalene gel, or tazarotene)
      • Vitamin C
      • Azelaic acid
      • Glycolic acid
    • Can I Use PanOxyl With Differin Gel?

      Yes, you can use PanOxyl with Differin gel. This is an effective, combination treatment for preventing and clearing acne. Differin gel is a retinoid that treats mild to moderate acne. Topical retinoids work as comedolytics, so they can help get rid of blackheads. Additionally, these products reduce inflammation and encourage cell turnover.

      Differin works great on blackheads and whiteheads and tends to be less irritating than other prescription-based retinoids.

      If you’re hoping to use PanOxyl and Differin at the same time, use one product in the morning and once at night to avoid irritation, and consult your dermatologist for specific skincare advice to make sure it’s the right combo for your needs.

    • Does PanOxyl Help With Dark Spots?

      There is some evidence that PanOxyl and other BPO-based products can help reduce the signs of dark spots. Some say that BP can help accelerate the skin’s ability to shed, which could help those dark spots vanish. It can be irritating, however, and may not be ideal for those with sensitive skin.

    • Is PanOxyl Good for Blackheads?

      PanOxyl is great for inflammatory acne, which produces pustules, papules, cysts, and nodules instead of whiteheads and blackheads. In fact, PanOxyl kills bacteria, rather than just slowing them down, and helps pores get rid of dead skin cells and excess oil. This can help with blackheads, but salicylic acid-based products are more effective.

      That’s because salicylic acid helps to unclog blackheads that have already formed, and additionally prevents those skin holes from becoming clogged again. Talk about a two-for-one!


    So, there you go! That’s the overview of what benzoyl peroxide acne cleansers like PanOxyl are, how PanOxyl works, who should (and shouldn’t) use these types of products and the PanOxyl side effects.

    Now you can truly decide whether this is the acne miracle for you! Interested in the best acne treatments for teens? Read on to find out more!