Courtesy of Clean & Clear
What's the difference between salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide?
These are two different acne medications that are available over the counter. They work differently and target different components of acne.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that works by being an exfoliant, promoting the removal of dead skin cells. It is best for comedonal acne (whiteheads and blackheads).
Benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial and works to kill the bacteria on the skin that cause acne. It is best for inflammatory acne (red bumps and pus bumps).
One is not better than the other; it just depends which type of acne you have. Both are available in creams, gels, and washes.