In each issue, Practical Dermatology® magazine spotlights a new device or over-the-counter or prescription treatment dermatologists are recommending to patients. This month, National Acne Awareness Month, Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist at MDCS: Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Centers, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at New York Presbyterian-Cornell in New York City, discusses Humane’s acne wash.

What is Humane Acne Wash?

Marisa Garshick, MD: It is a wash developed by the Humane Company to help those dealing with breakouts and acne. It is especially good for inflammatory type of breakouts, but can also help clear up blackheads and whiteheads and can be used on the face, chest, and back. It contains benzoyl peroxide 10%, which helps to reduce C. acnes without leading to bacterial resistance. Benzoyl peroxide also confers a keratolytic, comedolytic, and anti-inflammatory effects.

I recommend this cleanser to anyone dealing with breakouts, especially on the back and chest where it may otherwise be tough to apply a topical cream or ointment. Those with sensitive skin should be cautious before starting any benzoyl peroxide product.

How do you suggest acne patients use this product?

Dr. Garshick: It is best to apply once daily to damp skin and gently massage into the affected areas on the face, back, or chest, allowing the solution to stay on the skin for one to three minutes before rinsing with warm water and patting dry. If tolerated, patients can increase to twice daily. For patients sensitive to benzoyl peroxide, it’s best to start off a few times per week and increase use as tolerated. It is also a great option for those who experience in-grown hairs.

What type of results are your acne patients seeing?

Dr. Garshick: People do great with it and often don’t want to stop using it. What is great about the active ingredient, benzoyl peroxide, is that it has been around for a long time and is a trusted and reliable ingredient when it comes to treating acne. And even when patients are doing well and noticing fewer breakouts, I still recommend they continue to use the product to maintain benefits.

How does this acne wash stand apart from other washes on the market?

Dr. Garshick: It is formulated with benzoyl peroxide 10%, which is generally the highest strength available. Although it is a maximum-strength, as with the rest of the brand, it is formulated without many other additional ingredients that may otherwise lead to sensitivity of the skin. I love that it can be used on both the face and the body, which makes it a great option for those who are dealing with breakouts in both areas as it can help to keep their skincare routine simple.

What products or procedures complement this wash?

Dr. Garshick: For individuals with mild breakouts, this benzoyl peroxide wash may be all they need to keep their breakouts calm. In these cases, it is best to keep the remainder of the skincare regimen simple with an oil-free moisturizer and sunscreen. For individuals with more breakouts, it is best to consider additional treatment options to complement this benzoyl peroxide cleanser. If someone is using a topical antibiotic for their acne, this is a great option to add as it can help to prevent bacterial resistance to the antibiotic, potentially prolonging the benefit of the medication.