Helping People Achieve Clear Skin Since 2007

Helping People Achieve Clear Skin Since 2007

  • 2

Oxy Acne Medication: Which Products Are Best for Your Skin?

By Dr. Jaggi Rao, MD, FRCPC, Double board-certified dermatologist

The Oxy website will tell you that their company has been a long-time in acne skin care, making affordable products for over 30 years. Oxy acne products are certainly among the most affordable you can find, but do they really work?

oxy acne medication
Some Oxy products contain too much alcohol, which can irritate the skin.


  • Oxy acne products are among the most affordably priced skin care products in the world.
  • Oxy acne products that contain benzoyl peroxide, and just benzoyl peroxide, usually work well.
  • Oxy acne products that contain ingredients chosen to appeal to teenage users, such as the herb dragon’s blood, usually not only don’t work, they can harm the skin.
  • Some Oxy acne products contain so much alcohol they can dry out the skin.
  • Canadian versions of Oxy products are milder than their US counterparts, but can still be problematic.
  • Always test a small dot of Oxy or another skin care product on your forearm before putting a large amount on your face.

What Oxy Does Well That Other Acne Products Don’t

Many users who have lots of pimples report that Oxy stops the formation of new pimples almost as soon as you start using it, in just days. And for as little as US $3 a bottle in much of Asia and as little as US $5 a bottle from Amazon, it is almost impossible to find a product that works as well for so little money.

What Other Acne Products Do Well That Oxy Doesn’t

The best known Oxy products work with the power of benzoyl peroxide. If you have skin that is, as one customer puts it “tough as a tank,” benzoyl peroxide is probably nearly the perfect ingredient for fighting acne bacteria. If you have sensitive skin, or if the weather turns unusually hot or unusually cold, or if some of the skin on your face is resistant and some of the skin on your face easily breaks out, Oxy may be too strong for you and other acne treatments, such as facial waters, tea tree oil creams and gels, or even antibiotics may be better. And if you have issues with allergies, you need to be careful even with Oxy products that don’t contain benzoyl peroxide.

What’s in Oxy that makes it work? Let’s take a look at the best selling Oxy acne products one by one, examining their pros and cons.

Oxy Clinical Clearing Treatment

Oxy Clinical Clearing Treatment, with a suggested retail price in the USA of just $8.49 for a 1.25 oz/35 g tube, is advertised as providing clinical results without prescription. Many users find that it really does. The key difference in this Oxy product is that it contains benzoyl peroxide in a microencapsulated form for slow release.

Benzoyl peroxide has minimal effectiveness for removing redness and inflammation from the skin. All it really does is to kill acne bacteria. When the bacteria are gone, however, they stop sending out signals that make nearby skin especially sensitive to inflammation, and the skin heals on its own in about two weeks. In the meantime, the formation of new pimples stops.

Oxy Clinical Clearing Treatment kills acne faster than other benzoyl peroxide products because it releases this ingredient continuously, instead of just when you place it on your skin. The 5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide in the product is definitely strong enough to make a difference on infected skin, but not so concentrated that most people will not experience stinging, redness, or peeling after using it. It is always a good idea to test a tiny dot of Oxy Clinical Clearing Treatment or any other acne product on the skin of your inner forearm before putting it on your face, just to make sure there are no unexpected irritant effects.

This Oxy product also contains shea butter and other antioxidants. The shea butter is a good moisturizer, and offsets any irritation that may be caused by the benzoyl peroxide. The antioxidants sound like a good idea, but since benzoyl peroxide is a pro-oxidant, it is hard to see how they could survive on the skin long enough to do it any good. Still, there are very few treatments for acne that work as well as this one. Just use caution if you have extra dry or allergy-prone skin.

Oxy Chill Factor Products

Oxy Chill Factor products, on the other hand, suffer serious shortcomings. The Oxy Chill Factor Daily Wash, for example, contains 10% benzoyl peroxide. This is the strongest concentration of benzoyl peroxide permitted without a prescription in most countries. It does the skin absolutely no good, unfortunately, because it is rinsed away just seconds after it is placed on the skin.

Oxy Chill Factor Daily Cleansing Pads are 46% alcohol. This is enough alcohol to kill some acne bacteria. It is also enough alcohol to kill the linings of the pores in which the acne bacteria live, trapping the surviving bacteria inside the skin, where they can cause nasty nodules and cysts. The tingling action on the skin you feel is the evaporation of alcohol and menthol, both of which can cause the skin to flake and peel.

Menthol is the main problem ingredient in Oxy Chill Factor Face Scrub. This Oxy face scrub also contains aluminum powder, which causes lasting irritation to the skin, and sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, which can dry it out. Menthol also makes Oxy Clinical Hydrating Therapy Acne Treatment a bad choice for treating acne on dry or any other kind of skin.

Oxy Daily Cleansing Pads, Focus: Blackheads

Here is a product that contains the right ingredient for removing blackheads, especially from oily skin, salicylic acid, which is a beta-hydroxy acid. The problem with the product is that it contains just 0.2% salicylic acid when 0.5 to 3.0% is probably needed. The Daily Cleansing Pads, Maximum product contains 2% salicylic acid, an amount that would work, except the product is at the wrong pH. The “Maximum” product has the acid at a pH so high it is just a salt after it is placed on the skin. The “Maximum” product also contains 50% alcohol, enough to dry out and irritate the skin.

Oxy Face Wash Acne-Fighting Formula

Oxy’s acne-fighting formula contains an herbal extract of Croton lechieri, also known as sangre de drago or dragon’s blood. While this probably sounds “awesome” to some teenaged users, the herb really does not have anything to offer for fighting acne. In fact, it can make acne a lot worse.

A pure extract of this herb acts something like an instant bandage when it is placed on the skin. That’s great if you have a cut or a scrape. That’s the exact opposite of what you want when you are treating acne. After all, you want clogged pores to empty. This herb just traps oil and acne bacteria inside them. And even worse, the face wash contains a strong detergent that would irritate the skin before the dragon blood extract sealed bacteria in it.

Oxy Face Wash Acne Treatment, Sensitive

Here is an Oxy face wash that really is a great product for sensitive, inflammation- or allergy-prone skin. The only significant active ingredient in the formula is 5% benzoyl peroxide. This might be a little too much benzoyl peroxide for extremely sensitive skin, but the formula does not contain any other ingredients that make the potential side effects of benzoyl peroxide worse. Always test a dot of this or any other product on the skin of your inner forearm, leaving it there for at least 8 hours, to make sure it is safe for your face.

Other Oxy Acne Products

Oxy’s after-shaves for men who have acne make the skin tingle, but that tingling is just a signal that they are irritating the skin. Oxy shaving cream contains enough benzoyl peroxide to kill some acne bacteria, but it also contains a combination of coconut oil and emollients that sticks on the skin and can clog pores.

If you live in Canada, you can buy Spot Treatment Acne Fighting Gel Formula. This formula contains dragon blood (the herb) and alcohol, like Oxy Face Wash Acne-Fighting Formula. Even though this product only contains half as much alcohol as the American version, it still only traps inflammation in the skin.

  • 2
Comments 6
Comments (6)
Add Comment
siyabonga Reply

would like to know if the OXY 10 lotion has been discontineu or they still produce it

June 26, 2014 at 11:45 am Reply
Philip uys Reply

Yes i can't buy it any where

October 19, 2014 at 1:23 pm Reply
aaron Reply

yes You can buy this item still at rite aid and high school pharmacy

January 7, 2015 at 6:57 pm Reply
cavouta Reply

I dont use Oxy any more because the chemicals were too harsh for my skin. My husband bought me the Citrus Clear products online and I tried them. I've used Citrus Clear and instead of acne lasting for DAYS, they go away very quickly. I had one that was gone the next morning. Very surprised at how well this works. ... But I've never needed to use more than a teeny tiny dab so that may be why.

April 21, 2016 at 11:10 pm Reply
Bob Reply

The Oxy made my whole face break out. I had ONE pimple and now I have over a hundred!!!!

May 17, 2017 at 11:06 pm Reply
Arlyn Calma Reply

Yes oxy 10 is effective i tried it . After w days my acne and pimples vanished thanks.

November 20, 2017 at 11:27 pm Reply

Our Mission

To be your most trusted ally in your pursuit of clear, healthy skin.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!