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Hydrogen peroxide, the chemical formula H2O2, is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen that's produced naturally by a healthy body to fight off infections and kill bacteria. This chemical is mixed with water to form a dilute solution for basic first aid uses. The antibiotic penicillin helps the body produce more of this good stuff to fight bacterial infections. Acne is a common problem caused by bacterial infections, so you can use hydrogen peroxide as an astringent to help reduce breakouts.
Wash your face using a gentle cleanser and warm-to-cool water to get rid of dirt and grime. Hot water can dehydrate your face, causing your sebaceous glands to secrete more of an oil-like substance that will make your skin more oily and, therefore, more prone to acne.
Check to see what the concentration of your solution is. A 2 to 3 percent solution is safe and is the typical strength you will find at a drugstore. If the concentration is higher, you can easily dilute it by mixing in some water. The reason you need to make sure it's not too strong is that hydrogen peroxide solutions above 3 percent can irritate and even burn skin.
Dip a cotton swab in the solution and apply it to the infected areas of your skin. Don't use a cotton ball, washcloth or your fingers because applying it to too broad an area will cause healthy skin to dry up. Apply it only where you have acne to kill the bacteria and clean up clogged pores. Do this regularly to help minimize pimples and reduce breakouts.