Summer Skin Care

This Super Common Skin-Care Ingredient Could Be Messing With Your Brow Game

Tehrene Firman

Tehrene FirmanAugust 14, 2019

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Photo: Stocksy/Kayla Snell

Oh, benzoyl peroxide. Over the years it’s helped me battle acne like a champ. One thing I didn’t really appreciate, though? How it completely ruined every towel I ever owned, leaving unsightly stains that are impossible to get rid. And be careful: Cotton isn’t the only thing it bleaches.

A Reddit user recently shared how using benzoyl peroxide ruined more than her towels. After using the cream daily every morning, it wasn’t long before she started seeing a change in her eyebrows, too. “I started to notice blonde tips on my eyebrows, but chalked it down to summer, even though I don’t go in the sun often. I started to look at past pictures and that’s when I noticed just how stark the difference is,” she wrote. “I’ll still be using the cream, but will definitely make a point to avoid my eyebrows. RIP brows.”

Many users didn’t want to believe that’s what causes the stark difference in her brow shade. “Yes, benzoyl peroxide can absolutely bleach your brows,” says New York City-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD. “Benzoyl peroxide is a bleaching agent. That’s one of the effects of most peroxides.”

Luckily, using benzoyl peroxide on the regular doesn’t mean you have to get used to rocking a lighter shade of brows.  “The best way to avoid having your eyebrows lighten is to avoid contact of the product with your hair,” says Dr. Engelman. When you’re applying it on your face, leave extra space around your brows, making sure it doesn’t touch them. Or, use it normally and take extra precautions: “Coating your eyebrows with Vaseline—or another protective ointment—can help as well.”

Whichever method you choose, you’ll be able to continue using your go-to product and keep your brow game strong in the process. Your towels and pillowcases, on the other hand, are simply out of luck.

Here’s how to deal with an “eyebrow cowlick” once and for all. Plus, everything you should know about microblading before going in for a treatment.

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