James Q. Del Rosso, DO: Discussing News of Benzene Exposure in Acne Skincare Products


In this interview, Del Rosso expresses his personal views on the recent report of benzene in benzoyl peroxide acne products.

A recent announcement by autonomous quality assurance organization Valisure suggested that there were concerningly-high levels of the human carcinogen benzene which is found in acne treatment products that feature benzoyl peroxide (BPO).1

Following this notable announcement by Valisure, the organization filed their 8th US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Citizen Petition that indicated benzoyl peroxide acne treatment products may be fundamentally unstable. Considering the ingredient’s widespread use in the skincare world, the announcement may have been alarming to many individuals.

In an interview with HCPLive, James Q. Del Rosso, DO, who serves as both a dermatologist and as research director of JDR Dermatology Research, discussed his own personal views on the recent news and commented on both its potential impact and the need for further information prior to any major decisions.

“It's a pretty big statement they're making,” Del Rosso said, recommending that viewers check out the report by Valisure. “...You can get the information and other things about testing products, all the things that they do want to say, who Valisure is, and check them out. For the American Acne and Rosacea Society, I became president after taking over for Andrea Zaenglein, who worked very hard in her 2 years. She had isotretinoin known and other issues to deal with. Three days after this Valisure petition was sent to the FDA, I took over as president of the American Acne and Rosacea society. I can tell you, I don't know anyone in the dermatology community, other than people that maybe we're working with Valisure, that knew this was going to happen.”

Del Rosso commented on the general lack of definitive statements of anything new by the FDA at this point. He added that all of these different benzoyl peroxide products remain approved by the agency for use until additional information is announced by FDA officials.

“The safety of the public is of number 1 concern to all of us,” Del Rosso explained. “...But there needs to be an appropriate evaluation of what all this means and what the final outcome is going to be. Because benzoyl peroxide is used all over the world. It's been used for over 5 decades. I believe it was first in the 1960s when it started to be used, and I was a little kid then. So it's been around for a long time. I even used it as a teenager for acne.”

Del Rosso stressed the importance and potential significance of the new information, though he noted that major decisions on benzene and products that may contain the carcinogen have yet to be announced.

For additional information on Del Rosso’s discussion, view the full interview segment posted above.

The quotes used in this interview summary were edited for the purposes of clarity.


  1. Valisure Detects Benzene in Benzoyl Peroxide. Valisure. March 6, 2024. https://www.valisure.com/valisure-newsroom/valisure-detects-benzene-in-benzoyl-peroxide. Date accessed: March 6, 2024.
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