Topical Retinoid / Topical Antibacterial
579 Reviews
Topical Retinoid / Topical Antibacterial
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
Topical Retinoid / Topical Antibacterial
Side Effects
Topical Retinoid / Topical Antibacterial’s Real World Take
A way of using benzoyl peroxide in combination with the topical retinoid, adapalene, that studies show works a bit better than benzoyl peroxide alone. Comes with side effects for the first weeks and can bleach fabric. Note: When used correctly, benzoyl peroxide on its own can completely clear the skin.
Topical Retinoid / Topical Antibacterial
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist? Make an appointment to get this medication. Don't have a dermatologist? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find one.
Read All About Adapalene / Benzoyl Peroxide (Epiduo®)
Compare To Other Treatments

Used Adapalene / Benzoyl Peroxide (Epiduo®)? Rate It:

Choose from 1 to 5 stars
September 1, 2023
Product used:
Didn't work well and never healed completely
It never completely healed my acne even if my lifestyle was good. However, my acne got worse and i had to take antibiotics(tetracicline) and then i switched to trifarotene. I didn't experience any side effects with Epiduo.
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1 user(s) found this helpful

May 8, 2018
Didn't do crap for me
April 25, 2018
Do not use for localised acne
Hello friends, I had moderate acne solely on my right cheek- literally never a spot anywhere else. This went on for about two years, and was starting to scar- potted, red, etc. So I forked out to see a derm, who prescribed epiduo. I used it for 7 months exactly. The first 4 months were utter hell. From having mild 'bumpy skin and max 2 spots' on my cheek i went from having full blown deep cystic acne. months 4-7, slowly cleared up, but has left scarring. Now the cheek is pretty much clear, but the entire rest of my face now gets spots. Epiduo essentially barred the spots from coming out on that 3cm space on my cheek, and instead now spread them across the rest of my face. Sadly, I now dream of having the skin I had before epiduo. Use with caution for small area.
August 16, 2017
Product used: Epiduo (Forte Gel)
Doesn't do much at all
I was put on this after regular Epiduo did nothing for me. This was the same thing all over again. Works somewhat well the first week or so then does nothing. Applying a little amount - a large amount made no difference. I found it did nothing except occasionally dry out my face.
August 16, 2017
Does nothing for severe acne
I was prescribed this for moderate acne, and the first week or so it DID work, a little bit. It dried my face out which is expected but after about a week it was like applying water on my face and letting it sit there overnight. It did nothing. It seems to only work for those who have a pimple here and there.
November 8, 2017
Epiduo increases the skins turnover rate so takes a good 3 months to see results
March 3, 2017
Less oil but still loads of acne
I went to the dermatologist and got prescribed this for my cystic acne which started almost overnight about 6 months ago. I had really high hopes that it would work because all the OTC stuff that used to work on my non-cystic acne didn't have any affect at all on this new development. Long story short, I will give it 2 stars because it did manage to cut down oil production on my face which was really positive at first. I thought it would lead to less acne and less cysts. But the opposite happened. My skin got so dry and irritated at first. After 3 weeks, the dryness turned to just red and inflamed - like my entire face! It was itchy and painful to the touch. I talked to my dermatologist and they told me to soldier on. I did until I went to my primary care doctor (for something unrelated) and while I was there I just mentioned my face. I mean, it was obvious, kind of the elephant in the room. She said she could't help me but recommended that I call a lady named Pamela at Ninja Skincare and that she could help me. That she had a lot of patients who used that product with a lot of luck. So I called and sure enough this lady knew her stuff when it came to acne. I learned so much about skin, my skin and what I had been doing wrong. Firstly, I learned that I was likely sensitive to benzoyl which is pretty interesting since even when I talked to my dermatologist that never came up as a possibility. Then she told me about stress and how bad it was for acne prone skin (I am going through a divorce so this made so much sense) and gave me a few lifestyle things that I could work on to lower my breakouts. Oh and that epiduo didn't work most likely because it has a bunch of oils in it that end up clogging the pores. And I got the Ninja product which within 1 week I could tell a difference and within 3 weeks, my acne was almost completely gone with the exception of one huge cyst that I had had for about a month. Now I am at about 5 weeks and couldn't be happier. I was with epiduo for 6 weeks and saw almost no changes at all and now 5 weeks with Ninja and everything is completely healed. I know a lot of people have had luck with Epiduo but at this point, I am not sure why or how it works for other people. I had much more luck with other products.
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6 user(s) found this helpful

September 13, 2016
Effective moisturizing options
Been using for two weeks now and haven't seen much improvement. Usually my skin is extremely sensitive and cracks and flakes with retinoids but I've been using manuka honey as a facial mask/cleanser in conjunction with Hawaiian moon aloe cream as a moisturizer and haven't had any of the flaking AT ALL! Totally recommend this stuff. The manuka honey I bought is trader joes brand (10+) which I personally love. The hawaiian moon aloe can be found on amazon but you can also buy on their website. Ive been using this moisturizer for about a year now, and although its a bit pricey, I'm a huge fan. Hope this helps someone out there!
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2 user(s) found this helpful

December 5, 2016
UPDATE: Its been around 3 months now and I'm definitely seeing improvement. My acne has totally subsided aside from the occasional white head during my cycle and the scars are starting to heal up. I use this in conjunction with a cleanser (naturopathica mens cleanser - works wonders!), a tonic (lush rose water tonic) and moisturizer (moon aloe (night) and lush vanishing cream (morning)). Also while I was still breaking out I used tea tree as a spot med and it worked amazingly!
September 12, 2016
Didn't work for me
I got prescribed epiduo gel by my doctor after being taken off a particular pill because of concerns about blood clots etc. I was really excited about it because i have heard so many fabulous reviews. I am now on my second round of it, and although it hasn't made my skin any worse, it also hasn't made a significant difference. I used it religiously every night as I was told to do, and after about 6 months of using it, all that happened was that it has completely dried out my skin, particularly around my cheeks and eyes. I have very sensitive skin, so this could be a huge factor in it, but I began getting rashes on my cheeks, and every time my eyes watered (or i cried), the skin around my eyes would flare up and I would have big red rashes. I know this was only because of the gel because once i stopped using it it never happened anymore. I have recently decided to go dairy free, so perhaps that will be my miracle cure instead :)
September 9, 2016
Skin either gets worse before it gets better with this, or it doesn't work for me!
I've recently started my second try at using Epiduo, which was prescribed by my derm. The other time I tried it (in about March this year) my acne suddenly got a lot worse when I started taking it so I gave up after about a month, and after I stopped using it my skin suddenly improved. But after telling my derm this she prescribed it again a couple of weeks ago. So I'm a bit confused - either Epiduo just doesn't work or you have to stick it out and it gets worse before it gets better. Does anyone know? Or has anyone had a similar experience? I'm completely stuck as to whether I should be using this, and praying that if I keep using it for a few months my acne will finally start to improve. I have quite sensitive skin and my acne's mainly whiteheads and cysts and makes my skin very red, so maybe Epiduo just isn't the right treatment for me. But I'd say if you're thinking of using it I'd give it a go as there are no risks or bad side effects (except really dry skin, which can easily be dealt with with a good moisturiser!) but I'd also be prepared for the fact that different treatments work on different people, so Epiduo could either be a life saver or a waste of time!
June 19, 2016
Didn't do anything for me
I used this for about 6 months with Aczone. I saw no changes one way or the other. I might as well have used nothing because there was honestly no change at all. I didn't even get an initial flare.
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2 user(s) found this helpful


Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.