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

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February 25, 2019
Very painful process but worth it

I?ve had adult acne since I was 20 (now 37). I got it under control for years by being on birth control but 4 years ago it came back with a vengeance. My problem has mostly been closed comedones from the cheeks down and jawline. For the last 4 years my doctor and I have tried everything. Different types of birth control, antibiotics, retinol. Nothing worked and my skin would still be bumpy. I got desperate and tried sebaceous gland ablation. This treatment was painful, expensive  and left me scarred. Plus the products they made me use contained ammonium laureyl sulfate which I have only now learnt is a trigger for acne. After two months of ?treatment? my skin was worse than ever. I switched back to my ASAP products which helped a bit but the bumps remained. Given that my acne is hormonal, I decided to try a female doctor. She told me she had suffered with acne herself and epiduo had really worked for her. I was skeptical that a cream could really do anything for my damaged skin but decided to give it a try since her skin was clear. 

First week, less pimples. Skin became dry and scaley.

Second week, skin was terrible. I woke up every morning with 5 inflamed pimples and another 5 would develop through out the day. My skin would burn when I applied the cream. So I stopped using a salicylic acid toner and skin clearing gel with glycolic acid in it. This reduced the burning. However the pimples were so painful that my face was swollen. The glands in my neck even became inflamed because of the acne. At this point I contemplated going on antibiotics but didn?t. 

Third week, skin was less dry and scaley but I was starting to wake up with less pimples. Then one day all the bumps on my chin area and jaw line became huge inflamed pimples. 

Fourth week (now), suddenly I?ve realised that my skin is smoother than it?s been in four years. What the epiduo did is bring every single closed comedone to the surface. And it?s stopped new ones from forming. My skin is pretty much clear now except for red marks. I?m applying aloe Vera gel to the marks to help them fade. I?m hoping I?m on the road to recovery now.

Morning routine: ASAP Daily Facial Cleanser, the Ordinary Zinc and Niacinamide serum mixed with Vitamin C suspension serum, oil free moisturer with SPF.

Night routine: double cleanse with ASAP Daily Facial Cleanser, epiduo, oil free moisturiser. After LED light therapy I apply Aloe Vera Gel to the marks and any healing blemishes. 

Twice per week, after cleansing, I also use a microdermabrasion scrub.

Before and after photos below 



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1 user(s) found this helpful

March 5, 2019

Hi congratulation to your success ! I have a same situation about your skin problem too , my question is how do you apply the product? Is it only on the affected area?

March 5, 2019

Beautiful! I'm so happy for you!

December 14, 2018
4 months in working pretty well.

I've used Epiduo on and off for the past couple of years but in August I decided I would stick to a routine. It's really cleared my skin and now all I have are some white heads and scarring. Epiduo make my forehead and nose super oily and my cheeks and chin super dry. It took me months to find the right routine but I think I finally found it.

December 16, 2017
Pleased (so far...)
I am in my mid 30s and suffering from oily skin & moderate hormonal adult acne I thought acne will be behind me when I was in my 20s but nope still there. I tried going to the derma, getting facials and peels, buying OTC products with salicylic to glycolic acids, using prescribed tretinoin different strengths, etc. some are effective but I want to keep my acne at bay and prevent them from popping by out doing simple regimen and I don't want to burn money anymore so still looking for a product that I can buy OTC that works. So far for me epiduo is effective though progress is slow compare to tretinoin but definitely milder than tretinoin in terms of side effects I experienced sensitivity in my skin from the exfoliation effect but I did not see noticable obvious peeling, purging (few pimples but not worse), subtle burn & itchiness during the 1st week of using but only for a little while then gone after few days. Now on 3rd week of using epiduo and I am noticing some improvement in my skin's texture, acne marks seem to lighten a bit, acne is less especially on my forehead and chin, skin is still oily though. I plan to use this for another month and see if the improvement continues (hopefully). I am trying my best not to pick my face but tempting sometimes. How I use epiduo: At night wash face with cetaphil gentle cleanser then apply cetaphil moisturizer to wet face then wait to dry then apply pea sized amount on whole face. At daytime wash face with cetaphil gentle cleanser then apply neutrogena moisturizer SPF15 but I do alternate sometimes with my snail gel or a stronger SPF lotion if I know I might have longer exposure outside. I am asian and don't have sensitive skin nor allergies.
October 1, 2017
It's Working (Acnesol)
So there's a lot of history with my acne situation. I always had moderate acne, large pores oily skin....n i underwent course of antibiotics, doxycyclin amd azithromycin which helped..... But In 2010 i developed cystic acne....a relapse. So my derm said that antibiotics won't work in my case, amd i took a course of isotroin (same like Accutane.. M from India) of 6months amd it was the best thing. It cleared up my acne completely. It was good for 2years but then my skin was not that great amd it developed bumps... On n off acne.. But nothing major. All was good or atleast okay for 5years.... But then it started gettimg worse recently.. So i visited my derm again, after 6years...he recognized me, amd i too reminded him of my acne history. He said he told me earlier that isotroin would cure 80% but 20% will be maintenance..... Which i didn't do,,, (as i moved from this place.. Got busy with life... I forgot all about it). So now he saod that i have to use a cream at night. That is acnesol(. 1%adapalene and. 1%clindamycin). Also a salicylic facewash. Fortunately i dont need to take a second course of isotroin. I had bumps all over my forehead... And new breakouts...whiteheads on my cheeks n chin.... Too much. So its beem a week of acnesol and salicylic facewasg, and my skin is very very dry... Also red on the problem areas. But the bumps/whiteheads on my forhead are 90%gone, also only 2new breakout that too are dry... He also gave my a cream to moisturize, only to be used sos...acnemoist. I have used it twice till now. When i wash my face now i dont feel the bumps and roughness... And no active acne too now. With the present scenario i feel in another week or 10days it will all be crllear and normal(not red too).
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4 user(s) found this helpful

September 21, 2017
It does work
After trying everything to get rid of my angry red acne I tried epiduo. After 3 days of applying I already saw a huge difference! Only thing is my skin got sooooo dry and my skin would sting when I put it on and when I moisturised. I also noticed my eyelids and under eyes got very dry. If you moisturise well it's not too bad though. At first it got rid of every spot. However after 3 months I do get a few pimples but nothing in comparison to before. Really recommend trying it and sticking with it for at least a month.
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5 user(s) found this helpful

June 24, 2017
AMAZING besides a few side effects
I am a teenage girl who has suffered from acne for 5 years (12-17) - I felt like I had tried nearly everything and started to get desperate about clearing my worsening facial, chest and back acne. Finally I tried this stuff and I made the mistake of applying every night for the first week and the more sensitive skin (neck and face) went bright red and felt like it was on fire. As well as this, my skin was so incredibly itchy that I had to excuse myself from class just to get an ice pack to cool down my back. But god was it worth it. About three weeks in and my skin is so silky smooth and nearly completely clear. The only thing I can say is that my skin is still super sensitive to sweat and water but honestly, for me, it is totally worth it.
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10 user(s) found this helpful

March 28, 2017
MUST use with Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion!
I am currently going through my second bout of adult acne at age 28, due to contraception changes. I couldn't remember what I was prescribed last time because I pretty much repressed the whole experience but I remembered that I had used Differin, which caused a massive purge and made my acne worse before it made it better. I wanted to avoid that this time so I said no to any topical treatments and started a course of Lymecycline. 6 weeks into my course, my skin had progressively got worse so I went back to my doctor who prescribed me Epiduo. I read the reviews about how painful it was so I was very worried; however, my first application did not hurt at all. My face was a bit red the next day but I saw an immediate improvement in my acne, as the inflammation had completely reduced. It was a bit tender when I applied my make up and removed it but I could handle it. I applied it again that night and this time it was so painful, it felt like my face was burning. I waited 45 minutes and then applied my Simple moisturiser, which only made it worse. The next day my face was in pieces and it even hurt to wash my face so I could not apply anything but moisturiser to it. That was 3 days ago and I haven't used it since. My acne has massively improved just from those two applications; however, my face has been in agony ever since because it is so dry. It has felt as if it was made out of concrete and I have had areas crack and weep. I had no idea how I was going to remedy the dryness, let alone apply anymore Epiduo! I have been out and bought Cetaphil today as recommended by other users; I've applied it only once and the soreness has lifted straight away! After 3 days of putting up with the pain and not being able to put anything but moisturiser on my face, I now feel like I have my face back! And the Epiduo has done wonders for my acne after only 2 applications! I would recommend Epiduo to anyone; however, you MUST use Cetaphil alongside it straight away! I will be using the Epiduo again tonight now I have bought some Cetaphil :) (Cetaphil is non-comedogenic and can be used on the face)
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4 user(s) found this helpful

April 20, 2017
Quick update: It has been three weeks since I left this review and my skin has now got used to the Epiduo and my acne has crept its way back. Its still slightly better than it was before (less pustules) but I now don't believe that this is the miracle cure that I hoped it would be. I have now started taking Dianette, which I really did not want to have to start taking, but I am desperate for my skin to improve :(
May 24, 2017
Nothing is a miracle or permanent cure except isotretinoin..any topical stuff will only give temporary results and once you get off them..the acne comes back and it comes back worse. Saying from my personal exp.
March 4, 2017
To early to tell but use this moisturizer
I have used BP and retin A .025% for years so I thought Epiduo would be easier on my skin but it turned it very red the first application even with the high end moisturizer the Derm gave me. It burned enough that I wouldn't be able to sleep so I washed it off after 30 mins and moisturized again. The doc told me to stop applying until my skin was no longer red but I really wanted to get my skin use to the meds and start working, so I bought cetaphil eczema moisturizing lotion. I mixed a pump into an equal amount of cetaphil and applied it. No burning, and I was able to leave it on all night. Woke up the next day and my face was pale compared to my pre epiduo complexion. So thrilled and this $18 Cetaphil blows away the Docs $70 AHA moisture serum. Highly recommend the eczema moisturizer which is safe for babies on a daily bases! Only two days in so wish me luck.
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4 user(s) found this helpful

February 17, 2017
Still premature but noticing results right away
Hi, In a last attempt at doing something for my skin before taking the accutane plunge, I saw the doc and asked for the Epiduo (tactuopump here in Canada) cause I had heard on YouTube from a few people it cleared their skin up surprisingly well- they all appeared to have accutane like results so I thought what the heck. Tane is scary and even though I'm in no hurry to take it the possibility is fast approaching. My skin was under control up until about 4 months ago with Neostrata glycol if line, then I had an ingenious idea to try oil cleansing which SCREWED UP MY SKIN. Ugh I ended up with so many under the skin bumps that have taken over two months to surface and I am in a point of cystic acne that is moderately covering my entire lower half of my face. Absolutely horrific compared to the progress I had been seeing before. Anyhow, Epiduo has dried the hell out of my skin, it's tight, it hurts, not ideal BUT it had cleared about 85 percent of my active acne within my first week of use. I understand I may purge but I am quite surprised at the fast progress. The dryness pain is worth it I just want the bumps gone. If this works and I don't have to go on accutane it'll be a blessing. Will update soon
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3 user(s) found this helpful

January 7, 2017
I started using Epiduo about 4 years ago. It helped quite a bit at first, but dried out my skin so much. It's effects have decreased a lot and my skin is at a stable level, still getting breakouts. In between these four years, i have been on three different types of antibiotics, birth control, topical antibiotics, neither of which helped more than Epiduo did. However, everyone is different.

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.