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Epiduo Gel

From £29.35 See Prices

Epiduo gel is an acne treatment which contains benzoyl peroxide and adapalene. Benzoyl peroxide works by getting rid of dead skin cells, excess oil and bacteria from under the skin. Adapalene renews skin cells and has an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing swelling and redness.

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ABOUT Epiduo Gel

What is Epiduo gel?

Epiduo is a prescription medication gel that is used to treat acne. It is primarily used to treat mild to moderate acne on the face, chest or back. It contains adapalene, a topical retinoid that is the active ingredient in a number of other acne treatments such as Differin Gel. Epiduo also contains benzoyl peroxide, a strong antibacterial that eliminates bacteria and helps pores shed dead skin cells. Both active ingredients are combined to unblock pores, get rid of blackheads and whiteheads, and kill the bacteria that causes acne. 

Take a look at the following guides on our site for further information:

How does Epiduo work?

Epiduo gel contains the active ingredient adapalene which is a retinoid. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A, and exert their action by increasing the turnover of skin cells. This promotes your skin to shed cells more efficiently, preventing dead skin cells from blocking pores which cause acne. It also contains benzoyl peroxide, an antimicrobial agent which helps to keep the skin clean and free from the bacteria associated with acne.  The two ingredients work well together to treat and prevent acne, and reduce skin inflammation.

Epiduo alternatives

Whilst Epiduo poses many benefits for acne sufferers, it may not be a suitable solution for everyone as some people may react differently to the treatment. Fortunately, there are a range of acne treatment alternatives available at Chemist Click. These include: 


Each acne treatment contains a different combination of active ingredients that are suitable for every type of skin. We recommend consulting with your doctor beforehand to get an idea for the best treatment to go for. 

Duac vs Epiduo

Both Duac Gel and Epiduo are strong, fast-acting acne relief treatments that come in the form of an easy-to-apply gel or cream. Both medications contain the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide, a chemical compound that is used to destroy harmful bacteria on the skin, and reduce the inflammation caused by acne. 

However, the main difference between the products is that Duac Gel contains clindamycin, an antibiotic that is used to treat a number of bacterial infections, like pneumonia, strep throat and endocarditis; whereas Epiduo contains adapalene. The effectiveness of clindamycin also proved beneficial for skin treatment, like combating acne for example. Due to the strength of this active ingredient, it is recommended to speak to your doctor beforehand as they may recommend trying other acne products before moving onto Duac

Studies have shown that treatment with Epiduo gel resulted in a major increase in water loss and dryness of the skin, compared to Duac gel. Overall, both products were equally effective and favourable amongst a number of patients. However, Epiduo proved to have more side effects, such as mild burning and stinging. 

Epiduo purge

During the first few weeks of using Epiduo, the treatment may look like it’s actually worsening your acne. But do not worry, this natural reaction to the medication is called skin purging, and it can occur with many acne treatments.

During the first few weeks of using Epiduo, your skin eliminates dead skin cells, oil, and other substances that cause acne. As your skin cells shed,  the substances arise to the surface of your skin, which makes the acne more visual. Breakouts caused by purging usually resolve within the first few weeks of starting acne treatment. If this process continues to persist and you are concerned, please contact your doctor.

Epiduo Acne Scars

Research shows that many acne treatments are also effective at reducing the appearance of acne scars. However, Epiduo is proven to prevent acne scars by reducing the risk of new scars forming.

One of the main ingredients in this treatment is benzoyl peroxide, a topical medication mainly used to combat acne breakouts. The purpose of this gel is to prevent the formation of new active acne spots by eradicating the harmful bacteria that causes acne. Therefore it will not help with the treatment of existing scars. Nevertheless, by stopping new breakouts from occurring, it will prevent the appearance of new acne scars in the future.

Is it safe using Epiduo while pregnant or breastfeeding?

If you are pregnant, you should immediately stop taking Epiduo gel and discontinue use for the remainder of your pregnancy. There isn’t enough evidence to suggest Epiduo is safe during pregnancy, so it is recommended to not take the risk. This also applies to breastfeeding as there is insufficient human data available to approve the medication. 

Acne is a common side effect of pregnancy, but unfortunately there are not many acne medications out there that are safe to use during pregnancy. We recommend speaking to your doctor before taking any acne medication to discuss the best course of action. 

If you fall pregnant while using Epiduo gel, treatment should be discontinued and you should contact your doctor. 

Can you buy Epiduo over the counter?

In the UK, Epiduo is only available on prescription which means it must be approved by a medical professional first. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor before trying any acne medication.

However you can buy Epiduo online, through our website, once you have completed a short consultation. Once the consultation has been approved by one of our doctors, we will swiftly send the prescription to you in a discreet package. 

The online consultation is also for your benefit as it helps ascertain whether or not treatment is suitable for you. We will deliver the medication to the destination of your choice, using a first class courier. 

How to use Epiduo gel

It is recommended to use Epiduo gel once a day as a part of your daily routine. Applying anymore within a 24 period will not speed up the process. The following instructions must be carried out once a day to get the best results:

  1. Wash your hands and cleanse your face using a hypoallergenic cleanser that is free from fragrance.
  2. Allow your skin to dry completely, before applying a thin layer of gel, ensuring an even distribution across that affected area
  3. Take care to ensure that the gel avoids contact with the eyes and lips, as well as any areas of your skin that may be sensitive (e.g. sunburnt skin or skin that is affected by eczema).
  4. Wash your hands after use.

How long does it take for Epiduo to work?

You should start to notice results after a few weeks, but this can vary depending on the individual’s response to treatment, and the severity of the acne. After two months, you should see a visible improvement. If this is not the case, you should make an appointment to visit your GP, who may wish to step your treatment up or change it. It is important to note that you may experience increased skin sensitivity and irritation after the first few days of using treatment. This is your skin responding to treatment and getting used to the cream.

How long should I use Epiduo gel for?

You should use Epiduo gel consistently for around 8 weeks to see whether or not it is having the desired effect. It is advisable to visit your prescriber so that they can assess your response to treatment.

Does Epiduo work?

Epiduo gel contains ingredients that have been clinically proven to be effective in treating acne. Studies show that Epiduo gel is more than 50% effective in treating acne in those that have used it. However, we all have different skin types and different responses to treatment. If Epiduo gel has not been successful in treating your acne, you should make an appointment to see your doctor who may wish to start you on another treatment.

Who should not use Epiduo gel?

You should not use Epiduo gel if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients in Epiduo gel
  • You have not been prescribed Epiduo gel for your own use
  • Children under the age of 9
  • You have sunburn or high exposure to ultraviolet rays
  • You are currently receiving acne treatment containing benzoyl peroxide or other retinoids
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Can I use Epiduo gel with other medication?

Epiduo gel is safe to use with most medication, however, you cannot use it at the same time as other treatments for acne that contain benzoyl peroxide, or any retinoids. You should also avoid using other cosmetic products that may have an irritating, drying or exfoliating action on the skin.

Epiduo side effects

Epiduo is an effective acne treatment that contains two main active ingredients used to eliminate harmful bacteria and reduce redness and get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. Due to the strength and effectiveness of this medication, there are going to be some common side-effects that can occur during this use of this product. However, common side-effects only affect 1-10% of users. These include: 

  • Skin redness
  • Dryness of the skin
  • Skin peeling
  • Mild burning and swelling
  • Worsening of acne (in extreme cases)

However, these side effects usually decrease over time. Using a non-oily moisturiser can help to relieve the side effects of Epiduo gel. 

During the first 4 weeks of use, users of Epiduo will most likely experience skin purging. During this time, the skin can look worse before it gets better. This is because as skin cells turnover, the skin will begin to shed dead skin cells faster than usual. As this happens, the skin will push everything to the surface so even though it may look worse, the skin is actually recovering quicker. 

Try to avoid using products that are harsh on your skin such as abrasive cleansers or any products that contain astringents or alcohol whilst using Epiduo gel. This may make skin more irritated. 

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication as they have concluded that the benefits greatly exceed the side effects. With that being said, many patients only ever experience minor or common side effects. If any of these side effects worsen or persist, you must notify your doctor as soon as possible. 

A very serious allergic reaction to Epiduo is very rare, but it can happen. If any of the listed side effects below do occur, discontinue use and seek medical help immediately. 

  • Severe rash
  • Itching & swelling of the face, tongue or throat
  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing

Epiduo gel is making my skin irritated, is this normal?

This is known as retinization, and is the period where your skin is acclimatising itself to adapalene, the retinoid contained in Epiduo gel. This usually happens after 7-10 days and should last no more than one week. If your skin irritation persists for longer than 10 days, you should discontinue treatment and contact your doctor.

What if I forget to use Epiduo gel?

Apply Epiduo gel as normal the following evening. You should not apply Epiduo gel the following day, as it can cause irritation when exposed to sunlight. You should also avoid putting an extra amount the following evening as it can irritate the skin. Missing one dose will not hamper results in the long-run, but frequent missed doses can slow down and negatively affect results.

Can I use make-up with Epiduo gel?

Yes, you can use Epiduo whilst wearing make-up. But be sure to use non-comedogenic and oil free products. Nevertheless, Epiduo gel should be applied in the evening before bed therefore you probably won’t be applying both at the same time. If for some reason, you need to apply make-up, wait for the gel to dry before applying any products

Last Updated

Patient Information Leaflet

For more information on Epiduo gel acne treatment, take a look at the patient information leaflet below: 


Where can I find out more information about Epiduo gel?

To find out more information about Epiduo, visit the NHS website.


Articles you may be interested in:

Why do we get acne as adults and what can be done about it?

A Guide To Face & Body Acne: Signs, Symptoms & Treatments

Acne Face Map: What Spots In Different Areas Mean

How To Get Rid Of Chest Acne: Causes & Treatments

How To Get Rid Of Back Acne: Causes & Treatments

Product Reviews For Epiduo Gel

Epiduo is undoubtedly an effective acne treatment used to eliminate harmful bacteria on the skin, reduce redness and inflammations and get rid of whiteheads and blackheads. Even though we’ve talked about this throughout, it’s important you get an unbiased view of what the product is really like from the people that matter, the reviewers.


  • There seems to be a general consensus that Epiduo is very effective at clearing up spots
  • Most reviewers explain that the product is easy to use and suitable for persistent teenage and adult acne
  • Some patients have described the product as ‘miracle cream’
  • Minimises dry and flakey skin
  • Customers have commented that they begin to see results within weeks
  • Minimal side effects
  • Comes in gel form which means it doesn’t require oral medication


  • Epiduo purge
  • Do not apply to a sunburnt areas as it can give you blisters
  • Not recommended to use if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding


Whilst some customers experienced some minor side effects, (you can find out more about Epiduo side effects in the "About" section), the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. Especially since the majority of patients did not experience any adverse effects. we’re confident in recommending this treatment to teens and adults suffering from mild to moderate acne.


*Please note: We do NOT charge a prescription fee

Medicine x1 Pump (45g) x2 Pumps (90g)
Epiduo 0.1%/2.5% Pump (45g) 29.35
Epiduo 0.1%/2.5% Pumps (90g) 56.99
Epiduo 0.3%/2.5% Pump (45g) 32.45
Epiduo 0.3%/2.5% Pumps (90g) 62.45


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