Epiduo Review + My Acne Journey

August 1, 2021

I have struggled with acne for several years now. While most people seem to develop acne when they hit puberty or in their late teens, I personally didn’t really have acne until I reached my early twenties. 

Products that are now part of my skin care routine: EPIDUOCetaphil Moisturising CreamCetaphil CleanserNeutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen

Brief history

My acne has gotten quite severe at some points. I would experience acne flare ups that caused a lot of tiny spots on the cheeks and forehead. If I made the mistake of wearing makeup that day it would cause another really bad flare up even if I used the correct make up removal process. 

Overall It just seemed like things wouldn’t get better. Either I was having the flared up skin, or the constant pimples on my face, all over my cheeks, forehead and chin. It was a daily battle, and still is to be honest. 

Things that didn’t work

I tried several medications such as Differin (adaplene 5%) and I also tried taking taking some antibiotics – one of which was doxycycline which basically made me feel like I had food poisoning for weeks because I was just so nauseous ALL day. I even tried the basic topical medication like OXY5 and OXY10 – nothing made much difference until I tried Epiduo.

And my skin is not perfect now by any means, but I can see a lot of improvement which has been gradual and consistent. There is no quick solution to acne, you just have to be persistent with your routine and medications. 

Disclaimer: what worked for me will not necessarily work for everyone. Everybody’s skin is different so it’s vital to research and consult with a dermatologist before you try anything.


This is a gel-based medication which is used to treat acne. It contains 0.1% adaplene and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. I would say those are very small concentrations of each. 

You apply this by just taking a small pea-sized amount and dabbing it onto different sections of your face, then spreading it evenly all over the face. It does not only go on the spots itself, it has to be applied all over. 

Update after 10 months

I have now been using Epiduo for 10 months. I would say the first 8 months I was extremely consistent, applying it once every night, but in the last 2 months I’ve skipped a night here and there which I feel like that has definitely affected my recent progress. 

Overall I would say Epiduo did greatly help to get my acne flare ups under control. Before I started using it I had constant acne that wouldn’t go away and now it has slowly faded. 

One more thing I would like to add is that – My doctor did suggest me to be on Clindamycin (T3 Mycin) due to the inflammation on my skin. But I only used that for the first 1-2 months then stopped. Do note it’s not advised to use clindamycin for long periods of time because it’s an antibiotic. But if you have inflammation with your acne, this would be something you can ask your dermatologist about. 

Side effects and how to avoid them

A big concern people have with Epiduo are the side effects. It can definitely cause stinging, skin redness, dryness, peeling or itchy skin. Most people only experience this for the first 2 weeks of using the medication. 

For me, I did have some stinging and itching, but it was only for the first few days and after that it was fine, once in a while my skin feels a bit more sensitive but that’s about it.

The way to possible avoid these side effects would be to make sure you apply lots of moisturizer and sunscreen throughout the day. I have been using the Cetaphil moisturiser at least twice a day and I use this Neutrogena sunscreen which does the job (Note: I think there are probably better sunscreens out there, I just find this to be more affordable for my budget right now).

I’m still using Epiduo but will be looking to get a consultation with my dermatologist to figure out next steps because Epiduo is not completely fixing the issue. If you are also struggling with acne, just know that you’re not alone!


Also talked about this topic on my YouTube channel


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