July 30, 2013

Review: Epiduo Gel for Acne

About awhile ago, I decided that my facials weren't quite cutting it for my chin acne situation. I do not link this to any inefficiency or incapability on my facial therapist's part as hormonal acne is mostly best treated with prescribed medicine than store-bought ones.

Since I've battled with acne since I was 17, I've always known drugstore brand acne creams do not work on me. Not Clearasil, not Simple, not Clean N' Clear, nothing. So I went to Singapore's National Skin Center, explained my situation, and left with the Epiduo Gel.


Epiduo (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide) Gel 0.1%/2.5% is the only antibiotic-free, topical acne treatment that combines two hardworking medicines, adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, to help clear up the breakouts you have now and help prevent future pimples from forming. It also comes in a convenient pump, so treating and preventing breakouts can quickly become a part of your everyday routine.

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the two effective medicines in Epiduo Gel. It's an antimicrobial which kills the bacteria that lead to breakouts and helps prevent pimples from coming back.
Adapalene is a type of retinoid, and the other medicine in Epiduo Gel. It unclogs blocked pores, helping to stop acne from forming under the skin's surface and decreasing the redness, swelling and inflammation associated with pimples.
Having both ingredients in a single treatment could also mean fewer co-pays. Use a pea-sized amount daily, and you may only need a refill once every 3 months.

Horror Stories
I've been reading tons of horror stories online about Epiduo. Some people say it breaks them out in cystic acne (YIKES!) when they've never had it before; some others say they have terrible breakouts before the skin starts to heal! I HATE THAT! I hate the whole "purge before getting better" deal.. Why can't things just get better from the word go!? But maybe I just expect too much.

Anyway, despite the horror stories, there are also those that claim Epiduo to be their saviour. I think it's to each their own... Like how the Clarisonic is a godsend to many but just "meh" to me. I also never actually suffered a purge from that, though others apparently did.


Epiduo comes in a tube form, which I find sanitary. The product is excreted (does that sound gross? lol) by simply applying pressure. The tube is about 15g, and is portable should you need to take it with you when you travel.


It's simple to use but difficult to control. The instructions are to use a pea-sized amount ONCE a day to THE WHOLE affected area (eg. the entire chin) in the evening after cleansing. Some people feel safer when they spam a product..but I highly suggest staying away from that method with this gel..

When used in too high a dosage, burning sensations can be felt and there will be redness and peeling. People have supposedly reported that their acne disappears quickly but their skin looks sunburnt and painful! So I suggest to really just limit the amount to about the end of a Q-tip so you don't overdo things. Less is definitely more in this case.

What I personally do is squeeze a pea size dot of the medication to the affected spots (so it's more concentrated in those areas) and slowly thin the gel out to a uniform layer above my chin. After about 30 minutes or so, I apply a very very thin layer of Dr Hauschka's Melissa Day Cream on top so my skin doesn't dry out.


So I'm going to go on this gel for about 4 weeks and chronicle how it goes.... I'll take photos at the end of each week so you guys can decide for yourself whether the product really works! As I'm typing this, I'm wishing myself luck lol. I DO NOT want cystic acne nor a purge of any kind.


Well here's a before picture, because all experiments require a constant haha. Anyway, as you can see, my chin is a horrible mess. Just a horrible messy spotchy mess that depresses me. There is redness everywhere and new ones seem on their way out just as the old ones have just died..... *cries dramatically into a pillow*.

If this picture looks familiar, it's because I took it from this post. (It's about Hormonal Acne)

Week 1 (Monday 10 June - Sunday 16 June)

There is definite improvement! But my skin is starting to dry and flake out like most reviews say it would. My scars are lightening and lessening too!

The weirdest (but also best) phenomenon that's going on is my whiteheads are being forced out! It's so weird to see it because it looks like snakes poking their heads out of the ground.. or like those garden eels bobbing in and out of the sand at Sentosa's Maritime Museum. The whiteheads are literally out of the skin and ready for plucking! I literally use my fingernails to grab onto the single whitehead and pull it out! No squeezing no nothing. Pretty cool eh?

Week 2 (Monday 17 June - Sunday 23 June)

There is way less peeling now, though my skin is still a little dry/dehydrated-looking... Hmm..Seems like my skin has gotten a little more used to the medicine. Yay! There is still a little scarring here and there but I believe these things take time. Now and then, I do use Dr Hauschka's Rejuvenating Mask to try and lighten the dark spots. 

The whiteheads no longer poke out on their own, but that's fine because they've lessened TREMENDOUSLY. To about 80% less. When there is the odd blackhead or whitehead, I just (*sigh this is a beauty sin.. I know) use that metal loop otherwise known as "pimple poppers" to gently press it out. I don't have to apply much pressure because it's always "ripe" enough to come out. So wonderful! Hope it stays this way.

Week 3 (Monday 24 June - Sunday 30 June)

Well so far so good! I do not have one of those horror stories to tell whereby, after a week, everything goes to shit. My skin is obviously getting way better! As you can already tell from the photo, the tone is starting to get a little more even. I don't get whiteheads too *phew* and the scars are definitely lightening! I feel so lucky I ever got introduced to this cream, you won't believe it. Now it's for the final week, and I'm really hoping for great things by the end of it!

Week 4 (Monday 1 July - Sunday 7 July)

Here is where it gets a little hard for me to put my finger on; I am unsure whether these results are due to the Epiduo cream's "purging" or ineffectiveness, or that I've recently added a new skincare item into my routine.

I have been a little "itchy", so I got some samples of SKII's Facial Treatment Essence to try out. At this point it's been about 2 weeks thereabout.. and I've heard some people talk about how it makes them break out (initially), so I'm thinking maybe that's what's happening? I definitely hope it lasts no longer than 1-2 weeks.. Anyway so this is proof that the Epiduo is more of an "attack" rather than a "defence" cream. It fights what comes out but does not prevent what COULD appear. I guess that's a pretty good experiment to have tried, though I regret the consequences a little.. lol. Vanity really comes with such a price. 

I've no complaints though, everything still seems under control and I am still happier with my chin than I have in months. :)

Overall Thoughts

Wow. I have to say WOW. I battled forehead acne a long time ago and forgot just how distressed I could be till this chin issue came up. Unlike my forehead, which is extremely prominent, I am lucky that my chin was still rather "hidden" so I was not forced to smear makeup on the area (which ultimately would make it worse) or try too many creams and masks out of desperation.

It did come to a point, though, whereby I thought, okay this needs professional help. I admit, I did not go to the National Skin Center for my chin acne originally - I went because my leg is recently experiencing a bout of eczema and I had to get some medication for it.. Anyway the doctor saw my chin whilst I was talking about my leg and he asked whether I'd like something prescribed for it. It never occurred to me to really trust him because I went to the same place about 5 years ago for my forehead acne and their medicines did nothing for me at all. -_-

LUCKILY this was the one time where my woes were all driven away, and I am so so so so thankful for it. I am happy I gave it a try, and I am happy it worked. I honestly feel like the luckiest person alive! 

I did get new spots, as mentioned in Week 4, but I am not sure what that could be the cause of. The doctor did prescribe me some medication called Clindamycin to tackle new ones that pop out (perhaps due to one of Epiduo's side effects of purging) so I've just been using that for now. Overall, I am still one satisfied customer.

Update in Another Month

Hi! So it's been about 2 good months that I've tried this out, and I must say it's pretty damned awesome. My blackheads/whiteheads have stopped popping out crazily and my scarring is starting to slowly (but surely) disappear! :) As you can see, there is slightly less redness, about 20-30%! The scars at the bottom of my chin seem to be taking a little longer than the others.

To those who wondered how things are going, I've been using less and less of Epiduo each night before I sleep. Hopefully I can go without it soon! xx

PS - sorry the lighting is a little different! The photo is still true to real life!

Recommended For
  • Those facing adult acne
  • Those facing recurring/active acne
  • Those who do not have overly sensitive skin
  • Those who have acne concentrated in an area rather than the whole face
  • Those who face more issues with whiteheads than pustules
Would I Repurchase

Hell to the yes! Though of course I hope my skin won't be reliant on this product, I am more than willing to repurchase if it comes down to it. Who cares if my skin NEEDS this, as long as I've found something that cures the issue I'm down.

I know some people will say, "but this cures the symptom and not the issue!!" And I'm not going to say they're wrong. But I'm going to hope that this is just a hormonal phase, and maybe 6 months to a year down the road, it'd get rid of itself. :)

Overall Rating: 7.5/10 (because it really depends on skin type)

PS: I know it took me very long to get this post up, but I hope you've been patient! I wanted to be as thorough as I could before posting! :)

Have any of you guys tried this before?
Comment and let us know :)



  1. Hey Des! We are so sorry! We accidentally deleted your comment when trying to press the "publish" button!

    Anyway we are happy for you! Epiduo really has been a miracle for hormonal acne! :)


  2. Wow your reviews are always the best and so detailed with pictures! You guys inspired me to even start my own blog! Love you guys!

    1. Are you serious!? Omg that comment is the best we've ever gotten! We've never thought we could inspire anyone (at least not this early in!).

      Thanks so much Melissa! :)


  3. Is there any other way I could get my hands on a tube of Epiduo?

    1. Hmm I think it's mostly prescription-based, and it varies on condition as well. So I suppose you'd have to go through a doctor for it.

      Hope this helps :)


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  8. Hi, how much is Epiduo at National Skin Centre?

    1. Hi Christina,

      if I am right... (and this is hard to say because I got this more than a year ago)... it should be about $50? It might cost up to $80-100 with a consult though!


  9. Hi, I am on day 5 of Epiduo. I find it is working, however am a bit confused with the application. Do I apply a thin layer before or after applying my moisturizer? It does seem to dry out my skin quite a bit and I feel the burning sensation too when I apply it. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi love,

      I read that most acne creams should be applied before moisturizer.. but I personally applied over my moisturizer. It worked fine for me that way, though I think it is up to personal reference. If you find it too drying, then a moisturizer over may help more :)

      As for the burning sensation, I don't remember ever feeling that way! I remember it being dry for awhile is all.. if it continues burning, perhaps you could either:

      1) use less when you apply to each pimple
      2) stop using it for awhile/use on alternate days to let your skin calm down first

      See which works better for you yeah?


  10. Thanks so much for your input! I really appreciate you getting back to me :-)

    I am approching the end of my 2nd week on Epiduo. I only apply on my affected areas now, meaning only where I have pimples which is mainly on my chin and forehead. Initially I was applying all over my face(instructed by my dermatologist) however took my pharmacists suggestion instead and started only applying where needed becuase the burning was becoming UNBEARABLE as it was also turning my face very red :-(

    I also don't use as much anymore (thanks to your picture above) and THANK GODNESS the burning sensation has passed. I was becoming miserable since I've tried pretty much everything and geez if it wasnt one thing, it was another...

    I am slowly seeing improvement and I have decided to stick with this product hoping that it will clear my mild acne like it has for many people, from what I can tell from everyone's reviews.

    Again, thanks for getting back to me!!

    1. Hey Myra!

      Glad I could help! And yes I think I wrote above (at least I hope I mentioned) that it shouldn't be applied to the whole face! :( I read many reviews of people who did and really regretted because their face burned and was so red and flakey! I'm glad you now only put on your affected spots! :)

      Yes I know what it's like to go from one medicine to another to find no hope... what a lousy feeling! I really do hope this works out in the long run for you love!


  11. Hi, I'd just like to ask, how long did the 15-g Epiduo last? Hoping to get a reply :)

    1. Hey Brian!

      Mine lasted me 6-8 months since I had such a small area of focus! :)

  12. Hi , thanks for your sharing but i just wonder where i can buy the Epiduo in Singapore? Is that Watson selling it? Thanks:)

    1. Hey, I suggest either doctors or the national skin center! xx

  13. Hi! I'd just like to ask. What did you use for your acne scar? Thankyou :)

    1. Hey babe, I never used any scar cream. I was too worried I would break out again haha. So I've been sticking to my normal acne gel and letting the scar heal over time instead. I rather scars that fade than an outbreak hahaha.

      I did stop epiduo though and now I'm using this brand from Atorrege AD+ that has an amazing acne gel, you can try that out too! It hydrates and heals at the same time. Super awesome.


  14. Hey, I went to see my doctor about my acne, and he gave me Epiduo. I was a little nervous about using it right before school is supposed to start on August 25th, because he really emphasized the fact that, " My face will get worse before it gets better."
    And now, I'm getting worried as school is becoming closer as more days pass. I started epiduo three days ago (August 5th). Tonight when I cleansed My face, I really began to feel a burning sensation. I only put a pea sized amount over my entire face. Is this normal To feel this much pain after only doing it for three days? Also, do you have any suggestions of what I could do differently? Should I wait a little bit before I put more epiduo on?

    Thanks :)

    1. Hi dearest Emily!

      Hmmm to be honest I never felt any burning and my skin never actually got worse before it got better :( Off the bat this product seemed to be suitable for my skin.

      If it is burning for you, I really suggest you stop! I think either do it every alternate day for once a day, or switch to another medicine. What is your acne like? Perhaps you can email me at info.samanthaashley@gmail.com and if I have had a similar case to yours I could suggest gentler options!


    2. Emily, if you are having a lot of burning or peeling you can try going to even every other day or every three days application until your skin builds up a tolerance. 😊

  15. I had the same problem as you, because I have suffered hormonal acne and I have tried several different creams to no avail. My skin was really bad - redness, flaky. The best product that keeps it under control for me is the Citrus Clear Sensitive Wash and the citrus Clear moisturizer. Within minutes I felt my skin calming down - my skin felt comfortable.

    It has cleared my acne since the past two weeks of using it - I use it morning and night time.

  16. I just got prescribed this and I hope it works for my type of acne...cystic! My pimples are pretty colorless ( I have dark skin) but they are hard. Also, I only get them on my jawline and left cheek.

    Hope this works. I'm 47 and never had acne til I turned 40 :-(

  17. I bought this one when I was in Greece and I loved it. I have breakouts sometimes and this is very helpful


  18. How long does it often takes to see improvement?

  19. This is a fantastic blog !! I absolutely love this, working in the dermatology field we see A LOT of acne! Epiduo is a favorite ! It works very well for most patients !! The "purge" when you begin treatment is common with almost any medication you will take for acne as these are cleaning and pushing things out of your pores! So expect some flaring but consistency is key! And normally we recommend 3 months use of a product to see what its results will ultimately be for you !

  20. This blog is so helpful! I just started using Epiduo and am on the 3rd day now. I have very similar acne to the kind you had but also on my forhead and temples but they're like little bumps under my skin with some whiteheads (so annoying). The first two days I felt nothing and today I felt the burning sensation and redness which I hadn't gotten previously so I did some research (how I found this blog) but it said that it can happen to some people. I start school tomorrow and am a bridesmaid in a wedding next weekend so I really hope I don't get that "purging" others have gotten.
    I'm using the Clinque Dramatically Different Moisturing Gel 20 minutes after to keep my skin from drying out too terribly. Hope I get the same results you did! Fingers crossed!


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