Thursday, 16 April 2015

Epiduo Gel Review - Acne Treatment

Epiduo acne fighting rating: 4/5 (some side effect drawbacks)

I hide it as best I can but the truth is I've had relatively bad skin since I was about 16. When everyone else was growing out of the hormone induced pizza face party that is puberty, my peaches and cream, blemish free skin decided to turn on me. Everyone had always commented on how nice my skin  was throughout school, but when I finally started sixth form after a long summer, the compliments stopped....

I don't and never have had severe acne, but the spots I did have while not numerous, they certainly made up for their shortcomings in being positively humongous! I also suffered with milia (little white spots) on my forehead in fluctuating severity over the years. I in fact found these harder to deal with than the spots sometimes, unlike the big red sore pimples which would of course look horrid for about a week or so, these seemed to linger. When I used to work in retail I would avoid standing under spotlights and hated the tube as all the lighting would illuminate all the pesky little white bumps. I didn't think there was any way around them other than something a little more invasive than a cream like Dermabrasion or a chemical peal. I knew there was also a needle method but I was afraid this would lead to scaring. And so, until very recently, I had just put up with my skin. I'd used countless over the counter lotions and potions and nothing really seemed to work. Before I knew it I was a fully fledged adult with acne. Ah, the joys. 

At school and uni I didn't really care, but I felt like nobody would take me seriously in the world of work if I still looked like I was going through puberty! Anyway, long story short, I finally talked to my GP about it and she prescribed me 'Epiduo' - I was skeptical at first and even a little apprehensive as I have very sensitive skin which doesn't usually react well to much, let alone a product that contains a chemical from the peroxide family! But it is precisely this active ingredient, Benzoyl peroxide that makes this cream work. And I mean REALLY work. This is thanks to the chemicals antiseptic qualities. (Word of advice: it is also known for it's bleaching properties so keep it away from your hair and clothes!)

How does it work? Well, as I later found out somewhat to my surprise, it helps to decrease acne formation by causing the skin to peel and killing bacteria that can cause acne. - My GP kindly left out this vital piece of information and just days in to using the cream MY SKIN WAS SO DRY I CANNOT EVEN EXPRESS IN WORDS HOW BAD IT LOOKED! My skin is dry on a normal day so you can imagine what I looked like. The whole process was rather reptilian in analogy, it felt like I was shedding my my skin in one big fowl swoop rather than unobtrusively as normal, you know a cell here a cell there...

But, to make matters worse, I obviously still had bad skin at this point, with red blotches where old spots had been and the odd pimple here and there and so felt the need to wear my makeup as usual (despite the doctors orders to go barefaced). Putting foundation over peeling skin never looks particularly pretty as you'd imagine! Luckily I was on holiday at the time (in beautiful Florence, pics soon!) and so didn't have to endure the unforgiving spotlights that followed my every move across the shop floor at London's Selfridges where I used to work.

However, it got to the point where after almost two weeks I decided I couldn't stand the peeling skin anymore and so stopped using it. However, after endless breakouts in the proceeding days and weeks the followed I decided to try it again, this time taking advice from forums to try using the cream a little less liberally and only every other day. The dryness/peeling became more bearable and after a month  I was already seeing impressive results, new breakouts had been curbed and my skin tone was beginning to even out. I have now been using Epiduo for 6 months and it has even got rid of most of my retched milia! Something I thought was well beyond the help of a cream. Also, as a massive plus the peeling side effect has pretty much subsided.

All in all I found this product great, life changing even! The floodgate of compliments has well and truly reopened! It's not just me that has noticed a change, family and friends keep telling me how good my skin is looking as of late. However, I still see a lot of negative reviews about the product. And while obviously it isn't going to work for everyone, I think many of the people like I, didn't pay enough attention to the following two things on the information booklet.

  • Do not use more than the recommended dose or more often than 1 time daily without checking with your doctor. This will not produce faster results and may increase irritation.
  • Acne may worsen in the early stages of using Epiduo gel. This is due to the action of Epiduo gel on unseen lesions. Check with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after several weeks.

It's easy to be over liberal in your application in the hopes that more cream = quicker action time, but I'm talking from experience here and believe me that will not work! You're only setting yourself up for disappointment and scaly skin I'm afraid! It also takes time for the cream to really get to work, for me it took around 2 months to really get working, don't expect an overnight miracle!

N.B it's also worth noting that using Epiduo can make you more susceptible to sunburn, so avoid prolonged sun exposure and definitely avoid sunbeds! (But you should do that anyway as they are possibly the most awful of man made creations).

I have teamed the use of Epiduo with a new skincare regime which incorporates a few other products which I will also review soon. So, check back for more acne fighting tips shortly! In the mean time I wish you luck in trying to rid yourself of acne, don't worry you will find something that works, have faith!



  1. I’m probably treading on thin ice here, but I’ve been thinking about why milk would cause acne in some people. I have not the means of forming a solid judgment but initially, I was thinking offhand that the high calcium content in milk could be a factor. Excess calcium impairs the absorption of zinc and a zinc deficiency depletes vitamin E and thus vitamin A. Zinc and vitamin A are particularly protective against the development of acne.1

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