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Benzoyl peroxide (Acnecide)

Buy benzoyl peroxide online for effective acne treatment

1 month (1 tube (60g)) (£24.99)

Prices include next-day delivery and prescription

1 month (1 tube (60g)) £24.99
2 months (2 tubes (60g)) £39.99 Save £10
3 months (3 tubes (60g)) £54.99 Save £20

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More information about Benzoyl peroxide

What is benzoyl peroxide?

Benzoyl peroxide is usually recommended as a first-line treatment for mild acne symptoms. Mild acne is considered to consist of mostly whiteheads and blackheads (red, inflamed pimples).

If you have moderate to severe acne (categorised as mostly papules, pustules, and cysts), alternative acne treatments may be more suitable.

Benzoyl peroxide is available in gel form or as a face wash. It is sold under the brand name Acnecide in most pharmacies.

It can be found in many skincare products but in lower concentrations. It is also a key ingredient in some prescription acne creams, such as Epiduo gel and Duac gel.

How does it work?

When your skin produces oils (called sebum), it can provide an excellent environment for acne-causing bacteria to develop and grow. This type of bacteria is referred to as Propionibacterium and is one of the main causes of common acne.

Benzoyl peroxide works by attacking this bacteria found on the skin, which in turn stops more acne from developing. It works to treat acne on the face, chest, and back.

How long does it take to work?

You will likely notice an improvement in your skin after 4 weeks of using Acnecide (benzoyl peroxide). However, you should keep regularly applying the product for 2-4 months to allow it to reach its full effect.

How do I use it?

Benzoyl peroxide is usually applied once or twice per day, depending on what your doctor has recommended.

Below is a general guide on how to use it:

  • wash the affected area with a mild skin cleanser and water
  • pat dry with a clean towel
  • squeeze enough gel from the tube to apply a thin layer to the affected area (you’ll need more gel if applying to your chest/back area)
  • make sure that the gel is applied evenly
  • wait for the gel to become fully absorbed before applying more products (such as moisturiser or sun cream), or getting dressed
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after each application

If you have sensitive skin, start by only applying benzoyl peroxide once per day - preferably at night time. Once your skin has adjusted to the treatment, you can start applying it twice per day.


When using benzoyl peroxide, make sure you avoid getting any gel near:

  • your eyes
  • your nose
  • the corners of your nose
  • your mouth
  • any broken or damaged skin

As this product can make you more sensitive to light, make sure to avoid strong sun exposure or UV rays (such as tanning beds) when you are regularly using it.

Wear a strong sunscreen (ideally factor 50), and cover up your skin if sun exposure becomes unavoidable.

What are the possible side effects?

As is the case with any medication, there’s a chance that you’ll experience side effects when using benzoyl peroxide.

Common side effects of Acnecide (benzoyl peroxide) include:

  • dry skin (especially when using higher concentrations)
  • peeling of the skin
  • skin redness (erythema)
  • a burning, or stinging sensation on the skin
  • itching (pruritus)
  • skin irritation

If you experience skin irritation when using Acnecide:

  • apply the gel and then wash it off after an hour (minimise exposure)
  • apply it less frequently, or on alternate days

If skin irritation continues, temporarily stop treatment and seek advice from your doctor. They may suggest an alternative acne cream.

Does benzoyl peroxide bleach skin?

Benzoyl peroxide does not cause bleaching to the skin. However, it can bleach hair and certain coloured fabrics such as towels, bed linen, and clothes. Be careful to avoid any contact with these materials and remember to wash your hands thoroughly after each application.

Who can use it?

Benzoyl peroxide is suitable for the vast majority of people suffering from mild acne symptoms. However, this treatment may not be suitable for you if:

  • you are allergic to benzoyl peroxide or any of the other ingredients listed in the gel
  • you have very sensitive skin
  • your skin is broken or damaged (e.g. you have a sunburn)
  • you have moderate to severe acne, consisting of nodules, papules, and pustules as well as whiteheads and blackheads (you would benefit from being prescribed a stronger acne medication).

Looking for prescription acne treatments?

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Can I use it alongside other medication?

When using benzoyl peroxide, be wary of any other products you usually apply to your skin. Products with a drying effect (and anything alcohol-based) must be avoided, as they will likely irritate your skin. Remember to check the ingredients label before use.

You should also avoid using any other topical anti-acne creams, as this can also increase your risk of skin irritation. Do not combine benzoyl peroxide with other acne treatments such as isotretinoin - unless your doctor has specifically recommended it.

Can I buy it over the counter?

Benzoyl peroxide is available to purchase in most pharmacies, over the counter. It doesn’t require a prescription and is available in either gel or cleanser form. Many skin care products (like moisturisers and face washes) contain lower concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, too.

However, some benzoyl peroxide products are prescription only. This is because some stronger acne creams combine benzoyl peroxide with another active ingredient. For example:

  • Duac gel contains clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide
  • Epiduo gel contains adapalene and benzoyl peroxide

Can I buy it online?

Yes, you can buy benzoyl peroxide 5% gel online at HealthExpress. Save a trip to the pharmacy - we’ll deliver right to your door with free next-day delivery.

A free consultation with one of our qualified UK doctors will also be included in the price of your treatment. Getting assessed by a medical professional provides you with extra assurance that you’re purchasing the correct product.

Benzoyl peroxide info
Product name Acnecide
Active ingredient(s) Benzoyl peroxide
Manufacturer Galderma
Lowest price £24.99
Trustpilot rating 4.7/5
Trustpilot reviews 23847
Availability In stock
Description Acnecide is a topical gel used for the treatment of mild acne.
Exemption Can be purchased over the counter
Administration Topical
Presentation Gel
Available dosage 5%
Application Adults with mild acne symptoms
Drug class Organic compounds
Alcohol consumption No influence
When pregnant Not recommended
When breastfeeding Not recommended. If used when breastfeeding do not apply any gel to the chest area.

Note: Decisions about treatment are for both the prescriber and the person to jointly consider during the consultation. However, the final decision will always be the prescriber’s.

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