Acnecide Gel

Acnecide Gel

Acnecide is a 5% benzoyl peroxide gel which helps reduce acne by killing the bacteria that cause spots. It can take up to 4 weeks to show improvements.

In stock
from £10.49

Product details

Acnecide gel is a treatment for acne, which works by attacking bacteria on the skin which causes spots and oily skin. Acnecide gel is applied directly to the affected skin and starts working within 4 weeks of treatment.

Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Development

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 26 Jun 2022

Acnecide gel prices

Pack Size Price
5 % w/w - 30 g £10.49
5 % w/w - 60 g £18.65

How it Works

About Acnecide Gel

What is Acnecide?

Acnecide is a gel which you apply to your skin to help treat acne. It contains the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide, which attacks bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes. These bacteria are one of the main causes of acne. You can use this medication to treat acne on the face, chest or back.

How does Acnecide work?

Acnecide contains benzoyl peroxide which reduces the amount of spot-causing bacteria on your skin. It effectively kills up to 95% of bacteria that causes spots. It will also absorb your skin’s excess oil and release glycerine to help keep it hydrated.

How long does Acnecide last?

How long Acnecide lasts will depend on how well your acne has reacted to the treatment.

It will actively work for as long as you continue to use it and the effects may continue to be seen for a short while after its use.

How long does Acnecide take to work?

You should allow around 4 weeks to start seeing the effects of Acnecide, but in some cases, it can take 2-4 months for the treatment to have its full effect. It’s recommended that you introduce the treatment to your skin gradually to give it time to get used to it. You should always use the treatment as you have been directed by your doctor. You should not apply more gel or use the treatment more frequently than you have been advised in the hopes that this will make it work quicker.

How effective is Acnecide?

Acnecide has been proven to kill up to 95% of bacteria that causes spots and other symptoms of acne, like oily skin and soreness. However, everybody’s skin is different, and the effectiveness of this product can vary between individuals.

How to use Acnecide

Applying Acnecide is simple and should be done once or twice daily using the following steps. 

  1. Wash the affected area with a mild skin cleanser and water. 
  2. Gently pat your skin dry and apply a thin layer of gel. 
  3. Do this once or twice a day in all of the affected areas. 
  4. If you have sensitive skin, you should use Acnecide once a day before you go to bed. 

If you forget to use Acnecide, just continue using it as normal the following day or at your next treatment window. If you think you’ve applied too much gel, then you should wash off as much as you can and use it as directed moving forward. 

Please note that this gel is for external use only. 

Where can I buy Acnecide?

You can buy Acnecide from most UK registered pharmacies. It is available either in-store or online, from services like Superdrug Online Doctor.

Can I buy Acnecide online?

You can buy Acnecide online from UK registered pharmacies, like Superdrug Online Doctor. You’ll need to complete a short questionnaire so our doctors can assess your suitability for the treatment and make sure that it’s right for you. If your order is approved then your treatment can either be delivered to you or collected from a Superdrug store of your choice.

Can I buy Acnecide over the counter?

Yes. Acnecide doesn’t require a prescription as it doesn’t contain other active ingredients such as antibiotics. This means you can purchase it over the counter at your local pharmacy with a pharmacist's guidance. If you’re unsure about whether Acnecide is the right treatment for you, you can discuss your symptoms with a doctor or a pharmacist to assess your suitability.

Can I get Acnecide on the NHS?

Yes. Some benzoyl peroxide-based products are only available on prescription due to them containing other active ingredients like antibiotics and retinoids (exfoliants). Even though this isn’t the case for Acnecide, the product is still available on prescription, which means you can get in on the NHS from your GP.

Acnecide side effects

Like all medications, Acnecide can cause side effects.

Common side effects

The following side effects are common and are seen in around 1 in 10 people.

  • Dry skin
  • Red or peeling skin
  • Burning or stinging
  • Itchy skin
  • Painful skin
  • Skin irritation

These common side effects often subside over time. In most cases, your skin just needs to get used to the product, which is why it’s usually better to use Acnecide less often at first. You should speak to your doctor or pharmacist if these side effects bother you and don’t go away.

Uncommon side effects

Allergic contact dermatitis is an uncommon side effect that is seen in around 1 in 100 people. The symptoms are usually reversible if you reduce or discontinue the treatment. You should speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you notice signs of allergic contact dermatitis or anything else that isn’t listed in the leaflet.

Rare side effects

The following side effects are rare and are seen in less than 1 in 1000 people. You should stop using Acnecide and speak to your doctor if you experience any of these issues.

  • Swollen skin, especially in treated areas
  • Blisters on your skin

If your symptoms don’t improve or worsen over time, then you should get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. Anaphylaxis, which is a serious allergic reaction, is another rare side effect of using products containing benzoyl peroxide. You should call 999 or go to A&E if you notice any signs of anaphylaxis.

What to do if you get Acnecide side effects

The steps you should take towards Acnecide side effects will depend on the type of side effect you’re experiencing and the amount of time you’ve noticed it.

If you experience any side effects and they’re making you feel uncomfortable, then you should discontinue use and seek medical advice. If you’re worried about any uncommon or rare side effects, then you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Acnecide warnings

When applying Acnecide, you should avoid contact with the eyes, mouth and inner nose. It shouldn’t be applied to damaged skin. If swelling and blistering occur, you should discontinue using the product. Acnecide can also bleach hair and coloured fabrics, so avoid contact with these materials. You should also avoid exposure to UV light after use.

Most adults and children over the age of 12 can safely use Acnecide. You shouldn’t use Acnecide if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding unless your doctor tells you otherwise. If your doctor does recommend this product while you’re breastfeeding, then you should avoid applying the gel to your chest.

Medications that interact with Acnecide

You should tell your doctor if you’re taking, have recently taken, or plan to take any other medications when using Acnecide. You shouldn’t use medicines that have peeling, irritant or drying effects at the same time as Acnecide. You also shouldn’t use it with any other topical acne products, unless your doctor has told you to, as this can cause skin irritation.

Acnecide alternatives

If Acnecide has proven to be ineffective at treating your acne, then you may need a stronger prescription medication that contains antibiotics. Prescription medication for acne includes Lymecycline or Doxycycline combined with Epiduo Gel or Differin Gel. The best prescription medication for your acne will be determined by your doctor. 

Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are the most well-known acne-fighting ingredients. Available over the counter, they’re both used to clear mild acne and prevent future breakouts. If you know you have had side effects associated with benzoyl peroxide in the past, then treatment containing salicylic acid may be the next best option for you. 


Patient Reviews

Further Reading on Acne