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Acnecide 5% Gel (30g)

Acnecide Gel

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Order before 3pm for delivery from Sat. 24 Oct.

Product Information

  • Age: 18 Years +

    Maximum per order: N/A

  • Pregnancy: Not suitable

    Breastfeeding: Not suitable

Acnecide gel is a topical acne treatment gel that contains the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide (5%). It is suitable for the treatment of mild to moderate acne and works particularly well in combination with oral acne antibiotics such as Tetralysal or Oxytetracycline.


What is benzoyl peroxide & how does it treat acne?

Benzoyl peroxide is a keratolytic. This means that it breaks down keratin, which is a kind of protein that makes up part of the natural skin structure. Keratin is one of the main culprits of acne as dead skin cells block pores which then become clogged and develop into spots and zits. Salicylic acid is another well-known keratolytic used to treat mild acne; it is often found in face washes. 

Once benzoyl peroxide has been applied to the skin, it causes the skin’s top layer of cells to break down and ultimately shed. This process will not only help to break down any blackheads and whiteheads, known as comedones, and unblock your sebaceous glands; it will also help to stop any new comedones from being created.  

Benzoyl peroxide also has a secondary mechanism of action to help clear spots. It also has antibacterial properties, meaning it can target and neutralise the bacteria associated with acne, providing effective and safe acne relief.

Acne-causing bacteria feed on the sebum created by your body’s sebaceous glands; sebum is completely harmless, but when it goes into overproduction it reacts badly with Propionibacterium acnes (P acnes). This usually harmless skin bacterium becomes a nuisance because the waste and fatty acids created by the multiplying bacteria irritate your sebaceous glands, causing them to become inflamed, and creating spots and zits.

Benzoyl peroxide helps to reduce the number of bacteria and thus keeps the inflammation of the sebaceous glands under control.


How does Acnecide 5% gel work?

Each 30g or 60g tube of Acnecide gel contains 5% benzoyl peroxide, making it ideal for treating small areas such as the face where acne occurs most frequently. An Acnecide wash might be more appropriate for persistent body or back acne.There is currently no manufacturer of 10% benzoyl peroxide in the UK. Benzoyl Peroxide 10% which may be more appropriate for more severe cases of acne. 

Acnecide 5% has been clinically proven to reduce the bacteria associated with acne.  The acne treatment gel also contains acrylates copolymer beads which are a special technology designed to get rid of excess oil and release glycerine which moisturises the skin. The keratin-reducing, bacteria-fighting, and moisturising action of Acnecide gel makes it a popular treatment choice and one that often gets positive reviews due to lack of skin irritation. 

Key benefits of Acnecide (benzoyl peroxide 5%)

  • Can kill up to 95% of acne-causing and spot-causing bacteria
  • Can be used on all spots and acne, including pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads
  • Will absorb any extra oil from the surface of your skin
  • Keeps the skin hydrated thanks to Acnecide’s specially formulated glycerine gel that’s been approved by dermatologists
  • Breaks down excess keratin that is clogging the skin’s surface
  • Unblocks the sebaceous glands
  • Can be used to treat the face, chest or back


When can you expect to see results with Acnecide 5%?

Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to treating acne. As with any medication, benzoyl peroxide takes time to work and you might not see results for 8 to 10 weeks. You should still apply the cream as directed during this period, it is important to continue using Acnecide regularly, even if you do not see any immediate benefit.

*Prescription medicines are supplied subject to a medical consultation at the discretion of a doctor.

Wash the afflicted area with a mild cleanser and apply the gel once or twice a day as directed to the affected areas. 

Upon first application, you may feel a slight burning sensation and possibly some reddening or even peeling of the skin in the first day or two.

Throughout the first weeks of treatment, most patients experience some kind of peeling. This is nothing to worry about and will go away on its own after a day or two of stopping treatment.

Acnecide gel is for external use only, avoid contact with the eyes, mouth, angles of the nose and other mucous surfaces such as the lining of your nose.

Very common (affects more than 1 in 10 people)

  • Skin irritation after application, for example, redness or burning sensation
  • Skin peeling and dryness

Common (affects between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)

  • Stinging or itching of skin
  • Irritant contact dermatitis

Acnecide 5% gel contains:

  • Hydrous benzoyl peroxide equivalent to Benzoyl Peroxide 5% w/w (active ingredient)
  • Docusate sodium
  • Disodium edetate
  • Poloxamer 182
  • Carbomer 940
  • Propylene glycol
  • Acrylates copolymer or glycerol microsponge
  • Glycerol
  • Colloidal Anhydrous Silica
  • Purified water
  • Sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH

If you are sensitive to any of the ingredients listed above, do not use Acnecide gel.

Upon first application, you may feel a slight burning sensation and possibly some reddening or even peeling of the skin in the first day or two.

Throughout the first weeks of treatment, most patients experience some kind of peeling. This is nothing to worry about and will go away on its own after a day or two of stopping treatment.

If you experience a severe irritation when using the gel, try applying it less or discontinue altogether.

Please be aware that using more gel than is required will not improve how well it works, but it may increase your risk to skin irritation and peeling.

Be careful when using in conjunction with other acne treatments as there may be a compound irritation effect.

Do not get Benzoyl peroxide in your eyes, mouth, nose or mucous membranes. If it does get into any of these places, wash the eye thoroughly with water.

This medication can increase your sensitivity to sunlight, so care should be taken when entering sunlight. Deliberate or prolonged exposure to UV rays should be avoided altogether or at best, minimised. Always wear sunscreen or wear protective clothing.

Contact with any coloured material including hair and dyed fabrics may result in bleaching or discoloration.

Do not apply benzoyl peroxide gel to damaged or broken skin.

There have been no interaction studies performed on this medication, but any treatment with irritant or drying effect should not be used at the same time.

Delivery & Shipping Information

Please note that due to the current situation with COVID-19, Royal Mail are experiencing some delays. This may mean that your order takes longer to arrive than you would normally expect. We are working hard to ensure that, where possible, all orders placed before 15:00 are still dispatched the same working day.


UK Orders

We offer FREE standard tracked delivery on orders over £40.

The following delivery options are available:

  • Standard Tracked Delivery - 3 - 5 day delivery - £2.95
  • Express Tracked Delivery - 1 - 3 day delivery - £4.45
  • DPD Next Day - 1 - 2 working days - £6.95
  • Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 21:00) - £8.95
  • Saturday Guaranteed before 21:00 - £10.45

Important Delivery Information

All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail (unless stated). We always aim to dispatch all Royal Mail orders received before 15:00 the same working day. Any orders received after 15:00 or over the weekend will be dispatched the next working day. Orders will not be dispatched on weekends or bank holidays.

All orders are subject to approval by our team of doctors and pharmacists. Your delivery date in the checkout is subject to your consultation being approved by our healthcare team.

All orders can be fully tracked from your dispatch email and in your account.

We ensure all parcels are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods. Where possible, we will attempt to size all parcels to fit through your letterbox in tamper-proof packaging. By placing an order on our website, you confirm that it is safe and appropriate for a package containing medicines to be posted through your letterbox, if the carrier is able to do so. You should notify our customer support team if it is not safe for the package to be posted through the letterbox, for example due to animals or small children.

Deliveries containing pharmacy-only or prescription medicines may require a signature on receipt. 

Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.


Royal Mail

Royal Mail are the most widely recognised mail delivery company in the UK. Being on the UK’s 29 million doorsteps six days a week means they offer unparalleled price and convenience. The Independent Pharmacy uses Royal Mail’s Tracked 48, Tracked 24, and Special Delivery Guaranteed parcel services to offer reliable, fully-tracked delivery at very competitive prices. Your Royal Mail parcel will arrive with your normal daily delivery of post.

Please note: Royal Mail do not deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

If you are not home to accept your delivery, a card should be left by the Royal Mail representative. This card will provide details of where you can collect the order or how to arrange re-delivery.

Should you be unable to collect your missed delivery or arrange for your medication to be redelivered by Royal Mail, the pharmacy can resend your medication to the same, or a different address provided it has been returned to us and this happens within a 30 day window.

Once a package has been shipped with Royal Mail we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.



DPD Local is the most innovative parcel carrier around. Thanks to their industry-leading Predict service, they provide parcel recipients with a one hour delivery window, notified by email, so you don't have to wait in all day. What's more, it enables receivers to watch the progress of their delivery on a real-time map, all the way down to a final 15 minute time-slot. 

As well as keeping customers informed at every stage of the journey, DPD believe in maximising choice and convenience. That's why DPD provide access to a suite of options both on the day of delivery and the night before, allowing customers to take delivery of their goods in a way that suits. If you wish to reschedule, you can:

  • Select an alternative delivery date
  • Opt for delivery to a nominated neighbour
  • Have the parcel left in a specified safe place
  • Collect the parcel from your local DPD Pickup Shop
  • Upgrade delivery to By 12

Please note: DPD do not deliver on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

Once a package has been shipped with DPD we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.


Forwarding houses

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.


BFPO Postcodes

Unfortunately we are unable to deliver medicines to BFPO postcodes.


Remote Areas

Please be aware that Royal Mail Guaranteed services are not available to all customers in the UK, especially those that live in remote postcodes. Royal Mail advise customers of the following:

We deliver by 17:30 the next working day in the following postcode areas:
AB30 - 39, 41 - 45, 51 - 56
GY9 Alderney (Channel Islands)
HS1, 3 - 9
IV21 - 28, 40 - 49, 51 - 56
KA27, 28
KW1 - 3, 5 - 15
KW16 Stromness Town only
PA20 (0&9)
PA28 - 38, 41 - 49, 76, 77
PH15, 17 - 26, 31 - 40, 49, 50


We deliver within two working days by 17:30 to the following postcodes areas:
GY1 Herm (Channel Islands)
GY9 Sark (Channel Islands)
PA60 - 75, 78
ZE2, 3


We deliver within three working days by 17:30 to the following postcode areas:
KW16 - non-Town
PH30, 41 - 44


Please note: This applies to our 'Special Delivery' and 'Saturday Guaranteed' services.


International Orders

We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.

Need to know more about Acne?

Visit our advice area or contact our support team

Acnecide Gel Reviews

Unsure about a treatment?
Ask our medical team for impartial information and advice about any treatment we provide or medical condition that we treat before you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does Acnecide take to work?

    It can take up to 6-8 weeks in order to see any tangible results, so keep applying the gel as directed and persist with the treatment. If you find that you still do not get the results you want from Acnecide, you may wish to try a combination product such as Duac or Treclin, which contain a topical antibiotic and a keratolytic for a dual mechanism of action.

  • How long do I need to use Acnecide for?

    You probably need to take it for about two months to get the full benefits of the treatment.

    You can use Acnecide for as long as you need to keep your skin clear of acne. If you are using it continuously, we normally recommend a break from treatment every six months to reassess your acne and give your skin a break from treatment. If your acne starts to come back, you can start using Acnecide again.

  • Who shouldn't use Acnecide gel?

    Anyone allergic to benzoyl peroxide or any of the other ingredients should not use Acnecide gel. We would not recommend the use of benzoyl peroxide whilst pregnant or breastfeeding as the safety of the medicine during these times has not been fully established. 


  • What are the possible side effects of Acnecide gel?

    Like all medication, Acnecide has some common and less common side effects. Some people may experience a mild skin irritation or adverse reaction to the gel. Any mild irritation and redness caused by Acnecide at the start of treatment will usually subside within a few weeks.

    It can cause skin dryness in some people, and more rarely, contact dermatitis. It also makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so you need to take extra precaution when using the gel.

  • Can I use Acnecide gel with other medicines?

    Using Acnecide at the same time as some other acne treatments can lead to excessive dryness and skin irritation, so always check with your pharmacist before buying. Isotretinoin (also known as Roaccutane) can react with Acnecide and dry out your skin, so it’s best to avoid mixing these two treatments.

    Acnecide is best used to compliment topical or oral antibiotic treatment in moderate to severe acne. When used in this way, it has been shown to have better results than either treatment use alone.

    Acnecide should not be used with other drying or keratolytic treatments such as Duac, Differin, Epiduo, or Treclin.

  • What other medicines contain benzoyl peroxide?

    Mainly other acne treatments like Acnecide wash, Duac gel, Quinoderm gel and Epiduo gel.

  • Does Acnecide 5% get rid of acne scars?

    There are many different ways to reduce acne scarring, and it’s best to speak to a dermatologist on the most appropriate treatment. Acnecide can reduce scarring, as can salicylic acid.

  • Does Acnecide work on hormonal acne?

    It won’t address the underlying hormonal changes that are causing your acne, but it will treat the spots and pustules on your skin. You may also want to seek hormonal treatment like the contraceptive pill from your GP or dermatologist.


  • Can Acnecide make my spots worse/cause irritation?

    It won’t make your spots worse, but like all acne treatment gels, it can cause some irritation and sensitivity. This is most likely to occur in the first few weeks of treatment and usually subsides after this.

  • Is this an over the counter acne gel? Where can I buy Acnecide?

    You can buy Acnecide 30g at a pharmacy without a prescription, but you will need to speak to a pharmacist first. This is to ensure that the treatment is right for you. Acnecide 60g gel is a prescription-only treatment that you can get from your GP or buy online from The Independent Pharmacy from our Online Doctor.


  • Can benzoyl peroxide ruin your skin?

    It shouldn’t, but if you have an adverse reaction — stop using it immediately.

  • Do I use Acnecide before or after my moisturiser? How should I apply it to my face?

    In order to get the best results, you should wash your skin with a mild cleanser before applying the gel. Then apply Acnecide to your skin, and once it has been absorbed, you can apply a non-perfumed moisturiser if necessary.

  • Is benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid better for acne?

    They both break down the skin’s keratin (known as keratolytics), but benzoyl peroxide is more effective as it’s also antibacterial. It’s a more effective acne treatment than salicylic acid because it’s more comprehensive and addresses more causes of acne.


  • Does Acnecide work on blackheads?

    Yes, it works on all forms of acne and spots. Salicylic acid is often found in blackhead washes and scrubs you can buy on the high street, but benzoyl peroxide is a more effective all-round acne gel.

  • Is an acne gel better than an acne cream?

    When it comes to choosing between an acne gel and a cream, there is not much difference. Often, it’s to do with the drug’s pharmaceutical formation rather than anything else. A gel is water-based so can be drying and also can leave a thin film on the skin. Creams are be more oily than a gel and are better if the skin is dry. Generally, it is the active ingredient in acne treatments that determine how effective an acne treatment is rather than the formulation (cream, gel etc).


  • Is Acnecide the same as Quinoderm? Is it just as good?

    Acnecide is exactly the same as Quinoderm — it’s just got a different brand name as it’s being sold by a different company. Quinoderm used to be made by BP and has now been discontinued, so if you liked it — you should switch to Acnecide.

Authored By:

A photo of  Chris Newbury

Chris Newbury

BPharm IP

Published on: 23-01-2018

Last modified on: 23-01-2018

Chris is a vastly experienced clinical pharmacist and has been registered as an Independent Prescriber since 2014.

Reviewed By:

A photo of  Andy Boysan

Andy Boysan


Reviewed on: 09-01-2020

Next review date: 09-01-2022

Andy is a co-founder, the superintendent pharmacist and director at The Independent Pharmacy.

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