My Experiment with Differin 0.1% + Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%
Before I decided to write this post, I’ve actually been debating with myself on whether I should even start writing this. The thing is that I’ve tried to use both products (the Differin 0.1% gel and the Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%) in a way that’s never been indicated on the product packaging or its leaflet so it’s kind of an unorthodox method of using them. However, I decided to write and publish this post to inform you guys on the results and the warnings of not using a product for the way it was intended for, especially with strong prescriptive products like Differin.
Note: I’ve previously done a full review on the Differin 0.1% gel and you can read it here.
I’m just going to list the ingredients of the Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% below. The product that I’d used is Galderma Benzac Spots Treatment Gel 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide.
Galderma Benzac Spots Treatment Gel 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Ingredients
How did the combination of Differin 0.1% plus Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% fare?
The fantastic (no..not really..) idea of combining Differin 0.1% and Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% came to me when I realised that there’s this product called Epiduo on the market. Epiduo is a prescriptive-based gel that has a combination of 0.1% adapalene and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. This gel helps clear up the breakouts you have now and helps prevent future pimples from forming. I was thinking that wow.. since I already have the Differin 0.1% gel, I can just buy the Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% product (which is easily available over the counter) and I can form Epiduo at home. At this point in time, you’ll need to bear this phrase in mind “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
You’ll also need to know that actually I don’t really have a severe acne problem. In fact, the only acne I’ve got are those one or two pesky hormonal acne that pops up around that time of the month. So retrospectively, I’m probably not the person that’s the target market for Epiduo. And the fact is that I wasn’t even using Epiduo. I was just trying to recreate Epiduo at home. I was thinking to myself one night while I was lying in bed trying to coax my daughter to sleep “Since Differin worked so well for me, why don’t I try adding Benzoyl Peroxide to see if my hormonal acne can be banished forever?” (Note to self: It might not be so wise to take action on random ideas that pop up at night).
How I use the combination is this: I apply a thin layer all over my face after applying Differin then I wait for 30 minutes before I apply all my other hydrating serums/ creams/ oils on top. The thing is, this combination actually worked amazingly well for me the first 2 weeks. Any small clogged pores on my face went away, hormonal acne was banished to the depths of Dante’s Inferno, and most importantly, my face was glowing like I’ve Snapchat filters on me in real life!
But then the 3rd week came around and it was really the beginning of the end. I remember distinctly one morning after I used the combination the previous night and my face started to feel tiny prickling sensation while I was washing my face. It wasn’t very bad, just a slight tightness that wasn’t present before. The usually mild PIXI Glow Tonic that I used in the morning started to sting when previously it didn’t. And my face felt uncomfortably tight the whole day even though I had already used my hydrating serums and creams on top. I tried to use all my most nourishing oils and moisturisers at night after I had applied the combination but my face still felt tight the next morning. By the end of the 3rd week, I knew that I cannot carry on with this experiment. I had to stop using this combination and also all my other actives. I needed to concentrate on repairing my skin barrier which I believe cannot take such a harsh combination. After that, I only used my gentle cleansers, hydrating serums and creams with my ceramide moisturisers and oils. It took about a week before everything became better. Nowadays I only use the BP cream sparingly at localised area for spots.
So yup! I learnt my lesson the hard way and now I’m here to tell you about my experience. Obviously my skin is different from yours but what I’m trying to say is that sometimes, too much of a good thing might not be so good after all. Doing things in moderation might just be the key for everything, even skincare!
As always, thank you for reading!