Compare Benzoyl peroxide vs. Cleocin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

(Benzoyl Peroxide)

Cleocin T
(Clindamycin Phosphate)

Topical treatment for acne and skin wounds. Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) is a very popular topical acne treatment you can get over-the-counter or by prescription that may be better for people who don't want to take pill medication. Just be careful because it can bleach your hair, clothing and other fabrics.Topical treatment for acne. Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. If you're taking the vaginal form, you have to avoid sex and tampons for the period your doctor tells you to. The topical form can cause skin sensitivity and irritation.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
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4.57544757033248Benzoyl peroxide
Reviews for Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)
of people say Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
391 reviews
Reviews for Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate)
3% vs. Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)
+14% vs. Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)
11% vs. Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)
112 reviews
Side effects
Benzoyl peroxideCleocin

The Benzoyl peroxide FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Benzoyl peroxide side effects »
  • Vaginal moniliasis 6%
More Cleocin side effects »
How it works
Benzoyl peroxideCleocin
Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) is a topical acne medicine. It seems to fight the bacteria responsible for producing acne in oil (sebaceous) glands, and dries out acne-affected areas. Also, it speeds up growth of damaged skin from serious breakdown, injury, or disease.Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) is an antibiotic and acne medicine. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.
Type of medication
Benzoyl peroxideCleocin
Acne agent
Prescription or OTC
Acne agent
Prescription only
Available as
Benzoyl peroxideCleocin
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Liquid
  • Topical solution
  • Topical
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Foam
  • Vaginal cream
  • Vaginal suppository
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
Benzoyl peroxideCleocin
Risk factors for serious side effects
Benzoyl peroxideCleocin
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
      Detailed Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) risks & warnings »
        • History of liver disease
          Detailed Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          Benzoyl peroxideCleocin
          NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

          The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

          See the FDA package insert
          BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

          Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

          See the FDA package insert
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          No specific food-related info.
          • Have to take the oral forms with a full glass of liquid or with food since it can cause irritation in your stomach and esophagus.
          • Can be taken with or without food.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          No specific sex-related info.
          • If you're taking the vaginal form, you have to avoid sex and not use tampons for the period your doctor tells you to.
          • If you're using the vaginal form, don't have sex before the doctor tells you it's ok.
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          Benzoyl peroxideCleocin
          • Benzoyl peroxide is used to reduce bacteria on the skin, which "calms" the skin down (lowers the inflammatory response) in acne.
          • Helps stop blemishes from forming when oil and skin cells become trapped in pores.
          • Although Benzoyl peroxide can irritate the skin, a true skin allergy is rare.
          • Can be used in combination with acne pill medicine if your doctor thinks you need it.
          • It's available in non-prescription strengths, easy to buy at any drugstore and pretty cheap compared to prescription pills to treat your acne.
          • Available in generic.
          • Topical form treats acne.
          • Available in different oral forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
          • Available in forms to treat skin infections and vaginal infections.
          • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
          • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
          • Can be taken with or without food.
          Downsides and risks
          Benzoyl peroxideCleocin
          • Higher strengths (concentrations) can cause skin irritation and may appear as redness, peeling, abnormal dryness or stinging, tightening, or burning sensations.
          • It's rare, that a serious allergic reaction would occur, but it's a good idea to test a small area of skin before using on any larger or sensitive areas.
          • Not the best choice if you're pregnant. Benzoyl peroxide is categorized as pregnancy Category C (weigh risks vs benefits) as compared to similar topical medicines that are in Category B (likely safe).
          • Can cause bleaching of hair and clothing.
          • May not work as well when used by itself over long period of time.
          • You'll need to stay out of the sun or apply a sunscreen if you have to be outdoors.
          • Have to take the oral forms with a full glass of liquid or with food since it can cause irritation in your stomach and esophagus.
          • If you're taking the vaginal form, you have to avoid sex and not use tampons for the period your doctor tells you to.
          • If you're allergic to aspirin, your doctor may have to prescribe an alternate.
          • If you have to take live vaccines, talk to your doctor when to take them since Clindamycin can make it less effective.
          • If you're taking the topical form, it can cause sensitivity and irritation.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          Benzoyl peroxideCleocin
          • Acne can take several weeks to show up in the skin so it's best to use for 2-3 months before you decide it doesn't work.
          • Studies showed it didn't matter what strength people used, they all took about the same time to work.
          • Higher strengths greater than 2.5% may not work any better but might cause more side effects.
          • Using a moisturizer that doesn't block your pores (non-comedogenic) may help lessen common side effects of skin dryness and peeling.
          • Taking good care of your skin is an important part of treating acne. Lightly wash with warm water and non-soap-based or gentle cleanser.
          • The forms taken by mouth can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
          • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
          • Store the suspension at room temperature.
          • If you're using the topical form, it can take a few weeks to see the full effect.
          • Keep the topical form out of your eyes, nose and mouth.
          • If you're using the topical form, Don't put makeup or bandages over it.
          • If you're using the vaginal form, don't have sex before the doctor tells you it's ok.
          Learn more
          More about Benzoyl peroxideSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about CleocinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert