Compare Benzoyl Peroxide vs. Renova

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

Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)

Prescription or OTC

Renova (Tretinoin)

Prescription only
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.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 394 reviewsforBenzoyl Peroxide
Treats acne and sun damage.

Renova (Tretinoin) isn't a cure for fine lines and wrinkles, but it's clinically proven to improve them.

3.1/ 5 average rating with 58 reviewsforRenova
Upsides
  • 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.
  • You only need to apply it once a day, usually in the evening.
  • Most people who reported having skin irritation said that it was mild.
  • Part of a complete program to help you take better care of your skin.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • It may take up to 6 months to see the full benefit for facial wrinkles.
  • Not a good choice for women who want to become or are pregnant
  • Can change the color and texture of your skin if used long-term.
  • You need to be careful about avoiding any sunlight or artificial tanning while using it.
  • It doesn't work for deep wrinkles.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Liquid
  • Topical solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
394 reviews so far
60%
saidit'sworth it
29%
saiditworked well
9%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)?

Leave a review
58 reviews so far
41%
saidit'sworth it
28%
saiditworked well
28%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Renova (Tretinoin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
4possible side effects
  • Mild skin reactions
    100%
  • Severe local irritation
    7%
  • Any side effect
    4%
  • Skin hypo- or hyperpigmentation
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Bleaching effects
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Allergic reactions
    • Allergy to fish or fish products
  • Harm to fetus
See more detailed risks and warnings