Compare Differen vs. Benzoyl peroxide

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

Differen
(Adapalene)

Benzac
(Benzoyl Peroxide)

Coming soon.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.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide)
60%
+27% vs. Differen (Adapalene)
29%
4% vs. Differen (Adapalene)
9%
+24% vs. Differen (Adapalene)
Side effects
DifferenBenzoyl peroxide

We haven’t found good data for Differen side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Differen »

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

More about Benzoyl peroxide side effects »
How it works
DifferenBenzoyl peroxide
Coming soon.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.
Type of medication
DifferenBenzoyl peroxide
Coming soon.
Acne agent
Antibiotic
Prescription or OTC
Available as
DifferenBenzoyl peroxide
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Liquid
  • Topical solution
Used for (click to learn more)
DifferenBenzoyl peroxide
  • Acne vulgaris
Risk factors for serious side effects
DifferenBenzoyl peroxide
Coming soon.
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
      Detailed Benzac (Benzoyl Peroxide) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      DifferenBenzoyl peroxide
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      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
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      DifferenBenzoyl peroxide
      Coming soon.
      • 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.
      Downsides and risks
      DifferenBenzoyl peroxide
      Coming soon.
      • 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.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      DifferenBenzoyl peroxide
      Coming soon.
      • 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.
      Learn more
      More about DifferenSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      More about Benzoyl peroxideSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert