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The Most Reliable Acne Treatments That Work | Ashcroft Pharmacy

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Most Reliable Acne Treatments UK

Acne is treatable, but only reliable acne treatments can assure you a perfect, clear complexion. What causes acne?

Acne is caused by clogged pores that might be a result of excessive sebum production, dead skin cells, ingrown hairs, an imbalance of hormones, or the multiplication of harmful bacteria in your skin.

This blog explains the most reliable acne treatments that work and helps you choose the most effective acne treatment product depending on the type of acne you want to treat.

Important factors to consider when choosing an Acne treatment product

Type of acne Vulgaris

There are two types of acne: inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne. Inflammatory acne can be treated with OTC products, while non-inflammatory acne requires a prescription treatment.

Non-inflammatory acne includes whiteheads and blackheads, while inflammatory acne includes nodules, cysts, and pustules.

Skin type

Highly sensitive skin requires acne treatment products prone to sensitive skin.

Severity of your acne

Nodules and cysts are a type of severe acne where you need a consultation with a dermatologist. Blackheads and whiteheads are classified as mild types of acne that can be treated with OTC or topical prescriptions when symptoms persist.

Differin 0.1% Cream/Gel

Differin is a trusted topical acne treatment that contains adapalene (retinoid), an active ingredient that helps clear acne.

Adapalene changes the skin cell turnover rate, ensuring that new cells are produced and old cells are discarded. This process leaves your skin with a healthier environment, thereby preventing acne.

  • Type of product: Topical cream or gel
  • Price: From £23.99
  • Prescribed for: all types of acne
  • prescription-only acne medicine
  • Brand name: Differin®
  • Generic name: adapalene (retinoid)
  • Dosage form: Topical Cream/Gel
  • Manufacturer: Galderma Laboratories
  • Dosage frequency: Daily once at bedtime
  • Differin Cream Leaflet
  • Differin Gel Leaflet


❌ You cannot use it if you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or allergic to adapalene
❌ Not recommended for broken skin, cuts, or sores

Differin pros

✅ Perfect for sensitive skin
✅ Results as little as in 2 weeks
✅ Regulates oil production
✅ Boosts natural skin cell turnover
✅ Limits the growth of skin cells that can clog pores
✅ Reduces visible redness and irritation of the skin
✅ Occurrence of low side effects
✅ Reduces inflammation, preventing blockage that influences the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pustules

Learn More About Differin 0.1% Cream/Gel

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Epiduo Gel for Acne

Epiduo Gel is a topical medication that contains adapalene and benzoyl peroxide that work together to treat acne. Adapalene treats the skin by discarding old cells, while benzoyl peroxide contains antibacterial effects.

Benzoyl peroxide reduces the number of acne-causing bacteria and causes the skin to dry and peel off.

  • Branded acne treatment
  • Brand name: Epiduo®
  • FDA Approved
  • Generic name: adapalene and benzoyl peroxide
  • Manufacturer: Galderma Laboratories
  • Type of acne treatment: Acne vulgaris
  • Dosage form: Topical Gel
  • Dosage frequency: Daily once at bedtime
  • Price: From £23.99

Patient Leaflet


❌ It cannot be applied to sunburnt skin


✅ Dual-action mechanism
✅ Significant results within 1-4 weeks
✅ You can use Epiduo to treat moderate-to-severe acne
✅ It wipes out bacteria that cause acne, leaving you with clear, flawless skin
✅ Epiduo Gel contains an adapalene
✅ Prevents further acne pimple occurrences
✅ Reduces redness and inflammation
✅ Epiduo dual action fights against red spots, blackheads, and whiteheads
✅ Prescribed for short- and long-term treatment
✅ Epiduo treats mild-to-moderate acne symptoms

Learn More About Epiduo Gel

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Lymecycline 408mg capsules (generic tetralysal)

Lymecycline, an antibiotic for acne, is usually taken as one 408mg capsule daily. It belongs to the tetracycline class and stops acne-related bacterial growth, like Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).

Follow your doctor's instructions precisely, and finish the full treatment, even if you notice improvement earlier.

  • Price: From £13.99
  • Type of acne product: Antibiotic
  • Type of acne treatment: Facial spots
  • Brand name: Tetralysal®
  • Generic name: Lymecycline
  • Another name: Tetralysal 300
  • Dosage form: Hard Capsules
  • Dosage frequency: Typically taken once a day
  • Patient Leaflet
  • Manufacturer: Galderma Laboratories
  • Marketing authorisation holder: Galderma (UK) Limited


✅ Significant results as little as in 8 weeks
✅ It treats a variety of acne, from mild to moderate hormonal, back, and cyst acne.
✅ It can be used to treat different types of infections: chest and sinus infections, STIs (sexually transmitted infections), and mouth/oral infections.


❌ Overdosing may lead to liver problems
❌ You cannot take Lymecycline if: you are allergic to Lymecycline, suffer from a kidney disease, are pregnant, planning pregnancy, or breastfeeding.

Learn More about Lymecycline 408 mg Capsules

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Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets

Oxytetracycline is an antibacterial medicine that treats moderate-to-severe acne. Oxytetracycline antibiotics work by preventing Propionibacterium acne from producing more waste that affects the functionality of the sebaceous glands.

  • Price starts: From £42.99
  • Type of acne product: Broad-spectrum antibiotic
  • Prescription type: Valid as a prescribable product
  • Avtive ingredient: Oxytetracycline dihydrate
  • Types of acne treatment: All acne
  • Brand name:Terramycin
  • Generic name: oxytetracycline
  • Another name: Oxytetracycline dihydrate
  • Dosage form: Oral tablet
  • Manufacturer: Crescent Pharma Ltd
  • Oxytetracycline Patient Leaflet


✅ It's a potent antibiotic that fights a broad spectrum of bacterial infections
✅ Proven efficacy against redness and inflammation
✅ You can use it to treat severe acne
✅ Available in short and long courses
✅ Regulates the inflammation of sebaceous glands, enabling your skin to heal
✅ Prescribed with other acne treatments such as Epiduo and Differin


❌ It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women
❌ NOT safe for severe liver or kidney patients
❌ DO NOT use if you are on vitamin A or retinoid therapy

Learn more about Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets

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Alternative Treatment for Acne

Doxycycline 100 mg for Acne Vulgaris

Doxycycline (dox-ē-cyc-lean) is a Broad-spectrum antibiotic often prescribed by dermatologists to treat moderate to severe inflammatory acne.

It is also prescribed to Treat Chlamydia, and various infections, such as chest and dental infections, manage rosacea, and serve as a preventive measure against malaria.

It works by reducing the growth of acne-causing bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes) on the skin and decreasing inflammation.

While effective, doxycycline is typically used alongside other topical treatments or for cases that haven't responded to milder options.

For acne, you might take doxycycline in doses of 50 mg or 100 mg twice a day, or 100 mg once a day. However, certain types of doxycycline are taken as 20 mg twice daily or 40 mg once daily.

Adding a non-antibiotic topical treatment alongside Doxycycline can speed up results. Options like Epiduo, Differin Skinoren, or Acnecide complement the antibiotic, enhancing its effectiveness in managing acne.

Doxycycline 100 mg Tablets information

  • Price in UK: From£13.50
  • Type of acne product: Broad-spectrum Tetracycline antibiotic
  • Suitable for age: 18+
  • Uses: Bacterial infections
  • Prescription type: Valid as a prescribable product
    Avtive ingredient: Doxycycline hyclate
  • Types of acne treatment: Moderate to severe
  • Brand names: Vibramycin-D, Efracea, Periostat.
  • Generic name: Doxycycline hyclate, Doxycycline hyclate delayed release, Anhydrous doxycycline
  • Another name: Doxycycline hyclate
  • Dosage form: tablet,capsule, and suspension
  • Dosage frequency: Normally 50mg to 100mg, taken twice daily
  • Manufacturer: Teva UK Ltd
  • Doxycycline 100 mg Patient Leaflet
  • Results show up: Within a few weeks or Up to 12 weeks
  • Treatment duration for acne usually: Lasts around 3 to 4 months (dermatologist may prescribe a longer course if needed)

Common side effects: While generally well-tolerated, doxycycline can cause nausea, sun sensitivity, yeast infections, vaginal thrush, and digestive issues.

⚠️ These side effects are usually improve within a few days after stopping the medication. Esophagitis improves within 1 to 2 weeks, often sooner after stopping the medication.

Pros of Doxycycline for Acne:

✅ Effective: Clears skin and reduces breakouts by targeting inflammation and killing acne-causing bacteria.
✅ Convenient: Taken orally, making it simpler to use compared to frequent application of topical treatments.
✅ Quick Results: Improvement within 2 weeks, with full effects typically noticeable after 3-4 months.
✅ Versatile: Works for acne on any body part, even hard-to-reach areas like the back.
✅ Good for Inflammatory Acne: Particularly effective for various types of inflammatory acne, including pimples, pustules, and nodules.


Antibiotic Resistance: Overusing doxycycline may reduce its effectiveness in the future due to antibiotic resistance.
Sun Sensitivity: Doxycycline increases sensitivity to the sun, requiring careful use of sunscreen and sun protection. It can last for about 10 to 14 days after you stop taking it.
❌ Drug Interactions: Inform your doctor about all medications, as doxycycline can interact with other drugs.
❌ DO NOT use more than 3 to 4 months
❌ Doxycycline is not suitable for everyone, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and people with certain medical conditions should avoid it.

Additional considerations:

  • Doxycycline is typically prescribed for short-term use (3-4 months) to minimize side effects and antibiotic resistance risks.
  • It's often used in combination with topical acne treatments for a more comprehensive approach.

Learn more about Doxycycline

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Frequently Asked Questions

What acne treatment works for oily skin?

If you have oily skin, the best acne treatment that you need is one that is quickly absorbed by the skin. Differin Gel is the best acne treatment recommended for oily skin since it gets absorbed quickly.

To apply Differin, you need to wash your face with a mild cleanser, and on your dry skin, apply a thin layer of Differin gel, followed by a moisturizer.

Where can I find reliable acne treatments?

Ashcroft Pharmacy is a registered UK pharmacy that offers safe and authentic acne treatments at an affordable price. When you log in to You will find a variety of acne treatments and qualified prescribers who will assist you in getting the right treatment based on your symptoms.

Can acne treatments cure acne permanently?

Acne can be cured permanently. All you need to do is get the right acne treatment product that matches your symptoms. Secondly, you can permanently treat acne if you complete the prescribed course and follow all the instructions given to you by the prescriber.

How can you get rid of acne as quickly as possible?

Acne vulgaris takes time to heal. To get clear skin, you need to be patient and follow the prescriber's instructions. Quick recovery from acne also depends on the severity of your acne; mild acne can take a shorter time compared to severe acne.

You can treat mild acne using home remedies, but moderate to severe acne requires a professional dermatologist to issue you with appropriate treatment.

Where can you get the best skin specialist in the UK? has qualified specialists who analyze your symptoms and recommend a reliable acne treatment. All you need to do is fill out an online questionnaire before making your order.

What antibiotics are FDA approved for acne?

The most widely prescribed antibiotics for acne have long been broad-spectrum second-generation tetracyclines such as minocycline or doxycycline. But in 2018, the FDA approved a new antibiotic called sarecycline for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acne vulgaris.


Caring for your skin doesn't have to be difficult; all you need is the type of acne treatment product to achieve clear skin. Ashcroft Pharmacy helps you get rid of your acne by providing the most reliable acne treatments.


Reviewed By
NameMr Suhail Jamil
RoleSuperintendent Pharmacist
GPhc Number2069518
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