• Duac Gel
  • Duac

Duac Gel

Medication features

Duac is a prescription acne treatment gel. It is applied once daily to help combat whitehead and blackhead formations common in acne.

  • Dual action once daily gel
  • 3% and 5% strengths
  • Night time application
  • Kills acne causing bacteria


Buy Duac Gel Online in the UK

You can buy Duac once daily gel online from our UK registered online pharmacy and doctor service. As part of your order, you need to complete an online consultation for our doctors to review.

If approved, a prescription is passed to our pharmacy team who will then dispense and dispatch the medicine to your chosen address using Royal Mail. There are no prescription or consultation fees with Simple Online Pharmacy.

What is Duac Gel?

Duac Gel is a commonly prescribed and effective topical treatment for acne. It is used in cases of mild to moderate acne which have not responded to antibiotics or peeling agents alone. It contains two active ingredients that are effective in reducing blackheads and whiteheads from acne: clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide.

It is available in two different strengths: Duac 5% and 1% or Duac 3% and 1%.

How does it work?

Duac gel has a dual mechanism of action. Clindamycin is an antibiotic that works to kill bacteria that grow on the skin and can exacerbate spots and zits.

Meanwhile, benzoyl peroxide helps to prevent pores on the skin from becoming blocked. Blocked pores can often lead to spots and zits due to infection. By reducing blocked pores and decreasing the chance of blocked pores becoming infected, Duac Gel is an effective treatment in reducing the appearance of red and inflamed spots in people who suffer from acne.

How long does Duac take to work?

It can take between 2 to 5 weeks before a beneficial effect is seen and it should not be used for more than 12 weeks at a time. 12 weeks is the time to complete a full course of Duac Gel for acne. Improvements in the skin with acne are progressive and the longer it is used for a course, the better the results that may be experienced for some people.

How is it applied?

Duac Gel is usually applied to the affected area in the evening, after washing your face. 

Remember when washing your face, you should use warm water, and ideally an oil-free acne wash. Patting your skin dry is also preferable because this is less irritating to your skin. After washing, apply it thinly over the affected areas with your fingertips. Wash your hands before and after applying Duac gel.

Some patients will experience some skin peeling and redness during the first few weeks of treatment. If you find your skin is irritated, you can stop using it for a short period or apply it less often. You could also try an oil-free moisturiser to improve the irritation.

If you use too much Duac Gel

Take care not to apply too much Duac Gel. Applying too much gel or applying it more frequently will not help your spots clear up more quickly, and may cause skin irritation. If this does happen, use Duac Gel less often, or stop using it for a few days and then start again.

If you forget to use Duac Gel

If you forget to use Duac Gel do not use a double dose to make up for forgotten individual doses. Apply the next dose at the usual time.

Duac Gel Summary


Apply ONCE in the evening after washing the face

Type of medicine

Acne Gel


Kills acne-causing bacteria and prevents pore blockage

Available Sizes


Available Strengths

3% & 5%

Active Ingredients

Clindamycin and Benzoyl peroxide


From £17.50

Side Effects

Can include skin dryness, redness, irritation and itching

Duac Gel Prices

3% - 30g


3% - 60g


3% - 90g


5% - 30g


5% - 60g


5% - 90g


Alternative Treatments

Before using Duac Gel or any prescription treatment, you can try over the counter products first. These may be enough to control your acne.

One of the most common ingredients in pharmacy treatments for acne is benzoyl peroxide. This can be bought over the counter at a pharmacy, for example, the branded gel Acnecide. This is also available as a wash.

If over the counter treatments are unsuccessful, you can also use other antibiotic based acne treatments such as oral Lymecycline or topical Zineryt. Retinoid based treatments such as Differin cream and Epiduo gel are also available and are commonly prescribed by GPs to treat acne.

Side Effects

Side effects of Duac Gel usually occur on the skin. The most common side effects are dry skin, redness, irritation, and itching.

These side effects are a result of benzoyl peroxide, which has a drying effect on the skin. If these side effects are problematic, you may find applying Duac gel once every two nights may still be effective, yet lessen the irritation experienced. If the redness or inflammation is severe, you should stop using Duac Gel and see your GP.

Less commonly, it can cause stomach upsets and in rare cases, you may experience bad diarrhoea. Stop using this treatment immediately and speak to your GP if you develop severe diarrhoea after using it. As Duac Gel contains an antibiotic, it should not be used with other antibiotic treatments because this will increase the likelihood of this side effect.

See the patient information leaflet for further details on side effects.

How to store Duac

After you have received Duac Gel from the pharmacy, do not store it above 25°C and discard it after 2 months. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the tube and carton (after “Exp:”). The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.


You should only apply Duac Gel to your skin and you should keep it away from your eyes, lips, mouth or inside of your nose. Duac Gel shouldn’t be applied to any irritated areas of skin such as broken skin, cuts, and sunburnt skin.

Duac Gel can cause your skin to become sensitive to sunlight. As a precautionary measure, you should wear sunscreen and hats to avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

Duac can bleach certain materials such as bed linen, clothing, carpet and furniture. It may also have a bleaching effect on hair.

If you develop stomach cramps or diarrhoea that does not improve or is severe, stop using Duac Gel and contact your doctor immediately. Antibiotics may cause a condition that results in severe diarrhoea and stomach cramps. Although this is unlikely to happen with antibiotics applied to the skin, like Duac Gel.

Do not use the treatment if you have experienced an allergic reaction to any listed ingredient such as clindamycin or antibiotics similar to clindamycin.

If you have recently used other clindamycin or erythromycin-containing medicines, there is an increased chance that Duac Gel will not work as well as it should.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid using the gel unless on specific advice from a dermatologist.

Duac Gel and other medicines

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using any other acne treatments such as antibiotics, as well as topical antibiotics. Soaps or cosmetics that have a strong drying effect or products that contain large amounts of alcohol or ‘astringents’ can irritate your skin when used with Duac Gel.


If your acne has not responded to antibiotics or peeling agents alone, then Duac Gel may be suitable for you. It provides a second line of treatment for more resistant acne. 

No, Duac is currently only available in the UK as Duac gel. Using a gel rather than cream will make no difference to the effect of the acne treatment.

Duac Gel works in two ways to help reduce acne symptoms. It kills bacteria on the surface of the skin and also helps prevent clogged pores that can become infected.

There is no evidence to suggest that using Duac Gel twice daily will clear acne more effectively. Overuse is likely to result in skin dryness and irritation and may lead to antibiotic resistance.

No, there is no evidence to suggest that applying more gel (i.e. not thinly) will improve acne treatment and can lead to resistance.


Hywel McGlinchy, Clinical Pharmacist


Hywel McGlinchy

RoleClinical Pharmacist
Qual.Masters of Pharmacy
AboutHywel started with Simple Online Pharmacy in 2020. He's responsible for helping review and author accurate site content. He works with our GPs to make sure all aspects of the medicines are covered.


Treatment Comparison

IngredientsClindamycin / Benzoyl PeroxideAdapaleneLymecycline
ActionDual action on bacteria; antibiotic and skin sheddingHelps unblock pores and reduce inflammationAntibiotic kills bacteria
Oral or Topical?TopicalTopicalOral
DirectionsApply thin layer at night after washing.Apply thin layer at night after washing.Take ONE capsules DAILY (preferably in the morning)


Info Leaflet

Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet. 


Duac Gel ingredients

The active substances are clindamycin phosphate, equivalent to clindamycin 1 % w/w (10 mg/g) and benzoyl peroxide, equivalent to anhydrous benzoyl peroxide 5 % w/w (50 mg/g). 

The other ingredients are carbomer, dimeticone, disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate, disodium edetate, glycerol, silica, colloidal hydrated, poloxamer 182, purified water and sodium hydroxide.

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