Multiple ingredients, one bottle.

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Multiple ingredients, one bottle.
Multiple ingredients, one bottle.

by Kathleen Morrison, Lead Writer

July 11th, 2019

You may have noticed an interesting difference in Apostrophe’s prescription acne treatments compared to the medications you pick-up at your pharmacy: many of our topical formulations compound multiple active prescription ingredients combined in a single bottle. We asked Apostrophe’s medical director, Dr. Aimee Paik, about the benefits of combining ingredients and how mixing these meds help you get clear skin fast.

Better together

Tretinoin + Clindamycin – While tretinoin is very effective at addressing acne and fine lines and wrinkles when used alone, it is given a boost when combined with clindamycin. Clindamycin is an antibiotic that targets the inflammation and redness that accompany inflammatory acne. Like tretinoin, clindamycin can be very effective against acne when used alone. Dr. Paik notes, “We combined clindamycin and tretinoin to enhance efficacy and to make it a cost-effective option for patients.” That means more effective treatment with two power-house ingredients for a lower cost. It’s a win-win!

Clindamycin + Benzoyl peroxide – Clindamycin is an antibiotic and as such, it is possible for any acne-causing bacteria on your face to develop resistance to it. Dr. Paik says, “Clindamycin is combined with benzoyl peroxide to help with efficacy and to prevent antibiotic resistance. This combination makes clindamycin more effective and allows it to stay effective over time.” Since benzoyl peroxide keeps resistance from developing, the clindamycin can work longer and harder for you!

Niacinamide – A number of our topicals include niacinamide because it is the closest thing in skincare to a cure-all! Dr. Paik’s thoughts on this useful treatment: “Our medications are combined with niacinamide to help with inflammation, reduce redness, and prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.” Many acne-fighting medications like tretinoin or clindamycin can cause dryness and irritation. Niacinamide helps soothe and calm the skin so you look your best while your treatments get to work busting those breakouts.

A solo act

Benzoyl peroxide works like a dream with other ingredients, but it’s pretty great on its own, too, especially for battling breakouts on your body. Dr. Paik explains, “Benzoyl peroxide can stain clothing so it is not a great leave-on product on the body, and it also breaks down tretinoin. That’s why we created a stand alone product in two forms: a cleanser and a lotion. This allows it to be used in a more versatile way.” A cleanser will rinse off to avoid pesky staining on your clothes, and a lotion allows you apply the treatment separately when and where you need it. Being able to use benzoyl peroxide on its own let’s you mix and match with other kinds of products in your routine so you can maximize the efficacy of all of them. “We envision [clindamycin and tretinoin] being used in combination with benzoyl peroxide as a cleanser or lotion at an alternate time for a complete acne regimen,” Dr. Paik adds.

You can have it both ways. Some ingredients shine on their own while others can form beautiful partnerships. Compounding ingredients together can help increase efficacy and decrease cost, and keeping an ingredient solo gives you flexibility in how and when you use it with other products. It’s the best of both worlds!

Have questions about Apostrophe’s acne treatments? Wondering how to maximize the results of your skincare routine? Ask us on Twitter@hi_apostrophe or email us at!

Welcome to the fine print! Just so you know, this article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. It’s always best to talk to a doctor for that stuff.

Prescription medication should only be used according to doctor's instructions. Do not use medication if you are allergic to one of its ingredients. Common side effects for Apostrophe topicals include redness, irritation, and peeling. Full list of safety information can be found at:

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