Review: AcneFree Severe Maximum Strength Terminator 10

Acne Free Severe Maximum Strength Terminator 10
Photo: AcneFree

Acne Free Severe Maximum Strength Terminator 10 is an over-the-counter acne treatment cream that contains benzoyl peroxide. It will work best for mild to moderate acne.

You can use this product as a spot treatment by dabbing on individual pimples to help heal them more quickly.

You can also use this product as an over-the-counter acne treatment lotion by applying it over the entire face, even areas that don't have pimples, once or twice daily.

Using benzoyl peroxide lotions in this way will help keep new breakouts from forming and can improve mild breakouts (and in some cases, moderate acne) long term.

Of course, if you're using prescription acne medications, get your dermatologist's OK before trying this product.

Active Ingredient

Benzoyl peroxide 10%


About $6.50 for a 1 oz. tube

Where You Can Get It

AcneFree products are available at various drugstores, so try your local establishments. I got mine from Target.


  • It's very gentle, non-stinging and non-drying for such a strong benzoyl peroxide treatment.
  • The cream absorbs easily and completely, with no residue.
  • It's essentially fragrance free.


  • When used as a spot treatment (as directed) it won't clear up a case of acne.
  • The clear cap quickly gets yucky-looking.
  • Long term, it's more cost effective to buy a larger benzoyl peroxide treatment lotion, or a complete OTC acne treatment program.

    AcneFree Severe Maximum Strength Terminator 10 Full Review

    Using AcneFree Severe Maximum Strength Terminator 10 exactly as directed on the package won't clear up a case of acne or create clear skin.  Dabbing a bit on particularly stubborn pimples can help dry them out and heal faster, and it's definitely preferable to popping, but it won't keep new pimples from forming.

    For long term improvement of the skin, you'll need to apply a benzoyl peroxide lotion like this one over the entire face, not just to each pimple. This way, the benzoyl peroxide can heal those existing breakouts and keep new ones from appearing. A much better proposition!

    So, I used AcneFree Severe Maximum Strength Terminator 10 both ways: as a spot treatment and as a treatment lotion. I really liked it in some ways; in others, not so much.

    This product contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, which is the strongest percentage of the medication you can get in an over-the-counter treatment. Even so, it isn't nearly as harsh as you'd think.

    Every one of my testers (myself included) found that it was surprisingly gentle for a benzoyl peroxide product. It didn't burn, sting, or make the skin red even when it was used as a lotion. And, for this group at least, it didn't dry out the skin.

    It's important to note, though, that all my testers are accustomed to benzoyl peroxide. If it's your first go with this treatment, you might want to start with a product that has a lower percentage to see how your skin reacts.

    The cream was also exceptionally easy to rub in, even when used over the entire face. It absorbed quickly and didn't leave a film or oily residue on the face.

    It also is essentially fragrance-free. It smells like… nothing. Since I don't like anything with a strong fragrance on my face, I liked this fact.

    But I was a bit put off the first time I used the product. How much air could they possibly put in the tube? I squeezed out nearly half a tube of nothing but air before the cream finally appeared.

    Putting the cream in a larger tube made it "look" like I was getting way more product than I actually did. I know that it's measured by weight, and I got the entire one ounce I paid for, but I still couldn't help but feel I got ripped off just a little.

    The cap was also another sticking point with me. Unless you are super careful about wiping off every trace of cream from the cap, it will get yucky-looking in a hurry. It's clear, so you can see every bit of dried junk all over the cap, even when it's closed.

    Although $6.50 is hardly a steep price, you do only get a one ounce tube. If you're using as a spot treatment, it will last for quite a while. But for daily use as a treatment lotion, you'd be better off buying a larger tube of benzoyl peroxide, or buying an all-inclusive OTC treatment kit.

    It's too bad, because I really liked the formulation of this product. AcneFree does have a Maximum Strength Repair Lotion that I'm dying to try next. I'm hoping it will be similar to this product, just in a larger volume.

    And remember, although it says "severe" in the name, over-the-counter products can't treat moderate to severe acne.  If your acne falls into this category, you need a prescription medication rather than this product.

    So, if you're strictly looking for a spot treatment to add to your regular acne treatment routine (or if you're one of those lucky duckies that only get the rare blemish now and then) I'd say go for it. But a tube of this product, while really nice, won't last too long for those of us who need a daily benzoyl peroxide lotion.

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