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Treatments (Face) - Differin Gel

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rated 4.0(176 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.0
  • 77% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.1
  • Price: $$$

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rated 4 of 5 on 1/20/2014 7:08:00 PM More reviews by Luvky223

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

I was prescribed this by my doctor after I came off the pill and my chin erupted in painful cysts that seemed to multiply every day. I had tried over the counter creams and nothing worked. I have very fair skin and the acne was really noticeable and scarring and my confidence took a real hit as I previously had no issues with blemishes. I am 35 and was so surprised to be getting acne at this stage in my life. The gel is great, I agree with others that it takes a while to see results but it has really helped the scarring as well as preventing the cysts. I've been using it for about three months now and I'm very happy, I still get spots here and there but nothing like I was getting and they heal up and go away quickly. The tube is pretty long lasting, I've barely made a dent in mine so good value (approx €20) and I've started using it just three to four times a week as it can be a little drying for nightly use. Just don't get it around your eyes...I used it once too high up on my cheeks for a few spots and woke up to scaly skin under my eyes the next day...not pretty! All in all a great product when used correctly, will be repurchasing when I eventually run out of this tube

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 10/4/2013 7:40:00 AM More reviews by satin828

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium Eyes: Black

My boyfriend, who has oily, problematic, and acne-prone skin, introduced Differin to me 6 years ago. It is absolutely the best acne product!

While it doesn't prevent acne (try proper diet, sleeping schedule, less alcohol etc.) or diminish the breakouts (try Clindoxyl), it does wonders for healing skin. I get one or two breakouts a month, but my skin usually takes months (even years) to heal fully. Differin really increases the healing process for me - it still takes two-three months. I apply it at night and wake up to better-looking skin. Honestly, it's a miracle product.

In addition to healing acne scars, it works great on blackheads. I have extremely stubborn blackheads on my nose and have tried possibly every trick in the world to remove them. Toothbrush, home remedies, exfoliators... you name it. So far Differin works the best. It can make my skin red, dry, and even flaky, so I always wear moisturizer under it. Even store brand moisturizer will help with the dryness and redness. And always wear sunscreen if you wear this product during the day.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 9/27/2013 9:15:00 AM More reviews by gina2328

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have been having issues with large cystic acne on my chin for quite a number of years now. I had been using Benzoyl Peroxide or Rx Benzaclin and it seemed to help but it seemed to be getting worse. My derm prescribed Differin and I guess I was resistant to it because of the side effects such as irritation, flaking, etc. I finally tried it, and it seemed to take effect overnight, with no purging at all.

My cystic acne cleared up almost immediately! I couldn't get over it. I only use a small amount and I only apply it about twice a week. I am older so my acne was not horrible, but I was still getting several hard, painful, large bumps on my chin a week and now I no longer get those. So glad I started using Differin.

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rated 4 of 5 on 8/15/2013 2:53:00 AM More reviews by allicat1998

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Green

I began using Differin to help clear up the worst breakout I have had in my life. Last year I used a TON of different skincare and makeup products without patch testing over several months, and I really messed up skin on a deep level (disrupted my acid mantle I guess). My clear, normal skin turned into parched, red, flaky mess with cystic acne. I also developed whiteheads (milia) everywhere except my forehead. Trying to clear my acne with AHA, BHA, oil cleansing, chemical peels, etc. only made matters worse. I finally simplified my routine to one basic cleanser, moisturizer, and benzoyl peroxide for spots, and I stuck with it so my poor face could return to (mostly) normal as far as hydration/pH is concerned. My cysts calmed down a lot, but my face still looked rough with all the milia and blackheads.

I chose Differin since it was supposed to be the most gentle of the retinoids, even though all the reviews warned that it would take a lot longer to clear acne than RetinA, etc. After using Differin for about 8 months now, I can say that this is entirely true. I started slowly, using a small amount every other night for a few weeks, and I gradually used it every night without any irritation. I also found that I could tolerate more than a pea sized amount for my whole face. Initially I did have some heavier purging in my problem areas--milia coming to the surface made big pimples 2-3X weekly. This lasted a couple of months. Also the blackheads that I resisted squeezing out eventually came out on their own over time.

Now even after several months, my problem areas (along the chin/jawline) still have such deep milia that I am still purging. I get one new pimple every week from these coming to the surface. Since I am very fair and scar easily, I've had an obvious red spot somewhere on my face at all times at different stages of healing. I would have been ok with purging for 2-3 months and looking terrible, but at least all my spots would have healed at the same time. Now this whole process has been drawn out much longer than I would have liked, and it's going to take even longer for these acne spots to go away.

Another point to make is that I began using an AHA toner a couple of months ago before applying Differin at night to A) help clear up my spots faster and B) increase the effectiveness of the Differin. This seemed to help a LOT. I noticed that my milia/blackheads were clearing much faster when I added this.

I am now done with my tube, and I decided to upgrade to RetinA Micro. I can already tell a huge difference in my skin already. I've had a few deep blackheads on my cheeks that have been there forever that are juuuuust below the surface of my skin. With one week's use of RetinA, they are already coming out. Those suckers have been there 8 months!

So would I buy Differin again? No. Now that my skin is used to retinoids, I feel like I need something stronger to achieve the results I want. I don't regret using it at all since it was the best choice when my skin was super sensitive, but I probably could have switched to RetinA a few months ago and been just fine. I do, however, recommend it to anyone whose skin is super sensitive or for someone who is trying a retinoid for the first time.

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rated 4 of 5 on 8/7/2013 7:26:00 AM More reviews by Vassgirl1997

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Other

Have only been using this for about 2 weeks. I have noticed initial purging as I have been getting more spots but it is hard to tell if my peripd is affecting my skin too. I have been told it makes your skin very sensitive to the sun so always wear sunscreen after you have used this. Last night I put it on and today I went into a strong salt pool and my face burn

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rated 3 of 5 on 8/5/2013 12:54:00 AM More reviews by madscientist01

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have been using this product on and off for a few years now. When I first started using it my skin went through a very dry and red patch. But, thankfully, the initial "purging" stage wasn't so bad...in fact i don't think I really went through a purging stage. Mostly just dryness.

That being said, I noticed an immediate difference after using this. Almost instantly my skin felt smoother. The following days I was amazed and very hopeful. However, that's about all this product really has going for it if you ask me. It makes my skin very smooth, but hasn't done anything to help my acne.

The only reason I continue to use this is because it is covered by my health plan. Otherwise, I would laugh at the idea. It is ridiculously expensive without insurance or a health plan.

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/8/2013 7:50:00 PM More reviews by Faiza92

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Okay to start off I have Combination Skin that is sensitive and very prone to acne! I have suffered with pimples (the red inflamed kind) for many many years. Although these stopped completely I realised I wa getting bumps that were very small and hard, under the skin and flesh coloured (non inflames type).

These are often called closed comedones/whitehads/milia. They are actually blackheads under the skin that are flesh coloured because they have not been exposed to air and so hav not oxidised like blackheads do.

I was given differin gel and within the first 3 weeks many of the bumps on my chin and forehead became unclogged and kind of just washed/rubbed/dried off. Gradually they are all going, even the deeper ones on my cheeks where the skin is thicker are going too. Before when I washed my face I could fell the bumps but every day my skin is getting smoother in TEXTURE.

I have now been usin the gel for 5 weeks and my skin has come a long way. I now only have a couple if small bumps on my cheeks left which I am sure will go with continued use.

There is some ADVICE I would like to give to anyone who is or itends to use Differin. 1. First I used the Cream version for 2 weeks but felt like it didn't really sink in so switched to Gel which is more suited for oily skin types.
2. At first I did suffer a 'purging' phase, our skin has many layers around 7, differin makes all the bacteria and sebum blocked in these layers come to te surface. It DOES NOT EXFOLIATE like AHA/BHA products, it REDUCES THE GROWTH OF SKIN CELLS instead. So your skin may get worse before it gets better. I took antibiotics (oxytetralycline) which made the purging not as bad or inflamed.
3. don't think that because of this purging phase you need to use more product or apply more often. This can easily cause irritation and raw/chapped skin similar to sunburnt skin. And people..this is the most difficult kind of skin to cover with makeup. So AVOID OVERUSE of differin
4. Differin can make skin dry and flaky, i prevente this by appying a light, non iritation, non pore clogging lotion 45 mins after applying differin. (skin care routine below)
5. To reduce and prevent any irritation and sensitivity whilst using differin use products that DONT contain alcohol fragrances, bha, aha or certain cleansers with over drying sulphtes in them. Some sulphtes are good, others are bad..look these up on paulas choice website or make sure your cleansers, lotions,spfs and foundations is suitable by seeing its review on the beautypedia webiste.
6.You must use a SPF! Even If u live in cloudy England with rubbish weather u must wear SPF! You can even burn through a window. If u do get this Raw chapped burnt skin dont apply differin in that area untill it has completely healed..la roche posay cicaplast helped ALOT when i had overuse differin and when applied 3 times a day healed in a couple of Days. but trust me You don't want to add sunburn to already existing skin problems!
7. Many prople experience more dryness around mouth and eyes even though these are places differin is never applied to. So i use a slightly thicker cream around these areas.
8. It Should never be applied more then once a day unless prescribed to by doctor. Don't get too close to eyes or lips and don't apply on any creases or corners or the nose, Dents in chin or near nostrils or upper lip!!
8. DIFFERIN SKIN CARE ROUTINEI used Paulas choice hydralight cleanser, paulas choice hydralight lotion, Paulas choice skin balancing moisturiser with spf 30 and Paulas Choice Mousture boost treatment cream around eyes and lips.

All in all it is an AMAZING PRODUCT in unclogging and unblocking congested skin but it HAS to be used correctly AND with the correct skin care routine. Hope this helps because I know a lot of these reviews helped me in preparation to using DIFFERIN.

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rated 4 of 5 on 6/9/2013 4:07:00 PM More reviews by rebeccaelisabeth

Age: 19-24 Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

To start, my skin was extremely oily and I had terrible acne before I started Accutane 3 years ago. Accutane completely fixed that but the effects only lasted until late 2012. My oily skin and acne came back. I would get at least one new pimple every day (usually on my cheeks and chin) and I couldn't get my foundation to look good anymore. My skin was always red and inflamed. It was really awful. 3 months ago I went to the dermatologist who prescribed Differin (0.1% gel). He said that it would take at least 3 months for me to see any effects from it. I applied it and the next morning my skin looked so so much better which really suprised me. My skin was smoother overall and less bumpy looking already. The Differin did cause some flaking, redness, and sensitivity which I stopped experiencing after a few weeks when my skin got used to it. My skin certainly isn't perfect from this gel but it has vastly improved. While it hasn't done anything for my acne scars or large pores yet, it has completely stopped my breakouts and improved my complexion overall. I've gotten very few pimples since I started using it and my skin is a lot smoother. I really wish I had tried this before I started Accutane. I apply the gel about 10-15 minutes after I wash my face and then I wait another 20 minutes or so before I apply my moisturizer (Cerave in the tub).

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rated 4 of 5 on 6/2/2013 2:54:00 PM More reviews by Ekr15

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I am 24 years old and have been dealing with hormonal acne since I was about 13. My acne was controlled in high school and college on Spironolactone. In college, I weaned off the meds, but my acne returned about a year ago. I am back on the Spiro, and my derm prescribed Differin .1% gel about a month ago. At this point, most of my inflamed, hormonal acne is gone. I wanted the Differin because I have lots of clogged pores, tiny little bumps, hyperpigmentation, and just dull looking skin. Anyway, I've been using the differin for about a month. The first week, I went all in and used it four nights in a row. Needless to say, my skin was irritated and peeling. I have now been using it every other night and it's been working pretty well. I apply it at night after washing my face, and then I apply my CeraVe PM lotion on top. I wake up in the morning with dewy, smooth, glowing skin. I still have hyperpigmentation from previous acne marks and I do still have lots of clogged pores, but I'm hoping the Differin will help with that in time. I have heard that it can take 8-12 weeks to really see results. I did not get an initial breakout on my face, but I did apply the differin to my shoulders (I have some old acne scarring and some little pimples), and it caused me to break out. Hopefully that clears up soon. Differin was 100% covered by my insurance ($0!!) so I will definitely continue to refill this prescription.

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rated 4 of 5 on 5/7/2013 4:46:00 PM More reviews by weemee22

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I am 51 and menopausal. I have also started to suffer from Rosacea (due to the menopause) life is so much fun for us ladies!!!!!
12 months of the usual antibiotics, antibiotic cream and Finacea gel from my GP nothing was working.
I became quite depressed as my face was as bad as it was when I went through puberty.
I requested a referral to a dermatologist who prescribed Differin gel and Doxycycline antibiotics. He said that it was a very strong gel and should be started gradually i.e. every 3rd night for 1 week then every 2nd night and so on. This was to prevent a breakout and other skin problems that have been mentioned in previous posts.
I must say that gradual use did not give me any problems at all. It cleared my face up gradually and the antibiotics helped by preventing further breakouts. I still get the odd breakout but nothing compared to before. At least now I can go out without the full mask of makeup.
So for all you ladies out there trying this for the first time or giving it another go....this is a medication that needs to be gradually introduced to your skin, be patient and take your time your patience will be rewarded and you will look beautiful once again...

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