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Treatments (Face) - Differin Gel

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rated 4.0(173 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.0
  • 78% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.1
  • Price: $$$

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rated 4 of 5 on 5/5/2012 10:29:00 PM More reviews by tinyowl

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Oily, Tan, Warm Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Green

I didn't really have bad acne. I initially went to th dermatologist because I had really clogged pored on my nose and a bit of acne on my chin and forehead, but it wasn't really noticeable or that bad. I was given a prescription for this. I use it every other night, just a pea size amount. My skin really cleared. It looks so nice and smooth. The problem is that I feel like it has caused a new problem: oily skin. When I wake up, my face is like an oil slick. It has gotten so bad that I recently spent almost $200 on skin care products just for oily skin. I really am liking the way my skin looks, but I hate the oiliness! My skin was never oily before. It is uncomfortable and makes putting on makeup hard. I'm going to stop using it and see what happens.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/2/2012 1:05:00 PM More reviews by vivapandora

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Hazel

I started on Differin .1, but quickly moved to .3, and I LOVE it!
I have combo/oily acne prone and sensitive skin, and this hasn't caused any irritation, almost no peeling either. I had occasional minor flaking (no one would have noticed but me) for the first few weeks and still occasionally around my hairline in the am. But, it is nothing a gentle morning face wash can't clean up. This stuff clears my skin so well! I had no purging, and I wasn't red either. It does make me super oily though. I have to Use blotting papers at least twice a day. But, my skin is looking almost flawless, so a little blot here and there isn't anything to complain about, especially when I hardly have to wear makeup now.
This is not the only thing I do for my skin, but it is a major contributor to my clear skin. amazing! (I have tried retinA micro, and that made my skin tight and itchy).

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/2/2012 2:31:00 AM More reviews by lauralately

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

I put down a 3 for price - without insurance, this is expensive, but if you have insurance, you can probably get it for cheaper. I have the 1% gel, and I've been using it for nearly a decade - all over my face when I was in my early 20s and my skin was bad; now that I'm 31 and my skin has cleared, I use it as a spot treatment. If I feel a nasty bump growing under the skin, I'll slap some of this on it overnight, and the swelling is reduced by morning; usually, it completely clears within a couple days (spots usually last 5 days without it).

Because I've used it for so long, I can't really comment on its anti-aging properties - I didn't have any wrinkles when I started using it. However, nothing beats this stuff when it comes to treatment for spots.

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/1/2012 7:54:00 PM More reviews by Whiteday

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Black, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

My must have backup for when I get the occasional pimple or break out. It sorts it out quicker than other things and without the intense drying or stinging (tiger balm, anyone?). I was also told by my doctor that it helps with scarring, but I'm not so sure about that. If he means that it gets rid of the pimple before I get tempted to pick at it though, then that works as well. Definitely works against those blemishes!

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rated 4 of 5 on 3/11/2012 11:54:00 PM More reviews by cefindre

Age: 30-35 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

I had a tube of this for 4-5 years and have tried to use it 3/4 times n everytime I gave up coz of the purging n irritation. Recently I have it a go again because my skin just wouldn't improve with anything else n I was desperate. I researched thoroughly n for the first time I m using it correctly. I use a tiny and I mean very tiny amount over my face acne prone areas at night and alot of moisturizer. The breakout started but I persisted and for the first time I'm seeing dramatic improvement. It's wk 5 now n since wk 3-4 I've seen dramatic improvements. I should have persisted with this previously n used it correctly, such a waste of time n money the last few yrs experimenting with wrong products n even resorting to laser therapy!! All I should have done was use sparingly and with persistence n alot of moisturizer!!! Excited to see how it will continue to improve from wk 8 onwards.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 3/8/2012 9:29:00 AM More reviews by str8thuggin

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel


Sorry for the all caps, but no one warned me, and now I have ugly red marks under my eyebrows where the skin was ripped/burned off. Google "differin eyebrow waxing" and you will see that many other people have had this problem. Differin thins the skin and can make it much more prone to damaging. Just wanted to warn you guys because I didn't see anything in any of the other reviews about this, and trust me, it is NOT attractive.

Now, on to the review. Basically, I love this stuff. I had been using OTC retinol (RoC) for about a year but felt that I had gone about as far as I could with it. I have some blackheads on my nose and small whiteheads on my chin that seem to always have been there. The occasional zit, but nothing major. Since starting the Differin two weeks ago, this is all clearing up beautifully. My skin is getting a lovely glow and wrinkles seem to be diminishing. I got this for the anti-aging benefits but love that it's clearing up my skin as well. I use only at night, but want to work up to 2x/day. There are some flaky spots as would be expected, but these went away after I had used the retinol for a few weeks and I expect that it will be the same with the differin.

I cleanse my face at night with CeraVe, wait about half an hour, apply the differin, wait another half hour, then apply vitamin E oil. I am LOVING this combo.

I chose this over retin-A/taz/etc. because it was the only retinoid product that my insurance (blue cross) would pay for for a person my age. To get the others, I would have to be 24 or under. Why I don't know, but for some reason they would spring for the differin, so that's what I asked my Dr for. It was $15 after my co-pay.

I think that because I had already used retinol, my skin was more used to it, and caused me to tolerate the differin very well. Just not on anything that I will be waxing!
EDIT: According to Paula Begoun, retinol/retinoids are NOT exfoliants. Yes, they speed up cellular turnover which is why people get the "flakies" with these products, but they do nothing to actually remove the flakies from the skin's surface. Since reading this, I have started using a mild salicylic acid lotion (CeraVe SA) to remove all the stuff that the Differin brings up. NOT at the same time (Differin at night, SA after work). I let the SA lotion set on my face for a bit and give myself a facial massage. All the dry bits literally roll off my skin in little pills (sorry to be gross) and I am left with baby smooth skin afterwards. I have found all mechanical exfoliants to be too harsh on my skin since using Differin.
BONUS: This seems to be removing my syringoma which everyone says only a dermatologist can do. YAY!

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/26/2012 8:14:00 AM More reviews by AnnieRocco

Age: 25-29 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Black

Got this in 0.1% from my derm for my mild acne (whiteheads and blackheads mostly on my cheeks). Been using for almost a mth and now i cannot live without it! My bumps looks much lesser just after a few days into this treatment. So far it didnt cause me any purging nor did it stings my skin. After about 4 days into it, my skin burns so badly after cleansing at night (im using mu remover n cleanser which contains aha and my clarisonic brush). So much so tat watever i put onto my skin after tat just makes my skin burns like mad! I know i should not be using harsh cleanser with differin but im not comfortable using a gentle cleanser at night... Perhaps i should not use clarisonic too but i dont feel my skin is clean without a strong cleanser plus clarisonic! So whenever it starts burning real bad, i skip using differin a few days and resume when my skin no longer burns upon washing (my skin dosent burn in the am with my gentle cleanser..). Im receiving microdermabrasion treatment every forthnightly as well so was advised to stop differin a few days before and after the treatment so ive been on n off on differin but still, it gives me great results! Perhaps since im going on n off on differin, i dun get all the bad reactions too.. My derm says its perfectly fine to go on n off like this till my skin get used to it without burning so im just gonna do tat! i realised my skin is less oily, pores looks a bit smaller, skin looks smoother (lesser bumps) overall with no bad side effects except the burning. Very happy with this!!

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rated 3 of 5 on 2/22/2012 4:11:00 AM More reviews by vantuong1190

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

Ok , so my GP prescribed me with this gel and Tetralysal 300mg for 2 months. I don't have to pay for anything here in UK (with NHS prescription). I don't have big, deep spots, but tiny pumps cover all over my face, and they are easily popped up, but easily replaced with another yeallow stuff inside as well, I've now got a really rough skin! So I'm unsure if this treatment is right, but I'm diagnosed with acnes anyway...

I take the pill in the morning with empty stomach which makes me feel sick!, and apply the gel thinly at night. I've only been using it for 5 days, so my skin has really got worse as the GP warned me before. She said it would be worse for 4 weeks, after that I would probably see improvement, if not, then I had to go back to her. So a bit of patience here.

So far getting worse in my case is that even more tiny pumps on my face, red and burning sensation, sun sensitivity... I will update my skin condition later...

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/20/2012 11:26:00 PM More reviews by prettyfacades

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

This is my hero. I've been using this for a couple of years now.

When I first started with differin, I was on oral antibiotics and this didn't really help my skin but I'm now using it on it's own as maintenance post accutane and it works really well!

One thing though: be careful not to use too much! It can dry out your skin and leave it red and irritated. Only use a pea-sized amount. If you can't spread it all over my face with a small amount, just mix in a little bit of moisturiser to help it spread.

It keeps my pores clean and helps keep cystic acne away.

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rated 2 of 5 on 1/17/2012 6:20:00 PM More reviews by emmanelson96

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Blue

This is going to be my first review on this. I will make an edit in a few months if I see different results than I am getting now.

I received this one month ago from my Dermatologist. The thing is, I have started to get terrible acne on my back, shoulders and chest for no reason. My face is clear and fine, but I got this for my body acne. I started using this every 2 nights, then every other night, then nightly, which is what I am doing now. There has been no improvement in my skin. If anything, it has gotten much worse. My skin is extremely itchy, hurts to touch because there are so many pimples and it looks disgusting. I know they say that your acne has to get worse with this stuff, but this is just terrible.
Imagine having to wear shirts up to your neck because you can't show any of your chest or back. Imagine having to buy the same shirt, just like 7 of them and wearing them everyday of the week. That is what I have to do. If I wear anything other than cotton my skin is so itchy I literally have to leave school and come home to take a shower. I have to scrub my skin so hard to get rid of the itch.
I see more acne coming in with this stuff. I don't know if it is going to go away soon or what, but so far this product has been terrible for me.

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