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Treatments (Face) - Differin Gel

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rated 4.0(169 reviews)

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

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/29/2011 3:59:00 AM More reviews by desirae2010

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium Eyes: Brown

I LOVE this stuff. Ive always had acne prone skin and a very oily T zone. I started using this years ago and at first i used it all over my face but it made my cheeks dry. So i started only using it on my forehead and chin. And then any pimples elsehwere. I dont have bad acne. Only a few breakouts every once and awhile. But they always left scars. This stuff made my scars fade drastically in weeks! I only realized how well it worked until i stopped using it and now my scars take months to fade on their own. I really need to get more of this stuff. It is pricey but with my insurance cost me only 25 dollars. Love this stuff!

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 2/9/2011 11:49:00 PM More reviews by ninadelsol

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Red, Curly, Medium Eyes: Brown

2nd EDIT: It's been almost 4 month and I am 100% clear, radiant and don't use foundation on a daily basis anymore.

EDIT: I've been using this for 2 months and my skin has never looked better. I am 98% clear with one or two small spots a month. Amazing product!


I was prescribed Differin two weeks ago by my dermatologist. My skin has been reactive over the past 6 months. I break out due to stress and my continuous testing of skincare products and have developed fine lines around my eyes, whiteheads and sporadic acne on T-zone and cheeks.


She told me to STOP using everything that I am currently using. She prescribed a gentle lactic acid cleanser called Lactibon to balance the PH of my acid mantle. She also recommend Purpose Gel Cleanser if Lactibon wasn't available. She then told me to use a pea size amount of Differin Gel after washing my face each night. In the morning, I was my face with the cleanser and then I apply C-Vital Oil-Free Gel for Oily Combination skin. Differin can make my eyelids a little dry, so I keep some Vitamin E oil handy and just tap my upper eyelids and undereye area with it.


After using hundreds of products in the past 4 years, I am relieved to see only 3 products next to my sink. At first, Differin made me breakout a little and my skin felt dry, but nothing major. After 2 weeks (and although I still have a few whiteheads that are under the surface), my skin looks clear, radiant, and even my fine lines and freckles are lightening. I have oocasional purging but they clear up within 2-3 days due tho the Differin. I absolutely love Differin. Go out and get a prescription now!

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/2/2011 5:29:00 PM More reviews by skigirl

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is the only stuff that has ever actually worked for my blackheads and skin in general.

I have read everywhere that your skin gets worse before it gets better, but that was not the case for me. Whenever I use it, my skin clears up.

This has never dried my skin out. It seems to make my skin softer because it exfoliates my skin. I don't think its harsh.

I think of this stuff as magic in a tube. I hope it works for you, but everyone is different. It is at least worth a try. Good luck!

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/25/2011 6:51:00 PM More reviews by peanutthecat

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

I was on a course of accutane approximately two years ago that cleared my skin right up - not a single spot, and the medication dramatically reduced my skin oiliness. Two years on, and my skin has been started to get more spots, but my dermatologist thought a topical solution would be better rather than an additional course of accutane.

I've only been using the differin gel at night for over a week, but it has been great. I thankfully have not yet experienced the initial breakout, and my existing spots have dried up. In addition, my skin has started to look more glowy and toned.

Previous to my accutane treatment, topical solutions did not work for me at all and accutane was the only thing that worked. However, post accutane, I am finding that differin is working well and I would definitely repurchase.

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/4/2011 9:49:00 PM More reviews by brooksasha

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I am using Differin for the second time round, and I've wanted to write this review for it for quite some time now. However, I thought it best to wait until sufficient enough time had passed for me to really gauge its effectiveness. Suffice to say that the first time didn't go so well for me. If anything, my skin seemed worse than it was before I started on Differin, and my complete and utter disappointment led me to call it quits after three or fours months of sporadic, unmeasured use. I don't really know what prompted me to give it another shot, but I do recall that I did my research first this time round; I spent hours perusing the internet, reading about other peoples' experiences with the product, the best way to use it, common mistakes, the pros and cons, etc. And all this research proved invaluable; I felt I was as informed as I possibly could be, and I definitely knew what to expect this time. Anyway, pre-amble aside, tomorrow marks my seven month anniversary with using Differin for the second time round - an anniversary I didn't think I would ever make, when I look back at my initial experiences with the product. As much as I hoped I wouldn't, I did get the initial outbreak, or purging, that other users so often report. This happened the first time, and this time round, too. Interestingly, my doctor did not warn me of this possible side effect - not the first time he prescribed me Differin, nor the second. Something I am a little peeved at in retrospect. Had I known that the purging would be a temporary deal, I would have willingly perserved through it the first time, instead of giving up. The worst of this purging lasted maybe two months in all, after which it gradually diminished. (Note: I made this process easier to endure this time by taking an oral antibiotic, Doxycycline, for the first four or so months.) I would say that it took six months of consistent, measured usage to see good results. By consistent and measured, I mean that this product really does need to be used every night, and as indicated in the instruction sheet, for best results. You will likely be tempted to use more than the pamphlet tells you to. Don't. It will only compound your problems, as your skin will purge all the harder. Or at least, this is certainly the case for most people; there seems to be a lucky few that experience little, if any, purging at all, no matter how they use Differin. I only wish that this was the case for me! Anyway, to return to my former point, use as little as possible, and apply it only to those areas of your face that are prone to breakouts. Don't slather it everywhere, as, again, you will only compound your problems if you do so. And don't expect miracles, either. Even now, after seven months of use, I still get the odd pimple, generally at that time of the month, and I feel this is only to be expected. This is a topical medication, after all, and cannot be expected to deliver the rapid results of oral Isotretinoin. That said, there are fewer, and less dramatic side effects to be endured if you go this route (for most people, at least), and it has, in my case, made a remarkable improvement in my skin; not only has it drastically reduced the number of pimples I get (I used to have around ten blemishes at any given time), but it has also improved the overall texture and clarity of my skin. Even more heartening, I have also read that results only get better with time, so hopefully I have even more to look forward to with the coming months. I would love to think that my skin will be even better in another seven months time! So, there's a lot to love about Differin, as long as you use it correctly, and don't expect it to deliver miracles overnight!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 12/22/2010 12:52:00 PM More reviews by Nancyluvsyou101

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

I've been using Differin 0.3% for about 10 months and it is truly amazing! Everyone needs to understand that their skin is different than from other peoples so it might take longer for your skin to get better. For some it takes 3 months of worse acne after using it and others maybe even half a year! It took me 4 months for my skin to start clearing up. Everyone that uses this needs to understand that their skin will severly get worse in the beginning but will definatly get amazing afterwards. I used to have horrible acne. My whole face was literally covered in whiteheads. Now i have a couple on my forehead and the occasion 1 big pimple from being on my period. But from where my skin used to be, it is definatly a big difference.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/22/2010 11:41:00 AM More reviews by happyhamstergirl

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

About Me: *half Japanese, half white
*14 years old

Review: After starting my first year of high school in September, I have been breaking out chaotically on my chin and forehead. I finally got fed up with my acne and went to my general doctor. She prescribed me Differin (obviously). This was on November 25th or so. Now it's December 22nd and my skin is AMAZING. Before Differin, I had moderately mild acne. Now I only have one pimple on my chin and two small ones on my forehead and I'm on my PERIOD!! I'm so excited when I'm off my period because my skin will be totally clear! Amazing! I have been using lemon juice to help fade the hyperpigmentation (red marks left by acne) and it's working wonderfully. If I go to sleep with a few pimples, in the morning they will literally be gone. There's never been a day when I've woken up with my acne worse than what it was the day before. Give this product time, though. For some, it may take up to four months to notice any improvement. At the start of the treatment, I did have the initial breakout (just some pointy whiteheads). My biggest problem now is the scarring, but I'm sure that will clear up soon. Also, you just need a pea size amount for your WHOLE face. Don't use more, using more will actually be irritating to your skin and may break you out. Another thing: you will need a good oil-free moisturizer with this! Apply the moisturizer five minutes after you've washed your face. Wait 10 minutes. Apply Differin.

Other Products I've Been Using: Here are just some other products I've been using along with Differin (.01%) gel:
*Purpose Gentle Cleanser (I use this twice a day, GENTLY)
*Olay Complete Moisturizer (I use this twice a day)
*Revlon Colorstay Foundation (AMAZING! Covers scars very well)
*Boots Botanics Anti-Redness Concealer (Good for blemishes, too)

None of the products mentioned above have broken me out. I hope you found this review helpful!

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 12/20/2010 10:25:00 PM More reviews by Banjos

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

After almost two years of struggling to use tretinoin gel (first in .01% and then .025%) I finally accepted that my skin just does not tolerate it very well at all. The carrier/base of the generic product could be partially to blame..not sure.
So now I am using Differin .1% gel and, although it has only been three weeks, I can see that it is going to be more helpful and much better tolerated. My pharmacy did not have the generic Differin in .1% so they gave me the brand-name Differin at the generic price. Differin gel is very easy to spread over the face and is not particularly drying in this low strength. It makes a nice primer for powder mineral makeup. I do avoid the sun as that could deactivate the product.
The generic tretinoin was practically impossible to obtain a thin, even coat, even trying to mix it with aloe vera gel. I just hope when I have to use the generic Differin that it is not compounded in an inferior base.
EDIT: I continue to be pleased with Differin and it is not flaking or irritating my skin even in the dead of winter. However, like tretinoin it seems to bring out rough bumps on my cheeks and forehead. Maybe, this category of treatment is just not right for my skin.

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rated 1 of 5 on 11/28/2010 4:41:00 PM More reviews by Mkm5

Age: 25-29 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

This product seriously ruined my skin. I had mild acne to begin with and my dermatologist prescribed this to me and told me my acne would get worse to start out with and get better after a few months. It instantly made me break out like crazy all over my face but i stuck with it for about 9 months. I still had horrible skin. Now, 5 years later... i have never been able to get my skin back to where it was. I have to wear makeup now and can't seem to break that cycle. I have a lot of scarring from this product as well. It gave me a lot of stress and self esteem problems and I didnt even want to leave the house! I would say that if you only have mild acne or if you have sensitive skin then AVOID this product!!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 2 of 5 on 11/27/2010 12:45:00 AM More reviews by xVanniex

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

My doctor prescribed this to me and at first i was excited. i had finally thought that my skin would get better after using this. boy was i wrong. she (the doctor) told me that in the beginning when using this product, my skin may act up worse but it would improve later on. yeah, im still waiting on that day. hah! improve? i used up the whole thing without any sign of it getting better. all this did was dry my skin out. honestly, i wanted to love this. i just couldnt. it's no better than the clean and clear products on the aisles of walmart... or toothpaste.

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