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Treatments (Face) - Differin Gel

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rated 4.0(172 reviews)

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

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/18/2011 10:31:00 AM More reviews by greenyshell

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

You all know what could be worse than having a really BAD skin for almost your entire teenager life? well i'm one of those unfortunate ones. Acne became part of my life ever since i started to get my first period. My face continuously grew some pimples mainly on my problematic cheek area and around my forehead. After years of struggling and desperation, i came to a GP and was prescribed a differin gel as well as a mynocycline tablet (which i have to consume twice a day after meal). At first i was being skeptical but since i tried many product without significant result, i was desperately thought that this is gonna be my last option and why not just give it a try. After a month, voilaaa my skin looks 95% better than before. It dried up my skin alot but hey you sure know why they invented moisturizer right? so that won't be a big problem. Differin gel and mynocycline tablets are both really saved my life. I have been using these since 2009 already. Now, i dont really use them regularly since my skin looks so crystal clear now. Note that you need to get a GP prescription to get this gel. it's definitely worth it!!! =)

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/18/2011 1:00:00 AM More reviews by sinnejma

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Has made such a huge difference in my skin! I started seeing results after a couple a weeks and my skin just continued to get better. It does dry my skin out a bit so I have to be diligent about moisturizing. I now feel confident enough to go without makeup and wear it for fun rather than necessity. My skin feels soft and smooth almost all the time. Although it is not perfect and I still get minor breakouts, they are so minimal compared to the constant state my skin used to be in. I am no longer ashamed to look in a mirror.
I use adapalene, the generic version, and a topical antibiotic gel. They are $10 each with insurance. Using a pea size amount every night, a tube lasts about 3 months. I realize now my skin care doesn't need to be expensive or labor intensive.

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/14/2011 1:48:00 AM More reviews by MBritton8

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

Prior to using this product, I suffered mild to moderate acne. My major concerns were these persistent medium-sized pimples that would never come to a head and large, painful cystic pimples that would take weeks to months to finally go away.

After reading Paula Begoun's books, "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" and "The Original Beauty Bible," I decided to take a more gentle approach to my skin care and try this product in the .1% concentration (which by the way, is now available as a generic, Adapalene). Like many of the other reviewers, I did suffer an "initial breakout" of sorts. But, I could see a difference in the pimples that were forming. Most tended to be smaller. They quickly came to a head and popped easily (yes, I pop, so sue me). I found the blemishes (and the popped pimples) healed much faster--normally it took a week to two weeks for my blemishes to fully heal and now it takes two to three days. I had a few cystic-like pimples within the first two weeks of the treatment. However, after being on the product for a month, I can say I have not had any cystic pimples for nearly two weeks now. My skin texture and tone are improving and many of my acne scars are beginning to fade. At present, I do not have one pimple on my face!

Initially, this product did dry out my face and it is more sensitive to skin care products and the sun. I have since altered my skin care routine, and now I rarely experience dryness or flaking. If you are combining this product with BP (as I have), it is best to transition slowly to allow your skin to adjust to each product. Be sure to use a gentle sunscreen. I recommend Paula's Choice--her mattifying sunscreen with antioxidants seems to be less "shiny" than other sunscreens and liquid makeup blends beautifully over it.

My skin is on it's way to being great. Considering where I was six months ago, this is a major improvement. I couldn't be happier!

On a side note: I chose not to take any oral antibiotics or birth control despite my derm's comment that we were "attacking the problem with one hand behind ours backs." To have this kind of improvement without the aid of these medications is phenomenal in my opinion. While many people with severe acne will need these options, I urge anyone considering medication to weigh the decision carefully. I was on my way to severe acne and my doctor immediately prescribed an antibiotic without even considering the harsh products I was using on my face. Thanks to Paula's books, I changed my skin care approach, ditched the pills, asked a derm for Adapalene, and I haven't looked back since!

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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!

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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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