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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 7/16/2011 12:38:00 AM More reviews by sienna987

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

i'm 15 years old with SLIGHTLY oily skin but i'm still very prone to breakouts.
HISTORY: I have many acne scars between my eyebrows and on my cheeks. So this comes out as your typical odorless and translucent gel and you take your Q tip and apply it to the places where your HIGHLY and SLIGHTLY prone to break outs and when I woke up the next day I saw that a few of my acne cleared up and my acne scars faded a little more. After a week or two my acne got worse (of course) since it brings all the impurities to the surface. Right now i'm on my first month of using differin and this product claims that results will be shown in 8-12 weeks. So i don't have much say in this but yes I did see a difference, the acne i had the first 2 weeks are much smaller and my pores aren't as large and my acne scars aren't as pigmented as before and it also helped clear up redness!
I'll admit , it made ONE of the sides of my nose dry and swell (nothing serious), because i applied WAY TOO much on that area so USE THIS SPARINGLY , a little goes a long way. I only use this medication at night in conjunction with my prescribed cleanser which my doctor prescribed that helps with acne because it kills bacteria (if interested in knowing what it is msg me) and my shiseido pureness toner. In the morning I use the same cleanser, toner, then i use a BHA aka salicylic acid (neutrogena 3 in 1 stress control lotion) and i finish off with my shiseido ultra sun protection SPF 55.
Note. if you're thinking about using Differin, WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERYDAY rain or shine. this medication will make your skin more prone to sun damage such as cancer and pre-mature aging

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rated 4 of 5 on 7/10/2011 3:28:00 AM More reviews by ayoitsanna

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

i've always suffered acne ): but fortunately my dermatologist came to the rescue :D and i am so glad she did. i don't use this alone. i use clindamycin phosphate topical gel along with it too. ive used clindamycin before. but it didnt work as good with my differin gel. i have to say, the differin gel over the first month made my acne worse. like real bad. i wanted to give up on it already, but my dermatologist mentioned you will get most of your acne out of all three layers of the skin first. i waited patiently, and after three long months, my skin is the best it could ever be (: i just need to treat my scars and oily skin "/ but im just happy my acne is as never as bad as before. i get a pimple here or there, but i am happy with my results. im just about to start high school too. i am so happy i went to my dermatologist. i totally recommend this to anyone with cystic acne.

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rated 4 of 5 on 6/22/2011 9:00:00 PM More reviews by betteefelon

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Hazel

I've been on the generic version of Differin (adapalene) for several years now. It really works for me. This will not clear up underlying hormonal acne, and it won't work overnight. It's a long-term treatment that will reduce surface-y breakouts. My skin can be sensitive, but I don't think I even experienced any signficant dryness when I started using this stuff. In fact, I think it makes my skin a little more dewy. Although I've read that this stuff is fine to use during the day (it's a synthetic retinoid -- natural retinoids like Retin-A can be changed in a dangerous way in the sunlight), I wear it at night only, after washing my face before bed. It does feel a bit gooey (doesn't sink in all the way), but I notice a difference when I wear it (glowy-er, healthier-looking skin) so I do it. I don't even need to put a moisturizer over it -- that would be waaaaay too much goo for me, but I know that is a matter of personal preference/needs. During the day I make sure to use at least SPF 15 (usually SPF 30), and I am all set. It's not a cureall, but I think it makes a difference. ALSO: Although it isn't marketed as an anti-aging product, I think years of cumulative use have slowed down my wrinkles a little (knock on wood!!) -- I'm 31 and I don't have crows feet or anything like that. Score!

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/20/2011 2:45:00 PM More reviews by raroux

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

If your dermatologist will prescribe this, it is definitely worth it if you can get your hands on it. I'll admit that I don't use my Differin every night because I forget to, but when I do remember to use it at night, I wake up and my skin is completely changed. My pores seem smaller, there is MUCH less redness to my skin, there seems to be less blackheads, and it clears up any pimples I had the night before. It really is a miracle worker for me. I have acne scars from when my acne was really bad, and Differin helps lighten them, and even out my skin texture. Overall, it's an amazing product and I can't think of any cons with it.

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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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