Differin Gel


176 reviews

77% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$


DIFFERIN Gel contains adapalene 0.1% (1 mg) in a vehicle consisting of carbomer 940, poloxamer 182, edetate disodium, methylparaben, sodium carbomer 940, edentate disodium, methylparaben poloxamer 182, propylene glycol, purified water and sodium hydroxide. May contain hydrochloric acid to adjust pH

on 1/25/2011 6:51:00 PM

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.

on 1/4/2011 9:49:00 PM

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.

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.

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!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

on 12/20/2010 10:25:00 PM

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.

on 11/28/2010 4:41:00 PM

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.

on 11/27/2010 12:45:00 AM

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.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Ok, I've been on this for about 5 weeks now. I use this in conjuction with Doryx. So far, the results are getting better. I did take some advice from some of the reviewers on here, and I would apply this gel, then wait a good 20-30 minutes before applying a serum. Now I use a serum instead of a moisturizer, simply because moisturizer tends to be more pore clogging. Serum is meant to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus it is meant to do what it does. If you still worried about going out in public with a peeling face, then I would suggest a moisturizer. I did have a little peeling at first, but that goes away and the peeling didn't really hurt. I still have hyperpigmentation spots, a few cystic acnes. Some of my cystic acnes pop up, then they go away in a few days. I am currently using 0.1% gel. I asked the derm how long it would take to get rid of the spots, he told me the average is 10 months. So don't give up so easily, try to apply it and wait 30 minutes and then apply a serum or moisturizer. Make sure you do use a high sunscreen (at least spf 30). Some people complain about dry lids and dry mouth. So be careful during winter, make sure you keep yourself hydrated.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 11/25/2010 4:43:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I got this through a doctor's prescription a few weeks ago when I was starting to get a lot of pimples again, and I started using this daily at night. Was cheap because it is now government subsidised in NZ, and my doctor said I could even use this for keratosis pilarus (the tiny red bumps frequently seen on arms and legs). At first, the pimples seemed to be getting worse, and I expected this since my doctor warned me beforehand, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to deal with bad acne all summer long before it got better, so I stopped for a few days. Also, I think it made my skin really dry and flaky, especially on the cheeks, it was soo dry, but it got better after using Cetaphil moisturiser. So now it's been roughly a week, and yesterday my skin was really good, even had a slight glow and hardly any visible pimples. However, this morning I've got quite a few annoying large ones again, so it's up and down. Overall, can't judge yet. But it appears to be having some effect, however small. Will let you know how it goes in a few weeks.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Other, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Grey

I have used Differin cream for quite a long time and feel like it has made a tremendous difference in my skin both in terms of my adult acne and in terms of how 'glowy' my skin looks. I am naturally quite young looking for my age, but after I'd been using the cream just over 6 months I saw my sister, who I had not seen in a year, and she commented on how young my skin looked and wanted to know how she could get some too.

I wanted to get more of the cream from Alldaychemist, but they only sell the gel and only in this concentration. I was concerned because the cream definitely still causes flakiness depending on where I am in my cycle. So I was concerned that the gel was going to cause *worse* flakiness or even worse, chemical burns like Tazorac gel did. I'm pleasantly surprised to report that not only does Differin gel NOT cause more flaking --- it actually causes LESS for me, and less irritation! I'm really pleased.

You can get a small tube of this (15 grams) for $5 on Alldaychemist.com. :)

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