Differin Acne Treatment Gel

Filtered by skin type : Acne-prone
 Differin Acne Treatment Gel

3.9

84 reviews

82% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

INGREDIENTS

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

Where to Buy



Start your review


Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Grey

My HG acne treatment!!
AT FIRST-Prior to using this product,I've struggled with acne since I was about 12. My skin would fluctuate greatly from a few random pimples to cystic ruptures that would scar my face. My skin had always made me self conscious and I always cursed my friends with perfect skin, because they never knew the continuous struggle people with acne face.
When I entered my early 20ís my skin went from unpredictable to my cheeks covered with persistent medium-sized pimples that would never come to a head and large, painful cystic pimples mainly cluttering all around my cheeks. Some pimples were sticking out and some were deep cysts underneath that would take weeks to months to finally go away and most times leaving me with dark marks or hyperpigmentation that took months to fade. This was the worst my skin had ever been. But, how could that be? Iím not a teenager anymore but at this point I have tried everything OTC including some persriptions,retin-a,benzamycin,sulfur wash to name a few..even I had already tried Differin but this time I followed directions lol I was 14 and I was applying WAY to much back then and becameto irritated to continue..

03/11-My derm prescribed this product as part of an anti-acne regimen: Differin cream .1 + oral antibiotic(doxy or mono) or one that you can handle, topical antibiotic (she gave me clindamycin lotion to offset the dryness that may occur), Cetaphil cleanser, and olay sensitive skin sp 15). She also wanted to put me on b-control but that's not an option for me since I tried that before and my blood pressure rose to levels that could give me a stroke but anyway--- To be completely and utterly honest, the first two weeks were a little rough. Initially, this product did dry out my face and it became more sensitive to skin care products. But since I have oily skin it kind of made it NORMAL from drying it out a little.Adapalene (Differin) has been shown not to break down in sunlight like other Retinoids. Adapalene is actually a synthetic version of Vitamin A. It can make you photosensitive and the sun be sure to use a gentle sunscreen!!! I did get some dryness and flaking and a little discomfort. My skin felt, flaky, tight, irritated, felt raw,and at sometimes felt like I had slight windburn. But all the meanwhile my skin was steadily improving!!! Make sure you do not get this anywhere near or under your eyes btw.Like many of the other reviewers, I did suffer an "initial breakout" of sorts but if you take an oral antibiotic with it,it minimizes with your purging process . Some will purge more then others depending on how many pimples you have under the surface that did not come out yet. My derm also recommended if the purging becomes to much or to painful to use a PEA size every OTHER night,a few nights I did do that but for the most part I would still apply but do what works for you. Sometimes I would wake up and my face would be an absolute oil-slick overnight. I'd wake up in the morning and my face would be completely covered in oil, That has since stopped. I don't know if that was part of the purging process of oil and impurities or what but still my face was steadily improving!! I could quickly see a change in the way the pimples that were forming. During my purging process I got small pimples that quickly went away ,that was already a big difference since I was used to getting huge painful cysts!!!! just small pimples that go away quickly sometimes even over night if I apply to my face and then apply and a good dab on that pimple as a spot treatment as well. I find that differin clears up my acne without giving me down time or looking a mess..I only went through a short time of discomfort and it was so worth it. I love when I get little flakies and new baby skin is waiting for me!! There are no instant results. But with any Retinoid product you have to have patience. It clears the gunk out of your pores, revealing fresher skin and helps with cell turnover. I haven't had any major problems with more breakouts I still do get an occasional stress or hormonal pimple. My skin texture and tone were improving and many of my acne scars were beginning to fade very happy.

10/06/11-Now my skin is clearer than it was back then, I still get an occasional pimple due to stress and hormones. I still have a few old marks from past volcanic pimples that are fading from YEARS of eruptions. My skin's now also really soft and smooth, which was never the case on other topical treatments. I no longer use the oral and topical antibiotics, I only prescription medication I use is the Differin and it has been a godsend for me!! I have since bumped up from the .1 lotion, I now I alternate the .1 gel with the .3 gel nightly and love it. But if you never took Differen I would suggest starting with the .1 lotion and take it slow since the .1 gel seems stronger. Some days I'm even brave enough to go without foundation before I had to cake it on.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.



Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I was given this a long time ago by the derm when I was about 12, when my acne problem first started. I was turned off by the amount of patience that was supposedly needed to use this project. Fast forward, I'm 16 and still suffering from acne. About a month ago, I went back to the derm and was given this product once again. This time, I used it as intended. I'm more patient now. But actually, patience wasn't so necessary this time around. My skin is already clearer than it has ever been before, and I didn't even have to suffer a "purging" period.

But now, I still have to do something about this pesky hyperpigmentation. Grrr.


on 7/16/2011 12:38:00 AM

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


on 6/20/2011 2:45:00 PM

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.


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!!! =)

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 4/18/2011 1:00:00 AM

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.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on 4/14/2011 1:48:00 AM

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!

6 of 6 people found this 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.

1 of 1 people found this 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.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


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 of 2 people found this helpful.


Back to Top