Differin Acne Treatment Gel

Filtered by age: 30-35
 Differin Acne Treatment Gel

4.4

43 reviews

86% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$

Package Quality: 4.3

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

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Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Differin is a wild ride for sure. I used it when it was prescription many years ago, and at that time I had no real skincare routine other than washing my face to speak of, and on top of that I had no idea what the side effects were. It was a terrible experience, but it did clear my acne (in addition to drying my face out so badly that my skin occasionally cracked and bled.) I have continued to struggle with acne, and I am pretty much done with that BS now that I am in my 30s. Once I heard that Differin was becoming an OTC treatment I debated whether or not I'd give it another try since things that had previously been working well for me weren't anymore. I finally bought a small tube about three months ago and did a lot of research on how to prevent the nasty peeling and cracking while still getting an anti-acne benefit from this product. I learned through MUA and other avenues that buffering the gel by using something else underneath it helps to ease the irritation, especially on sensitive skin. I've also been piling on loads of additional moisture and using the gel on alternating nights up to about four times a week. It does still make my skin a little dry and peely, but nowhere nearly as bad as when I used it before. My acne still isn't 100% clear since I am neither using the product full strength directly on my skin and adding a ton of moisturizer/oil to help mitigate the intense dryness this causes, but I am definitely seeing an improvement in the texture of my skin, the appearance of deep pimples, and the healing time of existing pimples. It hasn't been a miracle, but again, I am not using it nearly as often as is recommended. The results are worth the time and the extra work, and I will continue using it this way until my acne has cleared sufficiently. Of course, your mileage may vary, but if you have sensitive skin and acne, I'd recommend this product if you do some research for buffering it and how to moisturize while still letting the product be effective.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.



Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I was so excited to try this when it became over the counter. I try to buy it on sale or with a coupon which helps it to become reasonably priced for me. My skin had already been doing much better in the year prior to using differin but I do think this has helped clear the last 10% or so of my acne and helps to treat any pimples I get here and there. I use every other night and only experience dryness in the winter. I only wish this had a reputation for anti aging as well.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Other

Eyes: Green

I have sensitive, combination skin with mild but stubborn acne, in my 30s. I'm so glad this is now available without a prescription. It's changed my skin dramatically for the better. I no longer need to use benzoyl peroxide, which is effective but drying. I've tried tretinoin (Retinin A) but my skin is just too sensitive.

A few tips:
* It will take a few weeks to see a result. Skin cycle time is about 6 weeks, plan on it. I saw results in 3 weeks.
* Apply immediately after cleansing to be most effective, unless you are trying to reduce irritation, in which case apply after moisturisers.
* As this is a retinol, your skin may purge. I didn't, possibly because I switched directly from BP.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

In combination with Vitamin C serum, Differin has totally changed my skin for the better. I've been on Spironolactone for the last 15 years to manage my hormonal acne, and that worked beautifully up until the beginning of this year. Out of nowhere (and without even starting new products!), my skin freaked out, and I started getting clogs and painful cystic acne in places where I've never before broken out. I tried all the usual things: washing my pillow cases every night, doing a very bland skincare routine, keeping my hands/hair/etc off of my face. Nothing helped.

Two months ago on Prime Day, Amazon had a lightening deal on 0.5 oz of Differin gel for $8.48. For that price, why not give it a try? I started out using it twice a week at night and using only a pea-sized amount for my entire face. After the first week, I went up to every-other night, which I did for the remainder of the first month. Since then, I've worked up to every night.

Even after two months, I probably have 3/4 of the tube still left. I use only the tiniest amount and dot it around my cheeks. It spreads easily and dries down quickly. I usually buffer it with my other facial products (2 drops squalane+3 drops Timeless hyaluronic acid), and this seems to help with irritation. I have a drastic decrease in the number of painful lesions, and my clogs are almost entirely gone. Differin definitely helps acne go away more quickly, and it also makes it easier to extract clogged pores.

I did have some initial purging, but I honestly expected much worse. Working up slowly to nightly application helped mitigate the flakiness and irritation that others experience. My skin continues to get clearer the longer I use it, but it does take a bit of patience to starts seeing results. I imagine that a lot of the negative reviews are from people who use it too frequently in the beginning and also don't give it enough time to start working. As with all skincare YMMV, but Differin is worth a shot if you have congested skin or hormonal acne (where Spiro or BCP aren't enough).

Will I repurchase? Absolutely!

11 of 11 people found this helpful.


on 7/12/2017 10:05:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

What a game changer! My skin looks incredible. I only wish this were made over the counter sooner! Would have saved my skin some fuss in my 20s. I had horrible horrible acne during my pregnancy, I didn't use this then as it's not recommended if you are pregnant or bf, but! This has dramatically cleared up residual hormonal (v stubborn cystic) acne and lightened all the hyperpigmentation left over from pregnancy. If you use this you need to drink LOTS of water though! It will make you less likely to peel. I started a few nights a week and then worked myself up to every other night (eventually rotating nights with The Ordinary's 5% lactic acid + HA serum 👌.) Love this! I buy it every time I see it on sale. Had the best luck with sale prices on Amazon ;).

7 of 7 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I first heard that Differin was available OTC a few months ago. I immediately knew I wanted to try it. I'm 32 and still struggle with a bit of acne, mainly hormonal acne, and most of the time, it seemed to be cystic. I've been using Differin for over a month now and I am SO happy I decided to give it a try. Within only a few days, I could tell it was helping to clear up my skin. I noticed a change in tone right away. I did deal with the itchy, dry skin for about a week and a half, but for me, it was manageable. I have had a few small pimples pop up, but again, they were small and went away fairly quickly. Usually every month, I get those huge cystic zits that seem to take FOREVER to go away. So far, so good!
I have noticed my pores look smaller, and when I do wear makeup, it goes on nicely. Admittedly, I can be pretty lazy when it comes to skincare, but I haven't missed a day cleansing my face and applying this gel. I prefer to use it right before bed, and it's been a nice easy addition to my routine. A little goes a long way! I bought the smaller tube (about $13.00) and there' still plenty left.
I will also add that along with this, I tend to use the Cerave line, and so far, the two lines work great with one another.

UPDATE 7-1-2017: I just wanted to update and say that after almost two months of using the Differin Gel, I still love it. I am STILL using the original tube (going on almost two months of daily application with one small tube). I will definitely purchase the larger tube next, as I don't see myself quitting this product. Also wanted to add that even during my mentrual cycle, which is usually when I struggle with the worst break-outs, I only had one small pimple that went away within a day or two. I've even been dealing with a ton of stress lately (also a huge trigger for break-outs), but my skin has been in great shape. When I ran out of the Cerave SA cleanser, I ran to grab more, but since the store was out, I picked up the Cerave Foaming Cleanser and that has been working well along with the Differin.
I will say that this product has also put me in a nice skincare routine. They say if you repeat something for 21 days, the habit will stick, and now I'm obsessed with washing my face and using this product. I never go to bed without cleansing my face and applying the gel, and again, like I said before, I had been fairly lazy about my skincare. Seeing the results from the Differin has made me change my ways. :)

15 of 15 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

I use this product and a benzoyl peroxide 2.5% gel nightly (compare to RX Epiduo). This combination is the only treatment that has cleared my mild-moderate acne without excessively drying out my skin (thus causing more oil and subsequent breakouts). Not only that, but my pores are visibly reduced, tone and texture evened, and any scars have faded/continue to fade.
The small tube lasts approximately one month with regular, nightly use. I would suggest purchasing the large tube -- it's around $30, but there are usually coupons available.
I did experience a mild "purge," but after two months of REGULAR use I saw clear, radiant skin.
Keep in mind that your skin will probably look terrible and may feel painful for a little while, especially if you use this in combination with other acne-treating products. Stick with it! Give it at least eight weeks before giving up. Remember, also, that this is not a spot treatment. It's meant to be used ALL OVER the face (and body if that's an area of concern). You must use this regularly to see the desired results.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I've started using Differin gel, not for acne but for age prevention/ tone correction. I've been a user of Retin A on and off since '08, and love it after the initial purging and peeling stage. Sadly I can no longer afford to go to my derm twice a year or pay for the RX. But I discovered that Differin is available OTC since last year, at $28 a pop. So I figured it was worth a shot to test out its efficacy for non acne issues. I have read that Differin is more photo stable than Retin A, so you are at less risk of sun damage (that being said, I will still be using sunscreen during the AM hours). I've been using it for about a week now. Far too soon to have yielded results, but I'll edit my review as I go. So far I'm liking it better than Retin A in the initial stage. I'm am starting to peel lightly, but not anything like the snakeskin molting that occurs when I'm starting out with the RA. I'm also not experiencing the blistering on my chin/side of mouth like I do with RA until I've built up a tolerance to it. I am starting to get pimples popping up that were under my skin, but that is the normal purging process of retinoids. My combination skin seems to agree more with the gel Differin that to the cream RA. I'm a recovering product junkie trying to embrace minimalism in my skin regime. My night time routine is as follows. I use a baking soda face wash from Biore, for light daily exfoliation. Afterwards I mist my face with pure rosewater and rub in organic rosehip seed oil. I then apply a pearl sized dab of Differin onto my whole face, then use CeraVe Pm facial lotion, as it really seems to soothe the inevitable irritation that comes with retinoid use. I know not to expect the same results that RA gives me, but my skin is in a good state right now, so I'm not in need of a serious overhaul, just general maintenance. We'll see if Differin fills that need. Stay tuned...
***Update 9/18/17
So I've been using this almost every night (sometimes I get lazy and skip my routine, just wash and slap my night cream on), but I'm pretty impressed! No, it's not the same as my Retin A, but my skin tolerates the Differin better. My skin is nearly poreless, and my glow is seriously no joke. The shallow wrinkles that go from my nose to my mouth have filled in almost completely. The skin under my eyes have plumped up, in a good way. The little comma by my right eyebrow remains the same, but should I want to fix that one, it would probably require a neddle and some bee toxin. No thanks. I did experience some purging and peeling, but nothing that wasn't alleviated by babying my skin (I'd be lost without CeraVe healing ointment!). All in all I'd have to say that if you want to experiment with a retinoid but can't get to a derm or afford the rx retin a to give this a shot. Its works a lot better than all the skin care retinols on the market. Recommend!

15 of 15 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I've been using this product for little over a month. I use their brand cleanser and moisture along with the gel itself. It took about a week and a half before my face changed at all. At first, it was dry and a bit itchy but I did see a slight improvement. I was frustrated and wanted to quit, but for the price, I stuck it out. now, after a month, I'm SOO glad I did. Now, most of the dryness is gone and even the blackheads on my nose are 90% gone. so happy with this product! Yes, it dries out your face....but ONLY where your pores are clogged! Though it days not to spot treat.....using the differin gel itself, I've been treating my acne prone areas daily and less proned areas every other day. ...But still use the cleanser and moisturizer daily. I've also been using a sensitive skin peel-off moisturizing mask ONLY ON THE DRY AREAS, and it definitely helps remove some of the dry skin. **CAUTION** It states on the packaging not to have your eyebrows waxed while on this product....I learned the hard way, don't break this rule!! The wax tore off a layer of skin everywhere it touched. PAINFUL!! The next time, I stopped using the product for 2 days prior to getting them waxed. They were still a bit sensitive, bit all skin stayed intact!

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


on 9/21/2016 10:08:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Differin gave me an impressively painful chemical burn all over my face. Would not use again.


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