Differin Gel

 Differin Gel

4.0

200 reviews

77% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.1

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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on 7/17/2017 5:04:00 AM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

This stuff saved my actual life. My skin was struggling about 6 months ago and when I saw this was in stores, I was so excited to give it a try. My acne has pretty much cleared now, or at least looks better than it ever has. I am confident enough to go out without makeup on now! I have been using this product for about 4 months now, and I don't think I will ever stop. It continues to improve the appearance of skin even after the recommended 12 weeks. It does take around 12 weeks to really see the results, but you can tell it's working after about 3 weeks! My only advice to make the process faster, is DO NOT pick at any acne once you start using it. It will help your skin calm down so much faster. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way, but I truly stand by it! I hope it works for everyone else the way it did for me.
Also, do not get your eyebrows waxed while using this product. it makes the skin too thin.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.



on 7/15/2017 9:27:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Very Oily, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Fixed all my acne problems!!


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 ;).

3 of 3 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. :)

9 of 9 people found this helpful.


Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I have basically tried ever single acne treatment on the market, and this is the best thing I've ever used. The main ingredient, Adapalene, does wonders for my troublesome skin. It goes straight to the source and starts to get rid of it that way. I've used it for about 3-4 months now and the results are amazing. You can get a small tube of this at Walgreen's for $8 and it's worth every penny! You will experience some dryness when you first start using it, but it will go away eventually.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

**Updated 7/17 to account for PM routine changes**

I swear by this stuff. I'm using the OTC 0.1%.

To start out, here's my PM routine:
remove makeup and/or sunscreen (CVS brand eye makeup remover, and Kose's Softymo Speedy oil cleanser)
cleanse with Hada Labo Tokyo hydrating facial cleanser
wait about 10 minutes
apply pea size amount of Differin **EVERY OTHER DAY!** (on days that I don't use Differin, I apply the Kiku-Masamune High Moist Lotion)
wait at least 20 minutes
apply CeraVe's moisturizing cream AKA CeraVe in the tub, sometimes mixed with 2 drops of argan oil (I use the Trader Joe's brand)
and about once a month I use the Makeup Artist's Choice mandelic/salicylic acid peel. I do not use Differin on the day before, or after the peel. (example: no Differin Monday, do peel Tuesday, no Differin Wednesday, resume Thursday)
I also do sheet masks fairly frequently, but don't have any standout favorites. Whenever I use a sheet mask, I use it on a day I'm not using differin.

Now, for some background. I'm 23 and have dealt with acne since I was around 13, however it got much worse when I was around 17-18. I've tried what feels like everything, short of actually going to the doctor and getting a prescription. I'd say my acne is moderate, but definitely not severe. I never get deep, painful, cystic pimples. I would typically break out in fairly large pimples, sometimes clusters of pimples, that usually took about 2-3 weeks to fully go away. And of course by the time that breakout cleared up, I had another one waiting to surface. My breakouts occur mainly on my cheeks, with some here and there on my chin, and never on my forehead. Oh, and I ALWAYS scar.

I started using Differin on December 24, 2016. It's now May 11, 2017. So, I've been using it consistently for almost 5 months. I know you're supposed to build up your usage of this, however, I did not. I was using The Ordinary's advanced retinoid 2% before trying Differin, so my skin had already built up a bit of a tolerance. I was initially planning on slowly working my way into it, but when I didn't experience any redness or extreme dryness, I delved into using it every night. I have since quit using it every single night, and have switched to using it every other day, to help reduce dryness.

It's also worth noting that I'm still on my first tube, which is supposed to be a 3 month supply. Granted, I have skipped days here and there, but in total I've probably only skipped about 20.

I didn't purge with this at all, but it may be due to the fact that I was using the other retinoid beforehand. The only "side effect" I've had is flaking. When I first started using this, I was also using the corresponding cleanser and moisturizer. I didn't mind the cleanser, and used up almost the entire bottle, but it didn't foam and I prefer something that does...so I decided on the CeraVe foaming cleaser and love it. The moisturizer wasn't heavy enough for me at all. I was having tons of flaking, so decided I needed to find a different moisturizer. The CeraVe moisturizing cream cured that, but I often times still felt dry, so I added the argan oil in after 2 months.

As far as seeing progress, I noticed a difference in how my skin looked after about a month. I was breaking out less often, and my scars were fading. After almost 5 months of use, all of my pre-existing scars are almost completely gone. I know that may sound like slow progress, but it's progress that I've never had before. My pores look clearer, and my skin just looks more...radiant. As far as breaking out goes, I still get a pimple here and there (usually at the end of my period), but with the exception of one time (which is partly my fault*), I never break out in clusters of pimples anymore. Whenever I do get a pimple, it goes away quicker and does not leave as dark as a mark.

*The reasoning for why the cluster breakout is my fault, is that I picked. I had developed a pimple, and tried to pop it when it wasn't ready, which of course just irritated it even worse, and therefore caused more pimples...which I also picked at.

Another thing I've changed since starting Differin that has made a considerable difference is that I've started drinking more water. I've been drinking at least 60 oz a day, but typically around 75-80. I also quit drinking soda as often (used to drink it daily, now probably once a week), which I think has made a small difference.

One VERY IMPORTANT thing you must do while using Differin (or any retinoid or acid) is to WEAR SUNSCREEN!!! The one I'm currently using is the Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk SPF50+/PA+++ and really like it. If you're someone who hates sunscreen because they feel heavy and greasy, I definitely recommend looking into Asian sunscreens.

The packaging is great. No frills, not messy, easy to get every last bit out. The price is good for what it does. You can get a two pack of the large size and small size at Sam's for $30, and there's also coupons on their website.

So...I think I've covered everything?
In my experience, this is a fantastic product. Of course, this isn't going to be for everyone, but if you aren't having extreme discomfort or horrible "side effects" I recommend being patient and giving it the 3 months before you give up. You aren't going to see overnight results, and it may get worse before it gets better, but it's worth it in the long run.
To end things, my skin looks clearer and more radiant after these 5 months than it has in years, and I'm having less pimples and faster healing times. I actually feel comfortable going into public with no face makeup, which is huuuuge for me! I will never be without this product

16 of 17 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.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 4/26/2017 2:47:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Please note, no reviews should be even considered if they use the gel less than 8 weeks. Results may even take slightly longer. There is a purge, READ the documents included in the differin package, and FOLLOW them. In 5 weeks I noticed smoother skin, smaller pores, less blackheads, less redness (it's also an antinflammatory). Who needs highlighter when your skin is smooth and glowing. Give it a shot, but only if you can commit to a purge and at least 8 weeks of nightly application.

7 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...

8 of 8 people found this helpful.


on 3/26/2017 11:42:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I was searching to add a little more to my skin regimen in regards to retinoid vs BHA as I already use a AHA at night. I was originally going to purchase Sunday Riley UFO for AM use as I love Luna. Then I noticed I can purchase Differin gel OTC. Adapelene is a retinoid that can be use in the AM as it is light stable. Also less likely to cause the skin irritation that Retin-A can cause. I use to use Retin-A in my college years.

After 1 month of use, I love how smooth my skin feels. I mix an equal portion of Differin along with my 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cream (DIY epiduo!) and apply to my face every morning. I feel I makes my BP creme work better. My skin is very clear. Maybe an occasional pimple due to hormonal changes with that time of the month, but otherwise my skin has been perfect.

Cost wise I'm very happy, as my original choice was much more $$$. I purchased it at Sam's club, got 2 tubes for about 30 bucks.

I highly recommend to those struggling with mild to moderate acne and have plateaued with just BP treatments.

6 of 7 people found this helpful.

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