Differin Gel

Filtered by skin type : Dry
 Differin Gel

4.4

8 reviews

87% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.0

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

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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. :)

14 of 14 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

28 of 29 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 11/4/2014 11:16:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Push yourself past he first 6 to 8 weeks of use. I have clear, dry skin and was prescribed this for its anti-aging benefits. The dryness and irritation subsided . My advice is learn how to use this product properly. Apply a tiny amount on clean dry skin and hold out on you moisturiser for a bit after applying. I have been using this for 3 years and, at nearly forty, I haven't a wrinkle in sight. My skin is smooth and bright and looks as good or better than it did 10 years ago. Wear sunscreen! I have used the cream as well and honestly find very little difference between the two. It Is simply a preference.

12 of 12 people found this helpful.


on 10/4/2014 12:40:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Relaxed, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Differin is a Vitamin A derivative, similar to Retin-A and other retinoids - it takes a long time to treat acne but once the initial phase of redness and irritation has stopped it is very effective, much more so than Benzoyl Peroxide which I'd say is a better short term treatment/spot treatment. I have been using it for 6 months now and my moderate/severe cystic acne and blackheads have gone completely. I have also noticed much smaller pores and diminished fine lines. If you can manage to get Differin at a reasonable price (my country it's subsidized to $5) then I would absolutely recommend it for people who are serious about getting rid of their acne.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 1/21/2013 5:44:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

this product is incredible, it completely eliminated any acne on my face! I've never written a review for anything but I thought I had to as this product really is amazing. Although it takes a while to work, in the long run it works wonders! I had never had acne before until I had the mirena coil put in due to terrible periods, after about 6 months I began to get terrible cystic acne around my mouth and chin, I was getting so down about it, so i went to the doctors and was prescribed differin gel and after about 3 months (which seems a long time- believe me- but is definitely worth it) I saw dramatic improvement. Now 6 months down the line I never get any spots appearing (when everyday I used to wake up with at least 2). I have some hyper pigmentation but I can hide it with small amounts of makeup, and its disappearing daily.
So, really, I just want to make a point to anyone who feels the same as I did, having spots is really awful, and can change your personality entirely. This product is fantastic and is definitely worth the go. 10/10!

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


on 11/25/2008 5:29:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

please don't use this! made my skin so thin so there is no chance to bring back my natural tan. i have used it for 6 months and i wish i've never had heard of it. it make my acne disappear only for the time i was using it. when i stopped, acne came back. even worse


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