Differin Acne Treatment Gel

Filtered by hair type : Wavy
 Differin Acne Treatment Gel

4.0

32 reviews

75% 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

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Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Sorry guys, I'm here to crash the Differin party. Using this stuff was a nightmare for me. Is this product designed to trick people into thinking their skin is worse than it is so they keep using it?! I tried it on 3 different occasions, stuck with it for months, but alas the only difference I saw in my skin was negative -- redness, irritation, peeling, bumps on my forehead, big cystic pimples that scarred my face, and a horrible "orange peel" texture when I would try to put on my makeup. Some of these can be considered normal side effects of using a retinoid and I told myself for a while it was normal, but ultimately once I stopped using Differin for a week my skin was calm, happy, healthy, and 90% of the acne I thought was hormonal was gone. If you want to give Differin a shot it might work for you, but be careful and pay attention to your skin. If you continuously break out in areas where you normally don't, you are NOT purging and you should stop use immediately.



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.


on 10/25/2017 1:44:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Such a game changer. I’m going on 28 and have been battling acne since the age of 12. This has dramatically reduced my redness, cystic acne around the jaw and hairline and helped smooth the overall appearance of my skin.

Pros, it doesn’t have a noticeable scent, or even that heinous, “scent free” chemical scent. It applies smoothly, the 0.5oz tube lasts a long time and it’s easy to get out of the tube.

Cons, it is expensive for an OTC acne treatment, it will dry out your skin and cause serious flaking if you jump right into using it. It’s still packaged like a medicated tube of acne medicine.

I would suggest starting out smoothing on a pea sized drop once or twice a week after applying moisturizer and then work your way up to every day if necessary. I still use moisturizer before applying, simply because my nose and my chin area can get very dry and even with moisturizing I have noticed dry patches in those areas.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

I purchased this because I wanted to see if this would work for me instead of using retin a. I will say this works very well and on my skin is quite gentle. I have been using this for months daily at bedtime and am very happy with the results. My skin is clear and smooth. But I do still get hormonal spots that I sometimes have to use my retin a on. Reason being the Differin gel works but it's not as strong as retin a so it takes longer for spots to go away. I had a cluster of underground spots and it took months with the differin gel to finally clear it. In the end I did use some retin a to finally get rid of the acne spots I had. So I rated this 5 lippies because if you don't mind waiting and putting in the effort in time this does work.

But if you are still dealing with spots for quite a long time I find the retin a works better. Now granted one is now otc while the other is by RX. So I find now that I use them both but not at the same time. I use differin gel daily while I'll spot treat with the retin a when I have a spot that's taking forever to heal. The Differin gel though is an excellent product no doubt about it as both me and my sig other loves it. I use it on his spots too but he only needs it as a spot treatment. For me it comes down to speed and convenience if you have the patience to use this for the long haul it will work. But if you want speed and rapid exfoliation the retin a is the route to go.

I will continue to use differin gel everyday and that is the key with this you must stick with it. I find it very gentle and it's a great daily acne treatment. So to me this does work as long as I use this daily without fail. Also I do not peel at all with this whereas with the other I peel and that's something I really dislike. So for me I prefer the Differin but if I want anti aging use plus acne treatment the retin a is better hands down. So if you're looking for an acne treatment my advice with this is to just stick with it. Give it at least 8 solid weeks or longer. It does work and it does work well. Plus being able to get this otc I think is excellent and a great product for me. Also the fact that it's so gentle makes it a great product for my sensitive skin. Recommended.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.


on 8/17/2017 11:29:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

So far (3 weeks) I notice this makes my skin smoother, more sensitive, and also makes breakouts come to the surface faster than usual. Not overnight or anything, but breakouts do come to a head faster.

Sadly, this does not prevent breakouts from cosmetics. If I put on a problematic powder, foundation, or sunscreen, I WILL get pimples from it as per usual.

The way I apply this is after moisturizer at night. I wash my face, put either Differin Balancing moisturizer or Vanicream Light lotion on damp skin, let that set/dry, and then I put on a layer of differin gel all over. After a minute or so I dab either PC 2.5% Benzoyl peroxide, or 10% BENZOYL peroxide Persagel. I far prefer the 10% as my face is a frigging mess of breakouts at the moment. I can tell its getting better though, which is at least a relief from the annoyance of getting wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and acne at the same time.

Using this makes my usual chemical sunscreens burn a little, but I still use them BECAUSE I tried switching to there different mineral sunscreens and they all caused me breakouts, setting me back in the improvements I was seeing with the aid of differin gel.

I plan on sticking with this for at least 3 months. Hopefully this works.

6 of 7 people found this helpful.


on 7/30/2017 10:15:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I'm 64, have struggled with mild but persistent adult acne for a long time, and can't believe I waited this long to try Differin. Okay, I did use my daughter's prescription tube a few years ago, but it was winter. I got too dry and irritated and it was a short-lived experiment. This time I started Differin in the summer, and my skin had no trouble at all adjusting to it. In fact, it's been a life saver in the summer, when I normally experience many more breakouts and clogged pores as a result of the heat and humidity. The other tip that seems to help is to wait thirty minutes after washing to apply it. I've been on it for about six weeks and am seeing big improvements. My skin tone is actually less red than it used to be.

I have written a lot of reviews over the years -- the mark of a never-satisfied customer with sensitive, acne prone skin! Differin has really helped me feel like I'm doing the right thing. I've streamlined my routine and don't feel the need to experiment with products like I used to. I'm sticking with it.

UPDATE: Another reviewer noted that this doesn't prevent acne caused by cosmetics, and that seems to be the gospel truth. For example, I seem to break out any time I try a product containing any kind of silicone -- which means all silky feeling foundations and sunscreen, etc. My hair is long, and I can't even get away with using conditioners containing silicone. I just went through an awful round of cosmetic-induced acne, and no, Differin is not magic enough to keep me clear under those conditions.

COLD WEATHER UPDATE: As the weather turned cold, I had to stop using this again. I'm too prone to redness and flushing. Had to do a round of La Solution 10, Chanel's insanely expensive basic moisturizer, to get back on track.

21 of 22 people found this helpful.


Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Oily, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I have oily skin prone to clogged pores and pimples. Salicylic acid products and Benzoyl Peroxide didn't work and irritated my skin. This used to be a prescription but is now sold over the counter. I buy it at the drugstore for $13.99. It's a Retinoid product. It takes about 3 months used once a day at bedtime to see dramatic results on a face full of acne. After one month of using...wow! First summer not one pimple and it's curing my clogged pores. Make sure you wear a sunscreen during the day because your skin will be more sensitive in the sun. It gently peels off the dead skin on your face. I've finally found something that really works and it's cheaper in the long run. If you break out, say goodbye to pimples.

9 of 10 people found this helpful.


on 12/31/2016 7:49:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

I've been using this here and there for quite some time and realized I never wrote a review for it. I credit chemical exfoliators for being a large component of: getting rid of my acne/keeping me clear, smoothing out my skin texture, and quickly fading any marks. It's something I've posted about on MUA a lot about over the years as my skin is a major issue in general.

The FDA recently lifted the ban on Adapalene being over-the-counter in the U.S. Adapalene is the active ingredient in Differin. It's a type of retinoid, not to be confused with Retin-A. Retin-A is tretinoin (another type of retinoid). Tretinoin is a lot stronger & won't likely be approved for over the counter sales anytime soon.

There's been a ton of debates on whether or not Differin can help with anti-aging. In my opinion, it can. There's a major misconception that it's useless for that purpose. Differin is marketed to help with acne. The reason they don't intend it for anti-aging purposes is because there hasn't been enough research for collagen production like there has with Retin A. The fact of the matter is adapelene is a retinoid, and retinoids are chemical exfoliators no matter how mild. Just keep in mind Retin-A is a lot stronger (and likely more effective).

I typically use Retin-A gel in the lowest strength (.025). Differin .1% adapalene is still milder, but I find it to be a nice alternative. Especially if I'm feeling like my skin's barrier is close to being compromised.

As already mentioned, this is a chemical exfoliator. Since it exfoliates off the top layer of skin you are more photo-sensitive. I can not stress enough how important it is to wear sunscreen if using this (even at night..even a week after stopping usage..). IT DOES NOT MATTER if the only sunlight you get is through windows or in the car. We call this "incidental exposure" on the skincare board. I myself never spend time in the sun. Regardless any natural light that hits you = UVA rays. UVA rays are damaging. In terms of anti-aging, sunscreen is even more important than using chemical exfoliators. I know those of you using this for acne purposes probably won't think that's a big deal but it goes beyond anti-aging. Protecting your barrier will help acne heal better.

If you find Differin to be too strong for you there are a few suggestions I'd like to include:
-Wait an hour after washing your face to apply
-Buffer with moisturizer
-Apply every other night (with Retin-A gel I apply once every 3 nights but with Differin I can apply almost every night...it's much more mild)

Last but not least, please only wear this at night. This goes back to the photo-sensitivity issue. I'd recommend giving Differin some time to work its magic for a couple of weeks before judging on it's effectiveness. Again this is quite mild, so it may take a while to really start exfoliating.

57 of 60 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I have used this 2 seperate times, both times it dried my skin out so badly I couldn't continue. I initially asked for this as it is supposed to be the mildest form of retinoid, however my skin was just too sensitive for it.


on 8/26/2015 11:29:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I've tried most of the major topical retinoids - tretinoin (retin-a), tazarotene (tazorac), and adapalene (differin). I initially used them for acne and now use them to prevent skin cancer and to help with photodamage (wrinkling and pigmentation problems).This is my favorite. Tretinoin and Tazarotene, while not making me a flaky mess, somehow cause constant low-grade irritation that often manifested as tiny pimples and ruddiness. This just keeps my skin clear, and has prevented sun-related pigmentation problems (I have more freckling on my neck where I didn't use retinoids when I was younger).

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


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