Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel reviews

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Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel
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Brand: Differin

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Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel


Active Ingredients:
Adapalene (0.1%).

Inactive Ingredients:
Carbomer 940, edetate disodium, methylparaben, poloxamer 182, propylene glycol, purified water and sodium hydroxide.

The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.

Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel

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Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel

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Reviewed on September 23, 2016

Started 13/8 and its been 8 weeksish (2 MONTHS) now. I'll write a detailed n thorough review + tips. Differin 0.1 gel is amazing!

History : normal/dry and clear healthy glowing beautiful skin until cue worst stress ever (college)+wrong products (i used two simultaneously and did not patch test ;_;) I got a clusterf**k of closed comedones (flesh coloured bumps) littered allll over my forehead. Worst sh*t ever then. I didnt even bother with ahas/bhas as they were hardly accessible+extortionate where im from.

Differin is available otc&dirt cheap here. About $12/30g tube.

Usage : i started out with applying once every 3rd day for 2 weeks (12 days), then every other day for 10 days then every day at night.

Application : I put it on after my toner+moisturizer (wait 30 mins) then differin. Its called buffering. Im nt a f**king med pro but a lot of people myself included buffer and it still works. Use after t+m for about 3 weeks and then use it after toner for another 3 weeks and see if ur bare skin cn tolerate it, if nt, dial down to applying after toner. Just give it like at least 20-30 minutes for each product to absorb. I use big globs (about 4) for my whole face but you should start out with only 1 big dollop/pea-sized for ur entire face (i built my usage up only after 1 month) just dot on ur face n smear evenly on entire skin & not just affected areas. Differin works by increasing cell turnover rate for ur acne on affected areas & as a preventative measure for the clear parts of ur skin. "As close to bare skin as possible" my f**king ass. A lot of people dont even have a basic QUALITY skincare routine on lock-down. Accounting that fact + harsh, drying cleansers and you'd be lucky if you get away with just a slight stinging sensation. (Trans:most ppl burn their faces off and experience gruesome peeling,flaking,stinging,burning and sensitivity if they apply on bare skin when just starting off.) I experienced very minimal if none irritation.

Honestly most of the douchebags that gave bad reviews just didnt stick with it long enough. Hear me out

Week 1: broke out in a few tiny red pimples, maybe 3-4 on forehead. I freaked out at first bt that just means that differin is working and its pushing all the gunk in ur pores unto the surface, thus causing pimples to rear their ugly heads. Its called purging. Ur fine. Dont freak out. Btw differin worked right off the bat for me but you should experience purge/break out/worsening of acne within the first 8 weeks. It varies frm one person to the other how long ur purge would be. Some people purge for 2-3 months. Sone experience cycles of purge.

Week 2: more tiny red pimples on forehead. 5 more.Ur still fine dont freak out. Right cheek appeared 2 tiny red pimples.

Week 3-5: got a papule, its sooo red and inflamed and it hurtss to touch it. 7 tiny red inflamed pimples, whiteheads, blackheads. Later that night 2 more papules popped up. 1 on forehead and another on on right cheek (my forehead & right cheek had ccs and were congested) thiz is where it got the absolute f**king worse. My forehead was sooooo inflamed and ANGRY and RED. It HURTS to touch my forehead and it wasnt just bumpy it HURTS coz of active acne. I remember thinking "id rather live with the fleshy bumps bcuz this is so much worse than when I started" Needless to say my self esteem took a huge toll, everyone used to comment and praise me on how beautiful my skin is on a daily basis and now I get comments + snides like "what happened?" "Your skin used to be sooo clear and pretty!" Or just the plain STAREEEEEEEE. F**k. I had school and it was EXCRUCIATING. I wanted to hide until i got my clear skin back. Im proud of myself for powering through. Because...

Week 6: (FIRST HALF) breakouts stopped. Pimples got smaller. Tiny red ones r still appearing but theyre gone real quick. A lot are disappearing. A patch on my forehead is smooth and bump-free. I had a healthy glow on. Things improved by leaps and bounds. I am so happy. I see light at the end of the tunnel. (SECOND HALF) I swear some pimples just appeared outta nowhere like within a few days....

Week 7 - Okay so I still have leftover cc's and some active tiny pimpz and they're purging (the fleshy bumps called closed comedones are turning into red pimples that have whiteheads on them!) I feel like Differin takes a lot of patience because it the mildest retinoid product (in comparison to tretinoin and tarozatene{¿} ) so it takes a lot longer to work but pose the least irritation compared to tretinoin! Its improving and the right side of my forehead is clearing up nicely. Left with lots of PIH on skin! :) tldr skin is improving bt still purging bt fear not its nt nearly as bad as the first purge this is really really mild and nothing to worry about! :)

Week 8 - My skin has A SH*TTON OF PIH (Dark marks) and active acne and still some closed comedones...I can them using 2 hands, isn't that nice? lol ahhaha...I can see that things are steadily improving...Remember it won't work overnight, be realistic about this :) I can actually go out and feel confident about it..just avoid mirrors guys..exp when ur washing ur face other than that plz avoid it , it wud just make u feel like sh*t, but remember that u r not sh*t, u r a GEM and that people are vain and they care more about themselves (we are our own worst critic, i keep saying this but its true so dont worry about it and just be patient and LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING!)


1) give it 3 months. At least. Im 6 weeks in and i see significant improvements! Its improving slowly but surely!

2) pick up a gentle products:cerave hydrating cleanser, cerave am+pm cream with ceramides, garnier micellar water in pink r good drugstore options. Avoid alcohol in products.

3) cleanse ur face morning or night but i only splash with water during mornings coz dry skin. You can cleanse twice if you are oily-skinned. Use garnier micellar water(pink) to remove ur sunscreen or makeup at night. Pour adequate amount on cotton pad and do GENTLE, CIRCULAR MOTIONS to evenly distribute on skin. Then cleanse with cerave hydrating cleanser (do not for the love of God use cetaphil's oily cleanser. those sh*ts are very very stripping and they will f**k ur skin up)

4) for the love of God (or whatever the f**k u believe in) WEAR F**KING SUN PROTECTION. La roche posay n elta md uv clear 46 are options bcz i knw the americanas have gross goeey sunscreens (majority). Apply 1/4tsp or APPLY a lot, two layers, 15 minutes wait time in between.

5) reapply sunscreen every 40 minutes if ur sweating vigorously and avoid going out in the sun during peak hours (10-4pm)

6) wear wide brimmed hats and sunglasses.

7) differin strips the outermost layer of ur skin so plz wear sunscreen unless u want to get a sunburn and have ur dark spots/hyperpigmentation/acne scars darken and take 2 eternities to fade.

8) no waxing threading no aha no bha no harsh scrubs/exfoliation for the 1st month, slowly incorportate afterwards. Btr safe than sorry.

9) apply around eyes n below eyes but not on the browbone or eyelids or creases of ur nose unless u wanna burn ur skin off. Around the lips where pimples r are fine but not on the lips (duh) and dont get too close to it it will burn. Laugh lines are fine

10) ur skin will look bad one week and then btr/good the next this is normal & cn continue well into 3 months, if u do not see significant improvement by the 3rd month its up to u if u want to continue for let's say another 3 months or switch to Tretinoin. I'm just gonna finish this tube and switch to tretinoin :P

**I SWEAR TO GOD everything will get better u just have to be patience and focus on the positives in ur life by surrounding urself with amazing positive loved ones. The ones that love wont care that u have acne and sh*t. U WILL have good skin and differin WILL work for u. Just hang in there! Dont be a skin detecto

Reviewed on October 5, 2016

Okay guys hi!! So I am writing this regarding my experience to try and help anyone suffering with acne who has been prescribed differin by a doctor or derm. So, little background, I have tried almost everything under the sun, I have closed commodones, pustules, blackheads and bumps typically under the skin. Sometimes cystic acne as well, not just your usual whitehead above the skin due to oiliness or menstrual cycle what have you. I was prescribed differin by my dermatologist along with a oral medication at the time, it seemed that differin worked for a couple days and then old issues just came back and it really didn't do anything for me whatsoever. Really bummed considering I had JUST purchased the medication ( wasn't too expensive because most insurance covers a majority of the cost) but I had a full bottle left still. So, my boyfriend struggles with acne as well, nothing serious, he just has extremely oily skin which if he would just wash and moisturize regularly ( doesn't really care to, go figure) he would probably have perfect skin. One night, seeing me do all my 30 min skin care regimen he asked me to put something on his face to make his acne go away, I figured well sh*t I still have this full bottle of prescription acne medication ( I KNOW IT WASNT PRESCRIBED TO HIM AND THIS ISNT RECOMMENDED) but I wanted to do an experiment to see if this stuff actually works on any acne at all ( remember his isn't under the skin, not cystic) Just above the skin white heads easily extracted, I used this on him every night for a few days and his skin looks AMAZING!!! It really does work but IN MY OPINION only on the above the skin pimples, not people who suffer from cystic or a lot of bumps and blackheads. I really hope this helps someone as when I was prescribed I was looking for any info on whether or not this would work for me, thank you for reading!!!

Good product
Reviewed on August 27, 2016

I've used it for about a year and a half now, my skin has never looked better. i never get any visible peeling which annoys me because I feel like I could see its effectiveness if I did peel, but my skin looks good.

Reviewed on August 4, 2016

Below is a detailed look at my journey. If you don’t feel like reading it, here are the 2 major points:

1. Adapelene worked great for me, however it took much patience; about 8 weeks to get my desired results.

2. Adapelene makes you VERY sensitive to the sun. I got second degree burns & sun poisoning on my face by going out unprotected for a few hours. Wear lots of sunscreen & avoid the sun if possible. If you do end up getting a burn, discontinue the Adapelene until the sunburn is COMPLETELY healed.

Start date: May 9, 2016

So here’s my story: I started going to the dermatologist almost a year ago. I had, what I considered to be, horrible acne. Not cystic or anything, but very bad hormonal acne along my cheeks. I believe I made it much worse by all the DIY acne treatments I used before going to the derm: Oil pulling, raw honey, every OTC facewash imaginable, steaming my face every day, any product I could find off Amazon, Proactiv, etc. I finally gave up and went to the derm. I was prescribed 200 mg of Doryx (Doxycycline) and instructed to wash my face twice a day with Cetaphil, exfoliate 3x a week with NEO cleanser (which I bought directly from my dermatologist) and put on Aczone cream twice a day. Over the course of 7 months, I gradually decreased the antibiotic until I completely stopped. Also during this period, I had 3 chemical peels done, as well as 4 sessions of micro needling (for my acne scars) The difference was amazing. I had almost no acne and finally felt confident in my skin. I had pimples every now and then, but they were few and far between. When I went back for a check-up in May, my dermatologist said that I still have a lot of clogged pores and that is where my current acne was coming from. She prescribed me 0.1% Adapelene gel and instructed me to put it on every night after I put on my Aczone. She told me to make sure to put on moisturizer afterwards as well, because this product would dry my skin. I am still on the same exact routine as when I first started, minus the Doryx. I’ve documented my journey thus far below, week by week:

Week 1: Nothing noticeable yet. Missed a few nights here and there (I had trouble remembering at first). The only thing to note is that I had a pretty big pimple on my chin, but it went away within my first 2 days of using this gel.

Week 2: Some very small bumps forming on my cheek. I actually didn’t notice until I looked at my reflection outside. It freaked me out a bit, but it’s nothing compared to the acne I used to get. Also beginning to notice itchiness and dryness, I can’t see the dryness of my face until I put on my foundation in the morning. (I found that exfoliating with NEO cleanser 3 times a week got rid of this problem) My only complaint is that I went to six flags while it was very hot outside and by face BURNED all day. I was prepared for this, since I had read reviews about sweat making your face itch and burn while on this product. I used moisturizer with sunscreen in it that day, so at least I didn’t get a sunburn, just the itchiness.

Week 3: All the small bumps on my cheek are basically gone. However, two huge whiteheads formed on my chin within 24 hours. I didn’t want to pop them, so I just put the Adapelene on as usual and hoped it’d dry them out quickly. The next day they were even worse so I couldn’t resist. I put on the gel right after I popped them and went to bed. The next morning the bumps were pretty much flat. They still had a little redness around them, but looked much better. Still having slight burning when I sweat and also starting to notice the exfoliating isn’t helping the scaly look of my skin as much as it did at first.

Week 4: Not as much burning on my face anymore, but I am getting more breakouts on my cheek and forehead. Other people are just now starting to notice that I’m getting breakouts again. Luckily, I have learned to stop giving a sh*t. Yay!

Week 5: Still more breakouts coming up, especially in places I never got acne before. It’s the worst on my chin, which I expected because I’ve always gotten bad breakouts there. But now I’m getting them on my nose, forehead, and between my eyebrows. Still experiencing some drying. I’m not sure if I accidently got some near the corners of my mouth & eyes, but those areas are drying badly. The corner of my mouth is so dry that it hurts to open my mouth just to brush my teeth. I’ve slept with makeup on once this week (a big no-no) and paid the price: A couple huge pimples on my jawline and forehead. I doubt that was Adapelene’s doing as much as it was having makeup on for so long. This is the first week I’ve considered just stopping the product, because I’m terrified of destroying the face I’ve worked hard for (or should I say, “The face I have paid a lot of money for”?) Regardless, I’m going to push through it.

Week 6: Zero pimples came up this week. All side effects (Burning, itching, redness, etc.) have completely subsided. I’m seriously amazed, it really does get worse before it gets better. It’s like my face changed overnight!

Week 7: The first half was pimple free then suddenly 4 new pimples came up. I’m not sure it’s from the Adapelene. I was on an antibiotic for an infection and those usually wreak havoc on my skin. Man are they STUBBORN though. Going to keep on pushing through.

Weeks 8-12: Not one single breakout! My skin is heavenly!

**WARNING** On week 11 I went on a trip to my lake house and was in the sun for a few hours with no sun screen on my face. HUGE mistake. My face was burnt to a crisp- literally. Eyes swollen for days, the peeling process took a week and was extremely painful. This was my own fault- I had read that Adapelene makes you sensitive to the sun but I did not heed the warnings. Consider yourself warned! If you do end up getting burned, discontinue the Adapelene until your sunburn is COMPLETELY healed.

In terms of retinoids - just ok
Reviewed on July 29, 2016

I used this on and off for years - ended up on Accutane. Used this post Accutane and relapsed 8 months after Accutane.

I have found more success with Isotrex gel. After my second course of Accutane I used that and it kept me clear for 1 year 2 months.

So far so good
Reviewed on July 24, 2016

I suffer from hormonal acne, and have for a couple years now. It's probably one of the most stressful things ever, I hate looking at myself in the mirror and I would LOVE to be able to walk out of the house with no make up on and feel completely comfortable. However, that is not the case. I went to see my dermatologist a little over a month ago and she recommended this to me. I started off using it every other day and only in my problem areas because I read that it can be extremely drying and cause breakouts in the beginning and I wanted to avoid this as much as possible. Luckily, I did not experience any drying and only had about one or two more pimples show up. Now, a month and a half later I'm pleased to say I experience far less breakouts than before, and most of them occur around my time of the month. My advice is to start slow with this, only apply in problem areas, and do not use too much! Most importantly, moisturize when using this product to help offset some of the drying that can occur. The only reason I did not give this product a full five stars is because I wish I could see more progress now, but I know that it takes around 3 months to see any real improvement. I will update again then.

Sidenote, I am also taking spironolactone once a day, and applying Aczone in the mornings after washing my face.

Beyond Awful
Reviewed on June 27, 2016

When I started Differin I only had mild acne, about 3-4 spots at a time. I used the product religiously for 12 weeks (the instructions say you should see significant improvement by 12 weeks) and over the course of this time my skin got progressively worse. I initially put it down to an initial breakout but this lasted for the entire 12 weeks.

By the end of 12 weeks I had gone from 3-4 spots to 15-20 spots. My cheeks, chin, jaw, and temples were completely covered in inflamed pustules and painful 'under the skin' spots. I went to my doctor and he diagnosed me as having moderately-severe acne, after trying various pills to no avail, I have been referred to a dermatologist for accutane. This product completely ruined my skin and 6 months down the line I am still suffering from its effects.

by cloudydreamer on 10/21/2016 14:01
How are you doing right now? I used it for a little under 2 weeks and it also irritated me, so I stopped immediately as soon as I noticed unusual papules appearing in places where I'm always clear...it's ridiculous that someone would tell you that it's helping purge you when the 'acne' that appears from Differin is probably some kind of reaction, if bumps are appearing in areas with clear skin. Interestingly, 2 people I now know also tried Differin and had the same experience -- instant formation of 'acne' after just a few uses [for one of them] when they'd never had acne before. So how was Differin helping "purge" them if they'd never had acne? LOL...such a joke!
Reviewed on June 22, 2016

I used this in combination with Clindoxyl gel, and the results have been incredible! I used to get horrible acne on my chin and around my mouth, but I can't even remember the last time I've had a single pimple, and I've been on the cream for about 8-9 months. When you first start, use the cream only twice a week, then gradually move to 3x, 4x, etc. until you are able to use it daily. Differin cream is so moisturizing, and makes my skin feel incredible. It noticeably diminishes the size of your pimples, and when they do come, they stay for much less time (coming from someone who used to get cystic acne that would last 2+ weeks, I now have 0 pimples, and when they do come, they last a day or two). I get compliments on my skin all the time now, and am totally in love with Differin. 10/10 would recommend. My only advice is to stick with it!! If at first it doesn't work, don't give up, just let it take its time. Took me 5-6 months to start seeing perfect results.

WAIT for results!
Reviewed on June 17, 2016

Background: I'm twenty years old and I've never had a problem with acne leading up to this. I would get the occasional spot, with one nagging cluster on my forehead because I rub there when I'm stressed. Then I had a massive cystic acne breakout.

In January 2016 I started a new medication, which worked great except for it started to cause acne. This medication is known for doing that. It saved my life, but over the course of several months cause me to have a moderate to severe cystic acne breakout. I'd never had a cyst before, and four months later this was all over my cheeks and chin, overlapping each other and bright red. I've never worn make up before, but had to start in order to feel ok leaving the house.

When my doctor saw me in March, we switched to a new medication that wouldn't cause acne, but we still had to deal with the fall out. He prescribed minocycline and told me to stick with my sacylic acid face wash. This did nothing by mid-April, so I started doing my own research. I found out that Epsom salt is really helpful for some, and gave it a shot. It worked like magic and drew up and drained almost all my cysts, but they were still not completely healed and were always threatening to flare up, I also had a few persistent ones that refused to drain.

When I saw my doctor earlier this month, June, he put me on doxycycline and Adapalene 0.1%. I saw results within a couple of days, it was amazing. My cysts have almost all gone completely flat, a lot of them are completely healed except for scarring and that is starting to fade. I've only been on it a week and a half, which isn't normal at all. I think the reason why it's so accelerated is because I was using the Epsom salt religiously and it drew out so much of the infection that my face was already very primed to heal. You have to give this medication time to kick in. My face is peeling a little but that's how this medication works, my scarred skin is peeling away.

I'll post a follow-up in a couple of weeks, I hope it'll be cleared completely by then.

Recommend it!
Reviewed on June 12, 2016

Been struggling with acne for a long time, and this stuff has been one of the few things that have worked. Highly recommend.