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The Differin Diaries


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#1 allisoncatherine

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:07 PM

Hey guys, this is a place for people who are on differin to share their experiences as we all embark on our differin journey.

so its my 5th week on differin....1-2 weeks I saw no improvement...just stinging, and other side effects. 3-4 weeks....HELL BROKE LOOSE! I think "purging" was going on. My clogged pores became pustules/papules. Pimples that had originally become scars, came back...I mean...its bad. 5th week....NO new pimples...THANK THE LORD. Old pimples are still there....but hopefully the differin is going to start workin on them really soon!

#2 marissa8161

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:06 PM

I love Differin. <3333 This stuff has saved my life!

Week 1-3: No real change besides more dryness and stinging. Really bad pustules everywhere.
Week 3-5: CRAP SO MUCH WORSE. Pustules popping up everywhere, skin all red and just plain yucky... but they seem to be healing faster than usual.
Week 6: What is this huge hard thing on my face? Oh no. First cyst.
Week 6-9: Ugh three or four cysts on my right cheek. But the pustules are subsiding...
Week 10: Omg, I'm actually happy with my skin for the first time in months! No currently active zits...
Week 11-14: Ugh. Spoke too soon. Cysts on my left cheek now.
Week 15: Okay, cysts are healing now...
Week 16-24 (now!): I'm clear and so happy. :] Now to just to get rid of the scars/hyperpigmentation.

#3 allisoncatherine

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:20 AM

marissa, your thought process made me laugh!!! what was the degree of your acne to begin with?
I had light acne with just comedones...the dermatologist said it was "less than mild"...lol...but anyway, with using differin, all my closed comedones came to a head and became inflammatory. I'm guessing this is because differin, like all other retinoids, thins out the layers of your skin so the pimples that were able to hide under 6-9 layers of skin can now only hide under 4-5...

anyway, I think I'm at your week 16-24 progress right now....i have barely any inflammatory lesions...they are just scars.....

i think a lot of people who give retinoids terrible reviews just don't stick with it for long enough. For godsake, it takes ACCUTANE (the strongest retinoid) 6 months to show full results. I don't understand why we expect milder retinoids to just work for us overnight.

#4 The Darkest Cloud

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:48 AM

I'm not on Differin at the moment, but I was for a bit last summer. It did nothing much for me, although I only used it for like 8 weeks. It burned the ish outta my skin and it made it very sensitive. It was the summer time and the little sun we got attacked my skin like itching powder!! I quit it there and then and threw the tubes in the bin. The one positive thing it did though was that it brought all the whiteheads deep under my skin to the surface pretty damn fast and for a few weeks after I quit my skin was pretty much clear. But then I broke out and have been experimenting with regimens ever since :(

I wish you the very best on it though I hope you've better luck with it than I had , it cleared my brother, although he stopped it too but he stopped because it just stopped having any effect at all and by then he was clear. But yeah the very best of luck, someone so beautiful as you shouldn't have acne, although no one deserves to have it. But you are absolutely drop dead gorgeous :P all the best!

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#5 Wiseboy123

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:01 AM

i think a lot of people who give retinoids terrible reviews just don't stick with it for long enough. For godsake, it takes ACCUTANE (the strongest retinoid) 6 months to show full results. I don't understand why we expect milder retinoids to just work for us overnight.


That is true. My doctor told me another 6 months until I get clear, so in September (hopefully!) I will be clear.

It seems ages away and I've been impatient with my skin for years, so 6 months I can handle.

Will try and get a picture or two up later :)

#6 allisoncatherine

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:56 PM

Thank you TheComeUp...trust me, acne can make the most beautiful person feel hideous. But...I'm sorry differin didn't work for you. It's working for me...(at least I hope) lol...but very very slowly. Wiseboy, what products are you using right now?? Today is my second day in week 5! ahhh! I hope things keep getting better....!

#7 californiaEstie

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:49 PM

I've been on about for about 2 years now. It's great. Give it plenty of time to work. :]

#8 allisoncatherine

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:52 PM

yay californiaestie!! How long did it take you to see full results? Do you remember by any chance?

#9 californiaEstie

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:02 PM

Hmm full results, that's tough. I remember by 4 months I wasn't really breaking out at all. So about that long for almost perfect skin. In my experience. I still get acne but it's MUCH more surface based vs. cysts, doesn't come to a head mostly, and the PIH is nonexistent and/or easy to fade. I also use a sulfur based spot treatment every night on any suspicious areas and the combination is magic (I also use Duac in the AM). I would recommend Kate Somerville's EradiKate or Mario Badescu drying lotion. Spot treatments. :) Hope this helps.

#10 allisoncatherine

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:55 PM

I'm so glad you had a positive experience with differin! :) I'm using Klaron in conjunction with it, which is an anti-inflammatory like Duac (just gentler on my skin than a BP product). I'm hoping things keep gettin better :) Call me crazy but I really believe that if you convince your mind something's gonna work....it usually does. It might be a psychological thing that translates over ie; I convince myself that this treatment is going to work for me...and so I don't stress out about the breakouts I see with it initially, or pick at it...keep using it...etc...which will eventually result in a positive result. Retinoids are BOUND to do something for you in the long run. I refuse to believe that you won't even see a 0.0000001% difference if you've been using it for years.

#11 Roisin75

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:02 AM

Hi everyone, I finished a course of Roaccutane in February and almost straight away experienced some breakouts. Overall my skin condition is still in pretty good condition but I am very scared of going back to the state I was in. I am wondering if I should use Differin for maintenance (my derm has prescribed me some because I pretty much begged him for a retinoid) - there shouldn't be any IB - right?! Also, I'm a bit scared of using something like this indefinitely - California Estie (if you're reading this) - do you see yourself using Differin for the forseeable future?
Roaccutane course completed 19th February 2012

#12 allisoncatherine

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:57 PM

Since it has been 2 months since you finished your roaccutane course...there MIGHT be somewhat of an initial breakout. Your skin got a break in between accutane and your differin treatment so maybe new pimples had begun forming during that time. Differin, or any other retinoid, might bring those to surface prior to calming them down. I've heard of a lot of cases where people wean themselves off topical treatments....maybe go from using it every night to every other night to twice a week to once a week so that the skin can make an adjustment. As for me, I don't mind using a cream/gel for the next 30 years lol.....its just like putting on moisturizer before you go to bed...its easily incorporated into the routine. HOpe that helps!

#13 allisoncatherine

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:57 PM

Week 5 and 2 days......sigh.....i just want differin to start working on the old pimples already! I really hope this works for me! Please keep me in your prayers guys.

#14 kariya025

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 12:22 AM

hey allisoncatherine..

thanks for referring me to this post...

anyway.. i feel like i am like u... i had very mild acne just closed comedones but was tired of seeing that so, i went to the doc and was put on differin PM and clindamycin phosphate solution AM.

could've been the worst mistake ever or best thing ever but leaning towards mistake right now..

so week 1-4: i had pimples forming on temples! but eventually subsided.. cystic acne on cheeks for the first time ever.. and pustules/papule acne on side of chin!!
week 5-8: cystic acne on cheeks healed but i could still see comedones... LOTS OF PIH!! ahh
Week 9-10 (now): now, i feel like all the comedones are coming to head and im getting a whole lotta bumps.. many of them with no head.. just feels like swollen bumps.

anyways.. i guess im still optimistic that differin could still work.. but from start to now, i feel like there hasnt been any improvement yet.. in fact just worse.. so ima bit nervous bc my skin before treatment was fairly good just comedones!!
i've seen a post with pics that showed something to similar to what i have now and they said it eventually smoothes out so.. im hopeful.. link below

http://www.acne.org/...orac-with-pics/


i'll stick through til my next derm appointment on april 26... i am very hopefull to see some positive changes from now til then.

also, PIH is the worst.. i feel like problem 1 is acne, then problem 2 is PIH.. bad look.

i'll update this post for the next coming weeks..

allisoncatherine gluck to you!

Edited by kariya025, 07 April 2012 - 12:23 AM.


#15 Wiseboy123

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:54 AM

Wiseboy, what products are you using right now?? Today is my second day in week 5! ahhh! I hope things keep getting better....!


I'm using Differin gel 0.1 and Dalacin T.

Now at 11 weeks and hardly ever break out,but if I do Differin takes care of that overnight!

Just need to get rid of the scars on both cheeks and will be clear.

#16 allisoncatherine

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:38 AM

Hey wiseboy, well thats great! Keep sticking to it and updating us on how it works because I think you're further down the route than us :) We're still stuck in the miserable week 4-5. lol.

Kariya, I'm so glad you decided to post here!!! I feel like I have a friend that I can share this journey with side by side now. I know what you mean...about it being the worst thing or the best thing. To be entirely honest, I do feel like there has been a reduction in overall "bumps" on my face...but a lot of those bumps have been replaced by PIH ....just redness...which is a lot easier to cover up with a good foundation (unlike bumpy skin!). Before I felt like I was a toad trying to wear makeup and no matter what I did, the bumpiness didn't go away....lol.

Anyway, so here is an interesting study I read about adapalene (main ingredient in differin)....I thought I would share!

Link: http://www.piel.com....2/adapaleno.pdf

Look at the graph on page 247. Significant reduction in inflammatory/comedonal lesions was seen after 8 weeks when using differin 0.3. However, when using differin 0.1....a significant reduction was first witnessed at the 12 week mark. It takes a long time :( lol. And Kariya, the pictures on page 248 give me hope! Look at that patient's skin....it definitely looked worse at the 4th week mark and then showed slight improvement at the 8 week mark...but GOD DARN look at WEEK 12!!!! AMAZING!!!!!

How is your skin doing now everyone?

#17 kariya025

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:16 AM

hey.. just woke up..

do you ever feel like when you wake up (night before puttin on differn) that your skin seems less bumpy?

i feel lke its very less bumpy in the morning but throughout the day it gets more bumpy...? lol that's why i feel like differin is working but idk.. similar experiene anyone?

oh and allisoncatherine.. yes, i felt very alone during my time on differin. i feel like post give me hope but no support. i am very happy that we can share our experiences now.. so thank you!!

and thanks for the link! i do use differin .1 so i guess it does take longer?? it gives me a little more hope. thanks!!!

Edited by kariya025, 07 April 2012 - 10:19 AM.


#18 allisoncatherine

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 10:37 AM

Hey girl...you took the words right out of my mouth!!! I always feel that way! I wake up and my skin looks like its improving and then I'll apply my makeup and go on through the day...i'll catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror...and i'll be like: "WHAT THE HECK!?" my skin is just as bumpy as before! I don't know.....my skin always looks better in the mornings...ugh...i hate this! It just sucks. I hope it gets better soon.

also do you feel like maybe we are just hypersensitive to the way our skin looks? Maybe others dont even notice it as much as we do...(other than our immediate family)...I feel like when I had clear skin, I rarely ever paid attention to the way others skin looked...even if they had the most awful acne, I don't remember even thinking twice about it...but now, all of a sudden, that i'm suffering from it...I also notice other people's skin a lot more!!

#19 kariya025

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:09 AM

hahah yea.. well i'm glad someone has the same experiences as me.. it is very fustrating!!

and i definently know what your talking about.. before this, i hardly ever care about ppls skin.. one my best friends had very bad acne her whole life but i looked pass that and the same for others.. now, i find myself looking at peoples faces to see if they have acne or if they are staring at me! if they do have acne, i compare to mine and think how they are handling this emotionally..

I know that I am just very self concious of my skin and dont want people to look at me.. i find not many people look at me and stare or "judge" my skin but i do work in an industry where my face is out there and i'm talking to people 3-5 feet close during meetings.. thank god no one mentioned it in front of me or i'd be devestated.. but i do know they notice.. sometimes i can tell they arent looking at my eyes but my acne. :'(

but overall, i do think it is more the fact that we are hypersensitive and i feel like it is because we both had "fairly" good skin minus the comedones before this.. the fact that my face went from pretty good to horrible is making me hypersensitive.. oh and the PIH is also a downer.. esp bc over time it has turned more brown and very noticable.. damn.

haha so depressing but its good to vent to someone!Posted Image

#20 allisoncatherine

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:43 AM

ugh i know about working with people....I've modeled for most all my life...im sure you can imagine how hard it must be for me to have acne. Anyway, did you experience a lot of purging with differin...in the sense that, did all your closed comedones turn into swollen red ones before fading away into PIH marks? And also...I feel like I have one good week with differin and then one bad...and then one good...and then one bad....I hope it improves! I try so hard to avoid mirrors...Its hard to look at my "what used to be perfect" skin :/ When did your onset of acne begin? I got it last October.

God I miss my clear skin :(
Link: http://www.acne.org/.../image/45692-4/

I would much rather have acne on my back or somewhere else so that I can hide it at least! Face is THE WORST!




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