The Differin Diaries

517 posts in this topic

Ahh wiseboy, I'm so happy for you!!!! :) Did you seem to reach a plateau with differin in the middle? like...it seemed like it wasn't doing anything around week 6? (after IB)...

Noregrets, I'm glad you decided to post here!!! This is a forum for all of us to share our experiences with differin....we are all at different marks throughout the journey...for example, wiseboy here has finished week 12! so proud of him for sticking with differin that long...! Me on the other hand...its been 43 days today that I have been using differin 0.3....and it has been quite a journey. As for your question...yes....you do purge...there are the .00000000000001% people who are so lucky that dont purge and the differin starts making their skin better in "two minutes". But...for most of us mortals...it takes a long time...it takes months and patience. I want to inform you that your skin is probably going to go through its initial breakout period around week 3-5...but the pimples that surface will go away much faster. There will be alternating weeks of good skin vs bad skin once you hit week 6. One week, your skin will look like its healing....next week, its broken out again....and this may continue well into 3 months...the results for most people show up within 3 months...and like I said...these "results" aren't PERFECTLY CLEAR SKIN. They are just improvements from baseline. There will be a lot of post inflammatory pigmentation...meaning you're going to get a lot of those "red-pink" color stains where your pimples used to be...but with time, the differin will even out your skin tone. I'm not going to lie to you...its a hard journey requiring A LOT OF patience...but if you are willing to go through skin thats worse than what you have now for a few months to achieve clearer and clearer skin....go for it. Everybody who has stuck with retinoids past the 3 month mark has told me that they are wonderful. :)

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Thanks for the reply allison, its cool to be able to share our experiences on here, ive decied im going to start using it from tonight and post my progress on here, my regimens pretty basic ive got a antibacterial facewash (quinoderm) and a moisturiser. Im a guy so no makeup although some do :0.

Question for wiseboy and any other dudes on here, shaving? i use a razor twice a week at night, so was wondering is it going to sting like ****.

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Allison, yes there was a stage where my face just looked the same (bad!) and hated it. So not looking in a mirror for a week or two helped as then you can tell your skin is healing and getting better. But I didn't get an IB which was lucky, but now breaking out less than before. :)

and your skin does definitely NOT look repulsive! It will go very soon :)

Noregrets, Shaving is fine for me. Not stinging, redness or anything. Thankfully my marks are not where i shave, so I don't really have a problem. Shaving will also be fine for you, just don't go over the top, if you know what I mean :)

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i have been using differin since i first got acne ( 14 yrs of age... i am 20 now) and IT WORKS!!

i have never used anything else... BP, salicylic acid etc. I just never needed to :)

differin pattern:

1. it works slowly... patience is the key.

2. my pimples never leave marks while on differin yaaay!! (just once i used garnier pimple pen when i was out of differin, it made my pimple BLACK eeew.)

3. putting it more than twice/day makes my skin flaky.

4. i feel it somehow makes my acne bigger at first application but after like about 3 applications, zits look C.O.N.T.R.O.L.L.E.D!

5. I heard it makes ur skin sensitive to sun, never felt that way for me (and i live in the tropics).

all in all, differin is my H.G for acne :)

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i feel like new bumps are forming every day and not getting better.. maybe the smaller bumps are slightly going away but i don't actually see any real results so far.. and i'm on week 10.

recently, i feel like my skin is far more oily.. i dont have inflammed acne, but i've had bumps all over my cheeks to the side of month for 3 weeks without any significant changes..

the whiteheads near my mouth keep coming up and causing more and more PIH. I wouldn't complain about the PIH if i didnt have anymore whiteheads, but they keep coming up!

i keep hearing from countless post and my doc that I need to be patient, but i'm getting to the point where i honestly believe that the acne is not getting better but worse and worse..

idk what to do bc if i stop using differin, i dont feel like my face would go back to my original problem.. which was just closed comedones.. i feel almost stuck because if i stop, it wont go away and if i continue, i feel like i'm risking even worse damage..

crap feeling really low and regretting so much that I started to using differin..

Edited by kariya025

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Aite so I've just used differin for the first time, washed shaved then applie a thin layer about size of pea maybe less.. was no stinging or anything of that sort (thanks for the reply wiseboy) then used a light moisturiser already got flakes from benzoyl peroxide.

im looking to use the differin every other day at first, don't want my face thinking rah what's that's and freaking out :)..

karithyn I'm sorry to hear that, have u shown your derm any other products your using could be a bad combination ahh but what do i know this my first prescription, after trying yrs of over counter stuff to try get clear...

Any questions feel free to ask...

and don't worry everyones had acne at some point..

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thenaturediva, how long before you started seeing results....?

kariya: :( please dont be upset....! How long has it been since you've been on differin??? I would trust your derm for a few more weeks....

Noregrets: welcome!!! Please keep us updated on your acne progress

Wiseboy: you.are.so.nice!!! Thank you so much for your encouragement and support throughout all this experience.

Anyway, my skin is super bumpy too....and has so much PIH as seen from the pictures above....none of those are active pimples...they are all PIH...sigh...acne sucks. It really keeps you from doing anything. I hate having acne and I really hope it gets better..

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Kariyn for what its worth some of my closest mates have severe acne but ive never judged them for it nor has it affected me in any way.. truth is we all screw about our acne but the fact is most people have or had acne so they understand... don't let it bring you down :)..

Edited by Noregrets92

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Aite so I've just used differin for the first time, washed shaved then applie a thin layer about size of pea maybe less.. was no stinging or anything of that sort (thanks for the reply wiseboy) then used a light moisturiser already got flakes from benzoyl peroxide.

im looking to use the differin every other day at first, don't want my face thinking rah what's that's and freaking out smile.png..

karithyn I'm sorry to hear that, have u shown your derm any other products your using could be a bad combination ahh but what do i know this my first prescription, after trying yrs of over counter stuff to try get clear...

Any questions feel free to ask...

and don't worry everyones had acne at some point..

the only things i've been using are doxy 2x a day, differin PM, Clymdaclyn Phosphate AM, and just a mild soap to wash in the morning and night..

pretty much only using what the derm said to use.. Its just so weird bc I had VERY mild acne and my face (just 20 or so bumps closed comedones) not inflamed, not huge bumps, now my face has literally exploded on spots only where i put differin..

kariya: sad.png please dont be upset....! How long has it been since you've been on differin??? I would trust your derm for a few more weeks....

thanks allison, its been 10 weeks.. april 23? wouldve been the 3 month mark when i met with my derm..

Also thanks for cheering me up noregrets.. its just that i never had acne my whole life and friends specifically look now because they have never seen me like this before.. my friends use to say, i have perfect skin before jan 23, 2012!!

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Hey kariya my acne is like yours, biggest problem is closed comedones. my GP only prescribed differin, said that alone would be sufficient. Have u tried a different gp?

Your friends just notice a change. i mean if someone i knew for a long time was clear then broke out sure id notice but that's all, the person inside is the same.

We're all here to support you but i think beat advice is a derm, it is thier profession after all.

Cheer up the way im looking at it is the long term :)..

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Hey kariya my acne is like yours, biggest problem is closed comedones. my GP only prescribed differin, said that alone would be sufficient. Have u tried a different gp?

Your friends just notice a change. i mean if someone i knew for a long time was clear then broke out sure id notice but that's all, the person inside is the same.

We're all here to support you but i think beat advice is a derm, it is thier profession after all.

Cheer up the way im looking at it is the long term smile.png..

thanks.. i was looking at the long term too when i had my 1st breakout but i kept breaking out... i guess my derm knows best but i feel its a guessing game for anyone if it works or not... and i just beginning to feel like this wont work for me and will make me much worse..

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Hmmm i get you, perhaps keep at it till 12wk mark.. you've made it this far, respect for that :).. thoroughly discuss with your derm and have them explain exactly why your braking out at this stage if they say its normal..

I understand purging, a comedones got to come out, you also have microcomedones in your skin which are naked to the invisible eye and i think when u purge in areas that looked clear its these microcomedones. (Reference I'm a medical student haha) still its just my opinion..

don't let it get you down, letting it get to u won't improve anything. so its like i can have acne n be down or i can have acne and be happy n normal. Speak to your derm n just know it will eventually be treated whether its differin or something else.. haha i guess I'm telling myself this as well.. :P

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Hmmm i get you, perhaps keep at it till 12wk mark.. you've made it this far, respect for that smile.png.. thoroughly discuss with your derm and have them explain exactly why your braking out at this stage if they say its normal..

I understand purging, a comedones got to come out, you also have microcomedones in your skin which are naked to the invisible eye and i think when u purge in areas that looked clear its these microcomedones. (Reference I'm a medical student haha) still its just my opinion..

don't let it get you down, letting it get to u won't improve anything. so its like i can have acne n be down or i can have acne and be happy n normal. Speak to your derm n just know it will eventually be treated whether its differin or something else.. haha i guess I'm telling myself this as well.. tongue.png

thanks noregrets! this post has so much great people on here to help.. so thank you. my sister is also a medical student and she let me know that it is a long process but she is away and only saw my skin through pictures.. bt considering she last saw me jan 2 with clear skin, she didnt expect it to get this bad on differin..

and she used differin when she was younger.. i remember bc she had something similar to me on her foreheard.. but it went away fast.. like 1 month..

i understand that i need to keep my head up and just forget and be happy.. but its so hard to go out and have fun when Im constantly thinking about this.. ah but thanks alot for your input..

i guess, i will continue to treatment until my next derm appointment which will mark week 14.. if i dont see any results by then, idk. we will see.

again. thanks so much for your input.. u are going to be a great doctor! smile.png

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i love ya'll! It makes me so happy coming here and reading this whenever I feel like I'm about to give up...noregrets...im applying to med school this year!!! But really...all we can do is hope at this point.....like you said kariya, if you discontinue it at this point...or really if any of us discontinue it at this point...things are probably going to head downwards so lets just keep at it....its bound to work in the long run (i hope!).

Noregrets, purging is understandable and very common smile.png I did some research and found out that your theory is exactly right! Our skin usually has 9-11 epidermal layers on it...but the retinoids speed up the exfoliation process so while we are on these retinoids, our epidermis is only 4-6 layers thick (hence the sensitivity to sun)...so thats why those "bumps" seem to jut be coming and coming....and also why the closed comedones often become "inflammed looking"...its because they have less and less skin to hide under so they seem bigger and a lot more prominent...but they really aren't...its just that they dont have as much skin layers to hide under because these retinoids cause our skin to regenerate every 4-6 days. Lets keep it up guys.

Right now I'm just avoiding mirrors at all costs...I look in the mirror once a day....in the mornings...when I apply my makeup and I do that with all my blinds closed and in dim lighting...because if I keep looking, I will hyperfocus and just get so freaking down.

Kariya, I totally know what you mean. Its SO hard to do ANYTHING...to concentrate on ANYTHING (including things we previously enjoyed doing) because acne is always in the back of your mind...i find myself always paranoid "is it getting better?"....lol...if I have an itch on my face, my first instinct is not...ahh my face is itchy...its "oh CRAP...is it a new pimple?" When I wake up in the morning, before I do anything, I feel my face to feel if any new pimples have arrived just to "prepare" myself for looking in the mirror.

Bottom line: Trust the process <3 Its hard. It sucks. But thats why its called "the process"....its long...its not "trust the overnight fix" lol.

Also noregrets...my biggest problem was closed comedones as well...i think differin is primarily prescribed to those with comedonal acne...anyway, I just wanted to give you a heads up...do NOT be surprised if those closed comedones start become inflamed and turn into pustules at first...I found that most of the comedones have to get inflamed...release their contents (erupt) and THEN be on their way to healing and disappearing. The way to tell if your acne is getting worse versus the comedones just releasing their content is to look at the duration of those pustules....they should erupt and be gone faster than they did before (not completely gone)...but definitely more or less resolved.

Edited by allisoncatherine

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Hmzz yesterday I woke up with a sore pimple just above my lip. Within 2 hours it came to a head and I could pop it. I love how fast differin and eryacne make your skin turn over.

It was like the first sore pimple i got in about 2 months? So it wasn't anything to worry about ;) Now it's just a medium-size red mark which is not bad at all with a little concealer. I think I got the pimple because of my TOTM starting this saturday (or next saturday, really don't know anymore?)

It's also really funny that I only get chin or foreheadpimples when I'm having my TOTM, shows how much hormones can influence your acneskin.

I just came to realize that my skintone is fast improving. I started using a cleanser about 2 weeks ago, because my face was always a little greasy of the differin. Now it's all good :) My cheeks look AMAZING. The last prominent redmark/pimple-thing I had for like 1,5 month just a little beside my nose is now healing and going away. I couldn't be more happpy!

Allison,

I really recognize the part of not looking in the mirror and checking your face with your hands before looking into one. When I had my IB i avoided mirrors for a very long time. I found also that your story of closed comedons is very true. Within the first weeks of differin all those blackheads and tiny whiteheads were pushed out and became inflamed. And yeah, that part SUCKS. Are you using an antibiotic with the regime? Most time it helps with the redness and IB. I cant say enough that you just have to stick with your regime. Things will get better, and I'm hoping you'll see a huge improvement in 2 weeks.

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Kariya your welcome, and allison good luck with your med school appplicaion, differin does thin the outer layer of your epidermis (stratum corneum) so everyone should really be using SPF and a moisturiser!

today i woke up no redness or any iritation, face still flaky but thats from using benzoyl peroxide, which i've stopped now.

Do u guys moisturise after differin? i heard u shouldn't but ive got flakes at the moment

and did anyone get cystic acne that hasn't had a cyst before differin? from purging im expecting comedones, pustules, and papules. Cysts and nodules are deep so i dont see how they should be part of purging?

andddddd you guys are weeks ahead of me so will probably be clear before me, i hope u guys keep up with this thread after that, advice from someone that's experienced makes a whole lot of difference.. :)

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Oh and allison when did your comedones start to get inflamed? and has anyone picked at thiers or just leave it to differin to deal with?

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@ noregrets,

The only marks I have left are from the pimples I picked at.. So I really know how hard it is not to pick, but seriously just don't do it.

I never moisturized after using differin, but then I never experienced flakes or anything.

Hmz, I think I got a few cystic pimples, but differin really took care of it.

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Jacinthaa, I love hearing from you! I'm so glad your skin is doing well...and I'm glad that you still post here to give us differin newbies hope :)

Noregrets, don't worry! I, for one, am NOT going to stop posting here especially if my skin gets better....I gotta give others hope about this product then :) Anyway, honestly....I never got cystic acne in my life. My pictures look a lot worse than they are...thats all PIH...I have like 3 small..and I mean..SMALL (comedone) bumps on my right cheek and 3 on my left cheek....like you couldn't tell they were there unless I was in bright sunlight shining on my face...So, I think it would be very uncommon for you to develop actual deep cystic acne. That seems like that would indicate your skin taking acne to the next level...my comedones turned into pustules at first....(my pustules NEVER pop by themselves or flake off) so...I use a comedone extractor...apply equal pressure to each side of the pustule enabling the contents to be released...and then...it heals. So anyway...i first had pustules show up around week 3...all of a sudden, it seemed like I had like 5 on each cheek...it was pretty weird. Now...at week 6, I do have a lot better skin but get occasional papules where the comedones used to be....so its actually a less severe version (than pustules) and those go away pretty fast too....I still have some comedones left on my face which I'm hoping the differin will take care of.....so Noregrets, my skin was the same for week 1-2...and then week 3-4, I had the freaking initial breakout....and week 5-6, that IB is healing... :)

Btw...I've also added AHA lightening gel to my regimen in the mornings because it has hydroquinone in it...I feel like it really helps with the PIH red marks! Keep me updated!

also guys...my derm strongly recommended against a moisturizer after application of differin...he said; "if you ABSOLUTELY must.....use neutrogena's healthy skin spf 50 sunscreen and rub it over your face.." I have no clue why moisturizing is discouraged....I dont really need it anyway...I just feel skin tightness...no burning (unless I put benzoyl peroxide on it) and yeah...so I was wonderin if anyone knew why moisturizing is discouraged?

allison1.jpg

see guys...you can BARELY see my pimples after I put on makeup...my skin generally looks smooth...because almost all of its PIH. but you can kinda tell there is some discoloration on the right apple of my cheek even without makeup. Have a great day!!! I'll check back in tonight!

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So i've figured out how I can post a picture. So here's one just to encourage people on how you skin could look in a couple weeks smile.png

Excuse for the weird face and the fact that my hair is up and stuff, just came back from the gym smile.png

I'm not wearing any make-up in this photo. So i'm practically 95% clear, just some red marks.

Edited by Jacinthaa

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My GP said i should just moisturise n SPF during the day and differin at night.. i'm just waiting for the purging stage even tho im hoping im one of the lucky ones n dont have to got through it :P..

im going to probably wait till im clear before add anything else in to treat te PIH, it i think irritation just makes things worse

jacinthaa your skin looks great, how long have u been using the differin?

ahh allison your lucky u have makeup cant even tell u have any PIH or any spots. makes me wonder what other girls are hiding :o haha

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Jacinthaa....your skin looks AMAZINGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! did you have PIH before? I can't even tell by looking at the pictures!!!

Lol....noregrets....i think its prolly just me hiding stuff :/ every other girl I seem to come across has gorgeous skin. Anyway, I think it might be a good idea to wait to add anything into the regimen...I'm now at week 6 and am JUST now adding another product. Did your GP prescribe you any antibiotics (topical or oral) with the differin....the IB can usually be beastly. The first time around I tried differin...I gave up after 3 weeks. It was so horrendous....2nd time around (this time....I am on doxycycline as well as klaron (an antibacterial topical)...so that the breakout isn't that bad.

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I asked my GP for some antibiotics but he said it wasn't neccesary :s, i've just got a over the counter antibacterial face wash that im going to use twice a day..back to uni next week so a little scared of the purging..

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I've been 5 months into differin-treatment, but my skin is probably looking really good for about 2 months, and the last 2 weeks my marks really have been fading.

The only prominent mark you can't see in the picture, because it's at my left cheek on the photo (if you look straight to it).

And yeah I do have some small marks, but you can't see them in the picture. But you have to look really close (or standing in very ugly light) to show their visibility.

But thanks guys!

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hey..

i think my biggest issue right now are the cystic pimples.. well i think they are. i havent been picking my face so i notice that i had two big bumps one one each cheek. i had these when i first started treatment and idk why they keep coming back..

these are big swollen bumps that have fluid inside.. those are cystic acne? i do have pustules sometimes, but mostly zits near my mouth area from those comedones.

ah so tired of this.. of course, my face looks a little smoother in the morning but through the day, it gradually looks worse.. that's my experience so far.

sucks!

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