My dermatologist said differin is much better than tretinoin. So far that is my experience also. I gave up on tretinoin because the initial breakout was so bad and it was so harsh on my skin. Now I've been using epiduo which contains 0.1% adapalene which is the ingredient in differin. I haven't had an initial breakout, my red marks have faded alot in a short space of time and the texture of my skin has improved - it is smoother. I still get oily but not as much as without it. I do get flaky but not as much as with tretinoin and I don't get as red. I believe it does still make your skin sensitive to the sun but it's good to wear spf anyway I was really nervous about trying epiduo for similar reasons why you're not sure about switching but I'd definitely recommend giving differin a go
Thanks! I started using the differin gel a couple of nights ago. It's way more drying than the tretinoin cream and I've already noticed some peeling skin BUT there does appear to be less redness than with the tretinoin. Also, there seems to be a small reduction in blackheads already.