Page 3 of Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel reviews

Read or post reviews on thousands of acne products & treatments.

Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel
3.3/5 - 1331 reviews
5 star
254 reviews
4 star
433 reviews
3 star
273 reviews
2 star
206 reviews
1 star
165 reviews

Brand: Differin

Write Your Review

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

Where to buy is not associated with this product. All proceeds from links go to charity.

[The prices listed above may change at any time and in some cases do not include shipping.]

Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel

Did you find a problem with this item?

 Mark product as discontinued

 Flag an error in this listing

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'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.

Don't know what to think
Reviewed on June 10, 2016

OK so I started using this in conjunction with Zineryt after Retin A seemingly stopped working.

I am currently 1.5 weeks into treatment (which as I know from former experience with a retinoid is very little time) However I am having the worst breakout ever, even worse than when I had the initial breakout from Retin A. My left cheek is covered in huge red spots and now my forehead is also starting to act up. My social life is taking a hit as I feel reluctant to leave the house looking like the mess I am right now. I'm really having my doubts about this. However I will keep using this as they say it takes a month to see some results. I'll update when I reach the one month mark.

Whitehead & acne
Reviewed on April 6, 2016

Im 25 years old.. I dont have big problem on acne..only whitehead around forehead, cheek and chin.. Already use differin gel 0.1% about a month..But now I got big acne between my eyebrow, on forehead, nose, chin, some on cheek.. Whitehead still on my skin still oily, when I clean my skin using cleanser my skin got burn.. I hope my skin get better because now my skin worse than before..

by Wan_Inn on 06/08/2016 10:44
After 3months My skin super great now. I use differing 0.1% gel. My whitehead gone. I dont remember how its First 2-3months, breakout no breakout no breakout no. But now im satisfied with my skin even I still got 1-2 tiny acne or whitehead. My skin great I use combination of vitamin C + wild yam from Artistry (my friend suggest it) then put differin and my skin super glow nice.. Sorry my broken english.
by Wan_Inn on 06/08/2016 10:47
by Wan_Inn on 06/08/2016 10:47
Reviewed on June 7, 2016

Ok so for the past two weeks I have been addicted to this forum and I fee like I've learned a lot and feel motivated to help others. I went off of birth control for the first time in 12 years and my skin went CRAZY!!! Me being me, I immediately went to see a doctor and then a dermatologist. I was prescribed Differin 0.1% and it made my acne SO MUCH WORSE. I have very sensitive skin and am prone to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Every time I used this product it either gave me more acne or caused such severe redness that it made my mild acne look like severe acne. I'm a nurse and PhD student and thus have a medical background. As a result, I always lean on the evidence based approaches. But holy sweet jesus I am learning SO SO much about diet and natural remedies and how they are so much better for treating acne than any harsh topical chemical. I do 100% believe in birth control for the management of hormonal acne and am also giving doxycycline a try. In my opinion, the best approaches to treat acute acne are a) GREEN TEA- I've only been using it for 2 days and already my skin looks less red. Although this could also be due to the fact that I've ditched the Differin, there are legitimate scientific studies that reveal why green tea is great for acne and skin in general.... b) ICE- please try icing inflamed pimples before putting harsh chemicals on your skin...especially if it's sensitive like mine. This has drastically helped to reduce my inflammation and can even reduce the size of the pimples. c) ELIMINATE DAIRY- eliminate it completely for one month and see what happens. I am only on day 3 of this so I will post an update. I know that this may not work for everyone, however, if you have a dairy intolerance or are willing to give it up for a month to see what happens PLEASE give this a shot before spending tons and tons of money on useless topicals and shedding lots of tears. I ate a bowl of ice cream and had a slice of cheese on Saturday and by Sunday morning I woke up with three more HUGE pimples. There are also various scientific studies on how dairy aggravates acne. Just type in Google Scholar: "Acne and dairy". I will be posting updates over the next few weeks. d) TRY CETAPHIL- gentle cleanser, not many ingredients, cheap. e) EAT LOTS OF VEGETABLES, FRUIT (but not an excessive amount due to the sugar), and foods with a LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX. Again, I only just started this and will post updates with my progress....but as mentioned, I've been obsessively researching this stuff and these are the safest, most cost effective, and healthiest ways to tackle this problem.

So to summarize, YES birth control helps acne (especially Dianne 35 but you'll eventually want to transition to a less harsh birth control once things are under control because it is an intense birth control with risks) and MAYBE oral antibiotics like doxycycline can help SOME people. The key is to not only treat the symptoms of acne but to get at the underlying cause. Hormones, stress, genetics, and food intolerances appear to be the main culprits. From my own experience and from a lot of the reviews I've read, AVOID DIFFERIN AND TREAT YOUR SKIN AS SENSITIVE AND YOUR ACNE AS A WARNING SIGN THAT YOUR BODY IS OUT OF BALANCE. Don't make my mistakes by going the harsh chemical route right off the bat! I had to go to the hospital last week because my face was so inflamed!! (I combined Differin, Retin A, and glycolic acid.....ya dumb, I know. Don't make my mistake!) If anyone needs some moral support plz feel free to shoot me an e mail at I know how depressing and anxiety provoking this can be and it's important to get the social support you need! Good luck beautiful people! xox