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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.

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Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel

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Differin Adapalene (0.1%) Gel

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Not bad
Reviewed on February 10, 2017

I have tried a lot of different stuff for my skin and had a pretty good regiment going on but then i decided to add AHA to take care of the whiteheads on my jaw. Unfortunately, it ended up making my skin purge. At least I eventually that's what was happening. At the time I was just upset that I was breaking out more.

So then I saw that Differin was on available without a prescription I decided to try it. I figured since I was already purging that it really wouldn't be that different than what I had going on. I'm on week 4 of using Differin and honestly it really isn't any worse than what I was going through before. Actually, the zits popping up now seem to come to a head and heal faster. My skin is a bit more sensitive and some of my moisturizers are making my skin burn a bit, but it's not too bad tbh.

My routine in the evening with the differin is a mild cleanser, then the differin, then some benzoyl peroxide, a serum and a moisturizer. Sometimes I'll use a bit of bha liquid from Paula's Choice on my more problem areas that aren't generally dry and flakey.

If you're using this product and getting really bad dry skin, try getting some sheet masks off of amazon. I use them at the end of my routine after the differin is already on.

by pagiepooh on 07/20/2017 01:12
i'd say that you're using too many products on your skin. i was recommended differin by a dermatologist but my skin care routine and how i use the differin gel is much different than how you use it. i use a mild cleanser twice a day (neutrogena hydro boost). i have hated all neautrogena products before this one. this cleanser is super gentle, actually cleans your skin/removes makeup and somehow leaves the skin feeling hydrated. after i cleanse, i go in with the cerave daily moisturizer. this is an amazing moisturizer because it has ceramides in it and promotes healthy skin barrier function. i cleanse and moisturize twice a day and use the differin gel every other night over moisturizer. i use a TINY PEA SIZE amount all over my face. according to the dermatologist, that's all you should be using. it's easy to go over-board with acne medication and i fear thats what you're doing. you're most likely stripping your skin of it's natural barrier and leaving it vulnerable to bacteria that cause infection. be kind to your skin. restore it to it's healthy form.
Unlike Retin-A, Differin breakout is constantly on and off
Reviewed on December 2, 2016

I was prescribed Retin-A two years ago following a horrible acne flareup between my eyebrows, nose, and chin area. Retin-A breakouts were consistent from about weeks 2-6, and I didn't really start to see results until 2 1/2 months in. I will tell you what though, I had everything from inflammation, whiteheads, cysts, and deep marks on my face while on Retin-A. Within 3 months, I was basically 100% clear it was a miracle.

But with Differin, the results seem mixed.

Two years off of Retin-A, i had another flareup of acne, this time only between my eyebrows and a mild case. I've only been on Differin for 6 weeks and not as long as Retin-A so far, but I can already tell this will take longer to see results. Differin is a much milder form of Retin-A and is very inconsistent in terms of breakouts. My regimen consists of using Clean and Clear Morning Burst facial cleanser for day and nights, Clindamycin 1% gel in the morning, Differin cream 0.1% for nights, and Aveeno Clear complexion moisturizer throughout the day, mincocycline oral antibiotics twice a day

Here's what i've concluded through 6 weeks of Differin:

Week 1: Like Retin-A, quickly smooths out surface of skin

Week 2: Slight pain in problem areas, feel the rising of deep acne

Week 3: Skin begins to purge, but acne doesn't last long; It lasts only a couple of days and leaves red marks, partially oily skin

Week 4: Skin smooths out again and marks are very lightly fading

Week 5: Only one whitehead on skin, pigmentation dramatically improving

Week 6: Out of no where, three huge and painful cysts pop up between my brow area, two large whiteheads on my nose (I never get whiteheads on my nose, just red zits) and hyperpigmentation becoming darker again (I use sunscreen during the day too), skin is becoming incredibly oily (i don't typically have oily skin)

Through6 weeks, it's been rough getting through the breakout stage, especially when breakouts are happening on and off. Unlike Retin-a, the breakout stage would last constantly until the purging was over. Since differin is much weaker, the time period of purging is going to be much longer. My dermatologist said that within a month and a half all my active acne would be gone. It doesn't seem like the case yet. I'm obviously not done with Differin, but this has been an extremely trying process for me. I'll wait the full 12 weeks and see how the results are to review once again.

good product!
Reviewed on January 16, 2017

My skin is sensitive and combination/oily. I have never had horrible or cystic acne, just a few pimples on my forehead all the time. About a month ago, the acne spread to all over my forehead. I knew the problem wasn't my diet or a product because i tried eliminating these things. My dermatologist prescribed me .1% differin gel a few weeks ago. There was no difference the first two days but on the third day, I had no new pimples and it's been that way since! I did experience slightly drier skin than usual, but no redness or flaking. I believe the key is to use as little product as possible and moisturize as soon as the product sinks into the skin. Also, it's important to exfoliate daily to help the product remove waste from your face.

One thing i did notice though was that i have a couple clogged pores still on my forehead. Do i wait them out? Will they turn into pimples?

by Merin on 03/22/2017 13:08
I have the same skin combination but after using differin, my skin becomes irritable , dry and has constant tingling feeling. I had my skin peeling off and I wonder how do I exfoliate these dead skin without worsening my skin ?
by Merin on 03/22/2017 13:08
I have the same skin combination but after using differin, my skin becomes irritable , dry and has constant tingling feeling. I had my skin peeling off and I wonder how do I exfoliate these dead skin without worsening my skin ?
the worst
Reviewed on January 15, 2017

this is my fist time to ever write a review about an acne treatment , but this product ruined my life , now i can't even get out i'm so embarrassed , i had only 5 little pimples in my whole face , now they are countless small pimples in clusters , and my skin look worse than it ever have been and with time and more use it only increase the acne , i wish i never used it really .

by DesiDurham on 04/13/2017 02:44
Has your face cleared up since, and if so, how?
by matthew132313 on 05/15/2017 21:37
maybe it was an allergic reaction?
On Week 7, Acne Much worse
Reviewed on January 12, 2017

Currently on my 7th week using this, my acne is much worse than before i started, i know its expected to get worse before it gets better, but i'm loosing motivation, going to give it another few weeks before i give up on it, even got a cyst on my face which I have never gotten before, really hoping i see a change in the next couple of weeks

by Lj3509 on 06/13/2017 03:14
has it gotten any better since?
Slow but effective
Reviewed on January 4, 2017

After almost a year of this it cleared up my severe acne by 99%. The initial breakout was real bad tho, however, worth it 100x in the end. This product continued to bring out my acne from deep within my skin so it took about 2 months to actually see any results. If you're using it keep on it, your gonna have to power through it!

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!)

Week 9 - im purging a bit bt its nt that bad, the cc's turned into red pimples... but sokay cause Its never as worst as the initial purge!!! Also clean ur glasses (i got pimples coz of greasy glasses TT) all is well! The dark marks n red marks r fading

Week 9 (end) - huhuhuhu I felt sore bumps on my right cheek and then the next day a hugeeee cyst appeared and little pimples cropped up around the cyst....GOD its terrifying Im STILL purging and its almost 2 months 2 weeks TT ughhh POSITIVE! IT'LL ALL BE WORTH IT!!


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

Violently purges and creates 'acne' in normal skin
Reviewed on October 21, 2016

I suppose if you have terrible acne, you have nothing to lose with trying this. But if you have mild acne and sensitive skin, this is absolute garbage and will likely create acne where you never had any to start.

Sadly, Differin ended up working out just as terribly as Retin A-Micro did for me. After Retin A-Micro [cream] gave me chemical burns and cysts that formed over them as a result of the trauma, my derm suggested Differin because it was "weaker" and would "gently" push closed comedones out. I thought extraction could work just as well (since I don't have many cc's) but he assured me that Differin was better. I used a very thin layer, as directed, over my problem areas every other night for a week, then every night. By the end of week 2, I had no redness and peeling...but my pores were purging VIOLENTLY, namely in the most sensitive areas of my face. Several large, painful papules appeared in place of the closed comedones around my nasal folds that were stinging and burning. The skin of my right nostril was red, itchy and inflamed. One or two cc's around my mouth became huge and problematic, while the rest remained stubbornly under the surface and were only removed with extraction.

Having painful papules anywhere is completely unlike me...Differin caused acne I never had, and I refuse to believe that these papules would have eventually come to the surface and Differin was helping because I DON'T GET PAPULES. How does this make any sense? It's an absolute joke that doctors tell you it's bringing trapped acne to the surface when there was never an acne issue to begin with! More like 'acne' appears when you're having a reaction to the chemical formula and all its lovely PARABENS [which damage the endocrine system and can cause cancer].

by somewhereovertherainbow on 10/26/2016 10:05
1. I have cc's too 2.5 months ago, It's cleared up quite a bit and theres 5-6 active pimples on my face 2. I never had acne my whole life so purging was seen as horrendous even though in retrospect it wasn't that bad and fairly normal. 3. It could be that you had an allergic reaction? Chemical burns & cysts (if you are not prone to them getting it is probably a bad sign...) or ur skin could just be dried out/dehydrated thus using retin-A/differin dries them out even more causing pimples (irritation-breakouts) Okay i lost count but yeah maybe ur just purging? I got papules too..a lot of them and tons of redness and my skin is doing well now...its still purging (purge clears purge clears purge clears) though the initial breakout/purge was THE worst and now its just 4-6 of them. Parabens dont cause cancer.....its just a myth[link removed] Usually an allergic reaction is itchy and painful and u break out HORRIBLY in cysts!
by cloudydreamer on 10/31/2016 17:00
I think I am simply unable to tolerate retinoids of any kind. I am still getting the occasional residual bump from the Differin and it feels like a wasp is stinging my face when a cc comes to a head in a huge, itchy, red lump. This isn't normal to me. It's so upsetting and painful when it happens I have to hold ice on the spot and if this had been all over my entire face I probably would have had a mental breakdown since it's hurt so badly, and itches so horribly. I highly discourage everyone I know now from trying this because even patch testing is a waste of time. I did a patch test on my neck and because my neck doesn't have cc's I didn't get the same stinging huge bumps it caused on my nasal folds. Also, parabens are quite bad for you and have been scientifically proven to cause disruptions in the body, mainly in the endocrine/reproductive systems. It builds up and causes imbalances over time.
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.