Topical Retinoid
1910 Reviews
Topical Retinoid
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
Topical Retinoid
Side Effects
Topical Retinoid’s Real World Take
May provide partial relief at higher prescription dosages. Comes with less side effects than the other two topical retinoids, tretinoin and tazarotene, but may also work ever-so-slightly less well. No retinoid is likely to be a game changer, but studies do show a partial reduction in acne.
Topical Retinoid
How to Get It
Adapalene is available in strengths up to 0.3% by prescription. Have a dermatologist? Make an appointment to get this medication.

Don't have a dermatologist? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find one.

Adapalene is also available over-the-counter in 0.1% strength. Here are some places you can find it online.
Read All About Adapalene

Used Adapalene? Rate It:

Choose from 1 to 5 stars
August 9, 2018
I guess it's the perfect treatment?
Great product, it just always works.
June 30, 2018
Psychosis, dry eyes, closure bone plates
Title says it all, don't use any Vitamin A derived products when there's other alternatives out there (e.g. benzoylperoxide). I took this for 2-3 years during my adolescence and my body feels as if I've taken accutane.
May 31, 2018
Did nothing
Didn't help me at all :( Was even on it for 6 months.
May 23, 2018
Very emotional
Before I started Differin I had moderate acne on my forehead . I tried everything !! Nothing worked! My dermatologist decided to prescribe me differin. My first week of differin , I was breaking out. I thought that was normal because it was a common side effect. But then every week it kept getting worse. I gave this gel 3 MONTHS and NOTHING HAS IMPROVED. It just made my skin worse.
May 22, 2018
I don't have a single pimple now.
This product is a hit or a miss. It either works for you, or it doesn't. I developed moderate acne around late January 2018. I started differin treatment around late February. It has been about three months and I can say that my skin is finally back to being clear again. That being said, I did have really good skin for a very long time, and when my acne did surface, I was going through very stressful and depressing situations. I have oily skin usually, but during differin, my skin became sensitve and not oily, but not dry. I am currently 17 years old, and started differin when I was 16 almost 17. Right now, although I have no pimples (no clogged pores either), there is some minimal redness and hyper pigmentation, which doesnt bother me. There are also a lot of enlarged pores, which does bother me. I will continue to use differin in fear of the acne coming back again, but this product did do what it claimed. Differin did make my skin very sensitive in the first few weeks, to the point where it hurt to touch it and the cold nyc winter wind would sting my face very bad. I highly recommend aloe vera gel to use 30 mins before your differin because it really soothes and calms down some of the sensitivity and redness. I applied aloe vera in the morning too.
May 17, 2018
Didn't Help Me :(
This didn't improve my acne, and I have oily skin. I wouldn't recommend this product to anyone. I used this for over 3+ months along with the other steps.
May 10, 2018
Surprised it works
Very good. Am 28 year old female. At first this made me break out for 3 or 4 weeks straight and then by the second month I saw improvement then third month it gets better and better. Now I only have 3 pimples compared to 20 I had bad acne caused by losing a bunch weight really fast and throwing my hormones out of whack. I also noticed my skin is nicer texture. I apply every night before lotion on bare skin, then lotion. The only reason I gave it four stars is because I still get acne. But I only been on it 3 months
May 2, 2018
sadly doesn't work!
I have moderate acne around my t zone, mostly focused on my forehead and I was recommended this by my GP. I was given 3 months to use this product and if it didn't work I have to go back. Safe to say I've got another appointment booked! My skin had no change and has just progressively gotten worse :(
April 10, 2018
Cleared my hormonal acne, almost completely
I had typical acne in different spots on my face throughout my teenage years, but then I turned 20 and my whole face broke out and just got worse and worse and hurt and seemingly nothing worked. I was forced to go from never wearing makeup to learning how to cover extremely textured skin, that didnt really look better anyways. I finally got around to seeing a dermatologist and she told me the same thing everyone else would tell me, that it was a hormonal issue and nothing was going to fix my problem besides going to see an ob/gyn and getting on birth control. However, she told me to get this cream off of amazon in the mean time. I felt hopeful because it was recommended by a professional and not just that guy on the corner who never had bad skin but thinks he knows how to clear it up. Also, she told me it used to be perscription-only. So i tried it. First month and a half- I didnt see too much improvement. Month and a half to 2nd and a half month (she told me it would take awhile to kick in and I still felt hopeful because it was professionally recommended)- my face broke out worse than it had in a long time and I was feeling hopeless and ready to give up. Around the 3 1/2-4th month my skin was completely cleared up. Those little tiny bumps that make your skin look awful but never become full zits or go away, they were gone. Nothing was left besides my scars, but, with a little makeup, i felt 100% better and so much more confident. Now, it has been about 8 months since I started this. I only break out around that time of the month, and when I do, its only one or two moderate break outs. I am so thankful for this product and the dermatologist that recommended it to me, especially because i probably wouldve never run into it otherwise. Definitely check it out
April 9, 2018
My differin experience
I started using differin in july 2017 I had pretty bad acne. After trying everything with no results I decided to try differin at first I didn't see any results and after reading alot allot of reviews about sticking with it I decided to. It wasn't until i added the differin sensitive benzoyl peroxide wash and there moisturizer that my face started clearing up I also started taking just regular hair skin and nail vitamins. And my face is clear of breakouts 8 months later. I still get some minor breakouts around my time of month but they go away by the time its over. My acne type is extremely stubborn with sensitive skin and any face wash while using differin burned my skin even there ph wash. I defiantly recommend differin if differin itself doesn't work try adding in there benzoyl peroxide wash(it's formulated for differin user with sensitive skin) and there moisturizer.

Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.