Acne.org’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.
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.
Used Adapalene? Rate It:
Choose from 1 to 5 stars
September 9, 2018
Differin is the only product to finally clear my cystic acne. I am 38 years old, and started my battle with the dreaded chin cysts in my early 20's. I will share my story in hopes it helps you. I am red head and fair skin that is not only sensitive and reactive but also partly oily and was prone to painful, ugly, embarrassing cysts. All of the other acne products caused redness and flaking. An old boyfriend once told me, Eew, it looks like your face is peeling off. That was horrifying. No amount of makeup would help and actually often made it look worse. As I have become older and became more established in my career it has been even more embarrassing to show up with acne. So anyways fast forward to today, September 2018. I discovered Differin OTC in May 2017. I was afraid of the dreaded purge and other side effects of retinoids like flaking peeling and dryness. So I started VERY slowly. I mean i used a pea sized amount once every 3 or 4 days. And lots of gentle moisturizer. And NO OTHER ACNE PRODUCTS. I emphasize because i had literally no negative sode effects and I think it was because I was serious about being careful. About 3 or 4 months later I was able to use Differin every night. I can honestly tell you I have not had a single cyst since May 2017. And I did finally get one this month, but it helped me realize it's been over a year since I had to deal with a cyst, and that's not bad. So i did end up going to my Derm for a cortisone injection, and she recomend I move up to the stronger Rx Adapalene now. Apparently it might aslo be good for wrinkles so that's cool, too.
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.
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.
December 15, 2017
Works - but give it time
I'm writing this as a parent of two teens who had moderate acne. Their journeys have been slightly different in terms of products tried along the way but they both eventually arrived at using Differin (available only on prescription in the UK) alongside the oral antibiotic Erythryomicin. You have to be patient with this product and introduce very gradually and over the course of a month build it up to nightly use. Your skin with be dry and peel and the breakouts will still happen. But in our experience it takes at least 3 months before you can see a consistent improvement. The skin very gradually will improve in texture and the breakouts will lessen. When spots occur they tend to be smaller and clear quicker and the post acne red marks will gradually fade. My daughter in particular had very bad red marks from an awful prolonged breakout but 3 months have passed since she started Differin and the red marks are gradually fading, so much so she feels she doesn't have to wear make up every day. I would say that this product will not make you 100% clear so have realistic expectations. My son has been using this for 4 years now and still gets the odd spot or two, but to him that is a small price to pay and it doesn't bother him at all. For those of you who may have tried another Retinoid. My daughter used Isotrex initially (used for 3months) but found that really really harsh by comparison to Differin. She took a break for two weeks and then very gradually introduced Differin and that has suited her skin much better.
September 15, 2017
I bought this OTC for my chin acne. I'm 46 and can't get this stuff under control. Random jaw line acne too but chin acne is a daily battle. Never had it before when I was younger. Doc says it's my hormones. Well, I'm sick of it! So, bought some Differin. I'm in my second week. 1) no more chin acne! 2) some redness but nothing major 3) no peeling 4) small break out on left temple (nothing major, already going away) And ..... 5) my small keloid on my right jaw has flattened out!!! This keloid has been an issue for me. I'm probably more self conscious about it than I should be. It's not even the size of a dime but when I run my finger over it....that feeling. I hate it! But now, when I rub my finger over it.... smoothed out. In just 2 weeks! For that, this item is worth every penny! How I use it: 1) no acne medication but differin which I apply at night 2) wash up with dial moisturizing soap 3) have never worn makeup and even with redness, no makeup 4) loads of spf (loreal revitalift brand I use) face shines up but know it's protected 5) avoid sun from 10-3.... no exceptions! That's pretty much it. Hoping my skin texture benefits from differin overall. I'm really happy that my keloid is receding.
July 20, 2017
Great Product If Used Wisely
this product is fantastic if you use it properly. you have to be careful with how much and how often you apply it. my skin care routine: -cleanse with neutrogena hydro boost gel cleanser (very gentle, effectively cleans the skin, and leaves it feeling hydrated due to the hyaluronic acid) *have hated every neutrogena product until this line. -go in with cerave daily moisturizer after cleansing. *product is fantastic b/c it has ceramides that promote healthy skin barrier function. *** I cleanse and moisturize twice a day*** Every other night, i moisturize and apply a PEA sized amount of differen to my face and gently rub it in. using every other night minimizes irritation that could exacerbate acne. i have seen results. they are not dramatic, as i am taking this slow but i did notice that it stopped a cystic pimple from forming (which is amazing).
May 22, 2017
Works really well!
I have acne rosacea which convinced me I wouldn't have clear skin until I am 35 (i am 25 now.) Pimples were not so much my issue but hyperpigmentation and scarring left me feeling like I would never have clear skin. I knew that retinoids were good for hyperpigmentation but my dermatologist wanted to stay away from them because I was not on a birth control plan (newly married) and he did not want to risk combining the medication and a possible pregnancy. Since this medication is now over the counter, I felt it was safe enough to apply with keeping in consideration that if I ever was headed the pregnancy route, I would stop. ANYWAYSSSS, THIS MEDICATION IS AMAZING. IT LEGITIMATELY CLEARED UP MY SKIN IN A WAY I HAVE NEVER SEEN SINCE MY FIRST PIMPLE. I was on the acne.org regime for 4 months that worked great but when I added differin I stopped using the benzoyl peroxide. Once my skin was used to the differin, I added benzoyl peroxide back into my routine but just in the morning. Therefore, I was using benzoyl peroxide in the morning (the smallest amount that is still effective) and differin at night. Once my skin was used to this routine (about 4 weeks), I added the glycolic acid AHA as a moisturizer a couple times a week and omg I cannot believe the results! I am very happy with this product and AM SO THANKFUL IT BECAME AN OVER THE COUNTER PRODUCT. THANK YOU GOD.!
May 4, 2017
This stuff is amazing.
In a word: amazing. Let's just get this out of the way... Yes, you have to use it consistently every single night for three months to see serious results. Yes, it can and probably will cause a horrific initial breakout. Yes, your skin is going to be difficult and irritated while it gets adjusted to the medicine. But it is so totally worth it... My skin has never looked this healthy. It is literally glowing after three months of use. My pores are actually free and clear of blockages and my skin looks beautiful and supple in regular sunlight. The texture, although crazy and peeling for the first 60 days or so, is now so soft and smooth. The tone and color has evened out and most of my sun damage (years of baking in the sun) and a lot of my fine lines are now just gone. I get compliments all the time. Give this stuff a try and don't give up... stick it out, it's worth it. I used Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% to help with the initial breakout in the mornings underneath my moisturizer. Don't over exfoliate while on it... try an AHA or BHA once a week at a low concentration. Definitely don't mechanically exfoliate as this will impede your progress... be very, very gentle with your skin.
You must use this for 3-6 months to see results, and continue to improve over 1 year. You may need to also use a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide, at least for 1 of your 2 daily cleansings. I really like CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser with 4% BP. Adapalene by itself was pretty good but not 100% effective. Together these are working really well for me. I have had acne for 30 years. I used the Acne.org BP Regimen for 20 years, and it really saved me. But I recently discovered Adapalene 0.1%. For moisturizer, I still love Dan's regimen moisturizer that has jojoba and licorice extract, it is an excellent product.
Main reasons I switched from The Regimen to BP cleanser plus adapalene:
Good luck to you.