Differin For Acne

(Last Updated On: April 21, 2015)

How Does Differin Work?

Differin is the brand name of Adapalene and is an effective acne treatment

What Is Differin?

IMG_1535Differin cream (sometimes available in a gel) is a prescription medication that contains the active ingredient Adapalene.

Adapalene is a form of Vitamin A that is used to treat acne, these kind of medications are what is known as retinoids.

Adapalene helps to reduce the growth of the keratin surface skin cells that can block pores, by doing so it unblocks the sebaceous glands so that comedones (blackheads) and spots are unable to form.

Adapalene also has its own natural exfoilation properties as it helps to increase the rate at which the skin cells renew themselves meaning spots are less likely to form.

Who Can Use Differin?

Differin is usually prescribed by your doctor to those with moderate to severe acne, or milder forms of acne that hasn’t responded to other treatments.

It is not suitable for children under 12 years old, it cannot be used in pregnancy or in eczema sufferers. In this situation, your doctor will suggest another medication.

How Long Does Differin Take To Work?

Like most topical acne treatments, Differin will take anything from 6 to 12 weeks before maximum benefit is seen, although some users see results quite quickly when using a retinoid.

Differin should only be applied once a day. Using more of the medication could make your skin worse, it won’t help it heal any quicker.

Differin cream or gel should be applied only once a day before bedtime.

Differin Side Effects

woman with itchy skinDifferin can have the following side effects, particularly at first:

  • Marked redness of the skin
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Peeling
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Allergy (Contact dermatitis)

Users who experience side effects do find as their skin adjusts to the medication that it either settles down or goes away completely in time.

User Reviews

Below are some independent reviews from Differin users;

differin user reviews

differin review


The general concensus is that Differin works but it does seem to have its fair share of unpleasant side effects and for some users this may persist.

How To Use Differin

On clean, dry skin, apply a small amount of cream or gel onto the affected areas of skin and smooth in gently. Do not apply too much, a pea sized amount is sufficient.

Avoid strong sunlight, uv lamps or tanning booths while using Differin. Use a high SPF when outside in sunny weather.

Avoid waxing while using this medication.

Wait until its fully absorbed before applying any make-up or moisturisers.

Where To Buy Differin In Ireland

Differin is only available by prescription.

Our Thoughts

natural acne treatmentsDifferin is an effective acne medication that is commonly prescribed and generally well tolerated. But due to the harsh effects of adapalene, skin with acne tends to be more sensitive anyway so we feel that for some individuals, it may irritate the skin or even make the problem worse. In our opinion, Differin is best reserved for more severe cases of acne.

There are gentler formulations around that can be just as effective and less caustic on the skin, so we think its worth researching some natural products first.

Why Not Take A Look At Our Top Rated Acne Treatments?

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The information in this website is for advice and guidance only. It is based on my own intensive research and personal experiences, and is not intended in any way to replace professional medical advice, or to diagnose or treat any health conditions. All rights reserved.