Differin is made in gel and crème forms. Both options contain adapalene as their active ingredient. Adapalene is a topical retinoid that can penetrate the skin’s surface. It’s truly capable of treating pimples and preventing future outbreaks. Three concentrations of the active ingredient are available to accommodate patients with sensitive skin and mild to severe acne.
How is Differin used?
Differin is applied at night. Before using Differin, wash your face with a gentle non-soap cleanser. (Soap leaves residue.) Then pat your skin dry. Apply just a pea-sized amount of Differin to your face. Be sure to avoid the sensitive skin around your eyes, nose and lips.
Overnight the medication will regulate oil production and trigger the growth of new skin cells. If you find that it’s too drying, only apply the cream or gel every other night.
Is Differin effective?
Yes. Differin is clinically proven to fight and prevent acne. It’s especially effective against non-inflammatory acne, which is acne that stays mostly beneath the skin’s surface. People who have both non-inflammatory acne and inflammatory acne (whiteheads) can benefit from using Differin in conjunction with a benzoyl peroxide treatment. Be aware though that the combined treatments will be very drying.
What are the drawbacks of Differin?
- Differin is a potent acne medication and can have side effects if it enters the bloodstream. Therefore women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use Differin. Also, this product can interact with other medications and dietary supplements. Be sure to consult with your doctor about possible interactions.
- Differin makes skin more vulnerable to sunlight. It should not be used by people who have sunburn or eczema, and it should always be used with sun protection. Failure to use sun protection with this product can cause dark blotches, sunburn and premature wrinkling.
- Some people are allergic to ingredients in Differin. If you are allergic to any foods or medicines, be sure to tell your doctor.
- Differin isn’t very moisturizing. You might experience an unpleasant tingling sensation when applying the product. It’s a good idea to invest in good moisturizers when using this product. Choose a rich night cream and a day cream with sun protection.
Would you recommend Differin?
We recommend Differin to people who haven’t benefited from the non-prescription alternatives. Some basic alternatives include:
- Using non-prescription acne treatments with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide
- Taking herbs to regulate hormones, digestion and other internal variables
- Taking birth control pills to regulate hormones
Differin isn’t recommended as a first option because it’s very drying. Besides that, it costs more than other acne treatments unless your dermatology visits and prescriptions are covered by health insurance.
If you’ve tried other acne treatments without success, then Differin might be just what you need to get consistently clear skin.