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Author: Leila Tan|2024-3-10

This another form of retinoid can work best for acne but if you have certain skin types such sensitive skin, it is much recommended to go for another acne treatment. So knowing more about Differin can help you to determine whether or not to use it.


What is Differin Gel?

Differin Gel is another form of retinoid. All vitamin A compounds are referred to as retinoid, including:

* Retinol * Retinaldehyde * Retinoic acid * Naphthoic acid derivatives

Adapalene is the specific active component of Differin Gel. Adapalene, which is a retinoid sold over-the-counter, belongs to the category of derivatives of naphthoic acid. The more potent type of adapalene which is adapalene 0.3% gel, requires a prescription.

If you have extremely sensitive skin or certain skin conditions, you should avoid using Differin Gel. For instance, until the skin recovers, those who have sunburns, cracked skin, or eczema are suggested to avoid using Differin Gel.


Does Differin Gel Have Retinol?

Adapalene is used to make Differin Gel in its place. Retinol and adapalene are both products of vitamin A. In order to make room for new skin cells, vitamin A stimulates cell turnover, which gets rid of old ones as a result, your skin looks younger.

Types of Retinoids

There are 3 generations of retinoids:

* 1st generation = retinol, retinal, tretinoin (Retin-A), isotretinoin (Accutane), and alitretinoin. * 2nd generation = etretinate, acitretin. * 3rd generation = adapalene (Differin), bexarotene, and tazarotene.

Scientists search for less grating replacements for some of the older retinoids that led to finding for newer generations of retinoids. It is well known that utilizing products like tretinoin can be uncomfortable. People are less inclined to remain with it, which is necessary to reap its full benefits. And that's where adapalene, also known as the active component in differin, comes in! It is intended to be a milder alternative to retinoids that don't compromise effectiveness.


How Differin Gel Works?

Acne vulgaris, a chronic inflammatory condition of the pilosebaceous unit, which houses the hair follicle and sebaceous gland, is treated with Differin Gel.

Many factors, such as the following, can cause acne, including:

Higher oil production.

Even if you have oily skin, you may not develop acne. Yet, if the oil is trapped due to a delay in the removal of dead skin cells, this triggers an inflammatory response that results in acne.

Microbial changes.

Many components of the body are impacted by the microbiome's delicate equilibrium, according to experts. Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermis) and Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) in particular contribute to the development of inflammatory acne.


As a pore becomes blocked, a series of biological activities are triggered. Blackheads can develop when there is a blockage.

Differin Gel generally won't be as effective as creams with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide if you have an active acne breakout. Differin Gel, on the other hand, aids in preventing future outbreaks of acne. Thus you should avoid using Differin Gel if you have an active zit.

Adapalene reduces photoaging, which includes premature fine lines and wrinkles brought on by sun exposure, in addition to treating acne.


How to Use

Make a fresh start when using Differin Gel. Cleanse the affected area gently, such as your face, and then pat it dry. Apply Differin Gel over the entire region. It is necessary to be reminded that Differin Gel should be used once daily. Your risk of skin irritation may rise if you use the product frequently.

You can observe that your skin gets worse when you first start using Differin Gel. More acne is produced than before due to the higher cell turnover. But, the acne will lessen with time as long as you use it consistently. This often takes up to 12 weeks to fully take effect.

Use a very tiny amount when taking retinoids like Differin Gel to begin with. Once your skin becomes tolerant, increase the frequency of usage from every other day to every night.


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Side Effects of Differin Gel

The most common risks of Differin gel is Redness, Scaly patches, Dry skin, Burning and Pain.

See a healthcare professional right away if you experience serious side effects, such as breathing difficulties and facial or throat swelling. Also, avoid using Differin Gel with irritants such as medicated soaps or cleansers. Also to be noted, this gel should not be used in conjunction with chemical exfoliants or drying agents.

Chemical exfoliators boost cell turnover like retinoids do. Yet, excessive exfoliation might result in skin that is raw and inflamed. Alpha-hydroxy acids and glycolic acids are a few examples of chemical exfoliators. Moreover, if you combine drying treatments with retinoids, they can be very drying.

Instead, apply an ultra-rich moisturizer after using Differin Gel to soothe irritation and provide much-needed hydration.


Who should use Differin Gel?

Differin Gel is a wonderful choice to stop recurring outbreaks if you have acne. For mild to severe breakouts, Differin Gel's 0.1% solution is the most effective.

A stronger solution, like the 0.3% adapalene, may be beneficial if you have severe acne, but you'll need a prescription for this higher dosage.

Differin Gel could aid in promoting a more even skin tone and minimizing the appearance of scars if your acne has caused redness and scarring.

Be sure to consult a doctor beforehand if you're pregnant or nursing. Retinoids can be dangerous for expectant mothers. Moreover, it is not permitted for anyone under the age of 12.

Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and salicylic acid preparations shouldn't be used with Differin Gel since they can aggravate irritation.

Using multiple topical acne products at once may irritate you. Moreover, you should avoid using wax in locations where you've used the gel to remove undesirable hair.


How long does Differin take to work?

Your acne may appear to worsen for the first three weeks you use Differin before improving. 12 weeks should be enough time to notice a complete improvement, especially if you take the medication daily.

Even if your acne initially seems worse, you shouldn't stop using Differin unless irritation or other side effects get really bad. If your acne does not clear up within 8 to 12 weeks, consult your doctor.

After three months of daily treatment, one study found that differin reduced acne by almost 60% in all participants. In the majority of cases, acne somewhat gets worse during the second week. This occurs because it is the time of maximal irritation, which many refer to as the dreaded "purging phase," during which clogged pores begin to surface and the skin becomes more susceptible to inflammation.


Pros VS Cons


1) Over-the-counter (OTC) options available: This indicates that you can start using Differin Gel right away without a prescription.

2) Less irritating than other retinoids: Similar types like Retin-A operate much more quickly, but they might irritate the skin.

3) Reduce fine line and acne scars: Early research suggested that the formula may be involved in more than just clearing up acne. It may also help to diminish the look of fine wrinkles and acne scars.

4) Simple to use: At night, only a pea-sized amount needs to be applied.


1) Needs consistency in use: If you don't use it frequently, results could not be seen.

2) Skin irritation: This gel may cause sensitivity to sunlight as well as skin irritation.

3) Worsen the acne: Several customers claim that using Differin Gel first causes their acne to get worse.

4) May also result in dry skin: Several users report that constant use made their skin dry.


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Alternate Treatment for Acne

Acne Treatment - New Beauty

The Acne Treatment is a new treatment from New Beauty for skin that is prone to breakouts. First, the dual spiral suction plus drainage technology exfoliates dead skin cells and clears clogged pores at the same time, reducing acne infection and inflammation. The face is then treated with a moisturizing serum to control sebum output and encourage collagen synthesis. Future breakouts of acne are less likely if there is insufficient oil. Acne, blemishes, blackheads, whiteheads, pockmarks, enlarged pores, dry skin, acne scars, and dull skin tone are all goals of the acne treatment.

How it works

Step 1: The consultant will outline the procedure's steps and theoretical underpinnings. The beauty therapist then performs a patch test to make sure the probe hasn't caused any irritation.

Step 2: The vacuum microdermabrasion and deep cleaning process is started by the twin spiral suction/drainage probe. Exfoliation is used in the pores and on the surface of the skin. The acne inflammation and infection should gradually subside if the pollutants are removed.

Step 3: To balance the water-to-oil ratio, calm the oil glands from future overproduction of oil, and promote collagen growth, the moisturizing serum is injected into the unclogged skin. This results in treating acne, fewer new outbreaks, and a finer complexion for the skin.


More Advice on Managing Acne

Use sunscreen regularly

It's the best thing you can do for your skin. As ultraviolet light from the sun damages the skin's collagen, it is the leading cause of early aging of the skin. You must preserve and boost your skin's collagen if you want to reduce the appearance of pitted acne scars, therefore skipping sunscreen is a big no-no.

Skin moisturization

This is important for all skin types, even acne-prone skin. Using moisturizers and other hydrating skincare products makes the skin look more "plump," which rapidly reduces the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. If your skin is dry, it's conceivable that your acne scars will appear worse than they actually are.


Retinoids, like adapalene gel, promote skin cell turnover but do not actually exfoliate the epidermis. Because of this, combining adapalene gel with a chemical exfoliant, like glycolic acid, may enhance its effects. However, if you have sensitive skin, you should be more careful as this combination may increase the risk of irritation.

Avoid picking or squeezing spots

Picking spot can worsen inflammation and increase the likelihood of scarring. Instead, let spots heal naturally. Moreover, infections are more likely to develop in any open wounds, regardless of how minor.

Get Expert Assistance

While Differin gel can help reduce the appearance of acne scars, professional solutions like laser surgery and microneedling are more efficient. The professional treatments that are most appropriate for you and your skin's requirements can be discussed with your doctor or dermatologist.



This treatment for acne, adapalene, a form of retinoid, shouldn't combine with other skincare products that may contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, chemical exfoliants, or drying agents.

Remember that Differin Gel works best as a preventative measure rather than a remedy for current acne. Moreover, Differin Gel might irritate and create redness on the skin as well as pregnant women and others may not be able to use it completely or benefit from it.


Is Differin Gel FDA approved?

The FDA has approved Differin Gel (adapalene 0.1%) for the treatment of acne (acne vulgaris). Doctors have been prescribing the retinoid included in Differin for more than 20 years.

Can Differin gel make acne worse?

Your acne may look worse during the first few weeks of using Differin Gel since the medicine is working to prevent pimples from growing beneath the skin. After using Differin Gel consistently for 12 weeks, you should see results.

How does Differin differ from other acne treatments?

Differin (Adapalene) is the only topical acne treatment of retinoid for acne that is sold without a prescription, the others being tretinoin and tazarotene. Differin (Adapalene) has demonstrated greater tolerability in clinical studies compared to other topical prescription retinoids, which means Differin is kinder on your skin while still being effective.

Does Differin gel work on acne scars?

Differin Gel could aid in promoting a more even skin tone and minimizing the appearance of scars if your acne has caused redness and scarring. Differin Gel is a viable alternative for persons who have had acne and are searching for a treatment that can help prevent future acne.


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Acne Treatment

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