What should I expect?

Differin Gel isn’t like other acne treatments you’ve tried. So you shouldn’t try to use it in the same way, either.
Here’s a snapshot of what your next 12 weeks might look like when you #DoThingsDifferin. Stick with it for 90 days to see the full effects–and finish the #DifferinChallenge. (You’ll be glad you did.)
Week 1

Make Differin Gel a part of your daily skincare routine. And be sure to moisturize. Every Day. No excuses.

If your skin starts to feel dry or tight, you can use Differin Soothing Moisturizer or Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with SPF sunscreen to keep any dryness or tightness at bay.


Be consistent: apply Differin Gel once a day, every day, at the same time of day.

Week 2

You may start to see some mild redness or irritation.

Don’t freak out. That’s just what dermatologists call “retinization.” It’s part of the process – and it’s perfectly normal. Keep moisturizing, and don't forget to use SPF sunscreen during the day to help protect your skin.


Retinoids and retinols aren’t the same. Both retinol and adapalene are retinoids, but only adapalene is FDA-approved to treat acne.

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Ummmm… what’s retinization??

Retinoid Education 101

Proof that good things come to those who wait.

Part of the Differin difference is a topical retinoid called adapalene. During retinization –the adjustment period when your skin is getting used to Differin Gel – you might experience dryness, scaling, redness and burning or stinging.

It sounds scary, but don’t worry: Irritation usually lessens after 4 weeks. Plus, bonus: Some people never experience retinization at all!


Help avoid irritation by steering clear of products with harsh chemicals like alpha hydroxy acid or glycolic acid, and other acne medications and treatments.

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According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), topical retinoids are recommended for mild and moderate acne over other products with salicylic acid.

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Week 3

Redness, sensitivity, breakouts: Yep, they’re all normal.

And they’re just side effects of using adapalene, the only acne-fighting retinoid approved for over-the-counter use. But remember: You could start to see a reduction in acne after two weeks of treatment.

Wait… so my acne might get worse before it gets better?

Retinoid Education 101
Short answer: maybe.

Adapalene is designed to result in less redness and skin irritation than other prescription retinoids. But first, retinization might cause some side effects that make your skin feel worse before it gets better.

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Retinoids work deep in your pores to clear your skin.

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Week 4

You’re almost there!

If you keep using Differin Gel, it can help restore your skin’s natural tone and texture by clearing and preventing acne long-term.


Retinization usually subsides after about four weeks.

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Hmmmm… so what’s going on with my skin after retinization?

Your skin is healing.

Adapalene adjusts the speed of skin cell turnover to help keep pores from clogging and target acne before it even starts. Learn more about how adapalene works.


Treat your skin right. Make sure to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with SPF 30 sunscreen can help.

Week 5

Keep on keepin’ on!

Differin Gel is still reducing acne-causing clogs, so it’s important to keep using it daily.

Weeks 6, 7, 8

Recognize these guys?

We know you do. Because they’re your new best friends. Did you know you could buy them all in one Clear Skin Set?


Wondering what the difference looks like in real life?

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Weeks 9, 10, 11

Remember, Differin Gel isn’t a spot treatment like other acne products. It’s formulated to keep new acne from forming — resulting in improved skin tone and texture.

Week 12

You made it!

You should see a significant difference around the 12-week mark–clinical studies reported up to 87% acne reduction. Now that’s something to celebrate.

So, what do I do now?

Retinoid Education 101
You know the drill: Stick with it!

Keep using Differin Gel every day, even after your skin looks clearer.

Differin Gel (adapalene 0.1%)

Your long-term solution to clear and prevent acne. Get prescription strength without a prescription.

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Before + After

Clear results from using Differin Gel that have the beauty community talking.

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