What to expect when using Differin® Gel

Differin Gel isn’t like the other acne treatments that can’t seem to give you the results you want. So you shouldn’t try to use it in the same way. It’s a process that’s delightfully different. Delightful because it works.

Before Differin Gel, a simulation of actual clinical results
Week 0

Apply a thin layer of Differin all over your face once every day whether you have just a few spots or a full-on breakout. Remember, this isn’t a spot-treatment you only use when needed. Think of it like brushing your teeth: You don’t just brush the teeth with food in them, you brush them all. Every day. Because skipping days could lead to a problem. Make Differin Gel a part of your daily skincare routine to keep the problems away.

  • Apply all over your face, not just on acne spots
  • Differin Gel goes to work deep in your pores, where acne starts
During use of Differin Gel (adapalene 0.1%), a simulation of actual clinical results
Week 2

You may see some mild redness or irritation on the treated area. Don’t freak out. That’s just what dermatologists call retinization; it happens as your skin adapts to the treatment, and usually subsides after about four weeks. Differin Gel is still doing its job to reduce acne-causing clogs, so it’s important to keep using it daily. You could start to see a reduction in acne after two weeks of treatment. Keep it up, it gets better.

  • Mild redness/irritation (retinization) may occur within the first four weeks
  • Differin Gel is working hard behind the scenes to unclog pores and clear acne
  • Use a moisturizer like Differin Soothing Moisturizer
Differin Gel results, a simulation of actual clinical results
Week 12

You should see a significant difference around the 12-week mark – clinical studies reported up to 87% acne reduction. Like any health regimen, skipping a day could lead to a setback. Continue using Differin Gel every day, even after your skin looks clearer, for increased reduction.

  • Acne inflammation is noticeably reduced which leads to restoration of skin tone and texture
  • Continued daily use keeps pores clear and helps prevent breakouts

Things to watch for.

Most importantly, watch for positive results between week 2 and week 12. But before you achieve your best skin, you may experience a few mild side effects that subside after about week 4. Overall, Differin Gel has superior tolerability compared to other retinoid acne treatments that don’t contain adapalene. Common side effects include dryness, redness, irritation and burning/stinging. These symptoms usually peak at the 2- to 4-week mark before subsiding. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and in clinical studies, average scores were less than mild. Less common side effects include, erythema, pruritus, sunburn and acne flares, which occur in fewer than 1% of people who use Differin Gel.

Tips for best experience

Use Differin Gentle Cleanser to keep skin clean.
Next apply a thin layer of Differin Gel once every day all over your face — even when your face is clear — for long-term results.
Don’t be discouraged by temporary retinization that may occur when using Differin Gel; it should subside after about week 4.
Add sun protection under makeup without clogging pores, with Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with SPF 30. At night, help decrease dryness and other signs of irritation with a non-SPF moisturizer such as Differin Soothing Moisturizer.

What’s retinization?

It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s worth noting. Retinization is the adjustment period in which the skin becomes acclimated with adapalene, the retinoid in Differin Gel. During this time skin may become red and irritated. Differin Soothing Moisturizer is great to use with Differin Gel to help relieve symptoms of retinization.

Before you achieve your best skin, you may experience a few mild side effects that subside after about week 4.

Retinization typically begins to subside around week 4 of daily Differin Gel treatment. Whether or not you experience retinization, remember, Differin is still working to clear and prevent acne breakouts.

A dermatologist’s perspective

What is retinization?

Retinization occurs most frequently during the first part of treatment, when your skin is getting used to Differin Gel.
Dr. Adam Friedman

Differin Gel (adapalene 0.1%)

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Before + After

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