Adding Differin to Your Skincare Routine
The most well-known name of the Adapalene 0.1 percent has become a household brand. There are different brand names of Adapalene 0.1 percent, such as La Roche Posay Adapalene which is more expensive. However, Differin is well-known because it's affordable and available at any drugstore, most notably in the US.
Jun 13, 2022 By Madison Evans

Differin has more than 800 5-star ratings for its products on Amazon, 4.7 stars on CVS, and a nearly perfect score on Target. The price tag is affordable; a 0.5-oz. tube costs only $12. This contrasts with creams for retinol which cost upwards of $150.

There's no doubt that there's a pattern there: People who utilize Differin believe it's fantastic, and it comes with the seal of approval of experts for clearer, more blemish-free skin, too. But it's a prescription-strength formula. In the end, a few factors must be considered before adding them into your routine at night. Here are six things that everyone must know about this effective pimple-fighter.

Retinoid, Not a Retinol

Although there are numerous available retinol creams for sale over the counter out there, Differin is a retinoid. They're comparable but not the same, says Ava Shamban, MD, an expert Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of SKIN FIVE. Both ingredients come from vitamin A. It's which is a potent anti-aging agent that speeds up cell turnover. However, she says the retinol ingredient is weaker than the prescription form and may take longer to show outcomes.

Not all retinoids are identical. Differin's retinoid is the sole one that's currently available for purchase over the counter. However, it's still necessary to obtain prescriptions for its more potent version, Differin Gel 0.3 percent, as well as different types of retinoids like tretinoin (also called Retin-A) isotretinoin and the tazarotene.

Retinyl Palmitate

We highly recommend beginning with this product if you haven't worked with this component before. Retinyl esters such as retinyl palmitate are transformed to retinal, which is turned to retinol, which is then further converted to all-trans-retinoic acid (tretinoin). The more steps required for the kind of retinoid in your product to convert into tretinoin before it can affect your skin, the less effective the retinoid will be.


According to Dr. Agarwal, retinaldehyde is the oxidized form of retinol and can be straightforwardly turned into active retinoic acid. It encourages the turnover of cells and prevents congestion of the skin's pores.


This synthetic form that is a synthetic version of Vitamin A is ideal if you are looking to manage keratosis or mild acne. It's a breeze to tolerate and available on the market, making it simple to include it in your regimen.

Retinoic Acid

This is the most powerful active form of retinoids and is often found as tretinoin or Accutane. It begins its anti-aging effects on the skin as soon as it is applied. It doesn't need to be converted into work, which means it can have the most beneficial uses; however, it can leave the skin vulnerable to retinol or dryness due to the process. This treatment is recommended for active acne.


It is a synthetic version that is a synthetic form of Vitamin A that binds to certain retinoid receptors that are found on the skin. It's potent, but it could cause skin irritation. It can be used to treat wrinkles and dark spots. However, it might not be as effective in treating acne because of the receptors that it binds.

Best Practices for Using Differin Gel

You may decide to go all-in and utilize it regularly. You can also begin slowly and make use of it each day. Whatever method you choose to apply, you'll see results. If you use it regularly, keep in mind that your skin could cleanse. Be sure to wear SPF 50+ throughout the daytime. If you cannot commit to wearing sunscreen, it is not worth applying the Differin Gel in any way.

Some may be afflicted with redness, dryness, and irritation. This is why it's recommended to take your time and start slowly. Be sure to use a great moisturizer afterward. Cerave Moisturizing Cream is ideal for this. When you introduce Differin Gel, make it easier to simplify your routine, and cut off the use of all actives that you have in the PM for a short time. It is possible to continue your morning Vitamin C and SPF regimen like you normally. Although you'll notice results quickly, you must use Differin Gel for at least 12 weeks/3 months before you can enjoy all the benefits of the treatment.

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