Acne,  Reviews

Differin Gel review: How Effective is It Really?

You are probably looking for a product that works specifically well for your type of acne, you are probably thinking “is this even going to work for my acne?” I know how difficult it is when you are suffering from acne, and it doesn’t really matter how old you are.

If that is the reason you are looking for a review, you have come to the right place. Let me enlighten you with an honest Differin Gel review, I will help you go through every detail you need to know, to help you decide whether this product is for you or not.

  • Product: Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
  • Price: $52.88 (pack of 2)
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Cheapest place to buy:
  • Size: 45gram or 1.5 ounces

What is Differin Gel Made Of?

Differin Gel Adapalene is a retinoid based product, and it has one active ingredient, which is adapalene. Retinoid has been known to help with skin problems since 1971, it is dermatologist-tested, they possess vitamin A activity to help ensure your cell grow and repair the right way.

So ingredient wise, it only has 0.1% adapalene as an active ingredient and that is pretty good, no added ingredients that may or may not work well with it.

Nowadays there are tons of acne medication that promise buyers that it will clear up their skin within a few days, because of their amazing ingredients. This may surprise you, but we actually buy them because we think the more ingredients the better and also because we are desperate for results.

How Long Before I see results?

This is most likely the most important question when buying an over the counter acne medication, how long before I see results? Don’t worry, I got that covered for you as well!

  • Week 0 – This is the starting phase, start applying the medication on your face where acne is formed or is about to form, and it will start working deep into your pores.
  • Week 1-3 – After about 21 days, you will start noticing some improvement, but mostly not enough, this is where most people start giving up and leave it like that, just be consistent and believe in it.
  • Week 4-10 – Your skin should be pretty clean by now, maybe some redness here and there, but overall skin texture should be on point as well, keep using the medication to prevent future breakouts.

Just like most medication, the more consistent you are, the better results you will see. Make this a habit like its a daily acne routine. Most acne medication take at least 4-5 weeks before you can see a bit of result, and that’s because your skin needs to get used to it first and it takes some time for our skin cells to adapt and grow.

I consider it a quick acting acne medication, and of course it may differ from one person to another, but the majority of you guys would agree with me after trying it.

You can use this for any kind of acne actually, blackheads, whiteheads and even pustules, but how fast you will see results depends on the severity of your acne.

One time I had two whiteheads on my chin and forehead, I applied the gel on one of them, and guess what? I tested the power of the gel, the one which I applied the medication on disappeared within a 5 days period, while the other one stayed for at least another week.

What are the side effects?

The side effects I experienced with Differin gel wasn’t too bad, and it only lasted the first two to three weeks.

I felt a warm sensation with a little tingling feeling when I applied it on my face and then some of my acne seems to have gotten worse for about a week (I didn’t give up because I believed in it), but overall it wasn’t too bad.

The side effects can be a little different from one person to another, but the most common side effects are the sensation of warmth, itchiness and a tingling feeling after you apply it on your face.

The skin usually get a little red and dry and in some cases your skin may even start scaling, but don’t you fret, it is all part of the process of getting newer, brighter and smoother skin. Just stick to it.

The One Flaw

There is something about this product I don’t particularly like, and that is the size it comes in. The Differin gel comes in very small sizes, so i have no choice but to order again and again in a very short period of time.

That is something I am not used to do, this wouldn’t be a problem if I am one of those people that order every single week from amazon or something, for me that is too much work.

And also the way I use the medication is not very common, because I always apply a little more than the recommended amount, leading to an empty tube quicker than usual.

I Definitely Recommend This

It comes in a pack of two 45 grams tube, and it can last up to 180 days. I have personally used this product for months and it did what it said it would. It is one of the most effective gel based acne medication I have seen and used thus far.

===> Get yours here as well.

There aren’t many acne medicaton that can live up to what they  promise, some are just trying to make a buck out of everyone with their fake advertising and how quickly they can cure your acne with no proof to show.

If you have any experience or questions about the Differin Adapalene Gel, leave me a comment down below, I will be sure to get back to you.





  • Desa

    Hi Isaac,

    You may not be the right person for me to put this question to, and if not, I totally understand! My only issue with acne is hormonal, so right around my period I will always get one pimple on my neck, chin or back. The neck and back ones really bother me because other than these hormonal problems, I am blessed to have very clear skin. Do you think this is worth using for and can be used for those neck and back PMS pimples once a month, or do you have another recommendation? Also, is this safe to use on skin other than the face to begin with?

    Thanks for your help and such a great post!


    • Isaac

      Hi Desa, 

      You can use it anywhere you want, as long as its on the pimple, be careful with the eyes though. Hormonal acne is acne, so yes, definitely give it a try and tell me about it, best of luck!


  • Luke


    Great review about gel which helps with acne problems. It doesn`t have effects in very short time like in a few days but it seems pretty natural and doesn`t have some stronger side effects. If I would have acne I would probably just buy it.

    Is this gel brand new on the market or is it already available some longer period?

    I like your article and keep up the good work!

  • jessie palaypay

    Do you find Differin to be better than other well known acne treatment brands such as Neutrogena and Proactive? 

    Also, after the 4-5 week period when you start seeing results, do you still use the product for an indefinite period of time or do you take breaks in between acne treatment and restart after a break period?

    • Isaac

      Hi Jessie, I’m glad you asked.

      I personally think it is, it works better on my acne. I take about a week off after my acne cleared up, but I still use it every two week, to prevent acne breakouts. 


  • Nathalie

    Thank you for this very interesting post, Isaac. I experienced acne myself when I was a teenager and really did not know what to do about it other than hope that it would not get worse or that I would not get a huge pimple on my nose the day I had a date… I would mainly use cover up methods… I really like the fact that you have another blog post about Food that helps clear acne. In my experience (I am 45 now), what I put INTO my body has had the most influence on what comes OUT OF my body through my skin… but dietary changes can be difficult to implement for some people, so it’s great that you can recommend this product that you have personally tested. I wish I had something like this when I was a teenager. Thanks for sharing! Nathalie 

    • Isaac

      Hi Nathalie, how is your skin now? The Differin gel not only helps with acne, it also helps in keeping clear skin from breaking out. I am glad you liked the article.


  • Alejandra

    Hi Issac,

    As one of my sons was asking me what he could do to get rid of the acne problem, I started to look to find some information and I’m glad I found your website today.

    I was looking to find a product that will help my son to solve out the acne problem and I see as I read your review about Differin Gel might be good for him, I know that gel products are the right one when we talk about acne, creams will not work as what you want is not to massage or touch hard the acne on your skin, gel is good as you don’t need to massage it, am I right no this?

    I see you also have some articles about how to keep your skin looking good when you grow old, so I’m going to read that article too.


    • Isaac

      Hi Alejandra, definitely give it a go, try it out and tell me about it, share your experience with the gel.

      Yes, that’s what this website is all about, skin care 🙂 
      Best of luck


  • Timotheys


    Scrubbing helps me with most of my acne on my face, but even with scrubbing I can’t get rid of the acne on my back. It’s a really specific spot that’s really heard to reach, so my girlfriends helps me out, but after months of trying it’s still there.

    Will this problem help with that? Or should I go to the doctor?

    Thanks in advance!


    • Isaac

      Hi Timotheys, first of all, you have a very kind girlfriend, haha.

      Definitely check with your dermatologist if it worries you, but you can also try applying it and see if it works, for the most part, it should. Best of luck!


  • zuchii

    Acne has always been an issue for teenagers and adolescent, there are lots of products in the market for treatment of acne but only few are really as effective as expected,  this has lead me to thinking there is no permanent cure for acne

     Differin Gel seems to be different from other products I have come across it’s active ingredient; adapalene is very potent and should be able to treat acne if applied properly.

    • Isaac

      Hello Zuchii, that is true, you cannot really cure acne, but you can maintain it.

      Differin gel does exactly what it says, its not too hard on the skin and it gives you the result you expect , have you tried it ?


  • Lady Esther


    Thank you for the article. I have never used this product.  I am  over 50

    And still get acne but only once in a while.  Question: the ingredient in this acne 

    Product can it be use for anything else? you mention a small side effect of 

    “a warm sensation with a little tingling feelin“- for individuals that have very 

    sensitive skin do you recommend this product?

    Enjoy the article and thank you. Very best 

    Lady Esther 

    • Isaac

      Hi Esther, if your question is whether this product is for people with sensitive skin or not, the answer is yes.

      You can use this product regardless of your skin type, best of luck!


  • andy

    Is this something that you would recommend for a teenager?  My youngest daughter is 17 years old right now and is really having a hard time with acne.  She has tried all kinds of different things and some of it works okay for awhile but then doesn’t seem to have the same affect after a while.  Does this product lose effectivness over time? 

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