Header Photo source: @differinus / Instagram

If you still battle with adult acne and pimple breakouts regularly, you have probably lost hope. You have tried all of the topical regimens and ointments you can get your hands on, yet nothing seems to do what It promises, while making things worse with the side effects.

That’s where I was six months ago. Then I saw a commercial for a new over-the-counter acne treatment medication that was supposed to be “prescription strength” and it piqued my interest. That medication is called Differin Gel, and six months later, it has changed my life.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lundaasen (@lundaasen) on

What Is Differin?

Differin it is the first FDA-approved, over-the-counter acne medication to contain the active ingredient of adapalene, a powerful retinoid that fights acne by helping the skin cells to function properly while also reducing inflammation and unclogging pores. This is not a spot treatment—it is a daily use gel that targets more than just the affected area. You apply a thin layer over your entire face as part of your nightly routine.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Differin US (@differinus) on

What to Expect

Adapalene is a strong retinoid that will take your skin a week or two to get used to. Expect some drying, redness, and irritation at the beginning, but know that this is normal and your skin will adjust. You can use a mild moisturizer or cleanser as your skin gets through this stage to avoid exfoliation and dry skin.

How long does Differin take to work?

The results with Differin are not instant. It says right on the package that it can take up to 12 weeks to see results, but as a dermatologist might tell you, you have to be consistent to see the true results. It takes time to treat acne.

Bonus fact: Differin is also supposed to prevent blackheads from forming and reduce acne scars if you apply it consistently.

Does Differin Work?

The official studies done by Differin show that 87% of people noticed a reduction in acne after three months of use, and I definitely fit within that 87%. However—and this is important—it took consistency and tenacity. The package states that it can take up to 12 weeks to see results, and yes, it is frustrating using something for 12 weeks without seeing a change. If fact, it wasn’t even that there was no change: My skin actually got worse at first (during the ‘purging’ stage) as the medication removed all the nasty grime that was in my clogged pores. But I promised myself I would stick to it, and I am so glad I did.

When I hit the 12-week mark, and it did take the full 12 weeks for me, magic happened. My skin has never been so clear, and it has stayed clear. All of my blemishes have disappeared. I’ve been using it for six months now and I have found myself with a newfound confidence. I can go places without wearing makeup. It’s incredible, and yes, it is life changing. If you suffer from cystic acne or breakouts, I’m sure you can understand the significance of this.

Why should you not use Differin?

Differin is known to cause inflammation, skin irritation, and even worsening of acne in some cases. If you are someone who suffers from eczema or seborrhoeic dermatitis, it might be wise to consult a dermatologist before making the decision to try Differin.

It might also be important to note that, while using Differin, you shouldn’t use any creams that contain benzoyl peroxide because you might experience dryness and skin irritation.

There is an inadequate amount of information about the effects of adapalene during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so it is recommended to consult a health care professional before trying Differin in these cases.