Differin is a noncomedogenic and fragrance-free gel containing retinoid adapalene. Differin is an effective acne treatment that uses retinoids to work below the surface of the skin. Differin encourages cell turnover to both treat acne and brightens skin for an overall better complexion.
How Does Differin Work?
Differin works to prevent breakouts of blackheads and whiteheads by penetrating beneath the surface of the skin. Differin sloughs off deep skin cells and works to prevent cells from sticking together. Unclogged pores mean clearer skin. As blemishes clear and pores open, skin texture and tone is restored.
Where Can You Find Differin?
Differin is available over the counter in both 30- and 90-day supplies. The average cost for a 15-gram tube of Differin gel is $13.
Are There Any Precautions?
People with eczema are advised to consult with their doctor before using Differin. Since sensitivity to light is a factor, avoid tanning booths and sun lamps while using Differin. Wind and cold can also irritate the skin, so be sure to use sunscreen daily and wear protective clothing while using Differin.
If you get sun or windburned, stop using Differin until your skin has healed. If you notice any severe redness or blisters, notify your doctor right away. Use caution if you are using products containing sulfur or salicylic acid as combining those medications with Differin may cause skin irritation.
Women who are pregnant are advised to use Differin only when it's needed.
Are There Any Side Effects?
- Stinging sensation
- Minor skin irritation
When you first start using Differin, you may experience a stinging or burning sensation. These are common side effects that should dissipate with regular and consistent use. As your skin adapts, minor itching or skin irritation might occur but should ease in time.
Uncommon side effects include intense burning sensation, eye redness, and watering. These or any skin discolorations should be reported to your doctor. Serious side effects are rare, but allergic reactions could show up in the form of rash, swelling, dizziness, or trouble breathing. Notify your doctor if you experience any of these.
Can I Use a Moisturizer Under Differin?
Yes, but it's a personal preference. Some users report less irritation if they apply a moisturizer first. Some users say they prefer to use a moisturizer over Differin, but recommend waiting 30-40 minutes after applying Differin to add a moisturizer.
Does Differin Cause Purging?
Because purging is defined as the period of adjustment your skin is making to a new product, then yes, you may experience purging. When using retinol-based products that work beneath the skin's layer, you won't see what's going on deep in your cells. But as the product works to clean and unclog trapped dirt and oil, your skin may look worse before it looks better. Give your skin at least a month or more of regular use to see improvements.
Do I Wash the Gel Off or Leave It On?
Apply Differin gel to clean, dry skin. In the morning, you may see drying or flaking of the skin — now is the time to wash and dry again. Apply moisturizer and sunscreen to protect skin all day.
What Else Should You Know?
Because Differin is light and oxygen stable, it doesn't lose its effectiveness. Even when it's been applied, Differin works below the surface at full capacity to stimulate cell turnover. Differin rapidly penetrates the skin to work deep in the pores and remains high in concentration to help clear and prevent acne.
You may need to use Differin for up to 12 weeks to notice results. Use it regularly to get the most benefit.
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