Differin Is Changing the Acne Breakout Blame Game with This Daily Retinoid Gel—Just in Time for Fall

differin gel HYP Mobile
Differin/Dasha Burobina for PureWow

We have a bit of a love/hate relationship with our skin. Sure, we love talking about the latest products, trending ingredients and best ways to take care of our body’s biggest organ. But if you’ve ever struggled with acne, you know how frustrating it can be when your skin refuses to cooperate—no matter how many articles you read, diet changes you make, or things you buy. Sound familiar?

Thankfully, it’s different this time. We’ve finally found a product that fights current and future acne, is dermatologist-recommended, and that you can buy over the counter without a prescription. It’s called Differin Acne Retinoid Gel and it’s the real deal when it comes to banishing breakouts. Because as we start looking ahead to fall and getting back into a daily routine, there’s no better time than now to establish a skincare strategy you can trust.

Why It Works:

Differin Gel clears breakouts where they start and prevents new acne from forming to help restore skin's texture and tone. It contains 0.1% adapalene, a powerful, dermatologist-recommended retinoid. Plus, Differin Gel is the first FDA-approved acne retinoid available without a prescription and the most effective retinoid you can get over the counter.

What’s a retinoid, you ask? It’s a vitamin A derivative that helps regulate cell turnover, creating a healthier environment for skin. Regulating cell turnover helps keep pores from clogging and targets acne before it even starts, including blackheads, whiteheads and other blemishes. Adapalene is an advanced retinoid designed for acne, far more potent than retinol, as it starts working once you put it on your skin. Retinol (vitamin A), on the other hand, must be broken down by the body in an active to become useful.

Adapalene also helps reduce redness and underlying inflammation and has shown superior tolerability to other topical prescription retinoids—meaning Differin is gentler on your skin than other retinoids, but still effective. In fact, in a clinical study, Differin Gel provided up to 87 percent reduction in acne breakouts after 12 weeks, which will continue to improve with further use.

Differin Gel HYP BA 1
Differin/Dasha Burobina for PureWow

How to Use It:

Differin Gel isn’t a spot treatment you plop on top of that big pimple. Even better, it can be used once daily (morning or night) on clean skin to stop new acne from forming, resulting in improved skin tone and texture. Just apply a thin layer of Differin Gel once every day all over your face, even when it’s clear. Pro tip: Don’t be discouraged by temporary retinization—aka the adjustment period when your skin is getting used to the retinoid—that may occur when using Differin Gel. It might include dryness, scaling, redness and burning/stinging, but should subside after about four weeks of use. For this reason, applying a moisturizer and sunscreen daily while using Differin is a must.

The water-based formula is oil-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. It also helps reduce the risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation, so the long-term results are unmatched.

You can get both a 15g (up to 30-day supply) and 45g (up to 90-day supply) in either the original tube or the nifty new easy-to-use pump.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re not using a Differin retinoid, you’re not really treating your acne. And if you start now, by the time your post-summer schedule starts ramping up, you’ll be prepared to show off your clearer skin and new healthy glow. Ready to learn more and revamp your skincare journey for good? Visit the Differin Amazon page to purchase the gel and start your treatment today.

purewow author

Our editorial team works with a variety of writers and experts across all fields to produce thoroughly researched stories that resonate with you. Our mission is to be that...