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User Reviews for Differin to treat Acne

The following information is NOT intended to endorse drugs or recommend therapy. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care.

Differin Rating Summary

User Ratings
6.6/10 Average Rating
223 Ratings with 228 User Reviews

What next? Compare all 388 medications used in the treatment of Acne.

Reviews for Differin

maria July 18, 2019

"I literally never leave reviews for stuff but I had to for this. It changed my life, I am significantly happier and more confident since using this product. I had cystic acne like I had never experienced before. It was HORRIBLE- my face was extremely oily and covered in deep red blemishes. Experiencing this in college was honestly making me depressed. My friend recommended differin & at first I was hesitant but decided it couldn’t get much worse. Within the first week I noticed a change in the overall quality of my skin. While the acne had of course not suddenly disappeared, my face was significantly less oily and appeared brighter overall. After a month I’d say my acne had decreased by about 50% After three months on Differin I’d say my cystic acne was about 80% gone. After five months on Differin, I genuinely do not have acne anymore. Even when I get the occasional pimple it comes to a head within a day and quickly disappears.It changed my life!"

She July 17, 2019

"Traumatic experience. Used it for minor breakout, then I started to be a Biiiig one! It actually worsened things and all the purging was not worth it. There are other products without this purging process. It was a disaster for me. Twice."

Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months July 15, 2019

"30, male, extremely oily skin. I had cystic acne and I have some of the worst scars, and now I get the occasional huge cyst/pimple. I rotate my use of this daily. one day cheeks, one day forehead, one day nose, kind of like that, because all over every day, even a thin layer, it burns cause its too potent. On this I realized my brow ridge and nose produced less oil, and they look less "congested". I've been on it 3 months now, for the first time I've healed a cyst without a scar in my life. There are absolutely less lines on my forehead, my nose gets no cysts and looks smoother like my forehead. To prep skin for dryness this causes I use the Cereve PM moisturizer before Differin. It just dries me out too much on bare skin. I also use SPF 50 daily on my face. I live in an area with a high uv index all year."

Zam · Taken for 1 to 6 months July 5, 2019

"I am 34 years old and female. For the past 6ish years I started getting breakouts. Sometimes they're terrible. I get painful deep pimples, cystic acne, blackheads. About 7 months ago I started realizing how bad my scarring was getting. NOTHING WORKED THAT I TRIED. Well maybe for a few days it would work. But nothing ever consistently worked. I tried salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, all at different doses with moisturizer toners etc. Anyway when I tried Differin it did not start working for a few weeks. Maybe 2-3 weeks. But I kept doing it. Initially the side effects are facial redness and skin flaking. I pushed through that part of it and my breakouts STOPPED. Like completely stopped. I will start to get minor break outs if I skip a few days of Differin. Once I begin again, it starts working again. I always use a good moisturizer in the morning when I wake up and I apply the differin at night. This stuff is awesome for acne and it really works."

Jim tats · Taken for 6 months to 1 year June 30, 2019

"Made my acne bigger and horrible looking"

Bella · Taken for 1 to 6 months June 28, 2019

"I honestly love this. I guess everyone is different. I had sudden severe cystic acne breakouts and then someone told me to try this product and I did and it worked for me and worked rather quickly. I use the face lotion and then the gel over it. Honestly I think the lotion alone is even great. Nothing else worked for me."

Lilu June 23, 2019

"DO NOT TAKE THIS. The reviews are all true. I was using tazorac on my skin for years, then my insurance wouldn’t cover it. Without the tazorac I started breaking out here and there, with maybe one pimple every couple of weeks on my cheeks or low alongside my jaw. I decided to try differing because the tazorac costs around $500 (or more) without insurance when it used to cost around $20, so I figured I’d try something new. I started using differin about 4-5 weeks ago. For a couple days, my skin did start to clear up a bit. And then... I started getting pimples - and I mean large, very noticeable red ones - literally all over my face in random places where I have NEVER gotten pimples before IN MY LIFE. right now there are 3-4 total at the top of my forehead, 4-5 on each cheek - it’s the worst my skin has ever looked. It’s the large cystic kind that leave scabs, too, and I’ve never ever gotten those. I’ve always just had “one here or there.”"

nick June 11, 2019

"I have mixed feelings about whether I would recommend this to other people. I am on week 13 & my skin is totally clear and has been for 10 days. However, my skin was extremely bad throughout the entire first 3 months using Differin. The purging was worse than anything I have ever experienced & particularly gruesome-looking. I actually felt like I couldn't leave the house. Also, this would happen very seriously in concentrated areas. As soon as one had begun to heal another would appear directly next to it, 5 times over. I now have substantial pigmentation and scarring. It's emotionally distressing not see any progress for 3 months! Throughout that time it would often suddenly look better, only to look much worse a few days later. I often mistakenly thought the purging had ended. I think Differin *works* if you persevere for 12 weeks but if I had been aware of how traumatic the purging process would be I probably would have tried alternatives."

bgurule_m · Taken for less than 1 month June 10, 2019

"I used Differin Gel hoping it would help with my minor acne as well as my cystic acne. I used it on my chin and around my nose. I only used the product for 6 days before it started to dry my skin out to the point where it would peel off in several layers and then scab over. It made my skin inflamed and even lightly touching it was painful."

Sgmez · Taken for 1 to 6 months June 5, 2019

"I've suffered from acne a lot but it went away for a while and then came back but it was very little like 4 or 5 pimples here and there I decided to start Differin because I was tired of every face cleanser not working, I knew going into this I wouldn’t see an immediate change I did my research and knew I wouldn’t see results until after about 12 weeks and I was willing to go through it. My acne became horribly bad, this is probably the worst it has ever gotten. It was very tempting to quit but I decided to just continue because maybe it will get better. By the end of the 12 weeks my acne has cleared up, BUT there is still the occasional pimples and scars but definitely not as bad as before I will continue to use it but it definitely did leave some damage that I’m hoping will clear up."

Anonymous May 28, 2019

"So I originally started using Differin when I thought my skin care routine wasn’t working any longer. I used this product for over 4 months before finally calling it quits because I feel like it just made my face worse and never got any better. It left my face with really bad discoloration and scaring and the texture of my skin became worse as well. I have since switched back to my previous more natural and more general routine and my face has started clearing up. I was originally advised to try this from my doctor and I was hesitant because I never use products this harsh, and for my skin personally I regret it. I understand you have to go through a purging process with this product but 1. It is not worth the scaring and hyperpigmentation and 2. I don’t think you should have to push through with a product for over 4 months and still not see results. Not only did I not see results but it made my skin significantly worse than when I started the process."

Michelle · Taken for less than 1 month May 5, 2019

"Before I started using Differin, I had a few pimples here and there. After using Differin, my entire face broke out. I went from 2 pimples to about 30 on my face. 8 weeks to see improvement is too long. Having to see your face breakout to such an extent. Not worth it!"

anon · Taken for less than 1 month April 15, 2019

"The first 2 weeks whilst using Differin my skin seemed to clear up and didn't break out as much. However, when the 3rd week of me using this treatment commenced, I woke up with leathery skin and flaky skin on my upper lip area below my lip and on the side of my lip (basically my mouth area). I'm in so much pain and I look horrible and feel horrible. I've never cried so much in my life. DO NOT buy this!"

noname · Taken for less than 1 month April 14, 2019

"Never again. After a week of use, one morning I woke up and my skin was burning. I couldn't even wash it with water, it hurt me so bad. I got burn, dryness and WAY MORE acne than I have ever had. My pores were all clogged and my skin hated me. I followed all of the instructions: used very mild soothing cleanser and moisturizer, didn't use salicylic acid or anything like that, used sunscreen, only applied once a day, etc. It's awful. I thought it will improve my skin condition and acne scars but it made me look even worse. What a waste of money."

Cris · Taken for 1 to 6 months April 14, 2019

"YOU HAVE TO STICK WITH IT FOR AT LEAST 4 MONTHS AND YOUR SKIN WILL GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER. But Differin is very worth it! I see all of these bad reviews where people give a bad review and wonder if they used the product right and read how it works. It works by pushing everything in your pores out and strip your skin making your face worse for a while, but then it will clear right up. You may peel until your skin gets used to it (only took me a week) Stick with it! Not only does it get rid of the acne, I makes all of your skin better. My dark spots and redness in general gone away. My face is so much healthier. Don't leave reviews until you have given it at least 4 months, that's very important. It WILL take a while to clear up. That's how it works. I've been dealing with acne for 20 years and absolutely nothing else worked. This is the first thing that has ever worked."

Anonymous · Taken for less than 1 month April 11, 2019

"This triggered one of the worst breakouts of my life. I was using it to clear up blackheads and some minor congestion (my skin still looked pretty clear) and it broke my entire face out horrifically. I've stopped using and am now trying to clear up the breakout. :("

Donna · Taken for 1 to 6 months March 30, 2019

"Worst decision ever!!! Made my skin so bad!!!! I was so embarrassed to leave the house! My skin never turned out so bad as when I was on differin. Even when I went to get a facial, the lady said " what are you using on your skin? I could work on you for hours!" How humiliating!"

Bear · Taken for 6 months to 1 year March 20, 2019

"My dermatologist prescribed this before it was OTC and it may have been a higher dose then, but it still works with the 1%. I do not have severe acne, but it is cystic especially around my menstrual cycle. What I have learned to use and what my doctor recommended was to only use dove sensitive soap with the product. I wash my face with it before I apply it. You want to be sure to use it on your entire face, not just particular spots here and there. Sometimes I could even wear it under my makeup, but at night is easiest for me, once a day. Anyways, when my skin did get really dry my solution is always Vaseline, all over your face for one night maybe two. It's messy and feels very gross but worth it. I always have baby soft skin without dryness and my wrinkles are less present after a night of this. Lastly, although I do still get cystic acne still on differin it's less often and they come out more easily if and when I do pop them. Hope this is helpful."

Z · Taken for 1 to 6 months March 18, 2019

"This was terrible. The acne keeps coming back and you can never escape it. Honestly one of the worst products for acne. I am sure they designed it to make you spend more and more money."

Ashley February 28, 2019

"My experience with Differin was horrible, I know they said you may get purging but believe me it’s not worth the pain and scarring caused by the purging process. Research for more natural remedies that are soothing for your skin, this product is designed to keep you buying more since you think it will get better over time. I have read reviews were some said it got better after months and then purging starting happening again so this sounds like a never ending cycle. Please beware, this is not the only acne product on the market and believe me all products don’t cause purging like this. My skin has never look this bad, I’m in the medical field and feel so embarrassed going to work with my face like this. I figured makeup will irritate my skin more so I’m trying to stick it out, I have stopped using Differin and wish I never started..."

Dru2011 · Taken for 1 to 2 years February 8, 2019

"The has been the best for my acne. I have skin issues all my life and finally at 57 l used Differ in Gel and it works great. It take about three months but please hang in there. I have used Retin-A and so many other products. I have gone to many Dermatologist, chemical peels l can't remember them all. Walmart has it for $13 or $14.00."

Momma bear · Taken for 1 to 6 months February 5, 2019

"My 15 year old tried this after antibiotics, all natural products, diet changes, increased water intake, etc. It has only made her skin worse and looks like it is leaving scars. The first two weeks there was some improvement and then at least 10 weeks in , the acne became angrier and more frequent breakouts. Would not recommend use for hormonal cystic acne."

TicTac · Taken for less than 1 month February 3, 2019

"Nope nope nope... I’m getting married soon and thought it would be a great idea to use this product and clear my minor adult acne so my skin would look nice for photos and I’ve never had my face break out so bad! My chin, cheeks, nose, and forehead are all breaking out with painful cystic acne. I know it says “wait it out” but there’s no way I’m continuing like this. Shame."

L · Taken for 1 to 2 years February 1, 2019

"I used it over a year and then developed an extremely itchy rash on my neck. It only went away when I stopped using it. I never used it on my neck but did on my jawline. Months later tried it again and of course the rash came back. So not worth it!"

Anonymous · Taken for 1 to 6 months January 25, 2019

"I am currently taking doxycycline twice a day while using Differin at night. I am currently at the 6 week mark. It has been a rollercoaster for sure. Some weeks are really good, some weeks are really bad. However, my blackheads are completely gone and my skin (other than the red pimples I get every few weeks during purging), seems more even which makes me happy."


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