Skip to Content

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
10
   
35%(73)
9
   
16%(33)
8
   
11%(23)
7
   
6%(11)
6
   
2%(3)
5
   
2%(4)
4
   
3%(5)
3
   
4%(7)
2
   
6%(11)
1
   
20%(42)
6.8/10 Average Rating
212 Ratings with 213 User Reviews

What next? Compare all 391 medications used in the treatment of Acne.

Reviews for Differin

"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. :("

   
1.0

Anonymous (taken for less than 1 month) April 11, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"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!"

   
1.0

Donna (taken for 1 to 6 months) March 30, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"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."

   
8.0

Bear (taken for 6 months to 1 year) March 20, 2019

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"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."

   
1.0

Z (taken for 1 to 6 months) March 18, 2019

6 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"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..."

   
1.0

Ashley February 28, 2019

7 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"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."

   
10

Dru2011 (taken for 1 to 2 years) February 8, 2019

3 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"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."

   
2.0

Momma bear (taken for 1 to 6 months) February 5, 2019

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"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."

   
1.0

TicTac (taken for less than 1 month) February 3, 2019

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"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!"

   
1.0

L (taken for 1 to 2 years) February 1, 2019

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"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."

   
8.0

Anonymous (taken for 1 to 6 months) January 25, 2019

3 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Before differin, I had good skin but hormonal and cystic flare ups. First 2-3 months, my skin was awful. More breakouts than I had in my entire life & even in areas I never had acne before. My skin was angry. I had several cysts and bumps all over. I kept reading to hang in there so I did. After 3 full months, my skin finally started to calm down a bit. I still was getting a few pimples per week but noticed they were more surface level and healed much faster than before. I became pregnant and had to stop using it. My skin began breaking out a lot. I felt like I didn't know my skin anymore. I had bumps and cysts and my skin texture was also terrible. After 2 months, I noticed my skin getting back to normal. Not as many breakouts, texture & pigment returning to normal. I personally would never use differin again. It was overall traumatic for me. It's taken a lot of patience to heal my skin. I'm glad to be done with differin. I would never put myself through that again."

   
4.0

Anonymous January 22, 2019

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"After my daughters 6 to 8 week of use acne it has turned massive breakout the worst ever during her 10 years from a zillion pus filled on her forehead down to her entire face and down her neck . Red, painful and bleeding areas. Oily all over the entire area . Like a oil spill production is high . Using acne , face cleanser and moisturizer. Any advice ? Calling primary care doctor to see dermatologist . At first it seemed all was going well."

   
1.0

Mary’s Mom (taken for 1 to 6 months) January 4, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Give it time. It took longer than 12 weeks to work for me- It took about 4 months for me. I previously had severe acne "aggressive" cystic acne where I was ashamed to go out in public, and now it's mild to moderate acne, its not perfect but a vast improvement. Drs wanted to prescribe me accutane in the past which I cannot take because of my mental health. Differin has been a lifesaver though, but you have to be patient. My acne is not gone, but Differin has been a success, I only wear thin layer of makeup now by choice, and my foundation and concealer routine used to take an hour before Differin. I also use benzoyl peroxide-clindamycin gel which compliments Differin well. STAY PATIENT! The first month is hard because your face will get extra sensitive, and sometimes burned a little bit in the beginning, but Differin is worth it I promise."

   
8.0

Luna (taken for 6 months to 1 year) January 4, 2019

5 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Ok so bought this for mild adult acne and all this has done has made my skin go from bad to worse. I know there is a period of purging the skin and waiting but this is crazy. From other reviews do we stop or keep using with hope this will work. I am in my 3rd week and my skin is worse than it ever was and yet using acne medication to take it away. I am very upset about false advertising of this product. This is supposed be a solution not create more of a problem."

   
1.0

Karen (taken for less than 1 month) December 30, 2018

7 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I used differin as well as about 6 other prescription acne products in high school. They didn't work so well or clear up the acne but left me with painfully dry, patchy, flaking skin. I tried differin again after about 10 years because, the sulfur products that were working stopped being effective. After about 4 months of use my skin is completely clear and feels so soft. My skin was already looking better after one month. It had also helped fade the dark marks from my acne."

   
10

Kaz2547 (taken for 1 to 6 months) December 22, 2018

3 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"This product is awful and has made my life hell for the last 11 weeks. I am a 30 year old with mild comedonal acne on my cheeks. Other products haven't worked for me so after a LOT of research I decided to give Differin a try. I knew I would experience redness, drying and a purging period where my acne would get worse and that its normal. I read hours of reviews where people told me to stick with it until the 12 week mark. I am 3 days away from that mark and my face has NEVER looked or felt this bad in my life. I have painful red pustules popping up every night and continued redness and drying despite constant moisturizing. It's bad enough I have adult acne and that I've been trying to stick it out with this product for 12 weeks but this product has made it SO MUCH WORSE!! I will be sure to tell everyone I know NEVER to use it. I am embarrassed and upset I wasted my time and money for the last 3 months to make my face look worse. Not only that but now I have SCARS all over as well."

   
1.0

Care2232 December 9, 2018

12 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I'm reporting back after not knowing whether to keep using this product or not...for 2.5 months I had acne for the first time in my life because of Differin! The skin "purging" never got better. The bleeding from just washing my face left spots that took forever to heal.My face hurt for weeks. Red flaky areas around my mouth, I'd itch and get tingles. I had a million bumps under my skin, uneven leathery burnt skin. I stopped using the differin and now it's been 2 weeks of washing with antibacterial soap/charcoal bar, applying hydrogen peroxide as a toner and then 2 drops tea tree oil mixed with salicylic acid clarifying moisturizer and my face is super soft, all my dry skin patches are gone, I have no pimples, no blackheads. Very upset I wasted my time thinking this product would work. ***THE ONLY THING I would recommend it for is fine lines and wrinkles (I'm 32) and it does wonders to apply to forehead and laugh lines with no irritation. Hope others find this useful."

   
1.0

WTF (taken for 1 to 6 months) December 6, 2018

6 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I had clear skin more or less until I was 18, then my skin broke out sooo bad and I had spots all over the lower sides of my face for so long. I tried literally everything. At 19 I tried differin, aware that my skin might get worse for a bit from the reviews I had read. The purge was pretty bad. By skin was red raw, flakey and so dry. It brought out all the spots from under my skin and didn’t seem like it was going to get better: the spots under my skin were still there but the surface of my skin was so fragile. I decided to squeeze all my spots on my face (risky I know). The scars lasted maybe like 4 months, but the spots stopped spreading after I did that and kept applying the differin. Now my skin is so much better. I maybe get 1 tiny spot every two weeks instead of waking up with about 3 new spots a day. Differin was definitely a long-term solution for me."

   
10

Luce December 3, 2018

3 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"My dermatologist told me I should try differin since it would work the same as the prescription gel that worked wonders for my skin. After a few weeks of use, my skin broke out SO bad. I had at least 3-4 painful, deep and red pimples on my face at all times along with many bumps on my forehead and cheeks. I knew though that both medications I went on had a purge stage where my skin got bad, so I kept using it. Finally, I have been using differin for almost 2 months and my skin is clear and smooth again. My scars are beginning to fade again and I'm praying it stays this way. My tips are to keep up with using differin, and only use a small amount. Like very small. Too much made my skin so itchy and red, and wasn't effective. Besides the 3 weeks of terrible skin, I think retinoids work very well for mild acne with a bit of patience and chugging tons of water each day."

   
8.0

Madi November 29, 2018

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I get occasional zits and "breakouts" but not acne...not until I started using Differin!!! I have been washing my face with charcoal face wash/antibacterial soap then applying Differin once a day at the same time each night for 2 months waiting for my skin to stop "purging". My entire face minus my forehead area is covered with small bumps. And my face never seems to clear up. My skin hurts and looks uneven. It's just horrible. It says it could take 8 weeks to work so I don't know whether to give it more time or just stop using this product altogether!"

   
1.0

WTF (taken for 1 to 6 months) November 26, 2018

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I decided to give differin a try after seeing the commercials. BIG MISTAKE! I have been using this product once a day for a week and have broke out! I have an incredibly large zit right above my lip and my skin is so dry. I bought mosturizer thinking that would help but it didn't. I have flaky skin all around my nose and even around my lips. Do not buy this product I promise you'll regret it!"

Cici (taken for less than 1 month) November 7, 2018

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I don’t know why, but for whatever reason, I’m the only person who became an oil factory after using the gel cleanser. Everyone is talking about how harsh and drying it is, causing burns and flakes and what not. I experienced none of that. It made my face feel soft, and seemed to really help speed up the healing of a few popped zits that I had when I began using it. But within 3 days I realized my skin was literally greasy to the touch, which is something I’ve never experienced ever. I’ve never really understood what oily skin even meant until now. I’ve always been boarderline dry but mostly normal, but after a week of use I could take my fingers and swipe them under my eyes and around my nose, and instantly my hand would be shiny, greasy, and most disturbing of all, really smelly. The oil created literally smelled like a perm!! I tried to push through, but I started getting black heads everywhere, which is also something I’ve never dealt with. No thank you Differin!"

   
3.0

Zoe (taken for 1 to 6 months) November 6, 2018

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Sadly, I am here to report back after posting a 10 star rating months ago. After using this product (first 1%, then Rx) for 6 months, my skin was AMAZING. I had never felt confidence like that in decades. 2 months of glory... and things sloooowly started falling apart. I have changed nothing in my skin care routine, and now I'm a year into it and I'm calling it quits. Yes, I do find it fades scars super quickly and softens wrinkles, but my acne is back and I can visually see all the congested bumps of each pore (they WERE empty!). The disappointment is paramount. Also, as it does thin the skin, if I so much as scratch at an itch on my face I then have a wound that then must heal, scar, and fade. My soul is tired."

   
2.0

ChT (taken for 1 to 2 years) November 6, 2018

4 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I have religiously been applying Differin to my face for 12 weeks now hoping every week that my acne will finally diminish. Instead, Differin has left me in the same position I was 12 weeks ago. My acne is still inflamed and doesn't seem to be going away. All that I got out of this gel was a 3 week phase that only made my acne 'worse before it gets better' when in fact, it never got better. I know that this gel works on some people, but for me and a lot of others, it did nothing."

   
1.0

G (taken for 1 to 6 months) November 4, 2018

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I am almost 32. Don't have acne but I get occasional breakouts. Proactive was the ONLY treatment that worked to clear and even out my skin but it's so expensive, I'm always running out of the toner before I'm finished with the 3 steps, and it's not readily available in all stores. Tried antibacterial washes, benzoyl peroxide products, acne kits...still had the occasional pimple. Tried baking soda and apple cider vinegar which is what led me to differin. ACV purges your pores so my entire face was covered in tiny pimples under my skin. After the first day of using Differin I saw results ,it had only been one day but I could tell the breakout from the ACV wasn't worsening. Day 4 I have no pimples but I noticed my face by the sides of my mouth was dry and red. Day 6 the peeling. Almost like using retin A but not even close to severe dryness. Says side effects should subside but in all honesty this product is not complicated to use, results are fast."

   
10

NBP November 2, 2018

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

Learn more about Acne

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Drugs.com Health Center

Mayo Clinic Reference

Hide