[REVIEW] Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment Review:

There is a reason why Differin Gel keeps sold out on iHerb no matter how often they are restocked. This is probably one of the best finds of mine in term of skincare. If you are in hot water with acnes, texture, excessive sebum production, I highly recommend this product.


+ Clears acne

+ Prevent breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes and clogged pores

+ Restore skin tone and texture by clearing acne

+ No prescription required (except for some areas such as Japan)


Active ingredient: Adapalene 0.1% (retinoid)

Inactive ingredients:

Carbomer 940, Edetate Disodium, Methylparaben, Poloxamer 182, Propylene Glycol, Purified Water And Sodium Hydroxide

May contain hydrochloric acid to adjust pH

Volume: 15g | 45g

How to use:

1. Apply a thin layer of Differin Gel once everyday all over your face after cleansing (ideally in your PM routine).

2. Always add sun protection when you are using Differin Gel. Temporary retinization (sensitization) may be expected.

My skin type: Oily combination

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment Review:

First of all, I do not have active acnes. However, I did have closed comedones on my cheeks and along the jawline which made my skin very bumpy up close. My main concern was texture rather than clearing acnes and this gel worked wonder on my skin in term of that.

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment Review

I introduced this gel into my nighttime routine 2 months ago and I am still on Differin Gel at the moment. I’ve been using it every other day rather than on a daily basis as recommended (just save some “face” for vitamin C and acid).

Because I do not have acnes and all those bumps I had were actually not very severe, I did not experience any noticeable purging effect on my skin.

However, after 2 weeks, the bumps on my chins were gone, and the jawline also got remarkably improved in the following week. On top of that, I also noticed that my sebum production in the T zone has become much more tolerable even in this insane humidity of Japan in the summertime.

Blackheads on my nose seemed to be diminished too. Regarding evening skin tone, I am not so sure about this because I’ve been using vitamin C simultaneously. So it’s hard to conclude whether it was due to the Differin Gel or the vitamin C.

Because adapalene is a retinoid, I believe you should be very careful how you use it. I did hear people complain about the sensitization effects such as redness and dryness when using Differin Gel. Fortunately, I did not experience any of those. Here are some tips I have to introduce Differin Gel into your routine.

You might also like to read:  [REVIEW] The Face Shop The Solution Moisturizing Face Mask

Because retinoid makes your skin photosensitive, it is a good idea to use it at night and always put on sunscreen in daytime. There are studies showing the photosensitivity caused by adapalene is only temporary which means that your skin will return to its normal level of photo-tolerance so you do not have to worry about compromising with the counter effects.

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment Review

Differin Gel is the last step in my routine. You shouldn’t put Differin on dry skin. As for me, I usually go for a layer of facial oil, then another layer of thick ointment (like Missha Madecanol Cream) in sensitive areas such as on the sides of the nostrils, around the mouths, at the corners of the eyes. Finally, put a very thin layer of Differin Gel all over the face (about the size of an edamame).

In addition, it is a good idea to pair adapalene with niacinamide or hyaluronic acid or anything hydrating to reduce the retinization.

Here is the order of products I usually layer in my PM routine when I use adapalene.

When it comes to retinoid, less is more. Differin Gel is not a spot treatment as it may be too strong if you use it to spot fix your skin. All you need is just a thin layer. As you can see, even with layers of products on my face, Differin still manages to work on my skin.

Also, if you happen to find it too much for you, you may want to gradually build up your tolerance: once every two days > once every other day > daily.

And finally, you should be able to tell if you’re experiencing purging or irritating.

This is an amazing product for us oily acne-prone skin folks. I think its performance is similar to the Drunk Elephant A Passioni Retinol Cream to some extent and at a fraction of the cost.

However, if you have very severe acnes, I recommend you should speak with your dermatologist before deciding to use any kinds of treatment.

Where to buy:

Amazon | iherb

Have you tried Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment?

Do share your thoughts in comments.

Follow Cosmeperks on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing using those links may generate a small commission, which will be used for the maintenance of this site. Click here for full details.

Leave a Comment