Skincare Skills

by rocketman

Skincare blogger

December 1, 2021

How Long Does Differin Take to Work

Acne is common at some stage of life, so if you are suffering from acne, no need to panic or feel ashamed. However, it would be best if you did not leave them untreated for long. We recommend you get one of the best and effective acne treatments easily available and approved, Differin. This treatment usually fights existing acne by unblocking clogged pores. How long does Differin take to work after applying? Well, here we discuss the Differin purge period and other need-to-know facts. Keep reading!

What is Differin?

Differin (adapalene) belongs to a class of medications referred to as retinoids. It contains the only complete prescription fighting retinoid readily available over the counter. It is the first new OTC active ingredient FDA approved to treat acne in more than 30 years. It is produced in two formulations: a cream and a gel. Differin cream is white and much oiler; it might take longer to be absorbed; however, it has moisturizing properties that will help if the affected area is extremely dry.

Conversely, Differin gel is transparent and very dense when applied. Therefore, it is usually absorbed relatively fast. Therefore, in most scenarios, the differin gel formulation is easier to use since it applies clear and soaks into the skin fast; however, it'll depend on your specific case.

Differin is used for acne treatments. It acts similarly to a pace car, guiding the skin cells through their life cycles at a steady rate. Also, it causes skin cells to be generated and die at a rate that will not clog the pore. Furthermore, it decreases the number and harshness of acne pimples and boosts quick healing of pimples that do develop. Finally, it works by impacting the growth of cells and reducing swelling and inflammation.

How Long Does Differin Take to Work? The purge Period

Week 0

Apply a thin layer of Differin gel or cream on your entire face once every day, whether you have a full-on breakout or few spots to prevent future breakouts. Keep in mind; this is not a spot treatment; you only use it when needed. For instance, when brushing, you don't necessarily just brush the teeth with food buildup in them; you brush them all daily. Since skipping days could lead to issues. Therefore make differin gel a part of your everyday skincare routine to avoid the issues.

  • Apply on your entire face, not just on acne spots
  • The Differin gel usually goes work deep in your skin pores from the root of the acne

Week 2

You might start to see some mild redness or experience irritation on the treated area. Don't panic. That's what dermatologists call retinization; it usually happens as your skin copes up with the treatment and reduces after about four weeks. At that moment, Differin gel is still performing its job to reduce acne-causing clogs, so it is crucial to keep using it daily. You can start to see a reduction in acne pimples after two weeks of treatment. Keep using it, and it gets better.

  • Mild redness or irritation may happen within the first four weeks
  • Differin gel is working behind the scenes to clear acne and unclog pores
  • Use a moisturizer such as Differin soothing moisturizer

Week 12

During week 12, you should start seeing a significant difference. Clinical studies reported up to 87 percent acne reduction. Like any health routine, skipping a day could cause a setback. Continue using differin gel daily, even after your skin appears clearer, for increased reduction.

  • Acne inflammation is visibly reduced, which causes restoration of skin tone and texture
  • Continued everyday use usually keeps pores clear and helps prevent future breakouts


How Does Differin Work?

Differin contains the active ingredient of adapalene (a form of Vitamin A). When applied to the affected area, it works to help the skin by unclogging your pores, allowing natural oils to escape, and stimulating the exfoliation process. Offering effective in mild to moderate acne, Differin is a great option for many acne sufferers since it offers enough potency to make a big difference even without being strong enough to cause any major harm. However, it has one notable problem known as the differin purge( the initial period when your skin gets worse rather than better).

Although that might not be the truth of the matter, it is believed that this purging period usually results from existing clogged pores being exposed to the surface, giving a false impression that things have got worse. If you keep using the differin as recommended, you will definitely see improvement once the purging period is over, after 6-8 weeks.

What Are the Steps and Precautions When Applying Differin?

1. Clean and dry your face thoroughly before applying Differin. Use a mild cleanser and pat instead of rubbing the skin dry.

2. Using clean fingertips, apply differin to thinly cover the area affected by acne (for instance, your whole face, not just the spots or blackheads). Then wash your hands.

3. Avoid applying to sensitive, sunburnt or broken areas of skin or skin affected by eczema. Take care also to avoid getting it on your lips, nose, mouth, eyelids, or in your eyes. If it accidentally gets on these areas, washes it off with warm water.

4. If you want to apply moisturizers or cosmetics, wait until the treatment has been fully absorbed into your skin.

5. Avoid applying the differin more than once a day; this will not make it more effective or work quicker. Instead, it might make your skin red or irritated or start peeling.

Whether you're using Differin gel or cream, you should apply it on your entire face daily as long as you still have acne. If your acne clears up, you can stop the treatment; however, be aware that your acne may come back at some point. To apply Differin, take a pea-sized amount, then spread over your entire face until it's fully absorbed. You should apply it before sleeping and especially after showering to clear your skin to avoid disrupting the effect.

If, in any case, you experience significant discomfort trying to spread the differin gel across the affected area, we recommend you opt for the cream instead. Otherwise, apply a small moisturizer to the area before applying a slightly larger amount of the differin gel. Ensure, however, the moisturizer you choose is non-comedogenic, so it does not make your moderate acne worse, and ensure it's fully absorbed into your skin before you can apply the Differin gel.

Note that applying Differin gel will increase the affected skin's sensitivity to UV light, therefore take steps to avoid exposure to direct sunlight, wear protective clothing, sunglasses or else you will risk further skin damage. Keep the treated skin covered during the day but also allow it to breathe.


Off-Label Applications of Differin

Vitamin A ( a form which usually constitutes Differin's active ingredient) deliberates different benefits to the skin; therefore, Differin according to the advice of a dermatologist, can be used for other purposes:

  • It can reduce the wrinkles and lines' appearance. Clear up stretch marks and even generate a more even skin tone by boosting collagen production.
  • Through inhibiting skin production, it can treat areas of thickened skin and calluses caused by different conditions (however, dedicated treatment is always advised).

We recommend you not to do anything extreme or usual without the advice of an expert since things can go wrong unexpectedly.

For example, if you use it to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, it fails to keep the skin moisturized, and wrinkles will likely look worse. Therefore, don't deviate from the recommended practices without healthcare professional advice.

What Are the Tips for Best Differin Use Experience?

1. Use Differin Gentle Cleanser to keep your skin clean

2. Apply a thin layer of the differin gel once daily all over the face, even when your face is already clear for long-term results

3. Avoid being discouraged by temporary retinization that might occur when using differin gel; the retinization should reduce after about the fourth week of using the treatment.

4. Add sun protection under your makeup without clogging the pores with Differin oil-absorbing moisturizer. At night, help reduce dryness and other signs of skin irritation with a non-SPF moisturizer like Differin Soothing Moisturizer

How Do You Tell If You Are Suffering a Reaction?

Due to the differin purge making the acne seemingly come back, it can be hard for you to tell when you are suffering from a reaction to the acne treatment. However, there are four main situations in which you should've your symptoms inspected by a medical professional:

  • You start breakouts in new areas. The differin purge will bring existing blockages to the surface but won't create new ones.
  • Major side effects become clear. Apart from your original acne, there is swelling and development of pain on the application area, redness, irritation, swelling, or itching of the eyelids.
  • You get severe acne worse than ever before. An appearance of your acne should not be significantly worse than it was before you started treatment.
  • You see zero improvements even after two months. A differin purge shouldn't pass two weeks, so if there are no improvements after eight weeks, you should consult your doctor for other options.


Frequently Asked Questions on the How Long Does Differin Take to Work

1. Can you use other acne treatments together with Differin creams?

Yes, you can combine Differin if you have severe acne with oral antibiotic acne treatments like Minocin (minocycline), tetralysal (lymecycline), or oxytetracycline tablets. You can use these combinations to provide better effects and results than either treatment on their own, cure acne, especially stubborn acne, and prevent antibiotic resistance.

For moderate acne, you can use Differin with topical antibiotic treatments such as Zineryt or Dalacin-T. However, it would be best if you didn't use differin with any similar acne creams having benzoyl peroxide or retinoid since it may cause irritation or excessive drying to your skin.

Topical treatments such as Differin are mostly used with oral treatments like Accutane (Isotretinoin); however, this would need to be prescribed by a derma.

2. Can you wear makeup with Differin?

Yes. Though you can apply moisturizers or cosmetics while still using this medication, you shouldn't apply them simultaneously. Ensure you wash your skin well before applying the differin, then wait for it to be fully absorbed into your skin to use any moisturizers or cosmetics. Moreover, ensure that any makeup and moisturizers are non-comedogenic so they won't block your pores and make the acne worse.

3. Does Differin gel treatment help with acne scars?

This acne and spot treatment accelerates the skin's regeneration process, which might help reduce the appearance of the scars. This treatment can also prevent further breakouts, which in turn causes reduced numbers of scars.

Additionally, avoid popping your spots and blackheads, as this can worsen the issue and create scars. Derma rolling and laser treatments are recently developed and readily available from cosmetic derma clinics designed to fade the scars.

4. How is Differin gel/cream affected by the sun?

We recommend you avoid exposure to sunlight, sunbeds, or sunlamps while using this medication since it raises your skin's sensitivity to UV light. If you can't avoid exposure to sunlight, wear protective clothing or use sunscreens over treated skin. Furthermore, if your skin is sunburnt, you shouldn't use the Differin until your skin has recovered or experience severe irritation.

5. What are the common side effects of using Differin?

The common side effects within the first few weeks or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from applying Differin are redness, dryness, irritation, peeling, itching, purging. However, any side effects from the adapalene compound should not be as harsh as side effects mostly experienced with Retin-A. Always ensure you do a patch test on a thicker part of the skin (a square inch on your forehead or arm) before applying a new product to your whole face.

About the author 

rocketman

My name is Lydia Adams and I have been a skincare blogger in one way or another for many, many years.

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