{"id":556231229513,"title":"Differin Gel Review: Can It Cure Acne Forever?","created_at":"2022-02-19T15:51:34-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Differin Gel Review: Can It Cure Acne Forever?\",\n \"keywords\": \"differin gel, differin gel review, differin gel reviews, how to use differin gel, differin acne treatment gel, differin adapaline gel, differin gel for wrinkles, does differin gel work, differin acne gel\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD and research team reviews the medical research on Differin gel to determine if it’s likely to be safe and effective for acne treatment, and we share a natural alternative that consumers may want to consider.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/differin-gel-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Differin_Gel_Thumbnail_Updated.png?v=1662092645\",\n\"width\": \"2283\",\n\"height\": \"2283\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/news-events\/press-announcements\/fda-approves-differin-gel-01-over-counter-use-treat-acne\", \n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC2374937\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7558148\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK482509\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22007702\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6335493\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/crepe-erase-review\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"adapaline\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"Retin-A\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"coconut oil\"\n}\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2022-02-19\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ], \n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Differin_Gel_Review_Article_Header_Image_Updated.png?v=1662092609\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eD\u003c\/span\u003eifferin Gel is a branded version of a drug called adapalene which \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/news-events\/press-announcements\/fda-approves-differin-gel-01-over-counter-use-treat-acne\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis approved\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. to treat acne.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review the medical research on Differin Gel to determine if it’s likely to be safe and effective for acne treatment, and share a natural alternative that consumers may want to consider.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eDoes Differin Gel Work?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAdapalene, which is the active ingredient in Differin Gel, is a Vitamin A derivative that’s been studied extensively in medical trials. Differin Gel contains adapalene at a concentration of 0.1%.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAn \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC2374937\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eextensive medical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of adapalene published in the Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management journal analyzed the results of over 30 individual clinical trials on the drug, and found that it was effective on average for acne vulgaris, which is the most common type of acne.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eInterestingly, the researchers noted that adapalene gel at 0.3% was significantly more effective than a concentration of 0.1%, which suggests that prescription creams at this concentration (adapalene 0.3% isn’t available over-the-counter) may be more effective than Differin Gel.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe study authors compared the efficacy of Differin Gel to other popular acne treatments.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDifferin Gel was found to be equally effective to tretinoin 0.025% (brand name Retin-A) on average, but more effective for non-inflammatory skin lesions.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDifferin Gel was found to be similarly effective to benzoyl peroxide (brand name Benzoyl) at various concentrations, and noted that combination of the two treatments wasn’t shown to be more effective than benzoyl peroxide treatment alone.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7558148\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emore recent research review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of adapalene highlighted some of its potential off-label uses that are backed by some clinical trial data. We do not recommend using OTC drugs for off-label use without the approval of a doctor; we’re simply highlighting the study results.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe authors found that adapalene has anti-inflammatory as well as immunomodulatory properties, and may promote collagen synthesis. They suggested that future studies may even show an anti-cancer effect of the drug, because it has a proven antiproliferative effect.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe can conclude from the above-linked research that Differin Gel is likely to be effective for treating acne in most patients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eDifferin Gel Side Effects\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe most common side effects from use of Differin Gel \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK482509\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebased on medical research\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e are photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to UV rays), irritation, redness and dryness.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBecause the drug isn’t well-absorbed into the body, most of the side effects are topical and relatively minor. This is why it was approved for use over-the-counter (OTC).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePatients may want to consider using sunscreen and\/or covering their face with a physical barrier like a hat after using Differin Gel, due to the increased risk of photosensitivity.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere is a rare side effect of severe allergic reaction, but that’s present for many OTC acne medications and not necessarily unique to Differin Gel.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe find these side effects to be relatively mild and tolerable compared to many prescription pharmaceutical medications for acne; especially when compared with systemic drugs like doxycycline.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHow to Use Differin Gel\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMost of the medical studies we’ve reviewed and linked in this article referenced a once-daily topical application. They didn’t specify time of day, but it seems logical to apply the gel after a daily shower when skin is clean.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDifferin Gel’s label (for both the 0.1% and 0.3% concentrations) recommends once daily use. The instructions specify to use on dry skin, so make sure not to apply directly after a shower without fully drying your face off first.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eCan Differin Gel Reduce Wrinkles?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne of the off-label uses for Differin Gel is wrinkle reduction. There doesn’t appear to be much clinical data backing its effectiveness for this outcome.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA single \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22007702\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on adapalene found it to be effective for clinical signs of skin aging, including wrinkles, but the concentration used was 0.3% or 300% of the amount in Differin Gel.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe can’t locate any medical data suggesting that Differin Gel (adapalene 0.1%) is effective for treating wrinkles. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily ineffective, just that there’s no proof currently.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eNatural Alternative\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne of the most effective botanical treatments for acne is unrefined coconut oil. It’s \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6335493\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ebeen proven\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to have many protective properties for skin, including anti-inflammatory effect and natural protection against UV rays. This means oil when applied topically has a (relatively weak) sunscreen effect, which is pretty incredible. It’s the only botanical ingredient we’re aware of that has a natural sun protection effect.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother study that we discussed at length in our recent review of cosmetics brand \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/crepe-erase-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCrépe Erase\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e found that coconut oil had anti-aging effects and aided with skin moisturization.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCoconut oil may cause breakouts in patients with oily skin, but we believe it’s worth trying since it’s proven to be effective and it’s a totally safe, non-toxic botanical ingredient. It’s also much cheaper to use coconut oil to treat acne than pharmaceutical OTC drugs like Differin Gel. A large jar of unrefined coconut oil is likely to last for months if not years if it’s only used for skin treatments.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDifferin Gel is provably effective for acne, and has a relatively low risk of side effects because it doesn’t absorb much into the bloodstream.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe don’t recommend pharmaceutical acne treatments because there exist natural alternatives with a zero-risk safety profile like unrefined coconut oil, but for patients who want a simple OTC solution Differin Gel is definitely a safer bet in our opinion than oral acne drugs like antibiotics.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDifferin Gel isn’t likely to treat wrinkles, but unrefined coconut oil may be effective for wrinkles and acne, which is why we recommend it. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2022-02-19T16:06:51-05:00","updated_at":"2022-10-23T02:22:28-04:00","summary_html":"We review the medical research on acne treatment Differin Gel to determine if it’s likely to be safe and effective for acne treatment, and we share a natural alternative that consumers may want to consider.","template_suffix":"","handle":"differin-gel-review","tags":"_related:acne-treatment"}

Differin Gel Review: Can It Cure Acne Forever?

Differin Gel Review: Can It Cure Acne Forever?


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Differin Gel is a branded version of a drug called adapalene which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. to treat acne.

In this article we’ll review the medical research on Differin Gel to determine if it’s likely to be safe and effective for acne treatment, and share a natural alternative that consumers may want to consider.

Does Differin Gel Work?

Adapalene, which is the active ingredient in Differin Gel, is a Vitamin A derivative that’s been studied extensively in medical trials. Differin Gel contains adapalene at a concentration of 0.1%.

An extensive medical review of adapalene published in the Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management journal analyzed the results of over 30 individual clinical trials on the drug, and found that it was effective on average for acne vulgaris, which is the most common type of acne.

Interestingly, the researchers noted that adapalene gel at 0.3% was significantly more effective than a concentration of 0.1%, which suggests that prescription creams at this concentration (adapalene 0.3% isn’t available over-the-counter) may be more effective than Differin Gel.

The study authors compared the efficacy of Differin Gel to other popular acne treatments.

Differin Gel was found to be equally effective to tretinoin 0.025% (brand name Retin-A) on average, but more effective for non-inflammatory skin lesions.

Differin Gel was found to be similarly effective to benzoyl peroxide (brand name Benzoyl) at various concentrations, and noted that combination of the two treatments wasn’t shown to be more effective than benzoyl peroxide treatment alone.

A more recent research review of adapalene highlighted some of its potential off-label uses that are backed by some clinical trial data. We do not recommend using OTC drugs for off-label use without the approval of a doctor; we’re simply highlighting the study results.

The authors found that adapalene has anti-inflammatory as well as immunomodulatory properties, and may promote collagen synthesis. They suggested that future studies may even show an anti-cancer effect of the drug, because it has a proven antiproliferative effect.

We can conclude from the above-linked research that Differin Gel is likely to be effective for treating acne in most patients.

Differin Gel Side Effects

The most common side effects from use of Differin Gel based on medical research are photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to UV rays), irritation, redness and dryness.

Because the drug isn’t well-absorbed into the body, most of the side effects are topical and relatively minor. This is why it was approved for use over-the-counter (OTC).

Patients may want to consider using sunscreen and/or covering their face with a physical barrier like a hat after using Differin Gel, due to the increased risk of photosensitivity.

There is a rare side effect of severe allergic reaction, but that’s present for many OTC acne medications and not necessarily unique to Differin Gel.

We find these side effects to be relatively mild and tolerable compared to many prescription pharmaceutical medications for acne; especially when compared with systemic drugs like doxycycline.

How to Use Differin Gel

Most of the medical studies we’ve reviewed and linked in this article referenced a once-daily topical application. They didn’t specify time of day, but it seems logical to apply the gel after a daily shower when skin is clean.

Differin Gel’s label (for both the 0.1% and 0.3% concentrations) recommends once daily use. The instructions specify to use on dry skin, so make sure not to apply directly after a shower without fully drying your face off first.

Can Differin Gel Reduce Wrinkles?

One of the off-label uses for Differin Gel is wrinkle reduction. There doesn’t appear to be much clinical data backing its effectiveness for this outcome.

A single medical trial on adapalene found it to be effective for clinical signs of skin aging, including wrinkles, but the concentration used was 0.3% or 300% of the amount in Differin Gel.

We can’t locate any medical data suggesting that Differin Gel (adapalene 0.1%) is effective for treating wrinkles. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily ineffective, just that there’s no proof currently.

Natural Alternative

One of the most effective botanical treatments for acne is unrefined coconut oil. It’s been proven to have many protective properties for skin, including anti-inflammatory effect and natural protection against UV rays. This means oil when applied topically has a (relatively weak) sunscreen effect, which is pretty incredible. It’s the only botanical ingredient we’re aware of that has a natural sun protection effect.

Another study that we discussed at length in our recent review of cosmetics brand Crépe Erase found that coconut oil had anti-aging effects and aided with skin moisturization.

Coconut oil may cause breakouts in patients with oily skin, but we believe it’s worth trying since it’s proven to be effective and it’s a totally safe, non-toxic botanical ingredient. It’s also much cheaper to use coconut oil to treat acne than pharmaceutical OTC drugs like Differin Gel. A large jar of unrefined coconut oil is likely to last for months if not years if it’s only used for skin treatments.

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Conclusion

Differin Gel is provably effective for acne, and has a relatively low risk of side effects because it doesn’t absorb much into the bloodstream.

We don’t recommend pharmaceutical acne treatments because there exist natural alternatives with a zero-risk safety profile like unrefined coconut oil, but for patients who want a simple OTC solution Differin Gel is definitely a safer bet in our opinion than oral acne drugs like antibiotics.

Differin Gel isn’t likely to treat wrinkles, but unrefined coconut oil may be effective for wrinkles and acne, which is why we recommend it.




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