Order Differin to help treat acne and clear your skin

Differin (adapalene) is an acne treatment that reduces redness, inflammation and skin discomfort. Differin is available as a cream or gel.

Our prices

Medicine Strength Quantity Price Stock
Differin Cream0.1%1 x 45g tube£24.95In Stock
Differin Gel0.1%1 x 45g tube£25.95In Stock
Differin Cream0.1%2 x 45g tubes£47.95In Stock
Differin Gel0.1%2 x 45g tubes£48.95In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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Virginia Chachati

Reviewed by Virginia Chachati MPharm
(2013, University College London)
GPhC Registration number: 2087654

Information last reviewed 10/06/2021


What is Differin?

Differin is an acne treatment that contains the active ingredient adapalene. It helps reduce skin redness, inflammation and discomfort. Differin is available as a cream or gel.

What is Differin used for?

Differin is used to treat acne, a skin condition where spots and pimples appear on the skin.

How does Differin work?

The active ingredient in Differin, adapalene, works similarly to vitamin A to regenerate the skin’s surface. As a result, it helps skin cells heal faster and reduces inflammation. Adapalene also stops new spots from forming by preventing your pores from getting clogged with sebum.


Active ingredients

The active ingredient in Differin cream or gel is adapalene.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients in Differin cream are: carbomer 934P, macrogol-20 methyl glucose sesquistearate, glycerol (E422), natural squalane, methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218), propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216), disodium edetate, methyl glucose sesquistearate, phenoxyethanol, cyclomethicone, sodium hydroxide and purified water.   
The ingredients in Differin gel are different from Differin cream. Please check the patient information leaflet for details.

Which ingredients can cause an allergic reaction?

It is rare to experience a very serious allergic reaction when taking this drug. However, the symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. You should get immediate medical attention from your local emergency department if you notice any of these symptoms.


Which part of the body can Differin be used on?

You can use Differin on your face, chest or back.

Using Differin with other acne treatments

If you plan to use an additional acne treatment alongside Differin, you should speak to your doctor first to ensure it's suitable. You can use acne treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide, erythromycin or clindamycin alongside Differin at separate times of the day. For example, you can use Differin at night and a different acne treatment in the morning.

How to use Differin?

You should apply Differin to clean skin at night before you go to bed. Gently wash and dry your skin and then apply a thin layer of Differin to the affected area. Wash your hands after using Differin. 

Differin dosage

The active ingredient in Differin is 0.1% adapalene. You can order a 45 g tube of Differin cream or gel from Dr Felix.

Side Effects

Differin side effects

Common side effects that you may experience while using Differin are: 

  • Irritated skin
  • Redness
  • Dry skin

Less common side effects can include:

  • Skin discomfort
  • Itching and peeling of skin
  • Contact dermatitis 
  • Sunburn (if you do not wear high SPF sun protection or spend too much time outdoors)

If you do experience side effects, speak to your doctor for advice.


You should not use Differin if:

  • You are allergic to adapalene or any of the other ingredients listed
  • You are pregnant or trying to get pregnant 
  • You have eczema 
  • You have skin that is sunburnt or damaged.

Drug interactions

You should not use Differin at the same time as other acne treatments. Use Differin at night and other acne treatments during the day. Speak to your doctor for advice if you are taking or using other medicines at the same time as Differin.

Differin and pregnancy

You should not use Differin if you are pregnant or planning a baby. If you discover you are pregnant while using Differin, stop the treatment right away and speak to your doctor for advice.

Treatment Options

Alternatives to Differin

Alternative acne treatments available from Dr Felix include Duac once daily gel, Zineryt, Epiduo gel, Treclin, Aknemycin plus, Tetralysal (lymecycline) capsules and oxytetracycline tablets.

Lifestyle changes to help acne

Lifestyle changes can improve the overall health of your skin and help reduce your acne. Getting plenty of sleep can help reduce stress levels and acne breakouts. Try cutting down on sugar and drinking plenty of water. Wear high SPF sun protection to protect your skin and eat omega-3 rich foods which are naturally anti-inflammatory. Exercising daily and cleansing your skin twice a day can help boost your skin’s health.

Differin cream vs Differin gel

Differin gel and Differin cream work in the same way. Generally, gels absorb faster than creams and may be more suitable for oily skin.

Differin and acne scars

You can use Differin to reduce the appearance of scars as it helps to even out the surface of the skin. In addition, using Differin will reduce the likelihood of new acne scars after spots heal.

Differin for rosacea

There is evidence to show that adapalene creams such as Differin can help reduce skin redness associated with rosacea. So if you get spots or pimples during a breakout of rosacea, Differin may be ideal to use.


Can I wear makeup when using Differin cream or Differin gel?

You can apply makeup as usual while using Differin. However, you should use non-comedogenic cosmetics to avoid clogging your pores so you can get the best out of your acne treatment.

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