Differin Cream

Differin is a prescription only medicine sold in the UK for acne. Order Differin cream online by filling in a simple questionnaire for our GPs to review and issue an online prescription.

You can also buy Differin gel from our online acne clinic however Differin cream is recommended for people with sensitive skin since it is absorbed better.

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Strength Quantity Price
0.1% strength1 tube24.95
0.1% strength2 tubes47.95
Prices exclude a prescription fee. Find out more

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About

What is Differin Cream?

Differin is an anti-inflammatory cream which contains adapalene. It works to reduce redness, inflamed skin and discomfort. 

What is Differin Cream used for?

Differin is used to treat acne which is a skin condition causing spots and pimples to break out on the skin. 

How does Differin Cream work?

The active ingredient in Differin, adapalene, works in a similar way to vitamin A to regenerate the surface of the skin. It increases the healing rate of the skin cells to unblock the pores and sebaceous glands to release the buildup of sebum, the skin's natural oils, reducing the formation of spots and blackheads. 

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in Differin Cream is Adapalene.

Inactive ingredients

The other ingredients contained 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.   

Dosage

Which part of the body can Differin be used on?

Differin can be used on the face, chest or back.  

Using Differin with other acne treatments

If you are planning to use an additional acne treatment alongside Differin then you should consult your doctor first to ensure it's suitable. Certain acne treatments which contain benzoyl peroxide, erythromycin or clindamycin may be used alongside Differin if they are applied to the skin at different times of the day. For example, Differin should be used at night and an additional cream applied in the morning.

How to use Differin Cream

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

Differin Cream dosage

The presence of the active ingredient in Differin is 0.1%. The tube is available in 5g, 30, 45 or 50g sizes by prescription.

Side Effects

Differin side effects

Common side effects that you may experience with using Differin cream are: 

  • Burning feeling in the skin
  • Irritated skin
  • Redness
  • Dry skin

Less common side effects can include:

  • Discomfort
  • Itching and peeling
  • Contact dermatitis 
  • Sunburn 

If you do experience side effects then they will usually disappear after 2-4 weeks of using Differin.  

Contraindications

Differin should not be used if:

  • You are allergic to adapalene or any of the other ingredients 
  • You are pregnant or trying to get pregnant 
  • You have eczema 
  • You should avoid applying Differin to areas of the skin which are sunburnt or damaged. 

Drug interactions

There are no medicines which interact with Differin cream. Other acne treatments can be used alongside Differin providing they are applied in the morning and Differin is used at night. 

Differin and pregnancy

Differin is not suitable for use if you are pregnant. If you discover you are pregnant while you are using Differin then stop the treatment right away and consult your doctor for advice on a more suitable alternative.

Treatment Options

Alternatives to Differin

Other acne treatments available include Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid and Alpha Hydroxy Acid.

Lifestyle changes to help acne

There are several lifestyle changes which you can make to improve the overall health of your skin which may help to reduce your acne. Getting plenty of sleep will put less stress on the body and, in turn, the skin. Cutting down on white carbohydrates and sugar and drinking plenty of water will regulate your insulin levels and help to flush out toxins. Wearing sun protection, eating Omega 3 rich foods, exercising and cleansing twice a day are all additional activities which might help your acne and boost your skin’s health.  

Differin Cream vs Differin Gel

Both Differin Gel and Differin cream work in the same way. The main difference between the two is that Differin Gel comes in two different strengths, 0.1 or 0.3%.  

Differin and acne scars

Differin can be used to help reduce the appearance of acne scars as it promotes healing in the surface of the skin. More likely, it will reduce the chance of your acne leading to scarring after the spots disappear. 

Differin for rosacea

There is some evidence to show that adapalene creams such as Differin can help to soothe the redness associated with rosacea. It may be particularly useful if you experience pimples during a breakout of rosacea.

Q&A

Can I wear make-up when using Differin Cream?

You can apply make-up as usual during your Differin treatment. It's recommended to use non-comedogenic cosmetics to avoid clogging the pores so that you can get the best out of your acne treatment. 

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