Do Retinoid Gels Help Acne? The Good, the Bad & the Ugly – My Story

Do Retinoid Gels Help Acne? The Good, the Bad & the Ugly – My Story

My name is Declan; I had a gruelling ten year long battle with acne before finding a method that worked 100%. I’m not acne free and living life to the full. Now I will share my experiences with the retinoid gel differin (adapeline) 0.1%.

Differin contains the active ingredient adapeline (a topical retinoid), which is a deep exfoliation product. Exfoliation helps acne by removing excess dirt, oil and other tiny objects which may contain bacteria or block pores. I used Differin for 6 months during my early 20’s, to some extent it did work, but eventually the negatives outweighed the positives.

The Good: Unlike other topical gels, Differin works under the skins surface towards the root of the problem, this means it’s more than just a temporary effect. My first week of using differin produced no results; in fact my acne seemed to be getting worse. Thereafter the product seemed to be working. My skin actually felt clear over a period of time; in fact medical studies have shown that Differin can reduce lesions by up to a third in people with moderate acne.

The Bad: Any harsh skin product is going to produce side effects. The concentrations of adapeline in differin are either 0.1% or 0.3%, so it’s fair to say that adapeline is very strong! In my first 2 weeks I would have slight burning sensations across the applied areas on the skin. These sensations would gradually get worse as the day went on, plus if any exercise was carried out the sweat would cause further irritation and itchiness. Leading on to the ugly…

The Ugly: Throughout my use of Differin 0.1% I would notice intense peeling the morning after applying the product; this would carry on throughout the day. My first 2 weeks were the worst, not only would I notice the peeling, my skin would have a red tinge to it, this was especially noticeable in direct sunlight.

To be honest, at the time of using differin I would accept the fact that in order for something to have an effect on my acne, I would have to deal with bad side effects (in this case: peeling, red patches & burning sensations). But now I can help… I’ve had the displeasure of spending years of my life trying to find a solution; it was only after I took the advice of medical students at my university that I became free of acne – with no side effects.