Differin Cream or Gel

Prices from as little as £19.98 a tube

(Including Private Prescription)

Differin Cream or Gel (Adapalene 0.1%) is one of the most popular and effective choices for treating acne. Differin is a retinoid that works to dramatically reduce symptoms, including blackheads and skin spots, as well as exfoliating the skin to keep you looking fresh and smooth. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect; decreasing soreness, swelling, and irritation. Some studies have shown Differin may be beneficial in reducing wrinkles and helps in anti-ageing[1] like Retin-A.  You can buy Differin online from Medical Specialists® UK registered pharmacy.

As low as £23.75
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  • Available in cream or gel form
  • Reduces spots and the severity of symptoms
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Genuine UK medication

What is Differin for?

Please note: Do not buy Differin Cream online or Gel to use alongside other products that also contain a retinoid.

Please note:  Other products for the condition (containing Benzoyl Peroxide, Erythromycin or Clindamycin) can often be used with Differin, but must be applied in the morning, and Differin at night. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist first however.

Please note:  Cosmetics can often be used alongside Differin, only if they don’t cause blackheads or dry the skin.

Differin Cream or Gel is prescribed as an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne. The active ingredient in Differin is Adapalene 0.1%, which is a form of Vitamin A (known as a retinoid) and has an anti-inflammatory effect; reducing soreness and irritation in the skin.

The form of Vitamin A used in Differin works in a similar way to Retin-A. Therefore, if you are trying to buy Retin-A as you have had results with this previously – and disappointed to find it is not available at present – you could get similar results and benefits from Differin. 

As Differin Cream or Gel helps unblock pores and reduces the formation of blackheads and spots. Its active ingredient, Adapalene, also increases the turnover of the skin cells and has been shown to be an effective anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing treatment, in addition to being able to help general skin tone.[1]

If your symptoms are more severe, sometimes Differin Cream or Gel can be combined with a topical or oral antibiotic treatment, but always discuss this with your doctor or dermatologist first.

What is the difference between Differin Cream and Differin Gel?

A gel usually has the appearance of a jelly, and is transparent, and mostly water based. Creams are also mostly water-based, but are thicker, and often take more time to get absorbed by the skin.

Differin Gel is usually preferred by those who have very oily skin. However, Differin Gel can cause skin to dry up easily compared to Differin Cream, and may cause a little more irritation, although this can vary from person-to-person. Differin Cream is likely to be suited to those with more sensitive skin that is prone to irritation and drying. If this sounds like you, then you may be better off if you buy acne cream online instead of a gel-based treatment.

Gels and creams often come with their own advantages and disadvantages, so each individual will need to base their choice on their own personal requirements and preference. Generally, you probably won’t know which formulation is most ideal for your skin until you try them out.

If you buy Differin Gel online and find it causes drying or irritation, then it is advisable to change to the Differin Cream. If the cream causes clogged pores, then the gel version may be ideal. However, if Differin Cream gives you clogged pores but the gel makes your skin too dry, a moisturiser could be a great way to buffer its effects.

How does Differin work?

Differin Cream or Gel increases the turnover of the skin cells, which aids the natural exfoliation of the outer layers of skin.

This also helps to unblock pores and decreases the formation of comedones and spots. A comedone can be open to the air (a blackhead) or closed by skin (a whitehead). Differin can also increase the turnover of the skin cells and has possible beneficial effects for the skin.

How to use Differin

After you buy Differin Cream or Gel online and before starting to use the medication, read the manufacturer's printed Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) supplied inside the medication box. This will give you more information about the active ingredient Adapalene and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects.

  • Apply Differin Cream or Gel exactly as your doctor tells you to, or as explained within the PIL.
  • If you have recently been using a preparation that causes your skin to peel, allow your skin to recover for a few days before you start using Differin Cream or Gel.
  • It is best if you wash and gently dry the affected areas of your skin before you apply Differin Cream or Gel. A general point is that you should apply it to all of the area where your spots occur and not just to each spot. It is usual to apply it once each day in the evening before going to bed, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • You only need to apply a thin layer of cream or gel. Remember to wash your hands after you have finished applying the cream/gel.
  • Do not use Differin Cream or Gel on any areas of your skin which are sunburnt or sore. Also, try to avoid getting it on the sensitive areas of your skin in or around your nostrils, your eyes and your mouth. Try not to let it build up in the folds or creases of your skin. 

Duration of treatment

How long you need to use Differin Cream or Gel will depends on how quickly your symptoms improve. After you have used Differin Cream or Gel for 3 months, you should see your own doctor who can check how your symptoms have improved, as you might be advisable to continue the treatment for longer.

What are the possible side effects of Differin?

Side effects are rare, and most people don’t get any. Possible side effects may vary from one person to the next, as with any medication. You should always read the manufacturer’s Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) before using or any other medication.

This will give you important instructions on how and when to use the medication, as well as any possible side effects of the drug.

How we package your order

Your medication is placed inside a plain delivery box* for protection, then sealed inside a special tamper-proof Royal Mail envelope before being dispatched from our in-house pharmacy.

  • Discreet plain packaging / No mention of medication
  • Our minimum sized delivery box* to protect the medication in transit is: W - 18cm, H - 6.5cm, D - 8.5cm
  • Royal Mail Tracked 24 or 48 hr (UK addresses)
  • Royal Mail Special Delivery Before 1pm (UK addresses)
  • Royal Mail Local Collect (UK addresses)
  • Royal Mail International Signed For (Overseas addresses)
  • Some delivery types will require you to sign for the parcel
  • Some delivery types will require you to show Photo ID for the parcel
  • Find out more information about delivery types here


1. Herane MI. et al (2012) "Clinical efficacy of adapalene (differin®) 0.3% gel in Chilean women with cutaneous photoaging. " J Dermatolog Treat. 57-64. PMID 22007702

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2. Complete online consultation

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3. Next day discrete delivery

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