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Faye Bonnell - Medical Content Writer
Faye Bonnell
Medical Content Writer
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan
CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist

Buy Differin online

Differin is a cream or gel that can be used to treat mild to moderate acne on the face, chest or back. This medicine contains adapalene, an active substance with an anti-inflammatory effect that can reduce soreness and irritation.


How Differin works

Differin contains the active ingredient adapalene, which works by increasing the turnover of skin cells, aiding the natural exfoliation of the skin, and helping to unblock pores. As a result, spots or pimples are prevented from forming under the skin.



Unless your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist has told you otherwise, Differin should be applied at night before going to bed. Thoroughly wash the affected area with water and, once your skin is clean and dry, apply a thin film of the cream or gel and rub it in gently with your fingertips.

How long it takes for Differin to clear acne varies from person to person. Once you’ve been using Differin for 3 months, you will need to speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist so they can check on your skin’s improvement.

You mustn’t exceed the recommended dose of Differin - your acne won’t improve any quicker and your skin may become irritated and red.


Side effects

Adapalene can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it is extremely important to protect your skin from the sun whilst using this medicine. Make sure to use sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy outside. 

If you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms may include swelling of the face, lips, or throat, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or rash and itching.   

Common side effects of Differin may include:

  • Dry skin
  • Skin irritation
  • Burning sensation of the skin
  • Redness of the skin (erythema)

Uncommon side effects include:

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Skin discomfort
  • Sunburn
  • Itching of the skin
  • Peeling skin
  • Flare-up of acne

For more information on possible side effects, refer to the patient information leaflet. If you experience any side effects, including any not included in the patient information leaflet, you can report them using the MHRA Yellow Card Scheme.



Differin is only suitable for adults and adolescents aged 12 and over. You should not use Differin if you are allergic to adapalene or any of the other ingredients in this medicine, or if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

You must also avoid using this medicine if you suffer from eczema and you must not apply it to areas where the skin is cut, scraped, or sunburnt.

Talk to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before using this medicine if you are taking any other medicines or herbal remedies, including those obtained without a prescription, or if you are using any other products to treat your acne.


Is Differin suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women? 

Differin should never be used during pregnancy, or if you’re thinking of becoming pregnant. If you think you may have fallen pregnant during treatment, you must stop using Differin immediately. Breastfeeding women are safe to use Differin, as long as application to the chest is avoided so the infant isn’t exposed to the medicine.


Important information

This product is a medicine; make sure to speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking this product if you have an underlying medical problem or are taking any other medicine or complementary therapy. If your symptoms get worse or continue after taking this product, contact us or your doctor. For medical services in your area, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk

If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or our pharmacist before taking this product. If you suffer from any allergies, ask your doctor or our pharmacist if this medicine is right for you.

Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children.

Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product.

Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.


Storage information

Keep out of sight and reach of children in an area below 25°C. Do not use Differin after the expiry date, referring to the last day of the month stated on the packaging. 

Advice & Guides

What is Acne? Your Questions Answered

Spot break outs always seem to happen at the worst possible moment, just before a first date, the day you’re getting your photo taken, all of those wonderful occasions when you could really do with not having a huge spot between your eyes.

But do you just have a few spots, or are you suffering with acne?

Read More
Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for Differin to work?

Results will vary from person to person, but typically there should be some improvement after a week of use.

Sometimes, a couple of weeks into treatment the acne may return as the medicine gets to work on clogged pores in the lower layers of the skin.

This doesn’t mean your skin is getting worse, as it will clear up within a couple of months in most cases.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that can happen to anyone but is especially common in children and young adults.

Acne happens when the glands in the surface of your skin start to produce too much of an oil named sebum, which can clog your follicles, causing spots, whiteheads, blackheads, and more.

It’s caused by hormonal changes, like those that happen during puberty, pregnancy, or throughout your period.

When you have acne, your skin will produce too much oil or sebum, which then clogs your pores and causes breakouts.

When combined with this excess oil, the bacteria that live on your skin can get aggravated, causing redness and inflammation alongside the spots and this whole combination can be sore and irritating.

Acne can be mild, causing just a few spots and blackheads, but can range all the way to severe acne, which can cause large, painful papules, cysts, and nodules on top of everything else.

Although people think acne is all about breakouts of spots, there are a couple of other symptoms you may experience when you have acne, including oily skin, or skin that’s sore or hot to touch.

Acne usually appears on your face, chest, or back, and it can be tempting to squeeze the spots that appear there, but you should resist the temptation and use an acne treatment to help you manage your condition effectively and avoid scarring.

Read More

Do I need a prescription for this medication?

You do need a prescription for this medication in the UK.

Our healthcare professionals can provide prescriptions if they think this treatment would be right for you and your condition.

When you click the button which reads “Start Consultation” at the top of this page, you’ll see a short questionnaire set up by our healthcare team which is designed to help them understand your medical needs.

Just like an in-person consultation with your GP, our doctors will assess your answers to their questions and write a prescription for the treatment they think will be best for you.

You’ll then be able to pay for your medication and we’ll send it out to you quickly and in discreet packaging.

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