Differin Gel
  • Differin Gel


Medication features

  • Contains Adapalene
  • Works to keep pores clear
  • Helps reduce inflammation


Order Differin Gel For Acne Online

You can request to order Differin gel or Differin cream from our UK registered online pharmacy and doctor service. No prescription is required, however, you will need to complete an online consultation so our doctors can issue a prescription to our pharmacy. 

If the doctors approve your order, a prescription is passed to our pharmacy, who will then dispense and dispatch your medication. We use Royal Mail as a courier and have next working day delivery options. If our doctors feel a face to face consultation would be best for you, a notification is sent via e-mail and a full refund is issued.

We also offer treatments for other skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea.

What is Differin?

Differin gel in the UK is mainly used to treat mild to moderate acne. It contains the active ingredient adapalene 0.1%, which is a retinoid. It has an anti-inflammatory effect on acne. It also reduces the incidence of blocked pores and, in turn, the occurrence of spots and pimples.

Differin can be used on the face, neck and back areas but avoid the eyes and lips when applying it. It is available as a gel or as a cream.

Using Differin

The gel is usually applied to the affected area in the evening, after washing your face. 

Remember when washing your face, you should use warm water, and ideally an oil-free acne wash. Patting your skin dry is also preferable, as this is less irritating to your skin. After washing, apply a thin layer of Differin over all affected areas with your fingertips.

It should not be used by children under 12.


Differin Gel (like many acne treatments) can take between four to six weeks before you see noticeable results. You should have a review with your doctor after 12 weeks of using Differin.

The effectiveness of the treatment can vary from patient to patient. If you don't feel like Differin is working for you after six weeks, speak to your GP about alternatives. There are combination treatments available which may be more suited to your acne.

Differin Alternatives

If you don’t feel Differin gel is right for you, there are a number of alternative approaches to treating acne.

Other prescription acne treatment options are available at Simple Online pharmacy such as Epiduo gel which is also a retinoid, combined with Benzoyl Peroxide; Duac Gel which contains an antibiotic and Benzoyl Peroxide; Lymecycline which is most often prescribed as a first-line treatment for acne; Zineryt which is an antibiotic solution and Acnecide, a Benzoyl Peroxide cream.


  • How is Differin applied?

    The gel is usually applied to the affected area in the evening, after washing your face. Remember when washing your face, you should use warm water, and ideally an oil-free acne wash. Patting your skin dry is also preferable, as this is less irritating to your skin. After washing, apply Differin thinly over all affected areas with your fingertips.

  • What is Differin?

    Differin is a cream or gel used to treat acne. It contains adapalene, which works to clear pores and reduce inflammation. Adapalene is classed as a retinoid. Differin, in the UK, is a prescription-only medicine.

  • How long will it take Differin to work?

    This can vary but most people will see results within 4-5 weeks. However, it may take up to 8 weeks for some people. Most acne treatments take time for you to see the full benefits due to the shedding cycle of your skin.

  • How long should I use Differin for?

    If after 8 weeks, there is no improvement in your acne, you should stop treatment. After three months of use, you should review treatment with your GP.

  • What are the side effects of Differin?

    The most common side effect is red or sore skin. If inflammation and redness are severe, you should reduce the application frequency to once every two days. If you are still suffering from severe dry/red skin, you should stop using this treatment. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you experience any side effects.

  • Is Retin A the same as Differin?

    They are very similar. They have different ingredients but are from the same class of medicine. Retin A contains tretinoin which is a retinoid which has anti-inflammatory effects. Differin contains adapalene which is a “retinoid-like” drug and therefore acts in a very similar way.

  • How long does it take to see results from adapalene?

    Several months of treatment may be needed to see the best results.

  • Do I need to wash off Differin gel?

    You do not need to wash the gel or cream off. Apply it in the evening and leave it overnight. However, always remember to wash your hands after application.

  • How does Differin work?

    It works by increasing the shedding of skin cells on the area it is applied to. This reduces the chance that pores will become blocked, which often can result in acne spots and pimples.


Treatment Comparison

IngredientsClindamycin / Benzoyl PeroxideAdapaleneLymecycline
ActionDual action on bacteria; antibiotic and skin sheddingHelps unblock pores and reduce inflammationAntibiotic kills bacteria
Oral or Topical?TopicalTopicalOral
DirectionsApply thin layer at night after washing.Apply thin layer at night after washing.Take ONE capsules DAILY (preferably in the morning)

Side Effects

Differin Side Effects

Most side effects usually occur on the skin. Common side effects include:

  • Skin dryness
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • A burning sensation on the skin 

If you experience skin drying or irritation, you can try using it every other day instead of every day. You may still notice a benefit from using Differin but may experience fewer side effects. See the patient information leaflet for more information on side effects.

In rare cases, you may experience diarrhoea as a side effect. Stop using this treatment immediately and speak to your GP if you develop severe diarrhoea after using Differin.

It is not suitable for pregnant women or women planning a pregnancy to use.


Info Leaflet

Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet. 


Apply it thinly once daily in the evening. Differin is for external use only. Protect your skin from sunlight, even on bright cloudy days, because Differin can cause skin sensitivity. Do not use sunbeds while using this treatment.

Order within for guaranteed next day delivery options


£24.95 - £47.95
Quantity 1 x 45g - 2 x 45g

The above pricing is for indicative purposes only.

£28.99 - £55.98
Quantity 1 x 45g - 2 x 45g

The above pricing is for indicative purposes only.

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Medication Simple Online Pharmacy
Gel x2 x 45g £55.98
Gel x1 x 45g £28.99
Cream x2 x 45g £47.95
Cream x1 x 45g £24.95

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5% x1-x-30g £18.50
3% x3-x-30g £54.99
3% x2-x-30g £36.49
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