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Differin 0.1% Gel

Differin 0.1% Gel (45g)

Order before 3pm for delivery from Sat. 30 May and Tue. 02 Jun.

Product Information

  • Age: 18 years +

    Maximum per order: 3

  • Pregnancy: Not suitable

    Breastfeeding: Not suitable

Differin 0.1% Gel contains the active ingredient adapalene, a form of vitamin A that reduces the growth of pore-blocking keratin cells. Adapalene also increases skin cell renewal and aids natural exfoliation, leaving the skin clear and oil-free.

Differin 0.1% Gel is available for purchase from The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service, following a free consultation. To learn more about acne and available treatments, visit our Online Doctor Acne page.

Differin 0.1% Gel treats acne. Applying it to affected areas may decrease the number and severity of acne pimples and promote quick healing of breakouts. The active ingredient, adapalene, belongs to a class of medications called retinoids. It affects cell growth and decreases swelling and inflammation.

Sebum is a natural, oily substance that keeps the skin smooth and supple and is produced by glands just under the skin’s surface, called sebaceous glands. However, acne sufferers often produce too much sebum, which can mix with dead keratin skin cells and cause blocked pores. Blocked pores can then lead to spots, blackheads (comedones) and whiteheads. Differin 0.1% Gel can reduce keratin skin cells and unblock the pores and sebaceous glands, allowing the sebum to escape. This results in a reduction of acne symptoms.

Differin 0.1% Gel also aids the skin’s natural exfoliation, keeping pores unblocked and thus reducing spots and blackheads.

Differin 0.1% Gel is for external use only and treats mild to moderate acne symptoms. Currently, Differin is the only licensed medication in the UK that contains Adapalene.

Pharmacist tip:Differin 0.1% Gel should be applied once daily, in the evening, to affected areas after they have been washed and patted dry. You can use cosmetics and moisturisers whilst usingDifferin Gel, however you should allow it to absorb fully into the skin before applying other products.Wash your face no more than twice daily. Over washing can irritate the skin, remove essential oils and worsen acne symptoms.

Differin is a retinoid-like compound that is manufactured by Galderma UK Limited.


*Prescription medicines are supplied subject to a medical consultation at the discretion of a doctor.

Before applying this medication, wash your hands. Clean the affected skin with a mild or soapless cleanser and pat dry. With your fingertips, apply a thin layer of medication once daily before bed. Use this medication on the skin only. Do not apply to the inner lips or inside the nose/mouth or on cut, scraped, sunburned, or eczema-affected skin. Avoid contact with eyes. If accidental contact occurs, flush eyes with water and call your doctor if irritation develops. Wash your hands after using the medication to avoid accidental contact.

During the first few weeks of using an adapalene-based product, your acne might appear to worsen. The medication is working on pimples forming inside the skin, so it may take up to 8-12 weeks to notice results.

Use Differin regularly to get the most benefit, preferably at the same time each day. Do not use a larger amount or use it more frequently than recommended as your skin will not improve faster and you risk developing redness and peeling.

Differin is available in different strengths and forms (e.g., gel, cream, solution). The best form for you will depend on your skin and its response to treatment. Inform your doctor if your condition worsens or persists.


Side effects may include:

Dry skin, irritation, burning sensation, or redness.

If you are concerned about these effects, or if the product affects you in a different way, stop using it and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.


Active ingredients:

Adapalene 0.1% w/w

Inactive ingredients:

Carbomer 940, propylene glycol (E1520), poloxamer 182, disodium edetate, methylparahydroxybenzoate (E218), phenoxyethanol, sodium hydroxide and purified water.

Read the following warnings to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product.

Do not use this product if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

Do not use this medicine on cuts or broken skin, or if you have eczema.

Avoid contact with eyes, mouth or nostrils, and avoid other very sensitive areas of the body. In case of accidental contact, immediately wash the with warm water.

Avoid exposure to strong sunlight and artificial UV light.

If this medication causes you sensitivity or irritation, stop using it and consult your doctor. You may be asked to use the gel less often, or stop using if for a short time.

Tell your doctor/ pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medications.

Other acne products containing benzoyl peroxide, erythromycin or clindamycin may be used with Differin. You should apply these medications in the morning and Differin at night.

Cosmetics may be used but they should be formulated to not cause blackheads or dry the skin.

The inactive ingredient Propylene glycol (E1520) which may cause skin irritations. Methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218) may cause allergic reactions.

Please read all packaging and the Product Information Leaflet before taking any new medication and inform your doctor any medications you are taking or intend to take.

Delivery & Shipping Information

Please note that due to the current situation with COVID-19, Royal Mail are only operating alternate day deliveries to many households (Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs, Sat). This may mean that your order takes longer to arrive than you would normally expect. We are working hard to ensure that, where possible, all orders placed before 3pm are still dispatched the same working day.


UK Orders

We offer FREE standard tracked delivery on orders over £40.

The following delivery options are available:

  • Standard Tracked Delivery - 3 - 5 day delivery - £2.95
  • Express Tracked Delivery - 1 - 3 day delivery - £4.45
  • DPD Next Day - 1 - 2 working days - £6.95
  • Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 1pm) - £8.95 (Currently unavailable)
  • Saturday Guaranteed before 1pm - £10.45 (Currently unavailable)

Important Delivery Information

All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail (unless stated). We always aim to dispatch all Royal Mail orders received before 4pm the same working day. Any orders received after 4pm or over the weekend will be dispatched the next working day. We aim to dispatch all DPD orders placed before 3pm on the same working day. Orders will not be dispatched on weekends or bank holidays.

All orders are subject to approval by our team of doctors and pharmacists. Your delivery date in the checkout is subject to your consultation being approved by our healthcare team.

All orders can be fully tracked from your dispatch email and in your account.

We ensure all parcels are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods. Where possible, we will attempt to size all parcels to fit through your letterbox in tamper-proof packaging. By placing an order on our website, you confirm that it is safe and appropriate for a package containing medicines to be posted through your letterbox, if the carrier is able to do so. You should notify our customer support team if it is not safe for the package to be posted through the letterbox, for example due to animals or small children.

Deliveries containing pharmacy-only or prescription medicines may require a signature on receipt. 

Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.


Royal Mail

Royal Mail are the most widely recognised mail delivery company in the UK. Being on the UK’s 29 million doorsteps six days a week means they offer unparalleled price and convenience. The Independent Pharmacy uses Royal Mail’s Tracked 48, Tracked 24, and Special Delivery Guaranteed parcel services to offer reliable, fully-tracked delivery at very competitive prices. Your Royal Mail parcel will arrive with your normal daily delivery of post.

Please note: Royal Mail do not deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

If you are not home to accept your delivery, a card should be left by the Royal Mail representative. This card will provide details of where you can collect the order or how to arrange re-delivery.

Should you be unable to collect your missed delivery or arrange for your medication to be redelivered by Royal Mail, the pharmacy can resend your medication to the same, or a different address provided it has been returned to us and this happens within a 30 day window.

Once a package has been shipped with Royal Mail we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.



DPD Local is the most innovative parcel carrier around. Thanks to their industry-leading Predict service, they provide parcel recipients with a one hour delivery window, notified by email, so you don't have to wait in all day. What's more, it enables receivers to watch the progress of their delivery on a real-time map, all the way down to a final 15 minute time-slot. 

As well as keeping customers informed at every stage of the journey, DPD believe in maximising choice and convenience. That's why DPD provide access to a suite of options both on the day of delivery and the night before, allowing customers to take delivery of their goods in a way that suits. If you wish to reschedule, you can:

  • Select an alternative delivery date
  • Opt for delivery to a nominated neighbour
  • Have the parcel left in a specified safe place
  • Collect the parcel from your local DPD Pickup Shop
  • Upgrade delivery to By 12

Please note: DPD do not deliver on Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering. 

Once a package has been shipped with DPD we advise that you are bound to the terms and conditions of their use together with the terms and conditions contained herein.

You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.


Forwarding houses

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.


BFPO Postcodes

Unfortunately we are unable to deliver medicines to BFPO postcodes.


Remote Areas

Please be aware that Royal Mail Guaranteed services are not available to all customers in the UK, especially those that live in remote postcodes. Royal Mail advise customers of the following:

We deliver by 5.30pm the next working day in the following postcode areas:
AB30 - 39, 41 - 45, 51 - 56
GY9 Alderney (Channel Islands)
HS1, 3 - 9
IV21 - 28, 40 - 49, 51 - 56
KA27, 28
KW1 - 3, 5 - 15
KW16 Stromness Town only
PA20 (0&9)
PA28 - 38, 41 - 49, 76, 77
PH15, 17 - 26, 31 - 40, 49, 50


We deliver within two working days by 5.30pm to the following postcodes areas:
GY1 Herm (Channel Islands)
GY9 Sark (Channel Islands)
PA60 - 75, 78
ZE2, 3


We deliver within three working days by 5.30pm to the following postcode areas:
KW16 - non-Town
PH30, 41 - 44


Please note: This applies to our 'Special Delivery' and 'Saturday Guaranteed' services.


International Orders

We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.

We are unable to ship orders to mailing or forwarding houses for onwards shipping to locations outside of the UK.

Need to know more about Acne?

Visit our advice area or contact our support team

Differin 0.1% Gel Reviews

Unsure about a treatment?
Ask our medical team for impartial information and advice about any treatment we provide or medical condition that we treat before you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Differin cream contain?

    Differin Cream is an acne treatment that contains Adapalene 0.1%, which helps to reduce the growth and increase the turnover of keratin skin cells that can build up and block pores causing acne.

  • How do I use Differin cream?

    In adults and children 180 years and over, Differin is applied once daily, usually in the evening. You should not apply Differin more than once in a 24-hour period. For best effects, Differin should be applied after washing your face with warm water and a mild cleanser to clear away any excess oil, skin cells and bacteria.

  • Can I use other acne treatments with Differin cream?

    You can combine Differin with antibiotic acne treatments such as Tetralysal (Lymecycline), Minocin (Minocycline) or Oxytetracycline tablets. Differin should not be used with any other acne creams as it may cause excess drying or irritation to your skin. You can combine Differin with antibiotics such as Tetralysal (Lymecycline), Minocin (Minocycline) or Oxytetracycline tablets to cure acne particularly persistent cases of acne. 

    Topical treatments like Differin are frequently used in addition to oral treatments like Accutane (Isotretinoin), but this would need to be started by a dermatologist.

  • I have started using Differin cream and the treated area is red and irritated, is this normal?

    Redness and irritation of the treated area, almost like sunburn, can commonly occur when you use Differin for the first time. This is not usually serious and is a sign that it is working. These effects normally subside within a week. During this time you can reduce the frequency of Differin application to once every other day to allow your skin to recover and then slowly build up to applying it daily.

  • Why can I only buy three packs of Differin cream online at one time?

    Differin cream is a prescription-only acne treatment. For that reason, to ensure the safety of our patients and the legal & ethical operating of our pharmacy, we only supply a maximum of 3 months treatment at one time. Differin treatment is normally judged for effectiveness after 2-3 months. This means that if you do not find Differin as effective as you would like after this time, you are not stuck with an excess of medication. If you are happy with the results you can easily log in and re-order another supply.

  • Is Differin available for next day delivery?

    Yes, we understand that sometimes you want to get your acne treatment as soon as possible. If ordered before 4pm Monday to Friday, our doctors will review your consultation for Differin the same day. If it is approved your order is can be delivered as quickly as the next day.

  • Is it safe to buy Differin cream online?

    Yes, as long as you are buying from a website that is a legally operating and regulated pharmacy it is perfectly safe to buy Differin online. The Independent Pharmacy is an NHS-licensed Online Pharmacy based in Bristol and has all the necessary regulation to be able to safely provide convenient access to genuine acne prescription treatments through our Online Pharmacy & Online Doctor.

  • How do I buy Differin online?

    It's simple!

    Just select 'Start Consultation' above, you will need to fill in a simple health questionnaire so our GPs & Pharmacists can ensure it is safe for us to supply your Differin to you. It all takes around 3 minutes and your treatment can be delivered to your door.

  • What are the advantages of buying Differin cream online?

    There are many advantages to buying Differin online, some include:

    • It's quick & easy - there is no need to spend time at the doctor or pharmacy.
    • Fast delivery - We offer same day dispatch before 4pm and fast delivery to your address of choice with Royal Mail.
    • Great prices - we are able to offer very competitive prices and we guarantee to beat any other Online Doctor service.
    • Tons of information - we provide all the information you could need on Differin (adapalene/benzoyl peroxide) and other acne treatments, in easy to digest formats, at a time to suit you.
  • How does Differin gel work?

    Differin cream and gel both contain the active ingredient adapalene, a form of vitamin A that treats acne.

    Acne occurs when the skin’s sebaceous glands become blocked and natural oils, or sebum, accumulate. The blocked sebum provides nutrients for acne-causing bacteria which can grow and cause inflammation in the skin. Adapalene reduces the growth of the keratin skin cells that block pores and allows the sebum to escape. This decreases the occurrence of blackheads and spots.

    In addition, adapalene increases the skin’s ability to exfoliate naturally. This also helps to unblock pores, and decrease blackheads and breakouts.

    Differin Cream or Gel should be applied once a day, before bed.

  • Does Differin cause any skin reactions?

    When you first start using Differin you may feel a temporary stinging or warm sensation on your skin. The skin may redden slightly, like a mild sunburn. Differin may also cause your skin to peel or become very red and irritated.

    If you notice severe redness, swelling, itching, burning sensations, blistering, crusting or peeling of your skin after using Differin, apply the medication less often or stop using it temporarily. If the irritation persists, stop using the medication completely and consult your doctor.

  • Can I wear makeup with Differin?

    You can wear cosmetics or moisturisers while using this medication, but you should not  apply them at the same time. Wash your skin thoroughly before applying Differin, wait for it to be absorbed into your skin, then use any cosmetics and moisturisers.

  • How is Differin affected by the sun?

    Avoid exposure to sunlight, sunlamps or sunbeds while using this medication, as it increases your skin’s sensitivity to UV light. If exposure to sunlight cannot be avoided, use sunscreens or protective clothing over treated skin.

    If your skin is sunburnt, you should not use this medication until your skin has fully recovered. Severe irritation may result.

  • What is a good treatment plan?

    You should continue treatment with Differin for at least 8 weeks. If, after that time, there is no improvement, treatment should be stopped or new medication should be added.

    Your treatment plan should be reviewed after 3 months and, if acne has cleared, Differin can be stopped. Acne may not return, but if it does treatment can be resumed.

  • Does this medication help with acne scars?

    This treatment speeds up the regeneration process of the skin, which may help reduce the appearance of scars. This cream/gel can also prevent future breakouts, which in turn leads to reduced numbers of scars.

    Avoid popping your spots, as this can worsen the problem and create scars. Laser and dermarolling treatments are recent developments, available from cosmetic dermatologist clinics, which are designed to fade scars.

  • Can I use Differin for my rosacea? Or melasma?

    Spots and pustules are one of the main symptoms of rosacea. Differin is therefore often prescribed to treat this condition by dermatologists, however it is not something that we are able to prescribe online.

    Melasma (brown spots/hyperpigmentation on the skin) is also treated by Differin if prescribed by a dermatologist.

  • Is Differin the same as Retin-A?

    Retin-A and Differin work in much the same way, but they are slightly different treatments. One should not be used in replacement of the other.

  • Can Differin be used as an anti-aging wrinkle treatment?

    Differin contains a topical retinoid which can aid the skin in loosening the bond between cells and thereby encourages the old ones to fall off and new cells to form. Because of this, many believe that it can improve the appearance of wrinkles.

    However, it is not recommended that you use Differin for this purpose, as it could dry out your skin and have the opposite effect on wrinkles and fine lines, making them more visible.

  • Can this treatment damage or bleach my clothes and bedsheets?

    Unlike many topical acne treatments, Differin does not bleach fabrics.

  • What parts of my body can I use Differin on?

    This treatment can be used to treat the causes of acne on all parts of the body, including (but not limited to) the face, chin, back and chest.

  • What other treatments are available for my pimples, besides topical and oral medications?

    There are a number of cosmetic treatments that can be provided by a cosmetic dermatologist to treat acne. These can be used in addition to or instead of topical or oral medications. These treatments include microdermabrasion and laser treatment. However, you should always let the treatment provider know what medication you are on before engaging in treatment.

Authored By:

A photo of  William Obeng

William Obeng

MPharm IP

Published on: 15-09-2016

Last modified on: 15-09-2018

Reviewed By:

A photo of Dr Donald Grant

Dr Donald Grant

MB ChB DRCOG MRCGP Dip.orth.med

Reviewed on: 15-09-2018

Next review date: 15-09-2020

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  • 1 Complete a simple health questionnaire
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