Differin cream and gel containing retinoid (adapalene 0.1%) applied once daily to treat acne available to buy online from Dr Fox.

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Buy Differin online in UK

How to order Differin online for UK delivery:

  1. Read medical information about acne treatment
  2. Answer medical questions to check for eligibility
  3. Reviewed by doctors - posted from UK pharmacy (tracked 24hr delivery)


Differin cost (in stock)
Acne treatmentQuantityCost
Differin cream (adapalene 0.1%)45 grams£22.00
Differin cream (adapalene 0.1%)90 grams (2 x 45 grams)£39.00
Differin gel (adapalene 0.1%)45 grams£22.00
Differin gel (adapalene 0.1%)90 grams (2 x 45 grams)£39.00

Dr Fox charges a small prescription fee per order.

Prescription fees

Dr Fox supplies medicine on prescription and charges a small prescription fee based on the order value of each prescription.

Prescriptions are issued by our doctors online and sent electronically to our pharmacy.

Order valuePrescription fee
up to £10£1.00
up to £20£2.00
up to £40£3.00
over £40£4.00

If you have your own private paper prescription please post to our pharmacy (details).

Dr Fox prices are 25%–50% lower than other UK online clinics.

Delivery charges

UK delivery only: £2.90 per consultation via Royal Mail 24 Signed For (1-3 working days with tracking).

Parcel forwarding services are not permitted. Use only UK home or work delivery address.

Returns and refunds - unwanted items can be returned within 14 working days for a full refund.

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About Differin

  • Differin 0.1% is a prescription-only topical acne treatment for blackheads and whiteheads.
  • The active ingredient is adapalene (retinoid), available as a cream or a gel.
  • Differin is applied once daily to affected areas.
  • Read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects, cautions, and interactions with other drugs.

How does Differin work?

Differin contains the active ingredient adapalene, which is a retinoid medication developed from Vitamin A. Retinoids control skin cell shedding and so reduce the blocking of pores which leads to the classic symptoms of acne, i.e. blackheads, whiteheads, inflammation, pustules, and cysts.

Who can use Differin?

Differin is recommended for mild acne at step 2 of the Dr Fox acne treatment plan. It is especially good for blackheads and is used if there has been no improvement after using non-prescription benzoyl peroxide. It can also be used alongside antibiotic treatments like lymecycline capsules.

Who should not use Differin

Differin is only licensed for use in over 12 year olds and adults. Dr Fox only prescribes for over 18s.

Differin should not be used on cuts, grazes, sunburn, or eczema.

How to use Differin

  • Differin should usually be applied at night before going to bed.
  • Wash and dry the skin which is affected by acne.
  • Use a thin amount of gel (for greasier skin) or cream (for drier skin).
  • Rub it in gently using the fingertips.
  • Avoid eyes, lips, and nostrils.
  • Wash hands well after applying Differin.

What's a good treatment plan?

Treatment with Differin should be continued for at least 8 weeks. If after that time there is no improvement, treatment should be stopped or new types of treatment should be added.

After 3 months, treatment should be reviewed, and if acne has cleared Differin can be stopped. Acne may not come back, but if it does, treatment with Differin can be restarted.

Differin can be used long term (for many months or years) if needed.

If after 8-12 weeks use, the acne has not cleared then other treatments can be used. These could include; combination topical skin treatments, antibiotics, the contraceptive pill in women or specialist prescribing of Roaccutane (isotretinoin). See Dr Fox acne treatment plan for more details.

Using Differin with other acne treatments

Differin can be used with other skin (topical) preparations containing clindamycin (Duac) or erythromycin (Zineryt) or benzoyl peroxide (available from pharmacies over the counter). When other topical medicines are used with Differin these should be applied at a different time of the day. Differin should not be used at the same time as other topical retinoids including isotretinoin, tretinoin, and trifarotene.

Differin side effects and cautions

Side effects from Differin are most likely to be skin related as very little of the active ingredient is absorbed through the skin. There is often redness, soreness, and some inflammation when treatment is started. This can be helped by either using Differin less often, e.g. every other day, or by starting with only a couple of hours use and then washing it off, and gradually increasing the time period before washing off. If the inflammation is severe or doesn't settle then Differin should be stopped.

Using Differin more frequently than once a day will not increase effectiveness, but will increase the chances of side effects.

Sensitivity to UV light is increased and sun avoidance measures, including the use of high factor sun cream, are recommended.

Differin is for use on the skin only. Avoid contact with mouth and eyes. If accidentally swallowed, contact a doctor straight away.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Avoid use in pregnancy.

Differin can be used by breastfeeding women, although application to the chest area should be avoided.

Patient Information Leaflets

Illustration of patient leaflet from medicine packet

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine and must be read before taking the medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine.

Differin Gel patient leaflet
Differin Cream patient leaflet

Differin FAQs

Which should I use: Differin cream or gel?

Differin cream is better if you have dry skin and the gel is better for greasy skin. However it is a personal choice. They both contain the same amount of active ingredient.

Can I wear makeup with Differin?

Yes. But makeup must be removed and the skin cleaned and dried with water before applying Differin. Once the Differin is dry, then non-oily makeup can be applied.

Do I have to use Differin at night?

As Differin needs to be applied to clean, dry, makeup-free skin, it is usually most convenient to apply it at night.

How long should I use Differin for?

Differin takes time to work so should be used for at least 8 weeks. It can be continued for up to 6 months but then try a break. It can be restarted if necessary and continued longer term, possibly less frequently, e.g. alternate nights.

Differin isn't working - what now?

There are many other treatments to try if you don't get the best effect from Differin. The next would be to try a combination product from step 3 in the Dr Fox acne treatment plan.

See also FAQs: Acne and treatment options.

Dr Barbara Babor

Authored 19 November 2015 by Dr B. Babor
MB ChB Dundee University 1996. NHS GP in Bristol.

Reviewed by Dr C. Pugh, Dr A. Wood, Dr P. Hunt
Last reviewed 06 October 2021
Last updated 18 October 2021


Product reviews

Differin rated 4.47/5 in 34 product reviews

See over 35,000 service reviews of Dr Fox

Differin Cream

This product has changed my life and given me so much confidence!

29/04/2022 18:39
Anonymous Verified

Differin Gel

(Differin gel) Works really well on hormonal acne, reduces PIE. I introduced it gradually (at first I used it twice a week and increased use every 2 weeks), used a moisturizer before and after application, used sunscreen every day and I have not used any other actives. I haven't experienced any side effects- purging, irritation etc even when I use it every day.

20/04/2022 23:51
Anonymous Verified

Differin Gel

I have been using Differin Gel for only 6 weeks. I can already see a huge improvement in my overall complexion. No new break-outs & way less oily skin.

09/04/2022 21:53
J. Baker Verified

Differin Gel

Good alternative to Tretinoin for skin issues.

06/04/2022 18:03
Anonymous Verified

Differin Gel

It took about 6 months to see results. My skin is still clogged but a lot clearer and has a nice translucency to it. I find I wear foundation a lot less now. I have a lot less hormonal acne in my chin area which was a major problem before.

15/11/2021 23:01
Anonymous Verified

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