Every person who decides to take Differin to heal acne asks this one question:
How long does a Differin purge last?
However, not everyone purges with Differin, and the dreaded purge can actually depend on several other factors, which we are going to talk about below.
So stick around to find out how to deal with a Differin purge and how to take care of your skin during this vulnerable time.
How Does Differin Work?
First of all, Differin is the brand name of a Swiss company called Galderma that manufactures cosmetic products for acne.
The main active ingredient that’s responsible for targeting acne in Differin is adapalene, which is a retinoid that works by triggering rapid cellular turnover to unclog the pores and fight the overgrowth of the acne-causing bacteria.
What is The Differin Purge?
The Differin purge is the initial breakout that occurs when you start using Differin.
This happens because the skin is pushing all the clogs that would’ve been pimples at different times in the future – all out at once.
This is why a purge may appear quite severe because we are usually used to getting a few pimples here and there at different times or having consistent acne, so seeing this new-onset come out all at once may definitely scare you.
However, it’s important to continue using this product even if you experience new and often moderate to severe breakouts because the purging process will eventually end and your skin will get better.
How Long Does a Differin Purge Last?
A Differin purge can last anywhere from two to twelve weeks.
Twelve weeks is a little bit of a stretch and you should consider switching to something else or at least combining Differin with different products if you don’t see any improvements in your skin at around the eight-week mark.
Also, it’s worth noting that not everyone experiences a purge. If you have a routine that works for you and is already helping your acne subside but you decide to introduce Differin to speed things up, there is a chance that you won’t experience a purge.
But it’s also worth noting that this is rare and not everyone can expect such results from using Differin for treating their acne. As with most treatments, it works differently for everyone.
When Should I Expect to See Results (When Using Differin)?
You should start seeing results within three or four weeks of using Differin, even if your skin is going through a purge at that time.
Despite the angry and inflamed acne, you should also notice clearer pores in areas that aren’t affected with pimples and redness and a glow should also start to form at around that time.
Therefore, if your skin seems to be improving by then, you are likely to have good results and should definitely stick around and wait up to twelve weeks to see them.
What Makes the Purge Worse?
The purge itself is not what makes the purging worse, it’s actually how you handle the purging that makes a difference!
Therefore, try to stay away from using heavy oils or excessively drying products while experiencing a Differin purge.
Oils may soften the skin and make it seem like it’s hydrated but in reality, they would just be clogging your pores and further prolonging the purge.
On the other hand, excessively drying products will definitely affect your skin’s moisture barrier and this will result in dry, itchy, irritated, and inflamed skin, which will make Differin a very unpleasant experience for you.
What Should I do While the Purge is Happening?
You should do your best to avoid picking at acne and follow a good skincare routine while going through a Differin purge.
The best skincare routine to have while using Differin consists of very few products, including a gentle cleanser, a non-clogging moisturizer, and sunscreen.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that Differin works much faster alongside antibiotics, especially when the purge hits, which is usually after a week of using it.
So, if this is an option for you, consider asking your doctor for a course of antibiotics such as tetracycline (minocycline, doxycycline, lymecycline), as this will help deal with the fresh breakouts due to a purge while also destroying the overgrowth of bacteria from inside.
A course of antibiotics usually lasts three weeks, and this should be enough for your skin to get used to both treatments and start improving.
Why Do You Purge When Taking Differin?
When you first start taking Differin, your skin is unclogging the pores that are currently plugged up with sebum and dead skin cells.
This will cause a breakout because there is nowhere for the clog to go but out on the surface.
The good news about this? The purge usually means that Differin is working and you’ll notice that your acne is clearing up after the purge has ended.
It can definitely be annoying but it will be worth it in the end when you no longer have to deal with constant acne.
Besides that, as I already mentioned above, there are ways to lessen the purge and tolerate it better, so make sure to implement those.
Does Everyone Get the Differin Purge?
No! Some people don’t get the Differin purge at all or they experience far fewer issues than others.
It really depends on how severe your acne is, what type of skin you have, how your skin deals with new treatments, the skincare products, and other cosmetics you are using, etc.
Can You Stop a Differin Purge?
If you stop taking Differin suddenly after a purge period has already started, you would just be cutting its due course short and you may even end up stuck with these new pimples that you have no way of treating.
So the only way when you start using Differin is forward and the best thing to do is just stick through it.
You are not alone in this and luckily, there are many communities that can help and offer advice and comfort during this difficult time.
Try searching for Facebook groups on the topics of retinoids, tretinoin, and acne support, as well as Reddit communities with similar names.
Here you will be able to read about other people’s experiences with the same products and connect with people who are going through the same thing which may help you feel better about your situation.
Is it Safe to Take Differin While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?
No, Differin is currently not an approved acne treatment during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The active ingredient in Differin is adapalene, which is a retinoid, and retinoids are not approved for pregnancy use.
It’s worth noting that there isn’t any substantial evidence that clearly shows topical retinoids are not safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding, but there really isn’t a way for this to be determined unless they test topical retinoids on pregnant and breastfeeding women, which would be highly unethical.
Therefore, it’s best to avoid using Differing and other retinoids during this period.
Where Can Differin Be Purchased?
Europeans are sadly more restricted when it comes to purchasing Differin and the only online pharmacy that carries Differin in Europe is Biovea.
Please note that this is the only pharmacy I know of so if you are in Europe and you know other places where Differin can be purchased, drop the names in the comments below!
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
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