Differin: First Retinoid Approved by FDA for Over-the-Counter Use [of Acne]

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About three months ago I noticed that I was having some small blemishes, which is unusual for me.  But since I had a hysterectomy in January I knew it was likely hormonal acne.  I tried my best to control it with skincare products but realized that it would likely get worse over time.  So  two months ago I went to the dermatologist and it turns out I was right.  Thankfully the spots weren’t bad and my appointment was more preventative than reactive (okay, maybe a little reactive).

I was given Differin gel to use at night, a different gel to use in the morning and an antibiotic.  I wanted to avoid using the prescriptions if possible (they’re not covered by insurance but thankfully coupons were applied so the cost wasn’t bad).  Still I did a little research and bought a couple of skincare products that I thought might help and the breakouts have been minimal.

Then Stephen Alain Ko wrote about Differin on his blog Kind of Stephen (he is a cosmetic chemist and skincare expert – I love his posts).  I already knew Differin was good for acne, but hadn’t done any research on it in quite some time.  Thank you Stephen!  His post reminded me that Differin is also good for hyperpigmentation and possibly anti-aging (it is a retinoid after all!).  He gives excellent sources on his posts so findings are not just his opinion.

This is what the Differin Gel 0.1% looks like.  The figure in the background is my dog laying on the roof of his dog house.

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If you’re interested in Differin the FDA has a Press Announcement on its website from July 8, 2016 stating they have approved Differin Gel 0.1% for over-the-counter use.  It should be available now but I called two pharmacies and they said it is still showing in their system as prescription only.  I spoke directly with one pharmacist and asked why and he couldn’t give me an answer (this decision is probably above his pay grade).

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2 thoughts on “Differin: First Retinoid Approved by FDA for Over-the-Counter Use [of Acne]

    1. Thanks! I just saw your comment. I knew I had an email alert but my phone app wasn’t showing a comment. Anyway, thanks for all the knowledge your share and have a good weekend!

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