Adapalene gel

5.0 - 2177 Reviews

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$47 generic equivalent, $0 with most insurance

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Adapalene gel Benefits

Makes your skin better if you are acne-prone and prevents future acne lesions.

Promotes healthier and clearer skin, brighter complexion and tone.

Restores dermal collagen, fighting signs of aging.

Can be used for long term maintenance therapy.

Product Details

How to use

Simply clean the affected area using a gentle soap and dry it completely. Apply a thin layer of Adapalene, rubbing it gently into the skin before bedtime. Wash your hands after using Adapalene. Do NOT use Adapalene with another topical medication (benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, etc) at the EXACT same time of day, because it might irritate the skin and not let Adapalene work properly.


Adapalene offers one of the best over-the-counter topical retinoids, but it can also come in a stronger version that is only accessed through a physician. These two levels of strength are 0.1% and 0.3%. The 0.1% is over-the-counter. 0.3% is prescription only (you need a doctor to write the prescription).

Side effects

The risks are very low, but some women have experienced unwanted side effects when using Adapalene. Minor ones include skin dryness, itching, redness, mild burning, or worsening of acne. Those effects will decrease with continued use of the medication. Use sunscreen when you use Adapalene.

The chances of serious side effects are extremely unlikely, but STOP the medication and seek immediate medical attention (call 911 or go to the ER) if you experience any of the following symptoms: blistering, severe burning/swelling of the skin, rash, itching/swelling.

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Adapalene is a topical retinoid used as an acne treatment in mild to moderate cases in adults and children 12 years and older.
In addition, Adapalene can be an alternative to Retin-A for those with sensitive skin. Adapalene works hard against existing acne and prevents new acne from forming by treating oily skin, making the cells less sticky, eliminating clogged pores, and decreasing inflammation. As a result, it reduces the amount and severity of acne lesions, promotes faster healing of pimples, and prevents the formation of small spots, blackheads, and whiteheads. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Adapalene is an acne treatment that prevents new acne from forming by making the cells less sticky, preventing the pores from being blocked, and decreasing inflammation.

After washing your face at night, wait 10-15 minutes for your skin to fully dry before applying a small amount of Adapalene in the places where you get acne (usually the T-Zone). Gently massage it into the skin, avoiding any open wounds or sunburned areas on your face. 

Remember, you shouldn’t apply any other topical treatments (benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, salicylic acid, etc.) at the same time of day because other medications will likely block the effects of the Adapalene. 

Adapalene works by preventing new zits, making the cells less sticky and thus they don’t block the pores as much, and decreasing inflammation.

Pandia Health’s expert Doctors recommend using Adapalene gel before bedtime. Always make sure to use this medication on its own and do not use any other topical medication (specifically benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid) at the exact same time to let Adapalene work properly. For example, if you also use benzoyl peroxide soap/gel/wash, use the benzoyl peroxide in the morning and the Adapalene at night.

To see the full improvement of the treated area, our doctors recommend allowing Adapalene approximately for 3 months (about 12 weeks). This does not mean you will not see any changes in your skin before 12 weeks, but it is best to wait and follow the treatment as indicated by the expert Doctors.

Adapalene is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Differin Gel. Oftentimes, people will use the two names interchangeably because Differin is the name brand and Adapalene is the generic medical name.

It doesn’t make acne worse but your acne may get worse (more lesions) before it gets better. Give it time. The body needs to get rid of the acne that was already on its way before it can prevent future acne breakouts . After clearing your pores of acne-causing bacteria and dirt, Adapalene helps you retain a smooth complexion and ultimately restores your skin’s texture.

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