Does Differin Help Wrinkles? Here’s the Truth About Using It

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Differin is a well-recognized FDA-approved retinoid that works to treat acne. But does differin help wrinkles? Differin belongs to the family of retinoids—which are known to be collagen-boosting. This means that using differin may be an effective treatment for wrinkles.

Differin, also known as adapalene, is prescription-strength retinol that you can also get over the counter. It is an approved acne treatment and is an active ingredient in any differin gel or cream. 

If you are wondering if adapalene will help to clear or prevent the appearance of wrinkles on your skin, you are on the right page. Read ahead to find out all the information you need to know about using differin for the reduction and prevention of the appearance of wrinkles on your skin.

Does Differin Help to Fade Wrinkles?

According to board-certified dermatologist, Jeanine Downie, MD, differin is a retinoid, and retinoids are known for being able to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by promoting collagen production in the skin cells. 

Another board-certified dermatologist, Marlene Mash, MD, said that adapalene works on both the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin to treat hyperpigmentation, surface roughness, and wrinkles. 

To board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Mohiba Tareen, differin is a kind of retinoid that helps to treat aging signs such as fine lines, dark spots, and dull skin. 

This all proves that differin is an anti-aging skincare ingredient that’s recognized by dermatologists to treat aging signs. It helps in the stimulation of epidermal turnover in the skin as well as boosting collagen synthesis.

The increase in the production of collagen and elastin in the skin aided by using differin will help to replenish and revitalize the skin cells. 

This will help old skin cells to behave younger and this reflects in the appearance of the skin. Overall, it does work to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the skin. 

Does Differin Help to Prevent Wrinkles?

Not only does the use of differin help to fade the appearance of wrinkles, but it also helps to prevent the formation and appearance of new wrinkles on the skin. 

So if you are still young and yet to start experiencing the formation of aging signs on your skin, you can incorporate the use of differin in your skincare routine to help keep your skin ageless and radiant.

Differin will help to increase the rate at which your skin cells produce collagen and elastin. This will definitely help in preventing wrinkles from showing up on your skin by keeping your skin firm and youthful.

How to Use Differin to Treat Wrinkles

Using differin to treat wrinkles requires proper usage of the product and this includes the amount, frequency, and when you use the product. 

The first thing to start your journey through the use of differin aging treatments is getting the product. Over-the-counter differin products contain just 0.1% differin while prescription-strength adapalene contains 0.3%. 

As a newbie to retinoids and if you have sensitive skin, you should start with an 0.1% adapalene product. This percentage of adapalene is less likely to cause any side effects on your skin and your skin may even tolerate daily usage of the product. 

After deciding on the right adapalene percentage that works for your skin type, you should carry out a patch test before you incorporate it into your skincare routine. Test the product on a small part of your skin to check for allergic reactions. 

Once you have confirmed that you can use it on your skin without any reaction or severe side effects, you can go on to start using it in your routine. Follow the guide below to aid the proper usage of the differin product.

Prepare your skin for the application of the product

As usual, wash your face and cleanse it to rid your skin of dirt and oil with a gentle face wash or cleanser. This is an important step that always comes first in every skincare routine. It is important to use a gentle cleanser that works for your skin type to do this step. 

Don’t use a cleanser that contains harsh ingredients that can irritate or dry out the skin. Using a retinoid such as adapalene on already irritated skin will worsen the irritation. 

After washing your face, be sure to blot it dry by patting it with a dry, clean towel.

Protect your under-eye with an eye cream

If you are using a differin product that contains 0.3% adapalene, you might want to use an eye cream to protect the skin around your eyes. 

The skin around the eyes is sensitive and can be easily irritated, that is why it is best to do this to avoid any form of irritation when you use your differin product.

Use your differin product

You can now use your differin product after applying your eye cream. Squirt out a pea-sized amount of it on your fingertips and dot it all over your face or the problem area. 

Gently massage the product into your skin in a circular motion while ensuring that you cover all the problem areas. 


Allow the treatment to absorb totally into your skin for a few minutes, then apply moisturizer to seal in hydration on your skin. This will help to prevent dryness by keeping your skin moisturized throughout the day.

When Should You Use Differin on Your Skin?

Differin, like other retinoids, is best used in your nighttime routine. This will help to assist your body in the repair of the skin at night. The body naturally revitalizes itself at night as this is when it stimulates epidermal turnover. 

Using the product at night will help to aid the stimulation of epidermal turnover as well as the building of collagen synthesis to replenish the skin. It will also help to ensure the production of new blood vessels in the cell.

How Long Does Differin Take To Work on Wrinkles?

It will take consistent use of differin for a minimum of 3 months to see any improvement in the appearance of wrinkles on your skin. It may take up to 6 to 12 months to see any tangible results in the reduction of wrinkles.

However, consistency is key to achieving the ageless skin you desire. Always use your differin correctly on your skin at the right time and you may experience a much faster result.

Is Adapalene as Effective as Tretinoin? 

Even though adapalene is mostly recognized for its acne treatment efficiency, it also helps to treat aging signs. Tretinoin on the other hand is well known for its anti-aging benefits and several studies have been carried out to show its potency. 

Even though only one or two studies have looked into the ability of adapalene in treating aging, it is still as effective as tretinoin. Both ingredients are part of the retinoid family and retinoids are known to help boost collagen synthesis in the skin.

This tells that both ingredients can work effectively for aging treatments.

Can You Use Hyaluronic Acid and Adapalene Together?

Hyaluronic acid happens to be the best skincare ingredient to use with any active or drying ingredient such as retinoids. Using hyaluronic acid with adapalene will help to boost the effectiveness of the product, as well as serve as a humectant to moisturize your skin. 

When you want to use both ingredients on your skin, ensure that you use the differin product first before layering on the hyaluronic acid to seal in hydration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use differin under your eyes?

Yes, you can. Wrinkles often develop first on the skin around the eyes because of their thinness and sensitivity. Therefore, you can apply your differin to the skin under your eyes to treat wrinkles.

However, ensure you use an eye cream as a layer of protection first before using a prescription-strength differin product.

Can you use differin on wrinkles every day?

Yes, you can. You can apply differin to your skin every day to fade and prevent the appearance of wrinkles.

If you would like to do this as a first-timer, it is wise to start with an over-the-counter differin product. This will help to prevent potential side effects, such as peeling and redness from happening.

Can you use differin on your neck?

Yes, you can. Using differin on your neck to reduce the appearance of wrinkles is totally safe and fine. 

You can use differin on any problem areas of your skin that are currently experiencing aging signs. You can use it on your neck, chest, or face. 


Differin, like all other retinoids, is a vitamin A derivative that helps to enhance the epidermal turnover rate in the skin and build collagen synthesis. This makes it an effective treatment for fading and preventing wrinkles from appearing on your skin.

Although it is well known for being an acne treatment rather than an aging treatment. So if you are wondering if differin will help your wrinkles, here you have your answer. In addition, follow the instructions in the article to help you use it correctly on your skin.

Thank you for reading.

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