Acne Treatment Gels – Adaferin, Deriva, Faceclin-A

In this review of Adapalene, we are going to answer common questions related to its effective, use and side effects.

What is Adapalene

Differin gel for acne treatment in IndiaAdapalene is a synthetic retinoid commonly prescribed for treatment and prevention of acne. It works on all types of acne. Adapalene has fewer side effects than tretinoin (Retino-A) but is just as effective if not more.

In India, adapalene is available as 0.1% gel formula from these brands

  1. Adaferin Gel by Galderma                 price Rs. 200 for 15 gm
  2. Deriva by Glenmark (Gracewell) 
  3. Deriva-MS by Glenmark (Gracewell)
  4. Medapine by Ranbaxy                        price Rs. 165 for 15 gm
  5. Aclene by Cipla                                        price Rs. 86.25 for 15 gm
  6. Adaple by Wallace                                  price Rs. 80 for 15 gm
  7. Apalene by Elder Pharma                price Rs. 75 for 15 gm

All the gels above have the same composition – 0.1% adapalene.

Deriva has 2 versions one is regular Deriva and the other one is Deriva-MS. Both have 0.1% adapalene, but the difference between Deriva and Deriva-MS is that the latter contains adapalene in micronized format. That must increase the effectiveness of Deriva-MS somewhat.

Differin is the most popular brand name for Adapalene, so that’s the name we are going to use for this review. More information about Differin is available here.

Is Differin effective for acne

Differin gel works under the skin’s surface to unclog pores and clear up pimples. Pores then begin to function normally again. It not only helps to prevent the formation of new pimples, but also helps existing pimples.

Your acne might seem to get worse before it gets better. This is the notorious “initial breakout” people talk about. It means the medication is working – acting on pimples that began forming before you started treatment. Not everyone may experience this initial breakout or purging from Differin.

Adapalene increases the effectiveness of anti-acne antibiotic clindamycin. Therefore you find combination formulas such as: 

  1. Adaple-C          price Rs. 110 for 15gm
  2. Clindapene     price Rs. 128 for 15gm
  3. Deriva-C           price Rs. 110 for 15 gm
  4. Deriva-C AQ  price Rs. 86.5 for 15 gm
  5. Deriva-CMS   price Rs. 192 for 15 gm
  6. Pimplex 
  7. Faceclin-A     price Rs. 136 for 15 gm

All the above ointments have the same composition:  adapalene 0.1 %, clindamycin 1 %. 

Deriva-C has 3 versions: regular Deriva-C, Deriva-C AQ and Deriva-CMS.

All 3 have have 0.1% adapalene and 1% clindamycin. Deriva-C AQ gel is in an aqueous base. The difference between Deriva-C and Deriva-CMS is that the latter contains adapalene in micronized format. That must increase the effectiveness of Deriva-CMS somewhat.

Where to buy Differin in India

Differin is available by prescription only. Even though this milder retinoid is said to have fewer side effects, we do not advise self-medication. Before making a trip to your nearby medical store, pay a visit to your dermatologist for a legitimate prescription.

How to use Differin

Use Differin gel at night. Apply a thin film all over the face and other areas of the skin affected by acne. It might cause redness immediately upon applying. Don’t use more than the bare minimum needed. Using more will only increase irritation and redness.

Do not apply Differin on a popped pimple or bruised areas of the skin. Keep it away from lips and eyes.

When does Differin show results?

Differin is quite effective as an acne treatment. You start seeing results within 2 months, but it takes about 10-12 months for it to take full effect. You will see about 10% improvement in acne per month.

Differin side effects

The most common side effect of Differin is skin redness, dryness and peeling. Some people experience stinging and burning too. If you have existing hyper-pigmentation from acne spots, it may look like Differin is making them darker or redder. It is best to avoid sun exposure as much as possible and use gentle products alongside in order to reduce skin redness and darkening of spots. As skin gets used to the treatment, this redness reduces.

Precautions while using Differin

Do not use any other strong treatments such as alcohol, salicylic acid, glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen throughout the day.

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