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Can Adapalene Gel Be Your New Pimple Fix? Find Out Here

Can Adapalene Gel Be Your New Pimple Fix? Find Out Here

As you browse for new products for your skincare routine, you’ve may come across adapalene gel. Can it be your new go-to pimple fix?

Acne spots are one common reason, if not the most, why people start to get into skincare. From face washes, toners, moisturizers, and even treatments, the selection goes beyond more than you ever thought it could be. But with everything you can possibly put on your face, how can you find one that suits your acne treatment needs? Let’s go back to the basics and start with a common skincare ingredient.

What is Adapalene?

Adapalene is an ingredient that can be found in topical products, such as gels or creams, to treat acne.

It is a drug belonging to the class of retinoids. These are known potent vitamin A derivatives that work by slowing down the desquamation process and reducing the number of comedones and microcomedones. For the past 25 years, they have been a cornerstone for acne treatment.

Adapalene behaves similarly to another common chemical — tretinoin — but with more stable and distinct physicochemical properties. According to research, 0.1% adapalene gel is at least as effective as 0.025 percent tretinoin gel. Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to alleviate the pain and irritation from acne.

This product comes in the following dosage forms:

  • Cream
  • Solution
  • Gel/Jelly
  • Lotion
  • Swab

People also use adapalene gel to unclog their pores, which helps to prevent the formation of small pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.

How to Apply Adapalene Gel

  • Wash and pat dry the affected area. Make sure your skin is completely dry.
  • Squeeze a small amount of gel directly from the tube onto a clean fingertip. Be mindful of how much you are going to take out from the tub or tube as an excessive amount of it can irritate your skin.
  • Apply a thin layer of the product to the affected acne area. Do this once a day, before bedtime.
  • Gently massage it into the concerned acne areas.
  • Wash your hands once you are done applying it to necessary parts of your face and/or parts of your body.

During the first three weeks of using adapalene, your acne may appear to worsen before it improves. Full improvement should be visible within 12 weeks, especially if the medication is taken on a daily basis.

Questions to Answer Before Using Adapalene Gel

Despite it being a topical product, there are still some medications that are not appropriate for people with certain conditions. Because of this, your doctor may ask a few questions before giving out a prescription for the said product:

  • Are you pregnant? Trying to conceive? Or breastfeeding?
  • Do you have any skin condition other than acne, like eczema or something similar?
  • Are you currently taking or using other medications? Even over-the-counter medications and creams?

Have you experienced any allergic reaction to a particular product or medication?

What are the Possible Side Effects of Using Adapalene Gel?

Adapalene, like all medications, can cause side effects, though not everyone experiences them. There are some side effects that could improve as your body adjusts to the new medication.

  • Burning sensation or stinging of the skin
  • Skin dryness and/or skin peeling
  • Itching of the skin (causing rashes)
  • Redness of skin

Adapalene gel may increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. As a result, apply it at night and wash it off in the morning. A sun protection cream can also be beneficial if you are going out or even working near a window.

Key Takeaway

Adapalene is a notable ingredient to fight terrible acne. However, not all people may see good results from it. It is still best to consult your dermatologist before applying anything to your face.

Learn more about Acne here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Adapalene, https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/medicines/a/adapalene/ Accessed December 8, 2021

Adapalene for acne, https://patient.info/medicine/adapalene-for-acne-differin-epiduo Accessed December 8, 2021

Adapalene (Topical Route), https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/adapalene-topical-route/proper-use/drg-20061544?p=1 Accessed December 8, 2021

Adapalene for the treatment of acne vulgaris  – Jonathan S. Weiss, Joel S. Shavin, https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(98)70445-1/fulltext Accessed December 8, 2021

Adapalene Gel or Cream, https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/medications/31/Adapalene-Gel-or-Cream Accessed December 8, 2021

Topical Therapy for Acne – John J. Russell, https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0115/p357.html Accessed December 8, 2021


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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated Dec 15, 2021
Fact Checked by Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza