Differin's Soothing Moisturizer certainly makes for gentle skincare; it's just that it lacks the ingredients that make for an impressive soothing moisturizer, which is why it falls short of earning our highest rating.
Housed in a plastic bottle with a pump dispenser, this fragrance-free lotion has an initially greasy texture that, once absorbed into skin (which doesn't take long), dries down to a soft matte finish. It feels lightly hydrating, making it best for those with normal to combination skin.
True to claims, this does make skin appear less dry and smoother, with a softer feel as well. It contains a few good emollients like avocado oil, plus a couple of antioxidants.
This is supposed to both soothe skin and restore its moisture barrier, but to do that requires a better complement of skin-restoring and skin-replenishing ingredients, along with more soothing ingredients and antioxidants. Omitting these leaves your skin wanting more!
This isn't a terrible product, but it's also very basic and not required if you're using Differn to treat your acne.
- Lotion feels lightly hydrating and smoothing.
- Contains some good emollients and a couple of antioxidants.
- Fragrance free.
- Lackluster formula needs more robust ingredients to truly soothe skin.
- Contains nothing special if you're using Differin to treat acne.
As a brand, Differins come a long way in just a few short years. Originally Differin was the brand-name of the prescription retinoid adapalene, but in addition to the original adapalene-containing Differin Gel, they now offer a growing number of products available over the counter with a focus on treating and preventing acne.
The biggest change for Differin came in 2016, when, after two decades of being prescribed by doctors for acne, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the original Differin Gel for use over-the-counter. The move marked the first new drug approved for OTC acne treatment since the 1980s!
With the formula essentially unchanged since its introduction, Differin Gel remains a good alternative for those with stubborn acne that hasnt responded to more traditional treatments. To supplement their star product, Galderma, the parent company behind Differin, now offers additional products, such as a cleanser and a few moisturizers, each designed for breakout-prone skin. Overall, theyre relatively stripped-down formulas and dont offer much in the way of cutting-edge ingredients, but they are fragrance-free and gentle on acne-prone skin for the most part.
For more information about Differin, visit https://www.differin.com or call 1-866-735-4137.
Note: Because Differin is a pharmaceutical company, the original Differin Gel formula was tested on animals. However, the brand has stated in an email that their other non-drug skin care products are not tested on animals. As such, this brand's animal-testing status is a sort of grey area for consumers and we've decided to err on the side of caution and keep them on our list of brands that do test on animals, with this caveat, so each individual can make this very personal decision for themselves.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.