Compare Differin vs. Renova

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Differin (adapalene)

Prescription or OTC

Renova (Tretinoin)

Prescription only
Treats acne.

Differin (adapalene) is commonly used for treating acne, but, it can cause skin irritation.

Treats acne and sun damage.

Renova (Tretinoin) isn't a cure for fine lines and wrinkles, but it's clinically proven to improve them.

3.1/ 5 average rating with 58 reviewsforRenova
Upsides
  • Differin (adapalene) is a good option for the treatment of acne.
  • It is available as a cheaper, generic medication.
  • It only has to be applied to the skin once a day at bedtime.
  • The 0.1% gel formulation is available over the counter, without a prescription.
  • Differin (adapalene) is generally well tolerated, with few side effects.
  • You only need to apply it once a day, usually in the evening.
  • Most people who reported having skin irritation said that it was mild.
  • Part of a complete program to help you take better care of your skin.
Downsides
  • Your skin may look worse before it starts looking better.
  • Differin (adapalene) can take up to 8 to 12 week to start working.
  • It may take up to 6 months to see the full benefit for facial wrinkles.
  • Not a good choice for women who want to become or are pregnant
  • Can change the color and texture of your skin if used long-term.
  • You need to be careful about avoiding any sunlight or artificial tanning while using it.
  • It doesn't work for deep wrinkles.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Lotion
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Price
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Reviews
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58 reviews so far
41%
saidit'sworth it
28%
saiditworked well
28%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
5possible side effects
  • Skin dryness
    42%
  • Skin redness
    38%
  • Skin scaling
    35%
  • Persistent burning and stinging
    24%
  • Persistent itching
    21%
See more detailed side effects
4possible side effects
  • Mild skin reactions
    100%
  • Severe local irritation
    7%
  • Any side effect
    4%
  • Skin hypo- or hyperpigmentation
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Local skin reactions
    • Soaps and cleansers with skin-drying effects
    • Products with high concentraions of alcohol, astringents, spices, or limes.
  • UV and sunlight exposure
  • Severe allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Allergic reactions
    • Allergy to fish or fish products
  • Harm to fetus
See more detailed risks and warnings