For more than two decades, dermatologists regularly prescribed Differin to clients dealing with acne, but that’s no longer the case. No, the topical retinoid didn’t suddenly become ineffective at treating acne and preventing future breakouts. Just the opposite, actually. It was so successful that it’s now available without a prescription, and it’s the first time in 30 years that a new active ingredient (adapalene) has been FDA-approved as an over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatment.
While they won’t have to prescribe Differin Gel anymore, many dermatologists will continue to recommend it to acne sufferers. Celebrity dermatologist and wellness expert, Natasha Sandy, M.D., prefers it because the retinoid treats one of the primary causes of acne, hyperkeratinization. “Hyperkeratinization in acne-prone skin leads to dead skin cells binding together with oil and bacteria, causing clogged pores and acne lesions,” she says. “When we prevent clogged pores, we prevent breakouts.”
Even though Differin Gel can now be found on drugstore shelves, that doesn’t mean skincare products with old-school benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid should be shunned. In fact, many dermatologists still frequently recommend them to their patients. We asked a few to share their favorite OTC acne treatments (besides Differin), and here are the products they like—and the reasons they like them…
(image via Style by Emily Henderson)