Easy 3-Step Nighttime Skincare Routine for Acne Treatment

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeforeDifferin #CollectiveBias

differin gel before acne treamentI’ve battled acne since I was a pre-teen.  I tried over-the-counter acne treatments trying to find something that worked for my skin. It wasn’t until I was in college almost ten years ago that I finally found a solution that worked.  My dermatologist prescribed Differin® Gel for me to clear and prevent my acne.  It was a game changer! Differin® Gel gets deep down in your pores to stop breakouts at the source, before they even begin.  

Imagine my surprise when I was at the dermatologist last month and she told me that Differin® Gel was now available over-the-counter. Say what?! Differin® Gel is the first and only prescription-strength retinoid to be available OTC, and the biggest advancement for OTC acne in more than 30 years. While I haven’t used it in a little over a year, I’m now incorporating it back into my routine.

If you’re like me and struggling with mild-to-moderate adult acne, you should definitely work Differin® Gel into your skincare routine.  Here’s my easy three step nighttime routine for acne treatment.

differin gel before acne treatment

Step 1:  Wash your face with warm water and a mild cleanser.  Differin® Gel can be drying, so make sure to use a washcloth or brush to scrub away any dry skin. Differin® Balancing Cleanser is a great option to use.  It’s very gentle.

differin gel before acne treatmentStep 2: Apply Differin® Gel.  Apply Differin® Gel. You don’t want to overdo it, though. Just apply a thin layer on your entire face. I do make sure to concentrate on problem zones, like my chin. While it’s recommended to apply it once a day, everyday for best results, I’ve found that for my skin, it works best when I use it every other day.

differin gel before acne treatment differin gel before acne treatment

Step 3: Moisturize your face.  Some people shy away from moisturizer when they have acne, but if your face gets dry, it can actually make your acne worse.  I like to apply a healthy dose of moisturizer, like Differin® Balancing Moisturizer.  

differin gel before acne treatment differin gel before acne treatmentHere’s my BEFORE picture.  You can see my trouble zones on my chin and forehead.  I’ll be doing an update in around 8 weeks showing my progress!

differin gel before acne treatment

Now, a word of caution from a longtime Differin® Gel user–your acne may get a little worse over the first few weeks before getting better. This is because it is clearing out your pores.  Once your skin looks clear, continue using Differin® Gel to keep it clear! It’s a process, so continually starting and stopping is not the right approach.

Please use caution when using Differin® Gel with more than one acne treatment or glycolic acid product because this could lead to irritation. Also, sInce your face may be sensitive, you should also avoid waxing your eyebrows. And it can cause sensitivity to sunlight, but personally, I’ve always been okay so long as I wash my face in the morning and apply sunscreen regularly while outside.

You can pick up Differin® products at your local Walmart in the skincare aisle or online.

This product is dermatologist developed and tested. Please call 1-866-735-4137 for any questions you may have concerning the product. However, should you experience any problems while using the product, please discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.

differin at walmart easy nighttime routine for acne treatment

Nice to meet you!

Hi there! I’m Tif Fannin, the blogger behind Bright on a Budget, based in Lexington, Kentucky. Bright on a Budget is a Southern fashion and lifestyle blog where I share everyday looks, beauty, and travel, along with a behind-the-scenes look at my life as a working mom of two. I have a penchant for bright colors + good deals. Follow along for posts that are relatable to the everyday woman.

Follow Along

Leave a Comment


  1. 5.17.17
    Della Preston said:

    This looks like a good skin care treatment. I may try to look into this. My acne has been bad lately.


  2. 5.17.17

    I hope this helps out and I can’t wait to see your results in 8 weeks.

  3. 5.18.17
    Sarah Elizabeth Frazer said:

    Looks so good!!!

  4. 5.18.17
    Dara said:

    Oh my gosh I used to use the prescription differin gel too! I’ll have to look for this!

  5. 5.18.17
    Lindsey Ann said:

    This looks like such a great product!!! I totally need to check it out!

  6. 5.19.17

    Well this is timely. I just bought the Differin gel last week for my college age daughter. She’s been broken out all year. I’ve been prescribed Differin in the past so I thought we’d give it a shot. I didn’t realize they had a wash and moisturizer though. I’ll have to look for those. I just sent her the link to this post! Thanks Tif!

  7. 5.19.17

    Love this routine! I have been determined to care for my skin more lately!

  8. 5.19.17

    It sounds like the perfect routine to me. I can’t wait to see your check in! #client

  9. 5.19.17

    I love that you can get this at Walmart – and that it’s a pretty simple routine. Thanks for sharing!

    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort