Retinoid treatment previous now available over-the-counter to treat and prevent acne.[an-columns action="end column"] [an-columns action="end columns"]
“Consistency is key for clear skin.”Learn More from Dr. King [an-columns action="end column"] [an-columns action="new column" class="col-12 col-md-8 col-lg-8"]
What is adapalene?
A derivative of vitamin A, adapalene is a member of the retinoid ingredient family. The first retinoid, tretinoin, first appeared on the anti-acne scene in the 1960s, and several other similar drugs—including adapalene—have received FDA approval for acne treatment since. Adapalene is the first prescription-based retinoid to become available over-the-counter — which means it is no longer necessary to make a trip to the doctor to get its acne-fighting benefits.[an-columns action="end column"] [an-columns action="end columns"]
Frequently Asked Questions About Adapalene Gel
Adapalene and other retinoids help minimize acne through a few means of action. First, adapalene helps slow down the accumulation of dead skin cells in the pores — which is one of the main contributors to acne breakouts. Retinoids help prevent and improve whiteheads and blackheads by promoting the shedding of dead skin cells, which also helps other ingredients better penetrate the skin. Adapalene in particular has also been found to minimize inflammation associated with blemishes as well.
Adapalene has a proven track record as a safe and effective acne treatment, so if you experience breakouts, yes. Adapalene also has several advantages as compared to other retinoids. Studies have shown that adapalene delivers the anti-acne benefits of retinoid treatment with less irritation, and because it is more stable than its close cousin tretinoin, it is less likely to degrade and lose its effectiveness upon exposure to light. Its higher stability also means adapalene can be used with other acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide without compromising results. Adapalene generally provides visible improvement in whiteheads and blackheads within days of starting treatment, and delivers a reduction in more inflamed acne (such as papules and pustules) in eight to 12 weeks with consistent use.
A pea-size amount of adapalene should applied to clean skin over the entire face after cleansing and toning in the evening. (Adapalene is not intended for use as a spot treatment.) As with all retinoids, it is important to start slow, and gradually increase frequency of use to minimize redness, dryness and irritation. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to start by applying adapalene every four days for two weeks if you’re a first-time user. If your skin shows no signs of bothersome irritation, adapalene should then be applied every other night for two weeks. From there, adapalene can be applied nightly if the skin shows that it is able to tolerate it. The main reason most people stop using retinoids is the initial irritation, however following these application guidelines when starting to use adapalene can minimize unwanted side effects and maximize skin-clearing results.
Yes, adapalene can be used on areas of the body affected by acne, including the chest and back. However, it’s important to follow the same application guidelines that are suggested for the face when starting to use this ingredient.
Every skincare regimen (with or without adapalene) should include a daily sunscreen that is applied every morning, rain or shine, and reapplied at least every two hours during extended periods of sun exposure. But if you’re using adapalene for acne, it’s a good idea to be extra diligent because this ingredient has an exfoliating effect that removes the uppermost layer of skin, which can leave skin more vulnerable to sunburn.