Is Differin Cruelty-free and Vegan in 2022?

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Differin is not cruelty-free. The brand is owned by Galderma, which is a company that tests on animals. As a result of this, Differin under the umbrella of the brand isn’t cruelty-free.

It is also possible that the brand sells its products where animal testing is required by law.

What Is Differin?

Differin is an acne treatment product that is marketed as an effective alternative to other popular acne treatments like Proactiv.

The product is marketed to both men and women and is covered in some of the most popular publications such as Cosmopolitan.

Aside from their acne products, they also have other products for different skin problems.

Differin sells gels, creams, cleansers, and a few other skin care products, thus offering a full line of products for a complete skin care regimen.

You can get some of the brand’s products on the counter while you can also purchase them on the internet through sites like Amazon, Walmart, etc.

Is Differin Vegan?

No, Differin is not 100% vegan. This means that they might offer some products that are vegan while many of their products aren’t.

However, considering the fact that Differin is just an acne brand, you can’t find many other skincare products from the brand.

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So, it’s likely that majority of their acne treatment line will be non-vegan.

Read also Is Romand Cruelty-free and Vegan?

What exactly is vegan?

A vegan brand is one that doesn’t employ any animal-derived ingredients in its skincare products. Therefore, a brand can be cruelty-free but not vegan.

However, a brand that is 100% vegan will always be cruelty-free since such a brand will also not conduct animal testing.

Why should you only patronize vegan brands?

By patronizing vegan brands, you’re encouraging them to keep doing what they are doing.

However, if you patronize brands that aren’t vegan, then you’re in essence promoting what they are doing, which is making animals suffer.

Fortunately, there are a lot of vegan brands out there to choose from, depending on your needs and buying preferences.

However, the fact still remains that the number of brands that are not vegan far outweighs those that are.

But as more brands embrace the practice, the selection pool will continue to enlarge and make choosing even easier.

Does Differin Contain Harmful Ingredients?

Differin doesn’t contain harmful ingredients that can have severe side effects.

Remember the FDA and other agencies actively monitors the market and will immediately stop a company from selling products with ingredients that can harm people.

That is why you will often see brands discontinuing a product or recalling it.

Typical ingredient in Differin Acne Gel is as follow:

Active: Adapalene 0.1% (retinoid). Inactive: Carbomer 940, Edetate Disodium, Methylparaben, Poloxamer 182, Propylene Glycol, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide.

As you can see, the ingredients are safe. This is based on their acne gel. Other products like the brand’s cream, ointment, creams, lotion, etc., may have slightly different ingredients.

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However, there is a lot of coverage on Differin so it’s highly unlikely that the products will contain questionable ingredients.

Is Differin Certified By Any Brand?

No, Differin isn’t certified by any cruelty-free organizations. These organizations often email brands and ask them about their animal testing policy.

Some research will also go into the brand such as where they are selling the products, what the media says about their animal testing, and so on.

Before a brand can be tagged cruelty-free, it must fulfill all necessary protocols such as not testing on animals or using animal-derivative ingredients in its products.

The most popular of them are Cruelty-Free Elephant, PETA, and Leaping Bunny.

How Do You Determine a Brand Is Cruelty-free?

The first step is to see if any of the brands above have listed the brand as cruelty-free or not. If they are not available on the list, it’s most likely they are not cruelty-free.

However, a further step is required, which is to contact the brand about their animal testing policy. Some brands are open about this while many are not.

Those brands that state that they don’t test or use animal-derived ingredients directly or indirectly are labeled “cruelty-free”.

If they say otherwise or are not willing to reveal it, they are either labeled to be in the grey area or non-cruelty-free.

Are there Alternative Brands?

Yes, there are alternative brands you can consider. These include the following:

  • Proactiv
  • Salicylic Acid
  • La Roche Posay
  • Panoxyl
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Retinol


While Differin is wildly popular among acne sufferers. And there are reports about its effectiveness. Unfortunately, it’s not a cruelty-free brand.

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So, if you’re after a 100% vegan or cruelty-free brand, you have to continue looking for alternatives. Fortunately, there are some substitutes, some of which I’ve included in this article.

Up Next: Is Panoxyl Cruelty-free?

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