My teenage sleepover routine went something like this: pizza, pajamas, Differin gel application, and then a film from Leonardo DiCaprio’s back catalogue. Acne medication was a nuisance—sometimes painful, to be honest—but I appreciated its efficacy. And now that Differin, acne medication of our tormented youths, is available over the counter, a new generation is spared extraneous trips to the dermatologist.

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The Food and Drug Administration gave notice of this happy developing today. According to New York, Differin’s over-the-counter availability marks the first time a retinoid can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. Retinols, on the other hand, have long been available, but they are far less potent. Besides, now that we have access to the good stuff, why bother with the pale imitations?

The beauty of Differin, as New York explains, is its capacity to both exfoliate your skin and to soothe inflammation. Severe breakouts might require a tougher regimen, but if yours is mild, or even moderate, this gel should do the trick. Of course, your skin might feel like dried glue after application and, alas, the medicine still requires roughly a month before working its magic. Small prices to pay, ultimately.


Image via Getty.