Why are people rubbing this stuff all over their faces? Weird. I have been using Differin for over 5 years, and it is without question *the* most effective topical ointment for acne I've ever found, and I've tried 'em all. I've been a sufferer of serious acne since I was teenager, and I have tried every over-the-counter and prescription remedy on the market. Herbal stuff too. Honestly, the only thing that truly worked for me was Accutane. 6 months of Accutane cleared up the nasty cycstic acne I used to get all over my back and shoulders, and although the acne does return occasionally, I've not had any major break-outs in the 5 years since taking it. If you have severe acne, don't waste your time with anti-biotics or any of these ointments, just take Accutane. However, if you've already done that, or if you have mild acne, I can't recommend Differin enough.
Benza-Clin works okay, but it bleaches your clothes and sheets - I ruined a pillow case and a t-shirt with this stuff. You can't use Benza-Clin on your face before you go to bed, unless you want to wake up to blotchy bleach spots on your pillow case or sheets. And forget about applying Benza-Clin to any back and/or shoulders acne before going out because it will bleach your shirt. Plus, it's white, so you can't wear it out in public during the day, unless, of course, you want to walk around with flaky white patches all over your face.
With Differin, I simply apply it directly to my acne, and it makes the stuff disappear pretty quickly. Smaller zits will sometimes disappear over night, while larger acne of the cystic variety (I get them on my back occasionally) will disappear in a few days to a week. And what's especially great about Differin is that unlike Benza-Clin, it won't bleach your clothes because it's a clear gel, *and* you can put it on your acne before going out and it doesn't show up on your skin. What's also nice about Differin is that it doesn't completely dehydrate my skin around the acne the way stuff like Benza-Clin and Retin-a does. Somehow Differin manages to make the zits go away without causing excessive dryness (and that dryness can sometimes be every bit as annoying).
At any rate, different things work better for different people, obviously, so some people might have wildly varying experiences using Differin. But based on my own experience, it's truly the best ointment on the market.
What's strange to me is that apparently (according to the accounts I've read below) people use Differin in all sorts of different ways, like rubbing it all over their faces, or applying it in strange, systematic ways. I simply apply it directly to any acne that pops up on my skin, if and when I get any. Of course Differin is not going to work as a preventative - only Accutane will do that.