Friday, June 11, 2010

Review: La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo

LRP Effaclar Duo is a "corrective and unclogging anti-imperfection care" and the newest addition to the brand's Effaclar range aimed at oily acne-prone skin. I picked it up back in February after my skin started acting really strange even for its standards and I desperately needed something to calm it down. It comes in a 40 ml tube and retails for about £12.00.

The product claims to be revolutionary in fighting acne and, as with all skincare of this type, to purify pores, reduce imperfections, clear and smooth the skin as well as help it regain its balance. It contains 4 active ingredients:

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): has potent anti-inflammatory properties and regulates sebaceous lipid. It also has anti-aging effects and decreases hyperpigmentation. Pretty much a miracle worker, no?

Piroctone olamine: this compound is often used in anti-dandruff shampoos, but apart from that, is an anti-oxidant with antibacterial properties. It has a soothing effect on inflamed skin.

Linoleic acid (LHA): is a derivative of salicylic acid (BHA) which has been proven to be a gentler but as effective alternative to its cousin. They're both oil-soluble unlike AHAs and therefore more efficient in treating acne. It stimulates cell renewal for faster skin regeneration.

Salicylic acid (BHA): softens, loosens and sheds dead skin cells on the skin's surface and therefore helps to deal with acne and but also with aging skin (it's often used in chemical peels).

- gel-like consistency which absorbs fast into the skin. I used it mostly at night all over, but also on problem areas during the day: I applied the gel, waited for it to act, and applied moisturizer on top. Most people don't know that acid treatments are only effective for the first 20 minutes and can be followed with any other cream as needed. In fact, they should be followed with an SPF, as using acids can lead to hyperpigmentation marks.
- non-drying: it isn't really moisturizing, but it doesn't make your skin feel Sahara dry either as most acne treatments can
- handy and sanitary packaging
- in comparison to Effaclar K from the same range, I do feel this is more effective and gentler on my sensitive skin
- paraben-free
- the tube will probably last me up to 10 months

- producer's selective information strategy: La Roche Posay drum their product as innovative for containing LHA, but in fact, there's more salicylic than linoleic acid in it, the fact which isn't mentioned anywhere in the product information. This is quite misleading to say the least.
- no revolutionary effects: no, ladies, this product did not save my skin. It works ok for controlling minor blemishes, but it won't make them or your blackheads disappear overnight. Also, it won't heal your cystic pimples, but will help in calming them down.
- scent: not unpleasant, but quite chemically citrusy
- quite contrary to what the producer claims, it doesn't mattify my skin at all

Will I repurchase? Maybe at some point in the future. It's an all right product but nothing miraculous; I do like however that it doesn't dry out my skin completely which is a rare quality in anti-acne skincare. If you have oily, acne-prone skin like me and you're looking for an everyday acid treatment, this does a very decent job.


  1. Thank you for this review. I am looking into purchasing this product and found your review quite helpful.

  2. I have just gotten into the LRPS line and am trying out some different products, I find it frustrating that every sales rep i talk to recommends something different! I'm stuck between the Duo and the K ... somewhat oily and dry skin, blackheads galore and a few blemishes... recommendation? PLUS no one mentioned using a moisturizer over top (oh goodness im a mess haha) Thanks for the review!

    1. Overall, I wasn't very impressed with the Effaclar range, but Duo was the only product that somewhat worked out for me, especially that it does have some moisturizing agents in it if I recall properly. Another thing is, I believe the US version has actually benzoyl peroxide in it (?) - the one I bought in Poland didn't have that ingredient at all, which leads me to believe the two versions might differ a whole lot.

    2. I recently bought the Effaclar Purifying Gel cleanser and am in love with it. I also picked up the Hydraphase light moisturizer and the Effaclar Duo. It's true - the US Duo is benzoyl peroxide (product made in the USA) and the ones sold in Canada, UK, and Europe are made in France and contain salicylic acid.

      I do not find the Duo to be a moisturizer at all. As mentioned above, it's definitely not drying (not for my oily, sensitive skin anyway!) but I for sure need a moisturizer. The Hydraphase light is really nice, if expensive, but I am really liking the way it works for my skin.

      The K sounds nice, but it might not have the same acne-fighting element to it. More a preventative thing, where the Duo I think claims to be fighting and preventative. Maybe ask for samples of them if the store has these available? That way you can see which is most like what you're looking for.

    3. So I've have had the annoying problem of continuous breakouts for over 15 years. I have the European version and within the first week I already saw an incredible change in my skin. For the better of course.
      The American version is more of a spot treatment and that's why it has the B.P.
      I don't recommend using it on a daily basis as it is rather harsh and drying. The European version, however, is amazing. I use it morning and night under makeup as well. Just make sure you apply SPF over it!
      I plan on doing a whole review on my youtube channel - makeupbyawb.

  3. I am surprised by the difference in texture between the two versions ! The Effaclar Duo made in US has a very white creamy texture unlike the gel-like texture you showed. And it has no scent.
    As for my results, pores on my nose seem slightly smaller and it does mattify my skin (nose).