Editor's Pick: La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Review

February 15, 2017
Jessica Khorsandi
By: Jessica Khorsandi | skincare.com by L'Oréal
Editor's Pick: La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Review

La Roche-Posay—the #1 acne skin care brand in European pharmacies—recently sent the Skincare.com team a complimentary sample of its fan-favorite spot treatment Effaclar Duo to review. Find out what one editor thought of this blemish-fighting product, below!

Pimples, zits, breakouts, blackheads. No matter what you call your acne, having a complexion laden in painful, aesthetically-unpleasing blemishes is bothersome to say the very least. To keep things under control, we apply any number of acne-fighting cleansers, moisturizers, spot treatments and more to our skin, say a little prayer, and hope for the best. Unfortunately, our wishes for a clear and radiant complexion are not always answered by the skin care Gods. To add insult to injury, pesky breakouts are not just a teenage issue that—poof!—disappears with age. Feeling defeated? We hear you. But before you give up on your war with acne, we’d like to introduce you to a dual-action acne treatment that may lead you to victory—finally. We got our hands on Effaclar Duo, a drugstore spot treatment by La Roche-Posay, to try and review. Keep reading to discover our review of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, its benefits, how to use it, and why acne-prone skin types shouldn’t live without it.


According to the American Academy of Dermatology, adults can continue to get acne well into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s—aptly called adult acne—even if they were blessed with clear skin in their teens. It presents most often in woman as papules, pustules, and cysts around the mouth, chin, jaw line, and on the cheeks. The jury’s still out amongst derms on why women tend to get adult acne more often than men, however the reasons could be due to any number of the following factors:

1. Fluctuating hormone levels: An imbalance of hormones—which can typically occur for women around their periods, during pregnancy, puberty, or menopause—can cause sebaceous glands to act up and  breakouts to ensue.

2. Stress: According to the AAD, researchers have found a link between stress and acne flare-ups.

3. Bacteria: This one’s a no-brainer. When bacteria comes into contact with your clogged pores, it can spell disaster. That’s why a proper skin care routine is crucial, as well as keeping your sheets, pillowcases, cell phone clean etc. Also, quit touching your face with your dirty fingers! 


Forget what you’ve heard—letting acne run its course is not always the best advice. And why should you? Neglecting to care for your acne and instead picking and poking at it can result in skin discoloration or (worse than that) permanent scars. What’s more, acne is often a major detriment to one’s self-esteem. But don’t fret, there are plenty of products available—both prescription and over the counter—that can really make a difference. As far as acne-fighting products are concerned, there are a few ingredients to look out for. We list some of them below.

1. Benzoyl Peroxide: This ingredient is a common active ingredient in acne products (Effaclar Duo being one of them), including washes, creams, gels or pre-moistened cloths. Available in over-the-counter strengths up to 10 percent, benzoyl peroxide works by effectively killing bacteria that can cause acne. When used daily, the ingredient can control acne and reduce flare-ups.

2. Salicylic Acid: Also known as beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid works by exfoliating the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin that can clog pores. Similar to benzoyl peroxide, it’s found in many different types of acne-fighting products, including washes, creams, facial scrubs, cleansing cloths, and cleansing pads.

For a list of more acne-fighting ingredients to help you clear a breakout fast, read this!


By now you’re probably wondering what’s so special about Effaclar Duo. Well for starters, it’s the first treatment to combine 5.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide, LHA—which is a bead-free micro-exfoliating agent—and moisturizing and soothing skin care agents. The oil-free formula is clinically proven to reduce the number and severity of acne blemishes, as well as penetrate clogged pores to clear blackheads and whiteheads. The results? Skin that looks clearer and smoother.

One of the very first things that caught my eye on Effaclar Duo’s packaging is where it touts that the product can reduce acne up to 60 percent in just 10 days. Determined to put it to the test on a few stray pimples near my chin, I began my 10-day journey. Using clean fingers, I applied about a half-a-pea size amount onto my blemishes before bed. The non-comedogenic formula feels very smooth and absorbs quickly without leaving behind an unwanted residue. Day after day, the appearance of my zits became less and less noticeable. By day 10, they weren’t completely eradicated, but were much less apparent. In fact, I was seriously impressed with how Effaclar Duo was able to minimize the look so well. I did experience some drying effects and minor peeling, but I used a smaller amount of the product and the problem was solved. Now, Effaclar Duo is my arsenal staple for helping to reduce the look of pimples in less than two week’s time!


Clean your skin thoroughly before applying Effaclar Duo. Cover the entire affected area with a thin layer one to three times daily. Because excessive drying of the skin may occur, start with one application daily and gradually increase to two or three times daily as tolerated or as directed by a licensed skin care professional. If you notice any dryness or peeling, reduce your application to once a day or every other day.

Note: Many acne-fighting ingredients can cause your skin to be more sensitive to light, so be sure you’re remembering to apply that layer of sunscreen each morning! Not that you’d ever forget such an important skin care step! 

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