Effaclar Duo by La Roche Posay was recommended to me by Hafsa Issa-Salwe of Muslimah Beauty. It was her product of the month in February 2013.

I have regular acne flare-ups and until early March it was not letting up at all. I had moderate breakouts, approx 3-6 spots concentrated in each area, total 10-15 pus-spots at a time. The breakouts were focused mainly on my cheeks, temples and around the nose. The spots themselves were quite deep into the skin and always scarred, even though I don’t pick or rub at them. Although my usual acne routine was working, I had been without my Mario Badescu products for a few months as I had run out and couldn’t find another stockist. Once I had replaced them, it took a lot longer for them to get working. I felt I needed a boost, and that’s where Effaclar Duo came in.

Price: £13
Weight/ volume: 40ml
Features: Paraben-free. 100% hypoallergenic. Non-comedogenic. Minimal ingredients and unscented. Packaging designed to minimise micro-bacterial contamination.
Purchased/ sample: Purchased


Sales blurb: Pores are unclogged and purified to help reduce the development of future breakouts. Helps to reduce skin imperfections leaving skin looking clearer and feeling smoother.


The product itself is a light cream, almost gel-like in texture that absorbs quickly into skin. The directions for use instruct you to “apply every morning and/ or evening on the whole face.” If you have normal/ oily skin, then you can use it instead of moisturiser. I have dry skin that needs a little more moisture and so I apply in the morning, underneath my regular moisturiser, and alone overnight. How much do I use? I use about two 5p coin sized blobs on my cheeks and blend up to my temples and blend across to my nose. Use just enough to lightly cover any areas you tend to get spots.

La Roche-Posay have really focused on making it suitable for those with sensitive skin. There are minimal ingredients, and it’s unscented. These two factors go a long way in minimising allergies and other skin reactions. It is non-comedogenic, which means that it is formulated such that it won’t block pores. You’d expect that though, given that this is supposed to unblock pores.

I love the packaging. I’m not talking visually, but more practically. Visually it’s nice, simple, clean look. Practically, it’s very well thought out.

  • Sturdy plastic tube means you can throw it in your handbag or washbag and not worry about it. I have used some spot creams in the metal tubes, and they’re awful. Once a metal tube bends, it will inevitably crack and the product leaks, making an almighty mess. No such problems here.
  • Precision nozzle means that you can control precisely how much you want to use. You don’t get the ‘creep-back’ problem that you get with some creams/ gels, where a little too much comes out and is sucked back in taking bacteria with it.
  • Slimline tube means it’s easy to slip into even the smallest gym washbag or handbag.

I’ve been using it for about 4 weeks now and my skin has definitely improved. My skin was moderately bad, in that heavy breakouts often occur (but not constantly), and when they do they’re deep and tend to scar. I don’t know how much of the skin improvement is down to my increase in water intake, and how Mario Badescu and Effaclar Duo have contributed, but my skin is the clearest it has been in about 7 years.

Is it a Holy Grail or miracle product? No, but very few products genuinely are. It is a very good product that works to clear pores. By clearing pores it reduces spots over time. How long this will take for you depends on how bad your spots or blemishes are to start with.


Would I repurchase?
Yes. My skin has definitely improved since using Effaclar Duo. It’s taken 4 weeks for me to really test this product and my skin is so much better for it. It’s not perfect (yet) but I am so much more confident about going lighter on my daily make-up.

As noted above, my skin is the clearest it has been in 7 years. That alone makes me not want to upset the balance of products in my routine. I will be buying again, and very soon, as my tube will be running out soon.

If you don’t expect a miracle, then you won’t be disappointed. Be reasonable about your expectations and be patient. It works!


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