I’ve been using LaRoche-Posay Effaclar Duo for a good few years now as a pore decongestant, and it’s worked remarkably well (review here). I reluctantly took a break from LRP Effaclar Duo to trial the leading skin clearing product from Balance Me.

Price: £16

Volume: 15ml

Purchased/ gratis: purchased beauty box sample

IngredientsAqua (Water), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Glycerin (Vegetable), Moringa Oleifera (Moringa) Seed Oil, Picea Abies (Spruce Knot) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Papaver Rhoeas (Corn Poppy) Flower Extract, Iris Florentina (Iris) Root Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) Fruit Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Oil, Kunzea Ericoides (Kanuka) Leaf Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Bud Oil, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Sclerotium Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Polyglyceryl‑4 Laurate, Dilauryl Citrate, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Citric Acid, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol.

What does it do?

  • Clears pores
  • Calms redness


Active ingredients

  • Spruce knot – calms redness
  • Kanuka Essential oil – an anti-microbial that clears congestion
  • Roman Chamomile – skin-soothing
  • May Chang – anti-bacterial
  • Lavender – skin calming
  • Eucalyptus – anti-inflammatory


Trial run

I used this twice daily as directed, after cleansing, but before moisturising. It did work well on a little blemish that had started to appear, but was less effective on a spot that was in full force. That is completely fine, as the brand say that it is best on early-emerging blemishes.

Unfortunately I had to stop using it after 3 days as my skin had cleared somewhat but also it had reacted to the lavender oil and I had small red spots forming just below the surface of my skin. I should have checked the ingredients beforehand as I do get reactions to lavender oil on my skin, but that is a lesson learned.

I also experienced quite a bit of dryness on my cheeks. This product is aimed at acne-prone skin and oily skin. I have normal/ combination skin that is prone to acne, and so this was a bit too drying for me. It would work really well on skin that is oily and prone to acne, rather than oily or acne-prone. This may be what the brand intended but it’s not clear at all from the product description on the website or the packaging.


The verdict

It works well for oily & acne prone skin, but is a bit pricey for what you get. It’s £16 for 15 ml, but that’s not a lot of product compared to Effaclar Duo which gives you 40ml for £15.50, and you do use about the same amount of each per application, so it is a fair comparison. My advice is to start with Effaclar Duo, as it works really well on all skin types and doesn’t have the dreaded lavender oil that is very much considered the marmite of skincare.