La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (& comparison to the Anti Bac Lotion)

A French pharmacy favourite, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is a treatment for acne-prone skin.  Advertised as an anti-imperfection, anti-mark and anti-recurrence cream for acne-prone skin, the Effaclar Duo works to clear acne, prevent them it from reoccurring and lessen any marks usually left behind from spots.  What sets it apart from other acne treatments is the level of hydration that it offers.

If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll have heard me talk about how acne fighting products tend to use either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.  I previously mentioned how through a lot of trial and error I have discovered acne treatments with benzoyl peroxide work best for me! Well…cancel that because I’m completely confused now: this treatment uses salicylic acid and I love it.

The Effaclar Duo uses a bunch of active ingredients to help fight and heal blemishes. Here’s what La Roche-Posay says they do:

  • Procerad: helps protect against the appearance of red or brown marks.
  • Mannose: stimulates skin regeneration.
  • APF: helps durably restore skin’s balance.
  • Niacinamide: active ingredient for intensive soothing. Decreases redness.
  • Piroctone olamine to combat bacterial proliferation.
  • LHA and salicylic acid micro-exfoliates without irritating.
  • Zinc PCA: reduces sebum secretion.

I’ve been using this every night and I really love it.  It 100% has lessened my spots.  I can’t describe this product as a complete ‘cure’ because there are so many factors that go into whether or not someone gets blemishes and while using it I still get the occasional normal breakout, but here’s why I love it: it genuinely does help with acne and keeps breakouts from leaving bad scarring and it does so in a way that doesn’t completely dry out my skin.  For me, this is a game changer.  Basically every single acne treatment I’ve ever tried has dried out my skin – the words ‘drying’ and ‘acne treatment’ tend to always go together.  The Effaclar Duo, however, is very hydrating.  It’s like using a moisturiser which also fights blemishes really well!!

The cream has a clear gel-like consistency and it smells quite fresh/floral (fragrance is completely unnecessary in skincare but I absolutely adore it).  The texture isn’t sticky, it applies really smoothly and once it dries down it leaves behind a silky feeling on the skin – a bit like how a makeup primer might feel.

How to use it: The Effaclar Duo can be applied morning and/or evening.  It works best to apply it after cleansing and toning – you could definitely apply a moisturiser after it, but I find it hydrating enough to use on its own at night.  Just take a pea-sized amount and spread it evenly across your face, or just on your problem areas.  It’s completely clear and dries matte so you can definitely wear it during the day.  Personally, I only use it in the evening as I can’t apply makeup over it without it pilling – the one downside for me.

Effaclar Duo vs Anti Bac Lotion

So how does this compare with Kate Somerville’s Anti Bac Lotion‘? (You can read my full review on that here). I’ve had a bunch of requests to compare the Effaclar Duo with the Anti Bac Lotion as both can be used in the same way and aim to do roughly the same thing.  For those of you who don’t know, the Anti Bac Clearing Lotion is formulated with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide.  It’s meant to help clear existing acne, minimize excess oil production and reduce blackheads, and it undoubtably does all three.  I’ve previously described it as pure magic in a bottle!  The biggest difference between the two treatments it that the Anti Bac uses benzoyl peroxide and the Effaclar Duo uses salicylic acid.

While both the Anti Bac Lotion and the Effaclar Duo aim to clear acne, there is a noticeable price difference: the Anti Bac retails for $67 NZD while the Effaclar Duo is only $32.99 NZD – literally half the price of the Anti Bac.  Even when it’s taken into consideration that the Kate Somerville product is 10ml larger, this is still a considerable price difference. In my opinion, there are three main differences in how the products perform…

Firstly, hydration.  The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is significantly more hydrating than the Anti Bac Lotion.  In my experience, it is very moisturising and doesn’t dry out my skin in the slightest, whereas the Anti Bac Lotion really dried out my skin.  I definitely over-applied the Anti Bac when I first started using it and suffered the consequences, so I’ve learnt that using only a very small amount works best.  With the Effaclar Duo, however, I can reapply throughout the day and my skin doesn’t get dry in the slightest. If you have dry skin this is definitely something to keep in mind.

Secondly, intensity.  I find the Anti Bac Lotion a lot more intense and this is probably due to the ingredients difference.  The Effaclar Duo is what I have taken to applying every evening to keep the blemishes at bay, but the Anti Bac Lotion is what I bring out for serious break outs.  For me, it just seems to work a lot faster and is better for tackling bigger break outs (this probably boils down to whether salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide works best for you).

Thirdly, ability to wear under makeup.  The Anti Bac Lotion works really well under makeup!  It goes on smoothly and doesn’t pill at all – it also works really well as a mattifying primer.  On the other hand, the Effaclar Duo doesn’t work sit well under makeup for me – it just seems to rub off and pill quite badly.  It’s possible that I just haven’t been waiting long enough for it to sink into my skin, but for a girl on the go (with a skincare routine that is already extensive) I just don’t have time for that.

The Bottom Line:

The Effaclar Duo has a firm place in my skincare routine.  It’s fantastic at preventing breakouts, getting rid of old ones, lessening scarring and keeping the skin feeling smooth. I use it every single evening, bar those nights when I need some extra help with break outs – that’s when I bring out the Anti Bac Lotion.

This is my first experience with anything from the La Roche-Posay Effaclar line and I’m now really keen to try more form the range – the Effaclar Lotion is first on my wish-list!

This post is not sponsored, the Effaclar Duo was kindly gifted to me, all opinions and photographs are my own.

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