31st July 2013

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo FAQ

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

All this week at Escentual we’re shining a spotlight on a cult skincare hit: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, the perfect all-in-one treatment for those who suffer with imperfections. Loved by beauty editors, bloggers and skincare fans alike, it’s quickly risen to prominence this year as a bit of a wonder product.

So, you’ve heard the hype – but what does the formula do, exactly? In this post we myth-bust the popular treatment and tell you everything you need to know. Need a some recommendations or some further help? Leave a comment below!


Now, what is Effaclar Duo exactly?

It’s been simultaneously referred to as a spot treatment, a moisturiser and a pore refiner, but what exactly is this Effaclar Duo business everyone is talking about?

Well, La Roche-Posay states that it’s all of the above, and more. Effaclar Duo is a complete skincare solution that acts on blackheads and spots, the two main signs of imperfection-prone skin. It has a wonderfully refreshing and non-greasy gel-cream texture, and can be used both day and night the same way as you would a conventional moisturiser.


Who is Effaclar Duo for?

According to La Roche-Posay, 1 in every 3 teenagers visit a dermatologist for acne. It makes sense, then, that this product was originally developed to suit the needs of young people with imperfections – however, very many adults use Duo for treating their adult acne.

If you find that you skin regularly becomes clogged, or it is prone to blackheads and whiteheads, then this is the product for you no matter your age. It’s a wonderful single skincare solution for the many imperfections the skin can face throughout its life cycle.


What does Effaclar Duo do?

For starters, it makes skin look clearer and smoother. Imperfection-prone skin is often the result of dead cells clogging up the skin surface, which obstruct the pores and cause a build up of bacteria. This may appear as small bumps, whiteheads, spots or blackheads.

To combat this, Effaclar Duo combines four active ingredients: Niacinamide and Piroctone Olamine work together to purify the source of imperfections, whilst micro-exfoliating LHA and Linoleic Acid help to clear the skin of dead cells. An infusion of the famous La Roche-Posay Thermal Spa Water reduces redness and inflammation.

In that sense, using Effaclar Duo is a bit like cleaning a wound – you’re removing all of the bacteria, dead cells and oil, and healing the area with moisture and soothing ingredients. Over time your skin begins to look clearer and smoother, and skin is calmed.


How do I use Effaclar Duo?

Many people with oiliness or spots don’t use moisturiser. The logic is understandable – why put more oil onto already oily skin? The problem is oily skin is often also dehydrated, and you need to put the moisture back in to allow the skin to heal itself.

Effaclar Duo is special in that it’s so lightweight it doesn’t feel like you’re putting on a moisturiser. It’s completely oil-free, has a refreshing gel-cream texture, and contains no alcohol. Smooth all over the face after cleansing, avoiding the eye area as the active ingredients are a touch too potent for this area.  La Roche-Posay recommends that you should use it both morning and evening to keep skin clear and smooth.

An added bonus: I find Effaclar Duo to be the most perfect make-up base. Lightly moisturising and mattifying, it gives your foundation something to cling to while keeping shine at bay.

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  • Ruby Scarlett

    What is the difference between Effaclar duo and Effaclar K?

    • escentual

      Hi there Ruby, Effaclar K is perfect for those who struggle with under the surface spots and clogged pores, and the irregular ‘bumpy-looking’ skin texture that they cause. Duo is more of a universal spot treatment, and is suitable for reducing the appearance of all kinds of spots.

      If you find that you struggle more with clogging and uneven skin texture than spots, Effaclar K is the one for you!


      • Ruby Scarlett

        That’s great, thank you!

  • I bought this a couple of months ago after reading so many rave reviews and ended up being so disappointed with it. While I loved the texture (super smooth, light and hydrating), it actually caused me more breakouts. My skin had been a mess and I was hoping for a miracle, but unfortunately didn’t find it in this. After 6-8 weeks, I stopped using it and went back to Clarins and my skin is almost blemish free again. A pity, but I guess it works differently on different people.

    • Stefana Coca

      It did exactly the same thing to me, but it cleared my skin beautifully. The really bad thing was that though I got the odd spot as a result of having hormonal fluctuations on a monthly basis, my face became a war zone. Once I added a few drops of carrot oil to my skincare routine my face became so smooth and clear, it threw me back to my very early teenage years when I did not wear a stitch of makeup. It took a whole year though. The gist of it actually is that if you are patient enough and clear all that was lurking underneath the surface, continue to use it long-term, Effaclar Duo is amazing!

    • Swapna Shetty

      I just bought this cream after one of my friend suggested, thou I do have hormonal problems my doctor has suggested contraceptives. I had a lot of white head popping up by my white heads are cleared but whenever i use this cream i feel a tingling burn like sensation over my cheeks and affected parts. Its been almost a week now but I hardly cant find any difference since these days breakouts are worse.

  • Stefana Coca

    Can’t wait for this to hit the Romanian pharmacies. I’m really looking forward to not using 2 different (and quite pricey) face treatments to manage my troublesome complexion.

  • Lan Anh

    Hi! I read through this article and I need your advice about this product on my skin. I have oily skin, large pores, blackheads on my nose area, blemishes on my jaw line area. I’m using Neutrogena mosturizer for oily skin and Avene Trianeal to treat my blemishes. I wonder if Effaclar Duo is a mosturizer or is it supposed to treat blemishes? And what’s the difference between Effaclar Duo and Effaclar K? I find it quite confusing when it comes to that 2 products
    Thank you

    • escentual

      Hi Lan!

      Effaclar Duo is a very versatile treatment product. Its texture is quite light and serum-like, and while it does a good job of keeping the skin hydrated and fresh, it doesn’t moisturise the skin the way a traditional moisturiser would do. If you have dry skin as well as blemishes, it’s advisable to treat it as you would a serum and use a moisturiser afterwards. If your skin is oily, using Effaclar Duo as your moisturiser is fine.

      Effaclar Duo is a great all-round product that tackles all types of blemishes, reduces pores and minimises oiliness. Effaclar K refines the texture of oily skin, and targets under the skin spots.

      Hope that helps!

      Emma x

      • Lan Anh

        So Effaclar K is working as a moisturiser as well, isn’t it? In addition, what’s the exact meaning of “skin spots” are you refering to? Are they like “acne, blemishes, blackheads”? I’m not sure I get it throughoughly

        • escentual

          Hi Lan,

          Effaclar K can be used in place of your moisturiser, or it can be used as a serum underneath your usual moisturiser.

          Under the skin spots are nodules and bumps that don’t develop a head, and are rather painful. Effaclar K is particularly good at unclogging and reducing the bumpiness.

          Emma x

          • Lan Anh

            This is exactly what I’m having, nodules n bumps under my skin (kind of acne under my skin without its head). They never come out if I don’t pick them out. That’s frustrating! This is the product for me. Thank you for your reply

  • Suzy_McC

    This stuff is nothing short of a miracle for me! I’ve suffered from spot prone skin since I was a teenager, I am now 41. I’ve tried everything under the sun on my skin, from tea tree oil to germaline & it either made my skin worse or did nothing at all. I saw an advert for Effaclar duo + & gave it a go. After two weeks my skin was clear & smooth, even my family & friends have noticed a huge improvement in my skin. I’m more confident too. Thank goodness I saw that advert! Serendipity!

    • escentual

      Hi Suzy,

      Definitely serendipitous! I know it’s immensely difficult to face the day with confidence when you have skin concerns, so I’m glad that Duo worked so well for you – it’s an incredible product.

      Here’s to great skin!

  • escentual

    Hey Akanksha,

    Sorry to hear that, is your major concern oily areas or breakouts? If you’re looking to mattify your complexion, the La Roche- Posay Effaclar K (+) would be a better match for you: http://escentu.al/1PVVNUn. I’ll pop you over an email with more information on the ranges – perfect skin here you come!


  • escentual

    Hi C.H,

    I think Effaclar Duo [+] would work a treat for you during the day. It helps to treat blemishes, keep shine at bay and clear up residual marks. During the evening, it may be worth exploring something with hydrating ingredients to restore balance. Hydraphase is a brilliant range, and there’s a specific product for oily-combination/dehydrated skin (Hydraphase Intense Light Intensive Rehydrating Skincare http://www.escentual.com/la-roche-posay/hydraphase/larocheposay011/) that will keep you feeling moisturised without it feeling weighty. Let me know if you’d like any other suggestions!

    – Emma

  • Juliet Gavison

    Ive been using it for about a week now, and my face is blooming with white spots… Is that normal? Should I persist and try longer? I never had acnee until I moved to a humid climate, and I have no idea how to handle this…

    • escentual

      Hi Juliet,

      I’m really sorry to hear that your skin is going through a transitional period, this can happen from time to time with Effaclar Duo [+]. La Roche-Posay recommends using the product for 6 weeks, so try and persist for a little longer if you can. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day and cleanse thoroughly at night; if you’re living in a humid climate your skin is likely trying to regulate both sebum and sweat, which can be a tough slog!

      Let me know if you have any other questions,
      Emma x

  • escentual

    Hi there! The Purifying Foam Gel is a cleanser, so you just use that as you would a normal face wash. Apply it to damp skin, work it into a foam, and then rinse it away! Follow with the Duo [+] and you’ll have your complete routine for both morning and evening. – Emma

  • escentual

    Hi Leo, you can if that’s your preference! Effaclar Duo [+] is really versatile because of its thin texture – you can use it alone or underneath a moisturiser. If you have especially oily skin, you can use Effaclar Mat afterwards to keep your complexion fresh.

  • escentual

    Hi Bobby,

    This is something that I actually struggled with myself for a long time until I figured out how to regulate my skin! First things first, get to know your skin’s geography. If you’re only blemish-prone in certain areas, you only have to use blemish treatments in those areas. For the dry areas, use something that will soothe and put some goodness back in.

    Adding in moisture doesn’t necessarily mean adding excess oil to the skin – your skin could be lacking in water, which is something else entirely! I really recommend La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Light for this (http://www.escentual.com/la-roche-posay/hydraphase/larocheposay011/), which will rebalance and quench the areas of your skin that need it, without making your skin feel oily or overwhelmed. It’s a really light formula – in fact, it almost feels like water on the skin. For your blemish-prone areas, opt for Effaclar Duo [+] to treat the entire area, or Effaclar AI, which is optimised for one-off spots. I hope that helps! – Emma

  • vra swrfvag

    Hi! I have a question about the application of the product. Are you supposed to let it rest for a qhile and then rinse it off, or do you just blend it into your skin?

    • escentual

      Hi there!

      You’re supposed to apply it exactly like a serum or a moisturiser – massage it into skin and leave it to do its thing!

      Hope that helps!

      – Emma