La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+]: Review

A lot of the skincare products I use, have changed over the years. Not necessarily because I don’t like them or they don’t work for me anymore, but because I like to discover new products and want to try different formulas and brands. When a particular item remains constant in my routine, that’s when I know I have a winner in my hands.

That’s exactly the case with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+].

Effaclar Duo

When I initially bought it (the original version of it), I was struggling with oily congested skin and breakouts. The problem was not the breakout itself, but the scars that were left behind. They were visible weeks later. I was looking for something to help clear my skin without being too expensive (I was on a tight student budget at the time).

At first, I was a little disappointed because I was under the impression that it would immediately heal the active blemishes I had at the time. I still believe that a targeted blemish treatment is better suited for that. But as I am not a fan of wasting product, I continued using it and after about a month, I came to the realisation that no new blemishes had appeared. As time went by and with daily use, I was left with a perfectly clear, uncongested, scar-and-blemish-free skin.

It’s been 5+ years since then, and Effaclar Duo [+] has been a staple in skincare routine. I’m not planning to stop using it anytime soon and I always make sure that I have a backup.

Effaclar Duo[+] is a light cream for oily and blemish-prone skin that claims to have “corrective unclogging care, anti-imperfections and anti-marks”. It is very hard for me to categorize it. I couldn’t call it a serum as it feels a little heavier than that. But I couldn’t exactly call it a moisturizer either, since in most cases the level of moisture that it offers is not enough to be used alone.

Effaclar Duo swatch
This is the amount of cream I use for my whole face. Please excuse the swollen veins in my hand. It’s been a long week…

The way I have been using it is as a treatment. Whenever I feel my skin particularly congested or when I am expecting to get hormonal breakouts I start using it daily, before my moisturizer. In those days, I prefer to use a lighter moisturizer on top and not a heavy night cream. It really helps in keeping my skin clear and if I do get a blemish, it heals up faster without leaving a scar. Once my skin gets back to normal, I like maintaining it by using Effaclar Duo[+] only a 1-2 times a week.


I highly recommend this product for anyone that struggles with blemishes and scarring. It really helps keep skin clear, but remember that it needs regular use to work its magic.


I know that the original formulation of Effaclar Duo had 2 different versions, the European one that was suitable for all-over the face application, and the US version that was for a more targeted application to problem areas. It is not clear to me whether after the reformulation to Effaclar Duo[+] it still has 2 different versions, so please keep in mind that my review is specifically for the European one.You can distinguish the two from the packaging: the European version says “Made in France” whereas the US version says “Made in USA”.

Have you tried anything else from La Roche-Posay?  I would love to hear your recommendations.


5 thoughts on “La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+]: Review

  1. I keep meaning to pick up the Effaclar Duo + but always end up choosing something else to try instead- I need to break that habit as this sounds perfect for me! It’s the post-breakout scars that annoy me the most too and they seem to stick around for months!

    1. @Tara Highly recommend! My skin doesn’t break out that often but when I do I am left with scars everywhere for weeks. I haven’t had this problem since I started using Effaclar Duo+

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