La Roche Posay Effaclar Adapelene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

La Roche-Posay

Effaclar Adapelene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

1.60 fl. oz. for $ 29.99
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Brand Overview

If La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Adapelene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment seems familiar, that’s because it shares its ingredient list and claims with a well-known acne-fighting product, Differin Gel. In fact, they’re virtually identical (not surprising, as they share the same parent company) and because of that, this has both Differin Gel’s strengths and weaknesses.

Housed in an opaque squeeze tube, this gel has a silky feel that smooths over skin. Because of its sheer, lightweight texture, it’s suitable for all skin types, and also works both over and under other skin care products.

The focus of this fragrance-free gel is its 0.1% concentration of adapalene, a once-prescription-only retinoid used to treat acne, blemishes, and clogged pores. In use since 1996, it’s been shown effective for all these uses, and for some people, is better tolerated than traditional topical retinoids such as Retin-A.

Aside from the adapalene though, there aren’t any other skin-beneficial ingredients to be found; this otherwise only includes texture-enhancing and preservative ingredients. This would be more impressive with some skin-soothing ingredients (such as licorice extract, willow herb, or allantoin) to stave off some of the sensitivity people can encounter when first incorporating retinol products into their skin care routines.

Still, this will work for many people looking for a targeted acne fighter, and is pretty reasonably priced as well.

  • Sheer gel texture works for all skin types.
  • Contains an effective amount of acne-fighting adapalene.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Formula would be more impressive with additional beneficial ingredients.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Prescription-strength acne treatment, now available without a prescription. This once daily topical retinoid helps clear and prevent blackheads, whiteheads, acne blemishes and clogged pores.

Active: Adapalene 0.1%. Inactive: Carbomer Homopolymer, Edetate Disodium, Methylparaben, Poloxamer 182, Propylene Glycol, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide.

La Roche-Posay At-A-Glance

L'Oreal-owned La Roche-Posay has a pharmaceutical lineage based in France, and the company speaks of their thermal spring water as the cornerstone of their commitment to dermatological skin care. In fact, the name La Roche-Posay comes from the French town that is the source of this water, which is said to be a rich in selenium. While selenium is an element that has potent antioxidant ability, it's unclear how much the water La Roche-Posay uses contains, since all water has to go through purification processes to be to used in cosmetic products.

That aside, this brand does have a number of standout products, including some good sunscreens and anti-aging treatments. Another positive: All of its skincare is packaged in containers that will keep beneficial products protected from light and air (no jar packaging here!). Unfortunately there are some missteps, namely that some otherwise-excellent products include potentially-irritating amounts of alcohol, fragrance, or other irritants. The line could also benefit from additional products that contain more state-of-the-art ingredients. Still, for a no-frills approach to serious skin care, there are some finds to be had!

For more information about La Roche-Posay, owned by L'Oreal, call (888) 577-5226 or visit

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