La Roche-Posay

Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment

1.35 fl. oz. for $ 36.95
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Brand Overview

This anti-acne product earns its stripes, containing an effective amount of the topical disinfectant benzoyl peroxide in a fragrance-free lotion formula that contains antioxidant vitamin E and a good anti-irritant to help reduce redness from blemishes. Although pricey (there are definitely cheaper options with great formulations), it should help clear breakouts without leaving skin dry or flaky.

The claims mention 0.4% micro-exfoliating LHA, which is listed as capryloyl salicylic acid. The only study on this ingredient's benefits comes from L'Oreal, the company that owns La Roche-Posay. Interestingly, their study had nothing to do with acne; rather, it compared the effects of relatively low concentrations of LHA with the effects of relatively high concentrations of AHAs (that is, the concentrations dermatologists or aestheticians use in performing AHA peels), not to the effects of AHAs at the concentrations found in skin-care products (talk about comparing apples to oranges!). There isn't any research proving LHA helps heal breakouts or somehow improves clogged pores.


  • Medicated with gold standard anti-acne ingredient benzoyl peroxide.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Lotion texture is easy to apply and reduces the chance of dryness.
  • Contains an anti-irritant to reduce redness.

  • Expensive.
  • LHA ingredient isn't proven effective for exfoliation or reducing acne.

More Info:

We had to comment on this product's claim that it can dry out blemishes. A blemish or other acne-type breakout has nothing to do with skin being wet, and water is the only thing you can "dry up." Products that make breakouts dry up and flake may make them look smaller, but it also trades one unsightly problem for another, and it prolongs healing time. Luckily, this product isn't formulated with drying ingredients (although some may find any amount of benzoyl peroxide intolerable), but we need to let go of the concept that blemishes need to be "dried up"!

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Eliminate blemishes while preventing new breakouts with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. Formulated with 5.5% benzoyl peroxide to dry out blemishes and 0.4% micro-exfoliating LHA smoothes skin texture.

Active: Benzoyl Peroxide (5.5%), Other: Water, Isostearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Silica, Carbomer, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Epilobium Angustioflium Flower/leaf/stem Extract

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 www.laroche-posay.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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