La Roche-Posay Effaclar product range is one of the most popular ranges at treating acne in Europe. In this case we’ll be reviewing the Effaclar gel facial wash which is available almost in every country.
Texture and appearance
Although I don’t find it as pleasant as other cleansers textures, it has a light gel texture that easily spreads in the skin using water.
Once you remove the product with water it does not leave any rest in the skin, leaving it completely clean.
It can easily remove impurities and sebum from the skin. It can remove sunscreen too, although you may need to wash twice if it is a heavy sunscreen.
It may be a bit drying, specially if you don’t hydrate your skin after cleansing or you wash it twice to remove sunscreen. But if your skin is not dehydrated or dry I don’t think you’d have any problems.
When it comes to its effectiveness at treating acne, it may decrease sebum production, diminish seborrheic dermatitis flares and dry acne lessons faster due to its content in Zinc PCA.
It has a minimal formula since it does not contain lots of ingredients. It does not have any comedogenic ingredient and it uses sodium benzoate and phenoxyethanol as preservatives, both safe and gentle.
I miss hydrating ingredients, since it does not contain any ingredient that supports skin moisture, except PEG-8 which can prevent the product from being too drying.
This ingredient acts by decreasing skin sebum production and limiting bacteria proliferation, having a positive anti acne benefit and improving other anti acne actives’ efficacy.
It also prevents seborroheic dermatitis flares and decreases its severity, when is used at an 1% of concentration.1Gupta M, Mahajan VK, Mehta KS, Chauhan PS. Zinc therapy in dermatology: a review. Dermatol Res Pract. 2014;2014:709152. doi:10.1155/2014/709152
It contains sodium laureth sulfate and coco-betaine, both common cleansing ingredients that are able to remove skin sebum excess and impurities with efficacy.
When it comes to sodium laureth sulfate, it is a mild surfactant and there are many other options available if you’re looking for a gentler cleanser or your skin is sensitive.
Odor and packaging
It comes in different sizes (50ml, 200 ml, 300 ml and 400 ml), all of them in a tube or in the case of the 400 ml in a pump dispenser container.
This cleanser contains fragrance, but, in this case it isn’t strong, despite this when it comes to fragrance, it is never necessary in cosmetics and posses a little risk of allergic reactions or higher chances of eye irritation. For this reason it just gets a 7.5 here.
The product is a bit expensive for what it contains, since it is just a normal cleanser with nothing special but zinc PCA, you can find it for 8,5 euros the 300 ml version which comes in a tube and 10 euros the 400 ml version that comes with a pump dispenser.
If your skin is oily and it is not sensitive or dehydrated Effaclar cleanser is a good option, specially if you’re looking for a cleanser with a minimal formula and without any comedogenic ingredient to avoid breakouts.
Since it does not have any other active than Zinc PCA, it may not be the best option to use it alone to prevent acne as a single treatment, so I recommend using it with another treatment even though you don’t have serious or mild acne.
However, if you feel like your skin needs more moisture or can’t handle most cleansers I don’t recommend it, since there are gentler and cheaper formulas.