Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Effaclar Anti-Blemish System - Trial Results

Exactly three months ago I asked two people to test the new 2 step kit from Effaclar that included the cleanser, new toner and the original Effaclar Duo cream.

The results are in and they are to say the least, mixed.

My testers were a woman in her late 20's with hormonal acne caused by PCOS and a teenage boy with typical teenage spots/borderline acne.

Below are the actual transcribes of their reports (we'll give the teenage boy a break for his minimal use of vocabulary ;):

'First cleanse, tone and cream done. It doesn't irritate, the cleanser says its foaming but it doesn't really foam that much. It feels lovely and smooth when you put it on, the toner is really gentle, no sting or feeling at all - I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. Cream smells nice, face isn't too dry.

Day 5:
I had a massive breakout over the weekend. Big, red, painful spots. The spots I had before haven't gone and the cream is leaving a gritty texture on my face. It doesn't feel nice and smooth like it does after I use the products that you recommend.

2nd August (2 weeks of use):
I stopped using the products yesterday. It hasn't worked for me. I've had massive breakouts (big red painful spots), the spots I had before haven't cleared up and it left my skin feeling gritty and dry. Just used a balm cleanser and it felt like heaven. My skin is smooth again and the bumps have gone down instantly.

Final verdict:
Cleanser - definitely a no. The toner is really gentle so that's okay, it just doesn't seem to do anything. I don't rate the moisturiser at all. I think it made my spots worse, it didn't clear anything up, it left a horrible texture on my face and makeup looked awful over it.

First text.
'My skin feels a bit dry and tight.'

Then it was quiet for a few weeks...

26th August (4 weeks of use):
I've been using the products for the past 4 weeks. I haven't had any new big spots but my face hasn't really cleared that much. My skin felt good for the first few weeks but now it feels a bit dry. I got quite a lot of new pimples on my forehead. Cleanser - ok, maybe a little too harsh. Toner - didn't really do much. Cream - the cream is probably the best out of the three. Face always felt smooth after using it. No massive new breakouts and no blackheads. I think my face is pretty much the same. It didn't make it any worse but it didn't make it much better.

So the final verdicts would appear to be:

Cleanser - too drying
Toner - ok but doesn't really do anything
Effaclar Duo - better on younger skins perhaps? Good topically on spots but too drying over long term use if used as an all-over face moisturiser.

Thank you to my two willing testers. I removed any mention of brands they preferred/balm cleanser used etc to try and keep it fair. The next post is from the same 20-something woman and is about a cream she raved about.....


  1. I found the effaclar duo + didn't do anything on my spots, but they're hormonal cystic acne so must just not work on hormonal spots!

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

    1. I've had the same experience! I've been using the Effaclar duo for 2 months now and my spots haven't minimized, its not preventing new spots from coming either so I don't think it has any effect on hormonal spots.

      I've been using 10% Benzoyl peroxide for a few weeks just on spots, and that has worked wonders (got it online, the legal limit here is 5%) Slow progress though as I don't feel its safe/its too drying to use every day.

    2. If you are going for the Benzoyl peroxide, have you considered the US version of the effeclar ? For reason (maybe Caroline knows why? ) the US version of the Effaclar duo have Benzoyl Peroxide instead of the Salicylic Acid and it's like a spot treatment that apparently can only be used 2 or 3 times on a week basics because it's quite strong - be sure to know that I never used it, but after Ruth/amodelrecommends mentioned how much she loved Effaclar duo, some people thought it was the same and they thought that it was too harsh (they were using the US version)

      Sorry for the babbling , I remembered that this could help. Also, I'm not sure if the problem in the trial set isn't the cleanser. For my experience, if cleanser is too harsh, it will mess up the rest of the routine... Brands like LRP and Avène should release good balm cleansers and oils instead of foaming ones TwT.

      Take care everyone!

  2. I have been using the Effaclar series over the last years and have always liked the Cleanser and the Effaclar Duo. I have sensitive but oily skin. Even though I can´t wait for the post about the other cream she liked :)

  3. Caroline and all- I think what happened to the woman was something that ALWAYS happens to me when I (try) to use the Effaclar line: some sort of Salicylic acid intoloerence.

    Basically I've realised whenever I use anything (except P50 weirdly) with any amount of SALICYLIC ACID in it my skin breaks out so badly in really red and REALLY sore spots...particularly around my chin/jaw area...and from reading around it seems that either it is the greatest thing since sliced bread for some people - or an absolute skin destroyer?

    My skin is so much better when I only use AHA's etc.
    I'm wondering has anyone any alternative to using SALICYLIC ACID because I know it's meant to be great for closed comodones etc but I really can't tolerate it ...

    Thanks hope I made someone else realise the / (a) cause of their spots...
    C x

  4. Caroline did you try out the toner at all? If you did, what were your thoughts on it? :)

  5. I already had the feeling that the cleanser was going to be a miss...I'm using the efflaclar duo (like a serum/treatment after my morning cleanse, which is followed by a good and mineral oil-free moisturiser) and I see a difference in using it and not using it.
    Now...I'm sad about the toner. I had really high hopes about it because it looks such a good and budget friendly choice. Specially with AHA in it.

  6. Hi Caroline - the effaclar moisturiser had exactly the same effect on me - big nasty horrible red (almost cystic) spots that were sore to touch, around chin and jawline. As soon as I stopped using it cleared up. I have read reviews that say to persevere with it as it is "purging" the skin of the bad stuff, but I'm sure you said something about that before being utter nonsense and I've never had the patience to persevere with something that is hurting my skin!

  7. I adore the moisturizer and have done before they changed the formula. Currently I am trying out cleanser and toner, but haven´t gotten my mind around yet whether I like them or not.

  8. Effaclar Duo really cleared up some persistent spots (talking years of recurrence here and nothing else worked) for me, but I only use it topically as I didn't think it was moisturising enough as an all over product. I add another moisturiser on top. I'm not a fan of the cleanser, it leaves my skin feeling too tight.

  9. Hi Caroline, first of all, I am from Spain and I love (and follow) all your skincare advices. In relation to this treatment, I must admit that the moisturizer (the new and the old one) hasn´t worked for me at all. I didn´t like the toner either, cause I think it´s quite strong, but the cleanser is good for me; it´s really soft and gentle and doesn´t irritated my skin. I think that this treatment is overrated.

  10. The Effaclar Duo+ has helped my skin immensely. My skin had already improved with changing to a nonfoaming cleanser and using an acid toner. However, I was still plagued with some food reaction spots from citrus/tomatoes. The Effaclar duo really was a game changer. I use other products for the odd monthly cystic acne. I would not go by the above reviews alone, and I would not use it with the cleanser/toner that come with it in the set. I also use additional moisturizer and use this on spots only.

  11. Purchased effaclar duo+ a few months ago it didn't do much for me either maybe it's because my acne breakouts are hormonal. Disappointed.

  12. Do you know of any foaming cleansers that is actually beneficial?

  13. Hi Caroline,
    I was also sent this kit to trial by La Roche Posay and was really disappointed. I absolutely love their products but found my skin became really dry and sensitive, I even begun to experience stinging when applying moisturiser. I've discontinued using the cleanser and toner now for this reason but the effaclar duo + seems to work well in moderation. I also seemed to have developed this red pimple like rash around my jaw line and nose area which has never happened before. I've taken some photos in the hope that If I email them to you you would be able to advise me on how to get rid of it?!