12.23.2014
4
14
La Roche-Posay
Effaclar K Acne Treatment Fluid
Rating
1 fl. oz. for $29.95
Category:Skin Care > Anti-Acne Products > BHA
Last Updated:12.23.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Overview

This BHA product contains 1.5% salicylic acid, now listed as an active ingredient. We remain doubtful of that concentration, but even if it is accurate, the pH of 4.4 is not low enough for much, if any, exfoliation to occur. This is an OK option as a lightweight, very fluid moisturizer for normal to oily skin, but that’s it. In Canada, this product is sold under the name Efficlar K Daily Renewal Fluid for Oily Skin; the formulas are identical.

Claims

This daily use acne treatment contains 1.5% Salicylic acid to help treat oily, acne-prone, problematic skin. LHA provides targeted micro-exfoliation while La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water helps calm the skin. Helps prevent new acne blemishes from forming. Non-comedogenic.

Ingredients

Active: Salicylic Acid 1.5%, Other: Water, Di-C12-13 Alkyl Malate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-4 Dilaurate, PEG-4 Laurate, Zinc PCA, Sodium Hydroxide, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, PEG-4, Fragrance

Brand Overview

La Roche-Posay At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few good cleansers; anti-aging formulas tend to be stably packaged to get the most out of the air/light-sensitive ingredients; many fragrance-free options; a unique lip moisturizer; some praiseworthy specialty products.

Weaknesses: Some problematic, overly irritating exfoliants; several ho-hum moisturizers and sunscreens; ineffective skin-lighteners; disappointing toner.

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. Sound familiar? L'Oreal-owned Biotherm makes similar claims for the water in their products, yet their marketing niche is spas, while La Roche-Posay caters to doctors and consumers interested in effective, no-frills skin care. Regardless of the source of their water, or how many minerals there may be in it, or the other benefits they assert it has, water is water and skin can't tell the difference. Even if the water were somehow "special," it takes a lot more than water to create and maintain healthy skin. This is something La Roche-Posay is aware of, because they do offer a fairly broad range of products to address the various needs of skin.

Their thermal spring water is said to be a rich source of selenium. Selenium is a nonmetallic element that has potent antioxidant ability. However, almost all of the research surrounding its benefits pertains to dietary or supplemental consumption, not to topical application. According to the research, selenium is absorbed into skin and helpful when applied topically only when applied as l-selenomethionine (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, July 2004, pages 149–155). It is unknown whether the water La Roche-Posay uses contains this form of selenium, but we wouldn't bank on it for a unique benefit.

For a dermatologist-oriented line like La Roche-Posay, most of the products are surprisingly devoid of state-of-the-art or other interesting ingredients. There are some standout products, such as those with retinol and stabilized vitamin C; however, most of them are one-note options that offer the help of their promoted ingredient but don't commingle it with anything else of value to skin. It's ironic that although there's not a jar package to be found in this line, most of the moisturizers lack light- or air-sensitive ingredients, so jar packaging actually wouldn't be a problem. In fact, most of the moisturizers are downright monotonous. For the money, these products will leave your skin wanting more.

If you steer your way to the well-formulated products La Roche-Posay offers, you will find some first-rate options. They're not as varied as what many other lines offer, but for a pragmatic, no-frills approach to serious skin care, they'll do just fine. In fact, among all of the L'Oreal-owned skin-care lines, La Roche-Posay comes closest to successfully competing with the best of the best. It's up to you to decide if "close" is good enough. However, if you need to avoid fragrance and a range of potentially irritating plant extracts prevalent in the products of many brands, this line may suit your skin to a T.

Note: La Roche-Posay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although La Roche-Posay does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

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 Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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03.02.2015
A few different products with same name?

This review is for the US Effaclar K Daily Renovating lotion. There are at least four varieties, all available on Amazon, making it very confusing. Non-US versions will have French as the primary language on the front of the tube. That said, I love this gentle exfoliating lotion. I've tried the others but I think this is the best formulation. It keeps my sensitive skin very clear, balanced, and is great under moisturizers.

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Reviewed by
Caroline R
02.19.2014
SUPER exfoliant!

It may be that my super sensitive skin is highly reactive, or because I'm using the Canadian version, but within a few hours of applying the product, that area of my skin has started to flake away. Overnight, several layers will have sloughed right off, and blemishes are usually noticeably smaller, not as red, and less visible.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
09.14.2013
Different ingredients in Canada!

Umm...like the reviewer before me, I must point out the ingredients in both Europe and Canada are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than the US version. With salicylic acid, retinyl linoleate and LHA and a lower ph level than the US product....well, there's no comparison. Strange that the US doesn't get the good ingredients that Europe and Canada have in their formulations. Anyway, this product works fine to exfoliate the dermis layers and help to rid micro-cysts and blackheads. Please update your review.

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Reviewed by
noela
09.16.2013
Paula's Choice Research Team Response

Hi, and thanks for your comments! We will investigate to see the ingredient differences and update the review accordingly.

—Paula's Choice Research Team
04.02.2013
Different in the EU

In Europe, the Effaclar K has difference ingredients: AQUA / WATER ISONONYL ISONONANOATE PROPYLENE GLYCOL DIMETHICONE ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE PEG-100 STEARATE GLYCERYL STEARATE SALICYLIC ACID AMMONIUM POLYACRYLDIMETHYLTAURAMIDE / AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE OCTYLDODECANOL ZINC PCA SODIUM HYDROXIDE RETINYL LINOLEATE CAPRYLOYL SALICYLIC ACID XANTHAN GUM CETYL ALCOHOL PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRA-DI-T-BUTYL HYDROXYHYDROCINNAMATE PARFUM / FRAGRANCE

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Reviewed by
Vera
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