La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (US Version)


5 reviews

20% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$


Active Ingredients: Benzoyl Peroxide 5.5% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Isostearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Silica, Carbomer, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates C10 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Epilobium Angustifolium (Canadian Willowherb) Flower, Leaf Stem Extract.

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Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Other, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

We need to talk about this, right now. I have been itching to review this for the entire time I had it, a short (yet miraculous) two weeks, but I held off. I wanted to give myself time to get adjusted to it and be able to write a thorough review.

I first tried benzyl peroxide a few years ago with Kate Somerville's Anti-Bac Clearing Lotion and I couldn't hate anything more. I don't know if it was because of additional prescriptions, but my face was a dry, disgusting AND a broken out mess. NO NO NO. I swore off any BP treatments even though I heard great things about this. Throughout that time, I continued to suffer horrible unrelenting adult acne, that no cleansers, pills, creams, natural remedies or prescriptions fixed. And I tried a LOT of them.

One day, really out of the blue, I was sick of a cluster of erupting pimples/cysts beneath the skin of my right cheek, which is always the worst spot for me, and just went and grabbed it. I asked a few sales people about it, but by that point I was just like, EFF IT ALREADY I'm going to at least try. I'm glad I did..... I'm actually upset I waited so long. I def can't say it cleared my cysts over night and I'm not going to say I'm totally clear. Most especially because I'm a notorious picker and I'm actually on medication for that too. But in two weeks I've seen a drastic improvement and the ones that come up have actually healed really well. My skin was SO bad, that I used to think I wasn't sensitive and reacting to ingredients, that I just developed bad skin later in life. It was NOT true. It was all about ingredients and this helped even when I was still using some of the problem products. (It took a while to figure out, but I can't use certain glycols and siloxanes.) So considering how my acne was still being fueled before figuring out what I break out to, and how much worse I make it by touching it, I'm more than impressed this has even made a dent. But of course, what comes with it is less spots to pick since I'm actually healing up and not breaking out as often. And this is just the first two weeks.

I've heard you can't stop BP once you start and that sucks, but at this point I've hidden for too long. I just need clear(er) skin. I started by using this just as a spot treatment in the am and all over at night. Most days now I just spot treat with this, since all over every day can be a bit much for me, but I still do it all over a few nights a week, just to be safe. While I've had some dryness around my mouth in the form of light ashyness, and some where my scabs are healing, especially as they dry out and fall off, I haven't had those sickening overly dry patches like I did before. I also use a light brown sugar as a scrub to combat that and it works magic as well as a thin layer of jojoba oil. This is much gentler on sensitive skin. I also haven't seen any bleaching of my clothes or pillowcases. While this does make you a bit more photosensitive which I already am, I haven't gotten burned any easier with this, I just feel hotter in the sun on my face. I also was slightly itchy in the beginning which I've heard can happen, since it *is* drying your skin out. But my acne makes me itch anyway, and your skin will get used to that and it will stop fairly quickly. I also try to use moisturizer but I still have bad luck when I apply it (I tend to get new pimples) so I hope to add that back in soon, but in the meanwhile, even without it my skin is holding up which is miraculous. I recommend moisturizer when possible though, or jojoba if you can, to replenish the dryness.

Additionally, you need so little of this that you really are getting a great value, especially if it works. I often use this much more than twice a day on some spots and I still have tons left and haven't killed my skin yet. As I continued it, and took the products/ingredients that I react to out, I just need this less and less, but I still use it - daily. It's gentle but effective. I will buy this again and again.

*A note about the different formulas: The original review spot for this is for the European version, but I read through and some of them specifically say they are reviewing the US one, and they left great reviews for it. Others say they are reviewing the EU one and some don't specify, but between that and other sites, this generally has good reviews, and only doesn't work for a small amount of people. I also think this is better for me than the EU version would be, even though I haven't tried that one, I think I have a sensitivity to niacinamide which that has in it.

Sorry this is so long, but in short, I can't stress enough for people with stubborn acne to try this...not all BP treatments are created equally!! I haven't tried any other products from this brand but I'm super happy with this one. Been using it for a while and quit antibiotics and other prescriptions for skin. This is a major HG for me.

Update: I used most of this but I didn't end up repurchasing only because my skin is so sensitive that I kind of have to be careful with things this strong/acne products and so I don't tend to use them all over. I dry out easily and that causes more problems. SO I do think this is one of the better formulations for BP out there, I just tend to avoid that active lately and ones similar.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This literally makes my pimples disappear overnight. At first I didn't like it, I don't know why? But then a couple months later I started using it again and I fell in love with it. It can be a little drying or irritating but just make sure you use it on your spots and then it's nothing a little moisturizer can't fix. Oh yeah this sh*t is pricey. I got a sample at Walgreen's.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Other, Warm

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I've had really random breakouts lately so I was happy to stumble upon sample packets of this product at Walgreens. Used as a spot treatment, it's very good at drying out monster zits. Almost immediately afterwards, you can see the skin on the blemish flaking off because it's become super dry, which could be too intense for sensitive skin. I only use this sparingly for this reason, but I do think its pretty effective if your skin can tolerate it. This is a bit pricey for what it is though, so I'm not sure that I'd buy the full size when I run out of my samples.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I am so glad someone started a US version category for LRP's Effaclar Duo, because all of the existing reviews for both the US and the European version are all under the same category, and they shouldn't be, because the US version could not be more different. In fact, I really think LRP should call the US version a different name.

The US version has both LHA, which is an exfoliating acid, and 5.5% strength benzoyl peroxide, a strong antibacterial which also has drying and exfoliating action. It is unscented. The European version, on the other hand, contains NO BP at all, is quite fragranced, and contains only a low concentration of salicylic acid.

The only similarities are the name, which is very confusing, because the products are SO different, and the price, which at $36 is very pricey for active ingredients found in many inexpensive drugstore acne products.

I have VERY oily, acne-prone skin that is also sensitive to random products. My skin responds very well to a mild, low-dose BP product like the 2.5% BP cream Walgreen's and Walmart makes. With both the LHA and the fairly high dose of 5.5% BP, this LRP US version of Effaclar Duo was way too strong for me . After only 2 days of consecutive use, I ended up w/ a mild chemical burn - with that reddish-yellow-brown-very-irritated- scorched-skin look.

On the other hand, the European version of the LRP Effaclar Duo contains only a wimpy amt of BHA and is quite annoyingly fragranced. It had no effect on my skin, either good or bad - the scent just annoyed me.

So, if you are looking for a BP product that does not burn your face off, save your $$ and buy the Walmart/Walgreen product. If you're looking for a BHA product, again, save your $$ - Neutrogena makes a better and more effective one, and there are other BHA products out there w/ no or less fragrance.

I love LRP ss's, but both of LRP's very different Effaclar Duo products were overpriced and were either way too strong or ineffective. I can't understand why LRP would use the same name for both products, use both a fairly strong dose of BP AND an LHA in one resulting in major overkill, and use nothing but a minimal dose of BHA and a lot of fragrance in the other.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I thought I would add the US Version on here to distinguish between the two products. That way we can get a better idea of what the true ratings are. My skin is photosensitive when I use benzoyl peroxide so this US version will not work for me.

2 of 3 people found this helpful.

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