This Budget-Friendly Cleanser and Moisturiser Duo Healed My Breakouts in a Week

Rebecca Sullivan La Roche Posay Effeclar DuoRebecca Sullivan La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo

After years of dealing with nasty breakouts and perpetually blocked pores, I’ve curated a pretty impressive collection of pimple-fighting tools.

Whenever a big ole whopper decides to have (or host) a party on my face, I’ve got pimple patches, drying lotions, salicylic acid blemish oils and my trusty metal extractor, all on hand to zap spots immediately. 

(A quick note before we move on: Are blemishes something to be ashamed of? Heck no. Can they affect your confidence, no matter their size or severity? Absolutely. Skin is deeply personal, I'm speaking to my experience with mine.)

So, about a month ago, a cluster of pimples decided to have a little gathering on my chin, around my nose and on my cheeks. And I just could not get rid of them

Naturally, I only made things worse for myself by attacking my face and trying to pop the pimples way too soon - and way too aggressively. That left me with red, inflamed breakouts that would only take longer to heal.

Rebecca SullivanRebecca Sullivan

Rebecca SullivanRebecca Sullivan

Then, I saw someone I follow on Instagram post some amazing photos of her skin before and after using a salicylic acid cleanser and moisturiser duo from one of my favourite French pharmacy brands, La Roche-Posay.

The photos showed how her breakouts, which looked a lot like mine, had healed really quickly after using both products for a few weeks. 

Those products?

I was already a huge La Roche-Posay fan (I use and love the LRP Anthelios sunscreen, Retinol B3 Serum and Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum). I also knew salicylic acid is like kryptonite for blocked pores.

So, I grabbed these two products and decided to give them a whirl. Now, I’m officially obsessed. 

Keep scrolling to find out how and why these two products healed my breakouts in a week.

How Does La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo Work?

La Roche Posay Effeclar DuoLa Roche Posay Effeclar Duo

La Roche-Posay has a salicylic acid cleanser and moisturiser that are specifically designed to be used together to kill off breakouts.

And the best part is they’re super affordable and last for ages!

So, how do they work? It's all about salicylic acid.

Salicylic Acid for Acne.

Salicylic acid is a type of chemical exfoliant - a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) - that works slightly differently to other popular exfoliants like glycolic acid and lactic acid

Those are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which work on the skin’s surface to loosen old dead skin cells and reveal fresh skin underneath. 

But salicylic acid works deeper. It’s actually able to penetrate deep into our pores to dissolve the dead skin cells and other gunk clogging them up. 

It's for this reason incorporating some sort of salicylic acid product into your routine (or just having it on hand for when breakouts hit) is great if you’ve got acne-prone skin or find you regularly get pimples. 

You can learn more about acne and acne skincare in Iain Jeffery's YouTube video tutorial below!

My La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo Review.

Now you know the science behind the products, let me tell you about my experience using them.

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro Peeling Cleanser 200ml is clear and has a gel-like consistency. It contains two per cent salicylic acid (which is quite a high percentage) and has a nice cooling effect on the skin. 

When washing my face, I focused on gently massaging the breakouts so the active ingredients could do their thing on the areas that needed it the most. Then after I dried my skin, I applied the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Acne Moisturiser and waited for the magic to happen. 

Within a few days, my breakouts had become less inflamed and were healing quickly. 

Rebecca Sullivan La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo Rebecca Sullivan La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo

This next bit is gross, but important, because it's how I knew the products were working.

On the open and raw pimples I had picked at, a thin layer of skin quickly grew over the top, forming a gentle scab. This eventually flaked off a few days later, leaving freshly-healed skin underneath.

This gross yet extremely satisfying new scabby skin is what I crave when I’ve got pimples healing, because it means the skin is doing it’s job properly and regenerating nicely. 

I used this duo every day, morning and night, for two weeks. I noticed a massive difference in the first week, and my blemishes were fully healed by the second.

Getting pimples is never fun, but I was shocked by how just a small cluster of tiny red bumps could make me feel so average. I was relieved to find something that worked quickly and wasn’t super expensive. 

Rebecca Sullivan La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo Rebecca Sullivan La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo

A word of warning: These products are incredibly strong.

They contain intense active ingredients and I probably went a bit overboard using them twice a day, everyday, for two weeks. 

I also did not read the instructions properly and applied the moisturiser all over my face, when I really should have used it more like a spot treatment and only popped it on the affected areas. 

For example, my forehead was totally clear of breakouts, yet I still slathered that stuff on like nobody’s business. This was totally unnecessary and led to some skin sensitivity. I probably over-exfoliated my skin by going totally HAM, so it’s best to introduce these products into your routine slowly so your skin doesn’t freak out like mine did. 

In other words, don't do what I did, OK?

Now, whenever I feel a breakout coming on, I simply wash my face with the La Roche Posay salicylic acid cleanser in the shower, apply my regular nighttime hydrating serum, try not to pick at the spots, and go to bed. I find this helps to nip things in the bud. I’ve continued to use the moisturiser as a spot treatment on juicy pimples and found it’s definitely helped to reduce their size. 

The best part about finding this duo has been feeling more in control whenever I get a pimple so I'm less likely to find myself entering a bad self esteem spiral obsessing over every little bump. 

I feel less anxious because I know I’ve got something cheap and effective on hand that will work quickly and clear my skin super fast. 

If I can pass on that gift to just one other person, then my job here is done.