Musings of a self-confessed beauty addict from the heart of London!

Friday, 14 October 2011

La Roche Posay - Effaclar & Cicaplast review

06/12/11 Update: Effaclar Astringent Lotion review and Effaclar update here

I said a few posts back that I would expand upon my new skincare regime, thus embarked upon because my skin had been seriously misbehaving and needed the skincare equivalent of an ASBO. After much online research I came across the Effaclar range from La Roche Posay which is pretty much omnipresent at every pharmacy here in Belgium.

My already much used Effaclar collection
 In a nutshell, this is what happened to me. My previously combination-dry skin has always behaved itself quite well, I got the occasional spot and I always had blackheads mainly on my nose, but nothing out of ordinary that couldn't be dealt with with any old moisturiser and my trusted Liz Earle cleanser. I would exfoliate every week, do a mask every so often, but I didn't really have any major issues. Until July and my trip to America. Towards the end of the trip I started breaking out with horrible hard lumps that woudn't even become (and I can't believe I'm about to write this... ) pop-able. (eugh)

I tried my usual spot treatment of regularly applied Lavender oil and Tea Tree oil. But nothing was working and my skin kept breaking out in these horrible cyst things. To top it all the texture of my skin was starting to look 'grainy' and not smooth. Suddenly there were hundreds of tiny bumps that looked like every pore was blocked. And indeed they were blocked.

So I was feeling desperate, and after reading good things about Effaclar K in particular I went to buy it.
Mini Effaclar cleanser
On this occasion the Effaclar K cream came with a free 50ml Effaclar cleanser which was a bonus. There isn't much to say about the cleanser other than it's a basic foaming gel which you mix with water and massage on the face as you normally would. The smell is non-offensive, a basic fresh soapy clean scent. The good thing is that it hasn't dried out my skin at all so I have no problem using it twice a day. In the evening I use my Liz Earle first and then I wash my face with this, so I double cleanse so to speak. I think I will buy the bigger tube when this runs out as I like to think that it's working nicely in conjunction with the Effaclar K.

So what is Effaclar K?
Well it's a treatment lotion/cream which is supposed to prevent the skin from breaking out and help clear up current eruptions. The whole range is formulated for sensitive skin so it's not as abrasive as traditional acne treatments. Effaclar K differs somewhat as it is geared towards adult breakouts and not teenage acne for which there is another Effaclar product. Effaclar K contains Lipo Hydroxy acid and salicylic acid which helps to exfoliate the skin and improve texture. The La Roche Posay thermal water is also supposed to help heal the skin and soothe it.
Does it work?
You know, I think it does. I've been using it for about 6 weeks now, twice a day,  and I haven't had a repeat of the horrible cystic lumps I'd been getting. My skin looks much clearer and the texture is a bit smoother. If I do get a small spot then it doesn't last longer than two days when I use this. I can't say that my pores seem any less blocked though, I have a feeling that I'm always, ahem, extracting, but I've only been using this for 6 weeks, so maybe longer down the line I'll notice more improvements in that area. The lotion itself is light and has a fresh neutral citrus-soapy scent. It doesn't feel like you're applying some horrible medicated cream to your face which is a big plus. I feel like I'm taking care of my skin when I use this, although that's probably something I've manufactured in my own head due to the 'pharmaceutical' ethos this range seems to emit.

I'm aware that the exfoliating nature of this product means that my skin may be a bit more 'exposed' and vulnerable so I've been using extra SPF during the day.

Effaclar K - squeezed to within an inch of it's life
Overall I have noticed significant positive improvement from using Effaclar K to want to continue using it. When winter hits though, I may need something a little more nourishing as my skin usually gets much drier when it's cold. Hopefully by then this should have sorted out my skin enough for me to finish off my abandoned Project Pan moisturisers.

Now Cicaplast is a different product altogether. It's not a moisturiser, it's a skin protectant with healing properties for sensitised skin which needs repairing, such as after a chemical peel. I first heard about this from Lisa Eldridge who actually uses it as a face primer before make-up. I was told by the pharmacist here that I should only use it on areas needed and not all over as it contains  medical ingredients including Madecassoside. In the beginning I just used it directly on the areas scarred by the spots and left it on overnight. Recently though I've taken to using it all over my face occasionally and it hasn't harmed me at all. And Lisa Eldridge is right, it makes a great primer. I wouldn't advocate using it a lot for this purpose as it is a skin treatment after all, but it's very soothing and at the moment it seems to be doing me some good.
Does it work?
In my opinion yes, in that it seems to accelerate the healing of the horrible blemishes I've been left with. Unfortunately I can never leave my face alone so I haven't really given Cicaplast the chance to do things on it's own. On the rare occasion when I don't abuse my face (you know those lights that shine from above and convince you that there are pores that need to be unblocked??? Don't tell me it's just me??) then I can say that my skin looks much improved by morning in the areas where I've applied this. It's not a miracle cure by any means, but in conjunction with Effaclar K it seems to have restored my skin back to some degree of normality.

Effaclar Astringent Lotion

The Effaclar astrigent lotion I bought yesterday. I decided I needed some extra smoothing and exfoliating action to boost the other products and this promises micro-exfoliation, pore size reduction and general skin refinement. I've used it twice already and it reminds me a lot of the Clinique clarifying lotions. It tingles slightly when applied (on a cotton pad) but it does not sting. It smells like a treatment lotion and not a luxury toner, but the smell is clean and fresh and not at all bad. I'll post again on this when I have some feedback to report, but fingers crossed that it enhances the positive results of the other products.

Price wise there seems to be no set price for La Roche Posay here in Belgium, everywhere I've been has had different prices and different offers on the products.

Effaclar K £13.00 (@ Boots), approx. €14
Effaclar Astringent Lotion (Clarifying Lotion) £11(Boots) approx. €14
Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel £10.21 (Boots) approx. €13
Cicaplast £13.00 (Boots) approx. €14

If I notice any further developments using this stuff then rest assured I'll let you all know.
And I promise the next post will be much prettier :)


  1. Great reviews!! Im thinking of trying cicaplast for blemishes..

  2. Thanks Pandora.
    Exactly what I was looking for! !

  3. Thanks Pandora.
    Exactly what I was looking for! !

  4. is it ok to use it, without the lotion or toner. but I got the foaming gel and moisturizer?

  5. Nice post Pandora Thank you for sharing your views regarding the product. I am looking forward to give it a try for my blemishes but if those skin problems still don’t go it is better to get professional treatment from


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