To see my review of the updated formula (Effaclar Duo [+]) click here
The reviews do seem to swing either way, but as someone who has suffered from problem skin since their early teens, I couldn't pass up the chance of testing this out. I purchased via escentual.com as they have 15% off La Roche Posay products, but it normally retails at £13 and is available in most Boots stores.
The function of this product is a little elusive, I've read some posts saying it's a moisturiser and others a targeted spot treatment. The packaging is little help (certainly in terms of application), so I took to applying it everyday (morning and night) to the spot-prone areas of my face, my forehead, chin and nose. Aware of the price, I am a little frugal with the amount I use, but a little does go a long way. The product has a mild but pleasant scent, kind of chemically but in a clean, expensive way. I love the way this product made my skin feel after applying, it feels much smoother and silkier with a kind of matte touch. I definitely wouldn't apply this as a moisturiser as it really isn't rich enough, and found it didn't work wonders as a primer/make-up base either.
Now onto the important part, will this work? The answer is yes. IF YOU PERSEVERE. I used this day and night for two weeks with no effects whatsoever, however I had read some reviews saying it takes some time to kick in so I carried on applying. Then, in the third and fourth weeks I suffered MASSIVE breakouts. Seriously, I haven't had anything so bad for a looong time, it literally brought up all the spots that I like to call lurkers (ones that reappear on a regular basis, disappear for a month or so and then reappear again in the same place). But all at the SAME TIME. It was a nightmare. However, the little voice in the back of my head said "Persevere!", which I did, and I am SO GLAD I did. After two weeks of suffering horrendous breakouts my skin finally began to clear up and I've had no such breakouts since. Within a few more weeks my skin was looking noticeably clearer and brighter. My spots have gone and rarely reappear, patches of redness have definitely begun to fade, and my skin looks to be improving further still.
Therefore, I can say that you will find success with Effaclar Duo if you persevere! I'm certain that any negative reviews of this stuff will have been written by those who gave up in the 'spot stage'. It is worth suffering a week or two of bad skin for the lovely results!
A note as of 27/6/13. I am STILL loving this product. Definitely the best thing I have ever bought for my skin, the results just keep getting better and better. My spots are cleared up and I am quite certain that this beauty is working its magic on my scars and red patches, both of which are hugely reduced. My only gripe with this product is that if I apply this a little too thickly (bound to happen if you're particularly keen to see the effects) my skin can go a little red in places. I'm not sure why this is but would definitely say that 'less is more' in the case of Effaclar Duo. As much as I have pictured above is enough for my forehead, nose, and chin. It's also impossible to tell how much of this product is left in the tube. I am still on my first one and getting a bit paranoid that I'll wake up one morning and find it empty, so yesterday I caved and ordered two more from escentual.com (1/3 off French skincare in June).
I have also mentioned this product in my May beauty favourites post, so please check that out if you want further information and of course do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions! Follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe for more skincare related posts and reviews.