Sunday, 8 June 2014

My Search is Over: La Roche Posay Effaclar K is the Key to Oil-Free Face

Summer Shine
Summer is slowly easing into Spain.  Although the locals love summer perhaps because their mediterranean complexions turn into amazingly beautiful sun-kissed tan,  the sun´s rays during summer  is feral and  can be painful to the skin.  Our beautiful 32 degrees summer days in the Philippines are no match to the 40 degrees heat in Madrid.  And unlike  tropical countries like Pinas where the daylight hours are  not too different whatever the season is,  the summer sun here in Madrid shines until mid past nine in the evenings.  In August, there is still light at ten in the evening.

Sun lovers love the long sun hours.  But those with normally oily skin like me might find summer a bit of a hassle.  Tanned skin is great if it´s fresh looking,  not if it is perpetually covered with an icky film of grease.  Thus, my constant search for a good oil control product.  

A few months ago,  I noticed how shiny my face was after a couple of hours.  I was (and still is) using the Infracyte Regimen I got from my derma in the Philippines, and it was helping to keep my face clear but it could not do anything for the oilies.  Worst thing was that every morning upon waking up,  I could literally sop the oil on my nose and forehead.   What´s the point in trying to make your face as clear as possible if it shines like a sparkly Brillo pad,  right?

So  I  googled and researched brands to find a good oil-control product.  I  admit, I am partial to French pharmaceutical brands because:
 1)  I liked my experience with Bioderma last year
 2) French brands are easily available in pharmacies throughout Europe
 3) While these brands are not exactly cheap,  the prices are reasonable and within my budget.

The Big Four
There are four big French brands that offer more or less the same product lines:
Bioderma, Avene, La Roche-Posay, and Vichy.

I have used a lot of Bioderma products last year and while its Micellar Waters are great, the other products I have tried,  the Sebium Mat Control and White Objective Vitamin C Serum,  weren´t really spectacular and not worth the high cost.  I have tried Bioderma  last summer and while it helped it
didn´t really control the oiliness  to the level I wanted so no Bioderma oil control products this time.

Apart from the Cleanance cleanser, I have never tried Avene´s skincare products but I have the impression that the brand´s strength is really its famous Eau de Thermale atomizers and cleansers,  items that I don´t really need.

I have used a tube of La Roche-Posay´s Toleriane Ultra  a couple of years ago  as part of a beauty kit I got from  I remember that I used Toleriane to soothe my irritated, dry skin during winter in Korea.  I also got a tube of La Roche-Posay´s Effaclar AI from the haul  but if I think I gave the Effaclar AI away because I got it on winter, the season when my skin is at its clearest.

Now, Vichy is  the French brand  that I will never try again for their skincare products.  Let me explain.  As many of you know, I lived in Korea for close to five years and have tried a lot of products there.   Vichy is widely available in Korea  (at stratospheric prices, I may add).   If you go to a pharmacy in Korea, chances are they sell Vichy products.  One time I asked a pharmacist for recommendations for my oily skin and she told me to get the Normaderm Toner and Serum.  Well,  I bought them despite the high prices and the only effect I got was they made my skin itchy as hell.   Since then,  I have stayed away from Vichy skincare products.  I still do use Vichy anti-perspirants because these are really long-lasting and  therefore very cost-effective.

The Effaclar Line
In the end,  I bought  the Effaclar K from La Roche-Posay:
The first time I bought Effaclar K,  there was a promo where I got a free travel kit containing two other Effaclar products: A 15 ml bottle of Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel   and a 15 ml bottle of Effaclar Lotion Astringent.  I have not used the free items, but these will be handy during my summer trips.

A note about the Effaclar line.  Effaclar is La Roche-Posay´s line for troubled or oily skin.  The line has cleansers, spot correctors, serums and such.  If you are interested to see the other Effaclar products, you can check the La Roche-Posay website here.

Aside from Effaclar K,  there are three more choices for  oil control  depending on one´s needs:

Effaclar Duo is the strongest among the Effaclar anti-trouble moisturizers.  This is for those with severe and/or cystic acne.  Its active ingredient is Benzoyl Peroxide , which is very strong, and an acne medication I had bad experience with. If you ask me, this should never be used by those with sensitive skin.

Effaclar Mat is the Effaclar product that´s really made for shine and pore minimizing.  But a check on the ingredient list showed Silica which is something that makes my skin react.  In my experience,  products with silica also have this irritating property of forming into flakes which makes applying BB cream/powders/foundations  on top of silica-based moisturizer/primers  a really frustrating process.

Effaclar H is not really for oil control.  It is a balancing moisturizer meant for those who are undergoing Roaccutane treatments or those who are using particularly drying acne regimens.

I chose Effaclar K because its active ingredients are Salicylic Acid and LHA (Lipohydroxy Acid).  Stuff that have been proven effective for prevention of acne  and are, more importantly,  mild enough for my  crazy/sensitive skin.  It also has Zinc, which is a mineral that´s good for the skin,  and it does NOT have Silica. Because I really don´t need a strong anti-acne product and really want just an additional product to control oiliness, this product works beautifully for me.

Why I Love Effaclar K

I am now on my second tube  of Effaclar K.  And  I have just ordered another tube because the free sampler kit is on again.  Sayang naman ang freebie!  Although I have not yet used any of the free travel kits,  I figured these will be perfect for my summer vacation trips in August.

A 30 ml of Effaclar K lasts me about two months.  I use it 2x a day, morning and night.  I really love this product.  The consistency is very light and does not feel heavy on the skin.  On days when I feel a pimple coming, I slab on an extra amount on the particular spot and the Effaclar K stops the pimple from forming. I also noticed that it leaves the skin with a soft velvety feel.  As for my main reason of use,  yes, it definitely keeps the oilies away.

Price:  A 30 ml tube costs 15€ in Spain.   A check at La Roche-Posay´s US site showed that the 30 ml Effaclar K costs $31.  Yikes, about 40% more expensive!  French beauty brands are definitely cheaper in Europe.

Availability:  Not really widely available outside of Europe and the US.  Philippine-based clients can order this or other goodies from La Roche-Posay (or Bioderma/Avene/Vichy)  from the
TLCShop.  The next scheduled spree for European goodies is late June 2014.  For any queries, please contact Brad of TLCShop directly through email:


  1. I've never tried any La Roche Posay products, but it usually has people raving about their products. However, their Anthelios smooth lotion was recently featured in a report from the Spanish consumers' association OCU, as part of a sunscreen smackdown. Apparently the brand claims the SPF is higher than it actually is.
    Strangely enough, the best value for money sunscreen was one from Lidl.

  2. Hi Marox! Really? From Lidl? Is it the Cien brand? I am in need of a cost-effective body sunscreen to use for the summer and I think I will drop by Lidl one of these days to check their sunscreen! Thanks for dropping by! I have never tried La Roche Posay´s sun products because I find it crazy expensive to buy a sunscreen product for 30€ :)

  3. you are amazing!It is the best skin care product.The product of La Roche Posay gave you very comfort to your healthy skin and product is dermatological efficacy proven in rigorous clinical studies to guarantee optimal tolerance for the most sensitive skin.


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