Skin Care

La Roche-Posay Medicated Gel Cleanser Review



by Lydia


No Comments

Like most dermatologist-tested and approved French pharmacy brands in the skincare world, La Roche-Posay Effaclar medicated acne face wash has a cult following. Why? Short answer- it's simple, affordable and efficient-without all the trendy fillers that are purely for the marketing hype.

[amazon box="B00LO1DNXU" template="horizontal"]

Generally, La Roche-Posay is at the helm of the French skincare aisle, especially when dealing with oily or acne-prone skin, that's also sensitive. La Roche-Posay has an extensive skincare collection that caters to all skin types and concerns, from its cult SPFs to the Accutane-user-approved skin-calming range-all at an affordable price tag.

Unlike other face washes, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated acne face wash is the best acne cleanser for both facial and body use. As a dermatologist-tested cleanser that's known to rely solely on skin-loving ingredients, it's a suitable choice for oily to combination skin, acne-prone and sensitive skin types. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar medicated gel is an oil-free gel wash with a 5.5 pH formulated using micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid.

How Does La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash Prevent Acne?

This is an active ingredient of a salicylic acid face wash with a 2% salicylic acid concentration. The salicylic acid, a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), is a chemical exfoliator that's meant to exfoliate and remove impurities while effectively controlling oiliness gently. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar medicated gel cleanser lets the salicylic acid penetrate in a formulation that doesn't use harsh scrub particles that might irritate your skin.

The 2% Salicylic acid concentration is a chemical exfoliator that helps shed dead skin cells to reveal new youthful skin and decongest clogged pores. In addition, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar medicated acne face wash formulation helps fight current breakouts while preventing any future breakouts.

Finding the right cleanser for the specific skin type is crucial for developing the most effective skincare routine to target different skin concerns. This applies especially if you have acne-prone skin, oily to combination, and sensitive skin.

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar medicated acne face wash gel cleanser is a dermatologist-tested salicylic acid acne medication and face wash that's formulated to target excess oil, blackheads, acne breakouts and blemish-prone skin. As a foaming acne face wash, it deeply cleanses the skin by removing impurities, leaving skin feeling soothed and refreshed. It can be used alone in your skincare routine or as a Step 1 with Effaclar toner clarifying solution as part of the Effaclar Dermatological Acne System.

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar medicated acne face wash has been clinically tested to reduce and help control excess surface sebum by up to 47%.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser: Overview

Application area: Face

Type of cleansers/ exfoliators: Medicated acne face wash

Skincare category: Cleansers and exfoliator, Skincare treatments

Skin concerns: 

  • Acne
  • Red, raised pimples
  • Whiteheads
  • Fine lines
  • Clogged pore
  • Oily skin
  • Large pores
  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Shiny skin with excess surface oil
  • Uneven skin texture
  • Sensitive skin

Skin Type: 

  • Acne-prone skin
  • Combination skin
  • Oily/shiny skin
  • Sensitive skin

What Key Ingredients Make up La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser?

1. Salicylic acid (BHA)-(2%) 

Function: Exfoliator, anti-acne, soother, and preservative

  • Helps clear whiteheads, blackheads, and acne-caused blemishes
  • An effective exfoliator that helps clear dead skin and reduce excess surface oil
  • Decreases the appearance of large pores, especially for people with clogged pores and oily skin types
  • One of the highest-ranking skin ingredients for treating most skin concerns and problem skin
  • Exfoliate skin both on its surface and in pores
  • Quite a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient
  • Most effective ingredient for treating blackheads and acne blemishes
  • For more effective acne treatment, combine it with antibacterial ingredients such as Benzoyl peroxide or Azelaic acid in acne and spot treatment options such as Adapalene gel

2. Glycerin(Glycerol)

Function: Skin-identical ingredient, moisturizer and humectant

Naturally derived from vegetables, it's a great humectant that helps hydrate the skin by absorbing and trapping water from the surrounding environment.

  • A natural moisturizer that naturally occurs in our skin
  • A safe and effective molecule that's been effectively used for more than 50 years now
  • Other than being a moisturizer, it also keeps the skin lipids between skin cells in a healthy state (liquid crystal) to protect against irritation and restore barrier
  • High-glycerin content helps treat severely dry skin

3. Sodium Laureth Sulfate(SLES )

Function: Surfactant/cleanser, emulsifier

Probably one of the most common cleansing ingredients of all that's responsible for the lathering in this facial cleanser through the foam. Its mildness and often confused with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), but Sodium Laureth Sulfate(SLES) molecules are much bigger, water-soluble, milder and barely irritating.

4. Citric Acid (AHA)

Function: Buffering

Citric acid is an exfoliant that's derived from citrus fruits. As an AHA, it can gently lift off dead skin cells leaving a more smooth and fresh skin feel. 

5. Water (Aqua)

Function: Solvent

Good old regular water is the most common skincare ingredient of all. You'll usually find it right at the very first spot on the ingredient list, meaning it gets the most amount out of all the ingredients that make up your product. It's mainly used as a solvent for ingredients that don't dissolve in oils but dissolve in water. 

Other Ingredients:

  • Lipo-Hydroxy Acid: Also known as LHA, is a derivative of Salicylic acid and comes with exfoliating and skin renewal properties. LHA targets oily areas to provide gentle spot treatment by dead skin cell removal. This dead skin forms the debris and dirt that later clogs pores and causes acne breakouts
  • Anti-acne: Zinc Gluconate
  • Exfoliant: Capryloyl Salicylic acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) such as Glycolic acid
  • Soothing: Zinc Gluconate, Menthol


  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar medicated gel cleanser is dermatologist-tested and approved
  • Non-comedogenic formulation
  • A medicated acne face wash that removes all the excess oil and impurities
  • Oil-free face wash formulation with salicylic acid that not only helps clear acne breakouts, whiteheads and blackheads, specifically
  • With lipo-hydroxy acid formulation to help gently exfoliate oily skin for a smooth and youthful skin texture
  • A gentle but powerful formulation that's suitable for sensitive skin
  • Fragrance-free, oil-free, and paraben-free face wash
  • Dermatologist and allergy-tested
  • Clinically tested to reduce excess surface sebum by up to 47%, leaving the acne-prone skin less oily throughout the day
  • Removes excess oil and impurities
  • Helps clear acne breakouts on acne-prone skin
  • A salicylic acid face wash that smooths out skin texture
  • Clinically tested to reduce the excess surface sebum by up to 47%
  • Formulated using glycerin to moisturize and restore hydration and offset any drying effects on the skin
  • Great quality to price to quantity ratio

What Does La Roche-Posay Medicated Gel Cleanser do?

A) Removes Excess Sebum

Not only does paraben-free acne face wash remove excess sebum on the skin, but it also helps in controlling oil production. Don't worry, you won't end up with a dramatically mattified face, but it's a great oil-control add-on to your skincare routine. The same applies to people with combination skin type; you'll definitely see the difference on an oily T-zone whenever you stop using the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated acne cleanser.

Very few cleansers have this level of effect. It's pretty powerful and works well for people with extremely oily skin types or who live in very humid climates. If you have dry skin, then you're much better off using something a lot milder. La Roche-Posay Effaclar medicated acne face wash works great in any climate and never feels like it's a little too strong for the skin.

B) Cleanses Without Overdrying

It's definitely not an overdrying cleanser, but it does dry the skin a little since it's generally formulated for oily skin. If your skin is oily, then it won't overdry you at all. People with normal skin types might get a little dry, however, if you have dry skin, then this is obviously not for you.

C) Gentle But Potent Formulation

Generally, a cleanser's main role is to strip your skin of dirt and excess sebum, so if the facewash is mainly meant for oily skin, then its formulation tends to be much more stripping. Excessive stripping negatively affects you, especially if you have oily but sensitive skin. But, the La Roche-Posay Effaclar medicated gel cleanser is suitably formulated for sensitive, oily skin.

Its paraben-free, dermatologically tested, allergy-free, non-comedogenicity test (tested on acne-prone skin), and is free from any soap or alcohol content. This facial cleanser also removes most makeup, except for when it's waterproof, like the lip tints. It leaves your skin feeling clean.

This salicylic acid acne medication gel cleanser lathers quite well with a texture that easily glides on your skin without excessive stripping while cleansing. That said, it's definitely formulated for oily, combination and normal skin that's also sensitive.

How to Use La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Gel Cleanser?

Generally, dermatologists recommend that you wash your face twice a day using a gentle face cleanser that's suited for your skin type; in the morning and in the evening before going to bed. In the morning, you'll need to remove all the sebum that accumulated on your face through the night. In the evening, you'll need a good cleanser that can remove all the day's makeup, dirt, excess sebum and pollutants. All of which can cause acne and premature aging.

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar acne gel cleanser is recommended daily as a face wash for acne treatment. It can be used to cleanse twice daily, in the morning and the evening.

Step 1:

  • Clean your hands first off any dirt that might aggravate acne

Step 2:

  • Then wet face using lukewarm water


  • Apply a pea-size amount on the fingers, and while only using your finger tips, apply gently on your face

Step 4:

  • Gently massage in a rotating circular motion to form a rich lather while avoiding it getting into your eyes

Step 5:

  • Rinse thoroughly and then gently pat dry using a clean cotton soft towel

The La Roche-posay Effaclar acne cleanser can be used alone as a cleanser in your normal skincare routine or as the first step in the whole Effaclar Dermatological Acne system with the Effaclar Mat Moisturizer and toner after.

For the full directions, always refer to the packaging. In about a month, you should be able to see a noticeable difference and significantly improved blackheads.

Frequently Asked Questions on La Roche-Posay Medicated Gel Cleanser

1. Can I use the La Roche-Posay medicated cleanser daily?

Yes. It has a gentle but potent formulation that's safe for daily skin care usage. Its most suitable for normal, combination and oily skin types.

2. Will this cleanser clear up the blackheads?

Yes! The Effaclar medicated cleanser with Salicylic acid is formulated to target excess oil, small pimples, blackheads and whiteheads to help you attain clear skin. As recommended, it should be used daily, twice a day. Salicylic acid is most preferred to help treat blackheads and whiteheads since it breaks down the excess oil and dead skin cells that clog up pores.

3. Is it normal to get breakouts after using Salicylic acid products?

In some cases, yes. Retinoids like tretinoin and exfoliating acids like Salicylic acid and Benzoyl peroxide cause a process called purging. These active ingredients increase the skin cell's turnover rate, causing your skin to purge. If it's not hormonal acne, skin purging is a normal reaction when you start using an acne treatment that contains these exfoliating ingredients.

4. Is La Roche Posay medicated gel cleanser an oil cleanser?

This is an oil-free gel wash that cleanses your skin to remove impurities. It is formulated using micro-exfoliating Lipo-hydroxy acid without harsh scrub particles that might irritate skin.

It comes in the form of a foaming acne face wash that removes the excess oil and deeply cleanses pores. In the long run, it helps clear acne breakouts, blackheads and whiteheads.


Leave a Comment