Recently in Spain, through visiting one of the billion or so pharmacies that are placed around the city at every turning point (still haven’t gotten to the rout of why there’s so many) I ended up trying Toleriane Soothing Protective Skin Care as I’ve been using Tretinoin and needed something to calm my skin down.
When not being treated, my skin type is oily / combination and prone to blemishes, but also being very sensitive that reacts to products, becoming painful and red around my neck, cheek and eye areas.
Up until now, I’ve been a passionate patron of Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions which I’ve had a fairly good run with, with only mild reactive flare ups from time to time and the tiniest bit of dryness from the cleanser, but I just went with it because to date it was the best thing out there for my skin. Until now.
La Roche-Posay really make me smile. Looking through their website, they really understand skin, more so than almost any other company I’ve researched to date. As well as having products for almost every eventuality, they have great videos and editorials helping you to understand your needs and how best to meet them. Effaclar has been designed for Oily / Sensitive Skin, a combination which I’ve rarely seen addressed before. Oily skin products often tend to be very harsh, stripping and irritating to the skin’s surface in an attempt to reduce surface oil
Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel For Oily Sensitive Skin
Containing – as most La Roche-Posay products do – Thermal Spring Water, used to calm and sooth delicate skin. Firstly the ingredients list is short which I always enjoy as it means there is only what’s needed and the ingredients that have been used are effective.
There’s Sodium Laureth Sulfate, an effective synthetic surfectant and Coco-Betaine, a surfactant derived from Coconut. Zinc PCA is a mineral that acts as an anti-bacterial agent. Sodium Hydroxide is in there which at times raises eyebrows but SH is integral to something called soponification (the process by which soap is made) as it reacts with triglycerides (fatty acids) in the product and creates soap and glycerol (a humectant – bonding moisture to the skin) – Your skin never comes into contact with un-reacted Sodium Hydroxide.
It comes out as a transparent gel that lathers into a great foam. Massage the product into damp skin for between 1-2 minutes and then simply rinse. It leaves your skin feeling clean, but not dry and gagging for a moisturiser which some anti-oil washes can do.
Effaclar Astringent Lotion Micro-Exfoliant
Similar principle to Clinique’s Clarifying lotion, this transparent liquid (it’s the bottle that’s blue – there are no colourants). Lipo-Hydroxy Acid an ester of Salicylic Acid works as a micro-exfoliant to break down the bonds of dead skin cells, sweeping them away, thus preventing pores from becoming blocked.
Apply it liberally to a cotton pad and sweep across the skin, avoiding the eye area as it may sting a bit. If you’ve just shaved, I would recommend avoiding these areas as well as you’ve just removed a whole load of skin cells with your razor blade.
Effaclar Mat / Effaclar M
Effaclar Mat, or Effaclar M as it’s also known, is the final step in the trio, repairing the moisture barrier whilst reducing excess surface shine. I found that I needed to apply a little more than I usually would to make sure my skin was just that little bit more hydrated.
I love the fact that the moisturiser also contains LHA (Lipo-Hydroxy Acid) – meaning that through the day, it will help prevent the build up of dead skin cells and prevent pores being blocked.
It didn’t keep my skin mattified for the whole day, but it did a pretty admirable job with a slight gloss noticeable on my forehead and nose, but that’s about it.