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Comparing La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + vs Effaclar K | Which is more ideal for my skin type?

French company La Roche-Posay has long been venerated as one of the best skincare brands on the market. Its Effaclar range continues to represent one of its biggest hits, helping teens and adults with oily, blemish-prone skin achieve the smooth complexions they have always dreamed of. Unlike La Roche-Posay’s other product series, the Effaclar range is specially formulated to target imperfections gently yet robustly. The moisturisers in the collection are particularly popular, helping to keep skin feeling smooth, soft and plump while tackling persistent acne.

La Roche-Posay's Effaclar range is perfect for teens and adults with oily, blemish-prone skin. Read our comparison guide to Effaclar Duo+ vs Effaclar K.

woman applying acne cream

Each Effaclar product is designed to alleviate specific skin complaints, combining a selection of cutting-edge ingredients to offer complexion-saving qualities that far outstrip those of its closest rivals. Whether you’re facing the first onset of teenage hormonal acne or suffering from breakouts well into your 30s and 40s, it is worth investing in Effaclar products today.

With so many products included in the range, however, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you get started, we’ve put together a comparison guide to two of La Roche-Posay’s most popular treatments - Effaclar Duo+ and Effaclar K. These lightweight formulas are excellent for hormonal skin and are designed to reduce excess oil (also known as sebum) and breakouts from first use. We’ve listed some of their key benefits below, as well as tips on choosing between the two products.

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A guide to the differences between each product in terms of product aims, product texture, price and ingredients.

Read our quick summary to which product may be more suitable for your skin.

Frequently asked questions on using both products in the Effaclar range.

What are the differences between La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ and Effaclar K?

1. Product aims

Although both products are targeted to tackle oily and blemished skin, they boast subtle differences. Effaclar K is suitable for those with blackhead-prone and oily skin. It is particularly good for treating the t-zone area and is designed to unclog and minimise pores, mattify shiny skin, improve the skin’s texture, reduce acne scarring, and even out redness. It contains salicylic acid, often praised by skincare professionals as one of the best blackhead-busting ingredients on the market.

The Effaclar Duo+ is a moisturiser and acne treatment formulated to eliminate pimples. Unlike the Effaclar K, it is designed to treat active breakouts rather than simply minimising oil and blackheads, making it a go-to product for people with painful, inflammatory acne. There is, however, some overlap between the products. Like the Effaclar K, the Duo+ helps to unclog pores, improve the appearance of marks, and mattify the skin.

2. Product texture and formula

The Effaclar Duo+ has a gel-like consistency and is quickly absorbed into the skin. The Effaclar K, on the other hand, is more of a light cream so requires a few extra minutes to be fully absorbed. Although their consistencies are slightly different, both products are excellent make-up primers, leaving the skin feeling smooth and matte so that foundations and concealers glide on easily.

3. Price

The prices of both products are almost the same. The La Roche-Posay Effaclar K comes in at €18 for 40ml, whereas the Duo+ comes in at €18.45 for 40ml. Of course, the cost-efficiency of the products is largely determined by how often you use them. Users of the Duo+ formula often find that they use the product every other day or a couple of times a week as daily applications can irritate the skin a little. Users of the Effaclar K, on the other hand, often find themselves using slightly more of the product on a regular basis as it is so gentle.

4. Ingredients

It is worth noting that both the Effaclar K and Duo+ moisturisers contain salicylic acid, which is known for cleaning the pores and exfoliating the skin. Both products also contain zinc, which has long been touted as an effective anti-blemish treatment.

An important difference is that the Duo+ contains niacinamide, an increasingly popular beauty treatment that has been shown to reduce acne.

Which product is ideal for you?

The answer to this question depends on your skin type and whether you are currently struggling with active outbreaks. If you want to get rid of inflamed, active acne, then the Duo+ should be your first port of call. This is because it is specifically designed to calm breakouts and restore skin clarity.

Effaclar K, on the other hand, is a more long-term treatment designed to treat excess sebum and improve the appearance of marks and bumps left behind by past outbreaks. If you want to address blackheads, excess oil and bumpy skin texture rather than active acne, then this product will suit you.

Of course, it is worth noting that you should double-check the ingredients list of your chosen product before investing in it. If you would rather not use salicylic acid, for example, you should opt for the Duo+ over the K formula.

La Roche Posay Effaclar DUO+

la roche posay efaclar duo
  • Anti-blemish moisturiser that corrects and hydrates oily, acne-prone skin
  • Helps to reduce spots, control shine and reduce the appearance of pigmentation marks
  • 24-hour hydration
  • For clearer skin in 4 weeks
  • Tested on sensitive skin

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La Roche Posay Effaclar K

la roche posay effaclar k
  • Indications: Combination to oily skin, blackheads, irregular skin texture, shine
  • Texture: Quickly absorbed ultra-fresh and non-oily aqua gel texture for all-day moisturisation and comfort
  • Non-comedogenic

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Frequently asked questions - La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ and Effaclar K

Can you combine Effaclar K and Effaclar Duo+?

Although it is possible to combine both products, it is not recommended. This is because overloading your skin with products can be expensive, wasteful and counterintuitive, particularly if you have sensitive skin. We recommend trying one of these products and then moving on to the other if your skin starts to change or you find that it is not working as well as you had hoped.

Do La Roche-Posay products cause acne?

In and of themselves, La Roche-Posay products cannot cause acne. Your acne could be triggered by a range of different factors, including hormones, genetics, and age. However, it is sometimes the case that effective acne products such as the Effaclar Duo+ and the Effaclar K can make acne a little worse before it gets better. In the beauty industry, this is known as ‘purging’ and should only last a couple of weeks. If you find that your acne starts to get a little worse after using a La Roche Posay product, do not worry. You should start to notice a positive difference within a few weeks.

Does La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ contain benzoyl peroxide?

Yes. Benzoyl peroxide is a widely used ingredient that is known to effectively treat spots.

Can you use Effaclar Duo+ with retinol?

It is not recommended that you use products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid with retinol, so you should avoid using it with Effaclar Duo+.

What is the right way to care for sensitive skin?

If you have sensitive skin, you should be careful when using new products and remember to moisturise on a regular basis. When using Effaclar products, for example, it is wise to try it on a small patch of skin before applying it to the whole face. You may also need to use the products less often than is recommended, applying it every other day rather than on a daily basis, for example.

Does Effaclar Duo have salicylic acid?

Effaclar Duo does not contain salicylic acid.

Are you still unsure of what type of moisturiser to use? shop our full range of moisturisers here.

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