La Roche Posay Effaclar Cleansing Foaming Gel review
£15

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Cleanser review: Simply the best cleanser we’ve ever used

1st January 2024 | Author: Jenny Tai
Verdict

I absolutely love this cleanser.

It’s an all-time classic for oily/combination skin types and more than delivers on its promises. It gently lifts dirt and grime, reduces blackheads and spots, and controls shine to leave skin feeling clean and fresh.

At £12.50 for 200ml, it’s not super cheap but it’s also far for expensive. Yet it performs like a high-end cleanser. In fact, it performs better than most premium cleansers I’ve tried.

Because it foams so well, it will last for months and this actually makes it an absolute bargain. If you’re looking for the best cleanser, you’ve found it.

BUY NOW
Pros
  • Suitable for all skin types – including sensitive
  • Leaves skin feeling fresh and clean without drying it out
  • Premium performance for an affordable price
  • A little goes a very long way
Cons
  • Avoid getting it into your eyes
Where to Buy
La Roche-Posay £15
Lookfantastic £15
Prices are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

For four weeks, I’ve been using the Effaclar Purifying Cleanser day and night to see if it really is the best cleanser money can buy


La Roche-Posay’s mission is “a better life for sensitive skin” and for the past 30 years, the French brand has partnered with dermatologists to develop skincare products that don’t sacrifice quality in the pursuit of gentleness. At the heart of this is its Efflaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel.

Made using La Roche-Posay’s Thermal Water, which has a neutral PH and is full of minerals designed to cleanse and purify while offering anti-ageing properties, the gel promises to reduce sebum by 16%. Elsewhere, it claims blackheads are reduced by 25% and spots and blemishes are reduced by 28%.

This makes it perfect for oily skin, acne-prone skin, and sensitive skin, yet it’s also balanced enough to be used by anyone – all while costing £15 for 200ml. It’s also available in a larger 400ml bottle.

FURTHER READING: Our pick of the best French skincare brands for all skin types


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel review

For the past four weeks, I’ve used the Effaclar Purifying Cleanser day and night. I’m still using it after my review.

For my testing, I used a combination of my hands, and a silicone face cleanser to see the difference each makes in terms of texture and the foaming action La Roche-Posay promises.

  • Weeks 1-2: I used my hands
  • Weeks 3-4: I used a silicone face cleanser

Formula

As its name suggests, La Roche-Posay’s Purifying Cleanser has a gel texture, so is slightly thicker and tackier than cleansing milks or liquids.

That said, it’s not sticky and it feels light. It’s also transparent, almost like water, which reassures us that it’s clear of any harsh chemicals, fragrances, or ingredients.

If you opt for the 200ml version, it comes in a tube and no matter how hard you squeeze, the gel comes out consistently, making it hard for you to overuse.

For the 400ml size, it comes with a pump, which is easier to administer with damp hands but I found you only need to use half a pump to get enough product for your entire face and neck. As a result, I often used too much with the latter design.

The smell of this cleanser is almost like linen, it isn’t overpowering in the slightest and just adds to the overall feeling of freshness.


Application

La Roche-Posay recommends you lather the cleanser in your hands with warm water before gently massaging the foam onto the face. You then rinse thoroughly and pat dry before following with your toner, serum and moisturiser.

LA ROCHE-POSAY’s THERMAL WATER

The French town of La Roche-Posay, in central France, is home to Europe’s largest thermal water treatment centre.

La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water is rich in selenium, a mineral that protects the skin from free radical and UV damage.

It’s supported by 12 clinical studies published in peer reviewed journals of dermatology.

La Roche-Posay recommends (unsurprisingly) following it with the brand’s own Soothing Lotion Toner and its Effaclar Moisturising Duo.

The first two weeks using the Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel with my hands, I was really surprised that the foaming action was instant.

This is rare for products, even those which use the word foaming in their description.

Massaging this into my skin felt soft and gentle but because so much foam is created, it’s very easy to accidentally get foam in your eye. This is not pleasant, trust us!

Once I’d patted my skin dry, there wasn’t a feeling of tightness to the skin which can sometimes happen after cleansing with other products I’ve tried.

Our skin felt smooth and fresh.

By the second week of use, I noticed my T-zone and blackheads around the nose were reduced.

During the third and fourth weeks of testing, I used a silicone face cleanser.

Using a silicone face cleanser – such as Foreo’s Luna or Magnitone’s XOXO – has become a popular choice to get a deeper clean into the pores and massage the skin at the same time.

I noticed that the foaming action was hard to build up on the silicon cleanser and any visible foam that was there seemed to quickly disappear.

Despite the lack of foam with this method my skin still felt soft, clean and fresh.


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel review: Verdict

I absolutely love this cleanser.

It’s an all-time classic for oily/combination skin types and more than delivers on its promises. It gently lifts dirt and grime, reduces blackheads and spots, and controls shine to leave skin feeling clean and fresh.

At £15 for 200ml, it’s not super cheap but it’s also not eye-wateringly expensive. Yet it performs like a high-end cleanser. It performs better than most premium cleansers I’ve tried.

Because it foams up so well, it will last for months and this actually makes it an absolute bargain. If you’re looking for the best cleanser, you’ve found it.

BUY NOW

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