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REVIEW OF LA ROCHE-POSAY EFFACLAR DUO (+) PROBLEM SKIN GEL

Today, I will analyze the ingredients of the corrective cream-gel for problem skin La Roche-Posay Effaclar DUO (+).


La Roche-Posay

The corrective problem skin cream-gel for imperfections and post-acne EFFACLAR DUO (+)

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isocetyl Stearate, Niacinamide, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Silica, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide / Ammonium, Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Zinc Pca, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Isohexadecane, Sodium Hydroxide, Myristyl Myristate, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Nylon-12, Poloxamer 338, Linoleic Acid, Disodium Edta, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 80, Acrylamide / Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Salicylic Acid, Piroctone Olamine, Parfum/Fragrance.


The French brand La Roche-Posay appeared on the market in 1975, fourteen years later it was purchased by L'oréal. Its cosmetic products are considered therapeutic, which is part of the brand’s marketing positioning. La Roche-Posay products are sold in pharmacies. They are recommended by dermatologists and cosmetologists. Besides, the brand’s advertising materials contain a lot of medical topics — chemical flasks, test tubes, people in white coats. But still, the products of the brand are not medical preparations as they don’t contain pharmacological ingredients. They are certified cosmetic products.


One of the most famous lines of the brand is the Effaclar series for oily skincare and acne control. This line is especially popular in Russia where many people have used Effaclar products at least once.


Basic composition


Basic components help maintain the product's stability. They improve its absorbency, and prevent the cream-gel from spoiling, breaking down, and turning rancid. Water is mentioned as the first component. It typically makes up about 70 % by weight of all products. Cosmetics manufacturers most often use liquids without sediments, odors, and impurities (bacteria, organic agents). All these substances are removed for hygiene reasons. Next is glycerine that is a standard moisturizing component. The third ingredient is dimethicone. It’s a silicone that performs the function of emollient. Dimethicone has a bad reputation on the Internet. You can find claims that it causes acne, but there is no scientific research that can confirm this fact.


The product contains stabilizing and structure-forming components. They ensure that the cream-gel keeps its structure, has no changes in color, and doesn’t thin down. Thus, sodium lauryl sarcosinate (isopropyl lauroyl sarcosinate) is responsible for the stability and viscosity of the product and increases the absorbency of other ingredients. Silicon dioxide helps create and maintain the desired structure. The porous polymer methyl methacrylate crosspolymer increases the viscosity of the texture, forms a film, and absorbs excess sebum. The product also contains a component that has a very long title - pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate. It is an antioxidant that prevents other substances from reacting with oxygen when you open the tube and squeeze the cream out of it. This ingredient helps preserve the product.


Emulsifiers and thickening agents in cosmetic products create the desired viscosity and ensure pleasant tactile sensations during application. Effaclar DUO (+) contains a number of components that help achieve these effects. They include potassium cetyl phosphate, glyceryl stearate se, myristyl myristate, acrylamide / sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate copolymer, and xanthan gum. The product also contains linoleic acid that helps soften and protect the skin. There are studies that prove that linoleic acid can treat acne. Disodium salt (disodium edta) forms complexes with metal cations contained in water, and thus reduces water hardness. Sodium hydroxide regulates the pH of the product. You can find a lot of bad reviews about sodium hydroxide on cosmetic forums and sites as people believe that manufacturers add clean dry alkali to cosmetic products. This is not true. Under the influence of water, sodium hydroxide ions are pulled apart, and each of them plays its own role. Substances in their pure form and agents included in cosmetic formulas (where they interact with other ingredients) act differently.


Caprylyl glycol performs several functions. On the one hand, it is a stabilizer and preservative, on the other — it has an antimicrobial effect and moisturizes the skin. And the aroma compound (parfum/fragrance) performs the function of an odorant.


Adjuncts to salicylic acid


The Effaclar line’s main active ingredient is salicylic acid. Solvents and solubilizers are necessary to dilute it and keep in this state when mixed with water. This can be achieved with the help of poloxamer 338, 2-oleamido-1,3-octadecanediol, isohexadecane, polysorbate 80, and ammonium polyacryldimethyltauramide / ammonium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate. The latter is a viscosity regulator and emulsifier. It helps thicken products and stabilize oil-in-water emulsions. In combination with water, isohexadecane, and polysorbate 80, this difficult-to-pronounce component is instantly converted into a gel.


Salicylic acid can be dissolved only in solvents, not in water. Effaclar DUO(+) contains a lot of them. You can reduce the percentage of solvents or replace them with more natural ones such as glycerine (it’s obtained by hydrogenating vegetable oils) or propanediol (an alcohol that is made from corn sugar). But this is more expensive and less stable. Perhaps, the product creators were afraid that salicylic acid would precipitate, and therefore, added more solvents. I wouldn't do that. Solvents act similarly in the formula and on the skin. They can dissolve both salicylic acid and lipids.

Thus, the abundance of solvents and solubilizers in the product can lead to skin dryness and destroy the hydrolipidic film.


Active ingredients


Salicylic acid is the main anti-acne component of the product. It exfoliates and dries the skin, eliminates comedones, and kills germs. Zinc (zinc pca) increases the drying effect of salicylic acid. Capryloyl salicylic acid is a salicylic and caprylic acid ester that is used in cosmetics as a pore-tightening and exfoliating component. Niacinamide is a useful ingredient that fights all kinds of skin problems. It regulates skin oiliness and restores the protective barrier, thus helping to avoid loss of moisture. Nylon-12 is a depolishing component that also acts as a thickener. And one more active ingredient is piroctone olamine. It reduces the activity of sebaceous glands and fights fungous forms of acne.


In my view, the product contains too many substances for removing sebum and a lot of solvents. That’s why it may cause skin irritation, tightness, or flakiness in people who have normal or slightly oily types of skin. If you put that aside, the cream-gel is an effective remedy for the first and partially the second stages of acne.
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