Prior to lockdown I’d been stuck in a skincare rut for a very long time. Many years ago I tried countless high street products which either resulted in sore eczema or gentle formulas that did nothing to control my spots. When I found the La Roche Posay Effaclar range around 4 years ago now I stuck to the products like glue as I noticed positive benefits without horrible side effects. I equally didn’t see all the results I wanted and lockdown led me to trying a LOT more new skincare throughout 2020. I’ve decided to pop together a series of posts reviewing all the products I tried this year in categories showing the ones I rated and ones I hated.
I’ve been a faithful user of La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel for years. In January I started using a new prescription, topical retinoids Adapalene / Differin, and began trialling new cleansers. This started out of curiosity and then to manage side effects as my skin adjusted to the medication.
Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser
Likes: Gentle formula in a pump bottle for very easy use, didn’t ever sting, didn’t cause any dryness, soap free, reasonably priced.
Dislikes: Used prior to starting Differin and noticed no improvements to blemishes or oiliness of my skin
Rate or Hate? I wouldn’t buy this again, it left my skin feeling clean but beyond that did nothing for me. I was disappointed as their rich night cream is one skincare product I honestly couldn’t be without.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Micro Peeling Gel
Likes: Gentle formula, didn’t sting badly, hypoallergenic
Dislikes: It had quite a strong smell compared to their original cleanser which surprised me. I didn’t notice any improvements as per the product claims such as improving texture. It did leave my skin feeling a bit tight and I think this was just too much for me alongside the retinoid.
Rate Or Hate? I wouldn’t buy this product again, I much prefer their original cleanser but I do think this is down to using it alongside prescription medication. I was underwhelmed with this.
Acnecide 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Wash
Please note I started using this in the mornings as advised by a pharmacist after an in depth discussion about my skin. I’m aware the product information says not to use alongside other active acne treatments.
Likes: Clears any active spots very quickly. I’ve previously used prescriptions with BP in and experienced swelling and redness which this didn’t do at all. Doesn’t foam so easy to control application.
Dislikes: Is very drying, sometimes stung when applied to healing spots but only very mildly. I’m only able to use this around 2 or 3 times a week in the mornings otherwise my skin gets incredibly dry and sore.
Rate or Hate? I like having this on hand for bad skin days but it is a bit of a juggle working out when to use for me. I only apply on the lower half of my face infrequently so one small tube will last me months. I liked this more than I thought I would so I’m saying rate, it is effective and takes the anger out of active spots quickly.
Cerave Hydrating Cleanser
Likes: Very gentle, skin felt soothed, great for use with drying prescriptions, pump bottle for easy use, fragrance free, soap free, reasonably priced.
Dislikes: The fact it didn’t foam. I got through one bottle of this so quickly, in about 2 months, as a result.
Rate or Hate? Rate. This product lived up to its claims 100% for me. I found it really helpful to use alongside active acne treatments as this provided necessary hydrating and maintained my skin barrier. I personally would prefer a foaming formula which led to me trying the next product.
Cerave Hydrating Cream To Foam Cleanser
Likes: gentle, skin felt soothed, really mild foaming action, pump bottle for easy use, reasonably priced
Dislikes: the foam action is very gentle and can be a bit hit and miss.
Rate or Hate? I’ve only been using this for under 2 weeks but am really enjoying this so far. I was surprised at the lack of foaming or amount of product it took to get a foam and personally wouldn’t ever want to use this as a make up remover. You definitely need a damp face or hands to apply this or else it won’t really foam at all but that’s no bother for me. I’ll provide a full review in the new year!
The Final Word
Of all these products I tried my favourite was the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser as it hugely helped to balance drying side effects from topical acne prescriptions. I wouldn’t say I rely on the Acnecide but I do like having it on hand so would rebuy this. The Cerave Cream To Foam Hydrating Cleanser I’m on the fence about as it’s still early days, the rest I wouldn’t bother with again.
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- I’ve Had Acne For 6 Years – These Are My All Time Favourite Skincare Products
- Rate or Hate? Reviewing All The Toners / Exfoliants I Used In 2020 For My Acne Prone Skin