La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo VS Avene Cleanance Expert – A Comparison Review Of Moisturisers For Acne Prone Skin {Including Avene Cleanance Comedomed}

I’ve previously reviewed an Avene Cleanance moisturiser by comparing and critiquing it against my go-to favourite La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Duo+. It was the first comparison blog post I published and remains my most read so writing this brings back happy memories for me. VS posts are my absolute favourite to write and after I picked up the Avene Cleanance Expert on clearance in Boots I thought it would be rude not to write this!

Here’s a quick comparison of the products – for ease I decided to include the first Avene product I tried too.

La Roche Posay – Effaclar Duo+Avene Cleanance ExpertAvene Cleanance Comedomed
Price (according to product’s website or as best I can find!)£17 for 40ml
(La Roche Posay’s site)
£15.99 for 40ml
£18.50 for 30ml
Product Claims
(as per their websites)
Formulated for oily acne prone sensitive skin in teens and adults
Minimises the appearance of blackheads and spots
Noticeably reduces spots
Controls shine
Hydrates for 24 hours
Helps reduce pigmentation from blemishes
Specifically formulated for blemish-prone skin to help reduce oil and the appearance of blemishes while soothing and hydrating.
Also suitable for people who may be prone to acne.
Skin texture feels refined and smoother.
Suitable for sensitive skin.
Can be used alongside topical acne treatments.
For daily use
Suitable for teens and adults with acne prone skin
Hydrates / mattifies
Helps reduce blemishes and their reappearance
For sensitive skin
Results Within
(as per their websites)
Clearer skin within 4 weeksDoesn’t specifyProven efficacy in 7 days
Any Extra Notes (mentioned on their websites)Strong smell that fades quickly

I chose to include the Avene Cleanance Comedomed in this table to help people see a direct comparison of the two Avene products as I was starting to wonder the differences myself! For anyone wanting a full nitty gritty breakdown of the La Roche Posay VS Avene Cleanance Comedomed show down please check out my first comparison post:

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ & Avene Cleanance Comedomed – from my original blog post comparing these two

Avene Cleanance Expert Review


I bought this on clearance in Boots for £3.60 for a 40ml bottle. Had it been full price I wouldn’t have bought it and instead stuck with the Effaclar Duo+ which I know works really well for me. However; I was tempted by a bargain and recalled that when I tried the Avene Cleanance Comedomed overall I liked the product but felt it was just a bit pricey. I remember the Comedomed having a strong smell that went away quickly and it being noted online in the product description. I wasn’t mad about this but ultimately if it has delivered the results it promised I wouldn’t have cared.


The Expert smells. It reminds me of hospitals, something medical or like a disinfectant cleaning product. The Cleanance Comedomed’s smell isn’t the same, that is a little more like a nail varnish scent mixed with this this. I felt as though the smell of the Expert lingered on my face 10 mins after applying. For anyone wondering if my obscene reaction to this could be Covid related – I tested negative that evening! A friend sent me a 5ml sample of this bottle which I tried before opening my £3.60 purchase. I was close to digging out my receipt and seeing if I could get a refund but in the end decided to stick with it out of curiosity, in time I was really glad I did. This product claimed to address texture thanks to the ingredient X-Pressin which is a gentler alternative to acids with 1% being more effective than 6% glycolic acid. It wasn’t something I’d previously heard of.

First Week Of Use

Given the strong smell I thought my semi sensitive skin might react badly but one week in all was well. Over the course of using it for 7 days I fell in love with the texture. It’s a beautiful lightweight but hydrating formula that is more liquid than the Effaclar Duo I’ve become accustomed to. It absorbed within seconds. I was sceptical about it not packing enough hydration but even using alongside Acnecide Gel Wash 3 times a week I experienced no dryness. In the first few uses I thought I was experiencing some tingling when applying but this lasted seconds and never amounted to a negative reaction. It still smelt and I didn’t like this but got used to it. I couldn’t smell it on my face throughout the day which was my first concern when I initially opened it.

Whenever I write new product reviews I tend to add my thoughts to blog posts on a weekly basis. Looking back I’m faintly amused by just how much I seemed to loathe the smell when first using as I very quickly grew accustomed to this and by week 2 or so forgot it even had this unusual scent!

Weeks 2, 3 & Beyond

Halfway through week 2 I noticed some drier skin around the edges of my nose and my mouth. This never happens with La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+. I had a few small whiteheads break out on areas I don’t usually get spots around my cheek bones. This was the only new product in my routine. By week 3 my skin had totally calmed down, there were no dry patches at all or strange unexpected breakouts. I was still absolutely loving the glorious texture of the product. Still noticed no changed in texture. By week 4 I was totally in love with the texture and found this product a joy to apply and will be sad when the bottle runs out.


I hated the pump bottle of the Comedomed as it was impossible to tell when it was running out. This tube is basically identical to the Effaclar Duo+ which I cut open whenever “empty” and always get 4-7 days worth of uses out of still so I much preferred this.

The Final Word

Likes: beautiful milky texture, packaging, the price I paid and admittedly price per ml works out cheaper than the Effaclar product even when not clearance price.

Dislikes: strong unusual smell (which I will say I did get used to pretty quickly after getting over the initial shock!), doesn’t do anything to address hyperpigmentation.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ Mini Review

If you’d like a full review I’ve previously posted several so am only covering the highlights in this post. I think it says a lot that I’ve been buying this consistently for almost 6 years. Full breakdowns can be found amongst these posts:

Likes: texture, helps fade pigmentation, regularly on offer so I’ve been able to not pay full price for years, gentle formula that packs enough hydration whilst treating break outs.

Dislikes: … this is me being incredibly picky but it can sometimes cause my SPF to pill which I can totally live with.

The Final Word

In ranked order:

  1. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+
  2. Avene Cleanance Expert
  3. Avene Cleanance Comedomed
Products marked with *** were winners for each categoryLa Roche Posay Effaclar DuoAvene Cleanance ExpertAvene Cleanance Comedomed
Texturewhite lightweight gel cream texture***
lightweight, milky, thin, absorbs in seconds – dreamy
thick, semi transparent gel like formula
no scent
fairly strong cleaning product smell strongest smell of them all reminding me of nail products or disinfectant
Would I Use Again?***
Yes always
Close second No – I much prefer the other two and they’re cheaper per ml
Best For Hyperpigmentation***

Would I use Avene Cleanance Expert again? Yes, I happily would as I adore the texture. However; I’d prioritise purchasing La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Duo every time. I’d venture into the Avene Expert again for the bargain price of £3.60 but if both were a similar price point I’d always choose LRP.

Comments Welcome

6 thoughts on “La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo VS Avene Cleanance Expert – A Comparison Review Of Moisturisers For Acne Prone Skin {Including Avene Cleanance Comedomed}

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