Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control Power Cream Wash
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream for Face SPF 55
Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control Power Clear Scrub
Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control Power Cream Wash + Sephora Facial Cleansing Pad
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
I tried a sample of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo last night. It's an acne treatment consisting of Benzoyl Peroxide and a Salicylic Acid derivative called LHA. Here's what it says straight from the La Roche Posay website:
Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide [5.5%]:
Powerful acne medication in a unique format to deeply penetrate pores, clear blemishes, and minimize potential irritation.
Micro-exfoliating LHA [0.4%]:
Precise cell-by-cell exfoliation to stimulate cell renewal, smooth roughness, and gradually even skin texture. 6x more effective than salicylic acid alone.
I put a thin layer of it on my entire face last night, despite knowing I had a sensitivity to BP. Surprisingly, instead of feeling my whole face burn and seeing it turn red, I only had a tingling sensation for about ten minutes on small parts of my face - my chin and around my nose area. I'm really surprised given that there's 5.5% BP in this, when I'm sensitive to even 2.5% in most products. I'm going to continue to use this as a treatment twice a day. It actually looks and feels like a lightweight lotion and absorbs quickly without feeling sticky at all.
I was browsing La Roche Posay (which has my favorite sunscreen, Anthelios XL) for acne products at a Duane Reade store and an SA came up to me asking if I wanted to do a skin analysis. She used a device that took closeup pictures of my face in certain areas, and a computer analyzed the results and recommended products based on the analysis. I left with samples of Effaclar Duo and Anthelios XL 60 (YES!). I was recommended to try LRP's Effaclar's Foaming Gel wash, Effaclar Toner, and Effaclar Duo. After researching, I found that the gel wash was a gentle cleanser with a short ingredient list, with no active ingredients that are used as an acne treatment. The toner contained two ingredients: LHA (lipohydroxy acid), a micro-exfoliator, and Capryloyl Salicylic acid, a BHA derivative, to fight acne. LRP's clinical studies and reports have shown that LHA does help reduce acne (you can even read them on the website). Effaclar Duo's ingredients are clear on what it does for acne.
Effaclar's Gel Wash and Toner have been given iffy reviews from Makeupally and Acne.org, but Effaclar Duo looks consistently good.
I'm thinking of trying the skincare from La Roche Posay's Effaclar line; specifically the ones I was recommended. Some of their products differ from the European version (most likely due to differing laws on drugs that can be used in products in the US vs Europe). So far, the only products I've encountered with US-European differences are with the Anthelios 60 and Effaclar Duo. The European versions of these have a sunscreen formula called Mexoryl and lack benzoyl peroxide, respectively. I'm going for the US versions.
The thing is, I think that with most skincare regimens that are sold over the counter (ProActiv, Neutrogena, AcneFree), there is a tendency to use both an antibacterial (BP, sulfur) and an exfoliant (salicylic acid, AHA) to treat acne. The same goes for the skincare regimens I was given by both of my dermatologists. Antibacterials/antibiotics on one hand (benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin phosphate, sulfur, minocyline, doxycycline) and exfoliants on the other (retinoids like Differin and Retin-A, and AHA). Even the DKR recommends using an antibacterial, BP, with an exfoliant - AHA to target bacteria and dead skin cells - two things that cause acne besides sebum.
Another thought that I have is to test if I really am still sensitive to BP. I believe that I still am, given that I still had a tingling feeling when I used the Effaclar Duo. If I'm not, I'm all for using benzoyl peroxide products, since it is the most powerful/effective topical antibacterial acne treatment next to sulfur (which is expensive). If my sensitivity is gone I'm all for using the DKR. If not, I'm going to stick with Effaclar because it's still gentle enough on skin despite sensitivity to BP.