Oily Skin that’s also Sensitive? A Solution…

So many people email me or leave comments asking about products for oily skin that’s also sensitive. It’s quite a difficult little situation, really, because many soothing moisturisers and treatments are unsuitable for oily or blemish-prone skins – and also, I have no idea what people have been doing to their skin (if anything) to make it sensitive in the first place. So imagine my delight when I stumbled across this little tube of delights! The Compensating Soothing Moisturiser from La Roche-Posay  has been formulated for this very problem – oily skin that has become fragile and sensitive.

Interestingly, the full ‘label’ for this Efflacar product is that it’s for “Oily skin made fragile by over-drying skincare“. Now for me, this hits the nail right on the head when it comes to many cases of sensitive oily skin, or oily skin that feels raw and has dry patches; if you strip the life out of your skin with harsh acne products then the skin’s barrier will be compromised, leaving your skin vulnerable and sensitive to just about everything. It’s important (and I have said before) that when you cleanse, you cleanse well but respect the skin – don’t leave it tight and stripped. If you do leave it tight and stripped, then you’re going to have problems. I’m trying to think of a clever analogy here, but all I can think of is that if you take the paint off your car it rusts. That doesn’t really work, does it?

The Efflacar H works really quickly to help rebuild the skin’s protective barrier and make the skin feel supple and plump, but it’s light and easily absorbed and won’t make oily skin oilier! It actually contains some of the same things that can be found in sebum (the very stuff that you’re trying to do away with when you use the harsh cleansers and acne products) but this is a good thing; the skin needs some of these things to be balanced. That’s why it produces them in the first place, it’s just some people produce sebum in excess. You don’t want to absolutely remove all oils, just some, which is why effective-yet-gentle cleansing is so important.

Anyway, I thoroughly recommend this Efflacar H cream – I use it in the run up to Aunt Flo’s monthly state visit (did I just use that phrase? Anyone would think this was Bunty magazine!) and it works a treat as an alternative to some of the richer soothing creams that I use. I don’t exactly ‘strip’ my skin, but still, once a month I find that it goes a bit mental, along with the rest of me!

So to recap: great cream for those with oily skin that’s also sensitive or has dry, tight patches. Brilliant also for those on anti-acne medicine who find their skin very dry but need to steer clear of traditional rich creams. The cream also contains ingredients to soothe irritation and redness so when those spots flare up and you feel that there’s nowhere to turn, this could be your answer! One thing though; if you are stripping the hell out of your skin, then why? Take a good look at the products you’re using. If you’re looking for an amazing gentle cleanser, I can recommend Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser or Pai’s Cleanser, both of which I use absolutely loads.

Efflacar H Compensating Soothing Moisturiser is £9.50 (bargain!) from Escentual.com

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. FR
    May 22, 2012 / 8:31 am

    Hi Ruth, this is very helpful thank you. I also just ordered Etat Pur’s Salicylic Acid and Zinc Gluconate. Excellent packaging and delivery system. My skin is also much brighter in the first few days of using it. Thanks so much for sharing that info.

    • Ruth
      May 22, 2012 / 9:26 am

      @FR I am very pleased! xx

      • Denise
        May 22, 2012 / 10:35 am

        Hey FR, I also consider ordering those two products from Etat Pur.

        Could you please tell how you use them and what kind of improvements you’ve noticed?

  2. Ola
    May 22, 2012 / 8:43 am

    Hey, that analogy almost works! ;) You could say that if you go to a car wash, you only want to remove the dirt from the car, not to strip the paint – because then it will rust. Totally makes sense eh?;)

    Other than that, I am a devotee of Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser, but also want to try their Triple Action cleanser which is supposed to be good for blemish skins too. x

    • Ruth
      May 22, 2012 / 9:26 am

      @Ola yes, thank you! That is a big improvement! xx

  3. Marco
    May 22, 2012 / 9:51 am

    ruth, where can I send you a private msg? I tried to get in touch with you through your fan page (on fb) but I think you didn’t get it :(

    It’s important..

    • Ruth
      May 22, 2012 / 10:22 am

      @Marco I’ve answered it! x

  4. Anna
    May 22, 2012 / 11:03 am

    This cream is really great! I’m taking an Isotretinoin drug against my acne and have tried different rich creams (Creme de la Mer etc.), but they didn’t help at all. So then I started using this one and it’s the only one that makes a difference, especially on my “double chin”, where the skin becomes very thin and “floppy” due to the drug. The only problem is that if I put it on before going to bed, I can only sleep on my back. When I lie on my side with my cheek touching the pillow, the cream “liquefies”, which feels really uncomfortable and hot. It’s also not possible to be close to another human being, because the moist air they exhale causes the same effect… Another problem is that it’s hard to find sunscreen to wear on top of it without rubbing the Effaclar off when putting on the sunscreen… So this means that I’m only using this stuff a few times a week, but it’s more or less enough, I would say.

    • Ruth
      May 23, 2012 / 12:20 pm

      Interesting! I don’t seem to have this problem with it, but it’s getting hot now so I’ll have a test session with some SPFs! x

  5. UrielxXxEllen
    May 22, 2012 / 11:14 am

    Hey Ruth,
    I’m so glad that you gave this a heads up because I think the La Roche Posay Effaclar range is just AMAZING. I am a huge fan because for donkey’s years I’ve suffered from oily-ish, blemish prone skin but I also have the most sensitive skin in the world and all through my teens I had to put up with dry, flaky cheeks due to harsh products prescribed by my Doctor.
    About 2 months ago, I went to a Doctor who is also a Dermatologist and she recommended this range.

    It took a while because my skin was in such bad condition but most of my blemishes have gone and last week the dry patches on my cheeks finally disappeared! I am actually happy to go outside wearing really sheer products now, which is something I would never have done before.

    They also have a shower gel for sensitive skin, it’s not part of the Effaclar range, it may be Toleraine which is for sensitive skin and I love that too. it’s great for people like me whose skin reacts to even bloody shower gel!


    • Ruth
      May 22, 2012 / 10:30 pm

      I think it’s Lipikar? I have it – AMAZING! I rate all of their products, they really know what they’re doing! x

  6. Jenny
    May 22, 2012 / 12:43 pm

    La Roche Posay moistruizers have done amazing things for my very sensitive, reactive, acne-prone skin. I use the effaclar at night. Papulex Moussant (from a little-known french company, of course) is also a GREAT gentel cleanser for anyone with hyper-sensitive oily or acne-prone skin. I also use their oil-free moisturizer in the morning. Worth checking out if you deal with problem skin.

    • Ruth
      May 22, 2012 / 10:27 pm

      Thanks for the tip Jenny! x

  7. Jean
    May 22, 2012 / 1:01 pm

    Yay! I think I’ve asked you about oily,sensitive skin and which products to use for it. I’m so glad you addressed this concern!I’ve committed many sins of the skin in the past namely through using bad exfoliation products (darn those things!!!) and have been using a strict regimen lately, so my skin’s improved. I’ve run out of my cleanser so this cleanser is something to look forward to. Will check it out. Thanks!

  8. Farah
    May 22, 2012 / 6:50 pm

    Thanks for the write-up, Ruth!

    Have you ever tried Arcona products? Perhaps you could sample a few during your next trip across the pond: Magic White Ice, AM Acne Lotion and their cleansers could be of interest to you (arcona.com)

    I’ve always been curious about La Roche Posay Skin care (I’ve tried their sun care products eons ago), but I’m only concerned about the chemical fillers. Certain sensitive skins react badly to chemical ingredients in such products. However, other sensitive skins go bonkers from essential oils or more holistic skin care products.

    Regardless, I’ll give this a try when I find it (I’m in the States).

    Take care!!

  9. Marina
    May 25, 2012 / 9:40 pm

    Thanks Ruth! I was just needing a moisturazer like that and I will try it as soon as possible. You always recommend great products (someones a little bit expensive).


  10. Manon
    May 27, 2012 / 4:16 pm

    Can’t agree more with you on this product, it saved my life when I was struggling with acne. My acne has cleared up completely but I still use the Effaclar gel cleanser and the effacer cleansing water (which I have used for 9 years now!). If you’re looking for a dupe of bioderma, I think this is even better!

    • Ruth
      May 27, 2012 / 10:04 pm

      @Manon yes, I really like the water too! x

  11. Amy
    June 27, 2012 / 12:10 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    You are absolutely the ONLY person on you-tube/blogging world that i trust to give skin care ptoducts recommendations from. I tried ur firm favs fr alpha-h and I love them! My challenge is to find a good moisturiser and day/non glycolic serum. did alpha-h or pai both not wow u with their moisturisers? Can u pls pls share ur fav moisturisers? My skin has responded well to your recommendations so far, particularly alpha-h cleanser, liquid gold. I’m normal-dry, on sensitive side, 30 yo, breakout prone and worry abt aging!! I hope u have time to answer me!! I’m desperate to get my skin in tip top condition for a big occasion in a month!!

    • Ruth
      June 27, 2012 / 5:03 pm

      @Amy main concerns? Spots? Wrinkles? xx

      • Amy
        July 3, 2012 / 12:33 pm

        Sorry for the late reply! Concerns : congestion, dehydration, fine lines,flaky dry patches but breakout prone as well and generally hope to have skin that can look a tad brighter.

  12. Deborah M
    August 31, 2012 / 11:09 pm

    Hi! I’ve got thin skin which is why mine is often quite sensitive. I get oily all the time (with dry bits down the sides and thin skin on my nose and forehead) and teen-spotty more than regulary.

    I used a la-roche posey toner a while ago (Physiological Soothing Toner)and it was horribly drying. Is this likely to cause similar problems if they are using the same types of ingredients?

    Is there something else that you would recommend? I feel that perhaps too much anti-spot type stuff might be too harsh and soothing it with the moisturiser would be good… So confused!

    Love & kitten smushes.

    • Ruth
      September 6, 2012 / 10:46 pm

      I wouldn’t bother with a toner, really. This wouldn’t have the same kinds of ingredients as it’s a moisturiser, so it could be what you’re looking for if you want to soothe temperamental skin? How old are you? xx

      • Deborah M
        September 9, 2012 / 4:20 am

        Hey there :) I’m actually 28 and have had oily skin for the past year or so – whether it’s that my hormones have kicked into overdrive or what, I don’t know. I have found that RENs clay type mask & glycolatic mask have helped alot though so I’m doing better than I was.

        I haven’t really changed my diet more and if anything I look after myself better than I used to – water!

        Gentle, oil-free, more natural than not, and good for oily/breakout prone skin.. I love love the soap and glory hand cream & foot cream so I’m tempted by their other items.

        Oh, how much difference do you think it makes using cold/body temp/warm/hot water when you shower or wash your face?

        • Ruth
          September 9, 2012 / 10:07 am

          I think that too hot can be very bad, actually – I’m sure I have loads of broken veins on my legs from too hot baths! The vein specialist said not, but I am convinced! x

  13. April 20, 2013 / 9:09 pm

    If you want something home made, you should purchase cosmetic grade zinc oxide and mixing a tablespoon or two into a bottle of moisturizer. Right now I’m using it with a moisturizer I got from Citrus Clear. It is the Citrus Clear Control Moisturizer. I put on this lightweight moisturizer that soaks in quickly. It will help mattify and absorb excess oil. It helps keep acne down and helps heal acne that has popped up.

  14. Soroush
    February 13, 2014 / 7:53 am

    I’m using Bioderma sebum for washing my face. It’s good. For moisturizing I use natural coconut oil. Just a little bit after washing my face. I take milk thistle powder which is good for liver. But if only I could stop picking on my tiny pimples it’d be great.

  15. s durham
    September 20, 2017 / 8:49 pm

    My first time trying the Made from Earth Rosehip Serum so far, I enjoy the results on my skin, been a combination skin it can be tricky to find a great serum to adjust to your skin, this serum absorbs well into my skin leaving my skin , well hydrate, moist and healthy glow in which I have have one in a while since my teens, Looking forward to what magic it would as an anti-aging looking forward to that

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *