Acne and Breakouts Skincare Update

Ruth Crilly A Model Recommends

Since I last mentioned my pustule-like spots, I have been using one skincare product religiously, and I suppose that is what the video below is all about. It wasn’t until I pared my skincare routine right down to two products (cleanser and then the blemish treatment) that I saw proper, quick results. The red, irritated spots on my cheeks disappeared almost overnight, and with continued use they have all but disappeared. Faint red marks in certain (harsh) light, but nothing that can’t be easily covered with even the lightest foundation. I’m overjoyed!

Product? La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo. A small tube of gel-cream that costs just thirteen pounds. Who’d have thunk it? To be honest, I have always expected spot treatments to be quite inexpensive – I don’t know why, but I have always considered them to be very functional rather than luxurious and so priced accordingly. Which is a ridiculous way of thinking, actually, isn’t it? Because surely we would pay more to treat an annoying, potentially upsetting, potentially disfiguring skin condition than we would for a rose-scented oil with a nice glass bottle…. But, such is the way of life. Or the way that my brain works, at any rate! It’s the same with shoes and dresses – we might spend loads on a “going out” outfit that we wear just a few times a year, but scream at the thought of paying the same amount for a pair of jeans, which potentially could get worn every day… (Actually, jeans are a bad example because I always buy quite expensive jeans. You catch my drift at any rate. I hope.)

adult acne treatment

Someone reign me in! I’m digressing all over the shop today! Where was I? Thirteen pounds. That’s all the Effaclar Duo costs, and it’s so good. An all-over facial treatment that’s light, non-sticky and has no overpowering fragrance or unpleasant chemical odour. It spreads easily but doesn’t “slip” across the skin – you need a few pea-sized blobs to cover face and neck. It doesn’t dry my skin out at all, though I’d be interested to see what drier-skinned people had to say about it.. NOTE: the US formulation, if you’ve bought it in the US, has different ingredients. It includes Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide  at 5.5%, so makes it a little more – how shall we say – potent than the UK version. I’m not too well-versed with the US version, so please let me know in the comments if you have any experience with it.

The UK/European version pretty much cleared up my spots, as I said, overnight, after everything else under the sun (or in my beauty cupboard) had struggled. I think that it just had the right cocktail of bits and pieces that my skin needed at the time – I’m now quite scared to try anything else! The thing is, now that the spots are almost vanished, I want to get back to my usual routine of Liquid Gold and the myriad of other beautiful things that I like to pamper myself with! I suppose I shall have to go easy. I don’t think that my skin is lacking anything – the Effaclar seems to be keeping it adequately hydrated and fresh – I just love my little routines, my lotions and potions and my face masks and peels!

Have a little watch of the video, anyway, and listen to me talking about a few changes I’ve made to my routine and lifestyle. If you’re trying to blast some spots away (teen or adult) then you might find some of it helpful and equally have your own tips and tricks to share. Please do leave any of those in the comments section at the bottom of the page – all product links and extra info are below the video pane.

Video Link HERE

Read more about Liquid Gold here:http://www.amodelrecommends.com/2012/05/25/alpha-h-liquid-gold-intensive-nigh…

111Skin Cleanser: Harrods

Alpha-H Clear Skin Cleanser: http://tidd.ly/1cb32d0b

Dr Jart Bubble Foam: http://tidd.ly/286b9f35

Superfacialist Neroli Cleanser: http://tidd.ly/8d62bb5

Murad SPF15 Mattifier: http://tidd.ly/852bfa1

Givenchy Eclat Mattisme (I use shade 4) http://tidd.ly/df4c4c88

Clarins Powder Foundation: http://tidd.ly/172b55f6

Dr Jart Water Fuse BB Cream: http://tidd.ly/88b0e5f4

Alpha-H Liquid Gold: http://tidd.ly/b75aac2e

Alpha-H Serum: http://tidd.ly/2774800d

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65 comments

  1. Hey Ruth!

    I know you have tried a LOT of products, and I was wondering if you have by any chance tried a product called, “Tarte Amazonian Clay Double Detox Exfoliating Facial Mask”? I hear it is a very good mask, but I am not sure if it would work well with a teenager’s skin. Is there a way to tell? Anyway, I’m not sure if you’ve even heard of it, but I thought I would ask anyway! Thanks!

  2. Demetrius Alexandre

    I love Effaclar duo, it´s the best anti acne treatment I´ve used. It makes my skin feels and appears clear and fresh, but I think it´s not that hydrating and I need to complement with some richer moisturizer at night (I have combination skin). The problem is that it´s so expensive in my country! You european guys are very lucky!

    • Love this video, I’m suffering from a similar breakout at the moment. I’ve been using Jan Marini’s 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Face wash in the mornings, Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser to remove make up at night and Effaclar Duo to moisturise. I have dry skin, but have found the effaclar duo quite hydrating if you stick to the three minute rule!!

  3. I’m not sure what I think of the La Roche Posay yet, I’ve been using it morning and night. On first few uses I loved it, it pushed the gunk right out of my pores, but recently I’ve noticed my skin is really dry and flaky and it’s started to sting when I put it on. Think I’ll try using less, or just in the mornings.

  4. Hi Ruth

    I love your blog and videos – really helpful and insightful! Please could we have a video on your thoughts of top 5 nutrition advice for skin, as a student, expensive beauty products are a little out of my budget but i would like to know your thoughts on some food and drinks that keep skin fresh and clear from the inside!

    Also White tea apparently has 3 times as many antioxidants as green tea and i think it tastes so much nicer!

  5. Hi Ruth,
    you mentioned that there is no spf in the effaclar duo and that you have been using a sepreate spf (e.g. the one from murad). Did you apply it after or before the effaclar duo? Because I’m not sure how I should do it.
    Thank you so much,
    Karen

  6. Hey, I’m not sure if this is normal but I’ve been using the effaclar duo for a week now and It’s really burning my face especially the chin area, I can’t tell whether it’s a sign of it working or just simply my skin doesn’t like it. Just curious if this happened to you at 1st? thanks

  7. Thank you for recommending Effaclar DUO, it improved my skin so much in just two weeks. Thank you, I mean it.

  8. I just commented on your video, but I hope you don’t mind that I leave a comment here as well! I have the Alpha-H liquid gold, but when I bought it I thought it was a mask to cleanse the face, but now I see it’s something to leave on the face. Should I therefor use a (f.eks.) mud mask before using the liquid gold? And one more thing. I didn’t really understan, who should I not use a moisturizer afterwards? Because after I’ve been reading you need protection (SPF) after using the liquid gold :s

    • Winter DeLaVogue

      First of all, you wouldn’t need an spf RIGHT after applyingthe product, as you’re supposed to use it at night. You haven’t been using it during the day, I hope? You need an spf during the day. Also, why would you need a mud mask before? Its perfectly fine on its own… I advise you to read the instructions again. You should use this every other NIGHT ( less often if you have sensitive skin, this you’ll have to find out yourself.) you don’t need a moisturiser afterwards, because that would change the ph of the liquid gold. I also suggest reading ruth’s post about liquid gold, as I’m pretty sure she mentions all these things….

      XOXO

  9. I’ve been using it for a week or so and my pores appear even bigger and I have major breakouts.. I don’t think that’s normal right?

  10. Hi Ruth,

    Firstly I understand you probably get a lot of skincare questions so I understand if you don’t have time/can’t help out.

    I have suffered from bad skin (blackheads, spots and whiteheads) for almost 15 years and I feel like I have tried a lot of different products, mostly budget type products but they don’t seem to work. I am just starting to branch out into expensive skincare but as a student not always an option, however I am starting to think it might be the best way to clear up my skin. I have been using the Clinique 3 step (combination/oily skin) but its just not quiet hitting the target. My skin is always bumpy with constant breakouts and blackhead I just can’t get rid of.

    Thank you

  11. Hi, I think you should try products from Dr. Hauschka for
    acne. I have got similar skin type, and these products were the best for me

  12. In my country (Denmark) we don’t have the Effaclar Duo, but we have an Effaclar cream for combination to oily skin with uneven skin surface and clugged pores, and we have a cream for oily and spotty skin which is dry because of medical treatment..
    I want to choose the cream that will work like yours; to clear up my acne – and I have combination skin, usually to the oily side, but it is now on the dry side because of winter.. Can you figure out which one would have the same effect please? :D

  13. I’m dying to try Liquid Gold – hopefully I’ll get some Christmas spends that I can put towards it. For blemished skin/spots I would recommend Dermalogica products. I use face wash(es) from their main range and two products from their “Clean Start” range for teenagers (I’m in my mid-thirties…) the mattifying moisturiser and the Bedtime for Breakouts gel = amazing for combo skin. Ooh and I got some GlamGlow for £20 off eBay – it really is great to try and nip hormonal skin issues in the bud. Smells lovely too!

  14. thank you for this! i have what you had (very strange- rarely a spot in my life then three weeks of large, irritating gigantic unsightly spots and lots of them all over my lower cheeks! horrible!) made me feel so self conscious especially with not normally suffering from any sort of acne, and not having done as a teen. nothing usual would work :( but your skin care advice has been wonderful! youve introduced me to many a great product!! xx

  15. OK i have the US version and it is getting rid of my blemishes perfectly- they looked exactly like the ones you had and were in the same spot- but it dries my skin out soo much. it doesn’t sting or burn- it just makes my skin tight as Victoria Beckham’s butt and very flakey. I’m using a night moisturizing mask from origins over top but it is barely working. BUT as i said before, it got rid of my acne and that is all that matters really. I feel like your skin gets used to the Benzoyl Peroxide assault after a while… well, my skin will HAVE to, or decide to get unblemished on it’s own accord….

  16. The entire Efflacar range is on 2 for £15 in Boots at the moment… so I went in and bought two Effaclar Duo’s! That means one of them cost me £2, amazing. Didn’t even consider getting one Duo and something else.

  17. Ruth, how can a girl thank you?! This has helped so much and I’ve tried almost everything on prescription. It great to find something affordable and available on the high street that works. My confidence is improving as my skin clears – I’m almost ready to rock a red lip and a sparkly LBD…ALMOST, unless the Effaclar Duo has unknown thigh slimming effects too?!

  18. I tried using this, went through 2 tubes and didn’t help me one bit! :(

  19. Since this post I have been using alpha h daily clear and effaclar duo day and night….my skin is much worse than before I started! Don’t know what to do…carry on in the hope it will start working for me or stop and go back to what I was using before? Still bad skin but not as bad as it is now!

  20. Here are my tips and questions about Effaclar Duo !

    First of all, age. Most acne products are geared towards teen skin but thankfully, many of the La Roche Posay products work well on acne-prone adult skin.

    Secondly, moisture. Try Effaclar Duo in the morning and Effaclar H at night. The H is marketed as a ‘compensating’ moisturizer for people on acne medication, but there is no need to be on acne medication to benefit – it’s really just a trusty combo skin moisturizer that won’t break you out.

    Lastly, the dull effect. Why is it that acne creams do that ? And can it be defeated ? Ruth if you could investigate this I would appreciate it greatly, for it puzzles me to no end :-) My trick is to use the Clarins Lotus oil as a night serum, before the Effaclar H. It seems to de-dull and revamp my skin a bit.

    x

  21. Thank you so much for your posts on adult acne/break out skin. When looking for products when you’re not in the under 20 group, I’ve found it hard to find things that aren’t too harsh. I’m currently using medicated cream from the doctor which is no longer helping and Garnier grapefruit wash which is awesome, but combined dry my skin out. So, I’m going to start using creamier cleansers and I’m putting the Effaclar on my Christmas list!
    Plus, I read somewhere that milk can be a massive issue for spots, so swapped in for soya milk. I can not tell you how much of an awesome effect that had! Not for everyone I’m sure, but a simple swap for me that made a huge difference xx

  22. Love, Love, Love this video! Some great tips and advice Ruth and I really want to try the La-Roche now!

    I mentioned a little while ago I was going to start using some alcohol-free glycolic treatments and so far so good! My skin seems to be responding to them well.

    Quick note about the green tea. A lot of people say it clears up skin, which I’m sure it does for a lot of people. I love green tea and when I was drinking a lot of it, I noticed my skin got worse! I read up about it and apparently it can affect hormones in some people. I still drink it but only 1-2 cups a day x

  23. hei Ruth! I purchased Effaclar Duo recently and I was wondering: do I need to use it alone or can I use it over my skinceuticals Phyto corrector? What do you think? THanks a lot for your advice and sharing with us your fav products!

  24. As always, loving all the skincare your vids! A combination of Effaclar LRP, Alpha-H, Caudalie & Decleor keeps my skin clear – for me (…) Hoping a winter prep skincare vid is in the works. Thanks, as always

  25. zoe amr addict pyrah

    La Roche posay effaclar duo- bought! Thanks x

  26. I have found that reducing my milk intake (mainly avoiding the daily latte) has helped my skin stay clearer. Has anyone else found this or is it just in my head?

    • This is actually true for some people. Lactose tolerance tends to decrease as we get older, some more so than others. We might not notice it because it isn’t outright lactose intolerance, maybe some bloating when you have too much milk, or effects on skin etc. etc.

      I know some people when they give up milk products (or at least reduce intake), their skin gets clearer. It seems that’s the case with you!

  27. I found two tubes in one of my many bags of things a while ago and I got super excited to try it but alas it made my dry skin dry and didn’t really do anything :( like I felt like it was a weaker / more drying version of liquid gold (I think Effaclar has some salicylic acid along with glycolic) .. with liquid gold its like my spots die in two nights (of using it both nights)!

  28. I used the Effaclar range for a few months last year (still using the face wash in fact), so it’s very nice to see a beauty blogger talk about these kind of not so well known brands/ranges.

    Besides the Effaclar face wash gel, I used the Effaclar Duo and the Effaclar A.I. together, and I have some observations I thought I’d share with your readers who might be interested in the range. The A.I. is a localized treatment, the Duo for all over the face. Unfortunately I have nothing much to say about the Duo (either good or bad). I didn’t notice any difference or felt any action, so I was generally pretty indifferent to it, and eventually even stopped using it altogether (this is the European formulation, mind you). Then again, my skin was not particularly oily, and I was having mainly hormonal breakouts, so for those cases, perhaps the Duo is not so active.

    The A.I. however was pretty good. If you put it in the breakouts just as they are starting, it visibly stops them developing into nasty horrors, and because they don’t develop so much, they also go away much, much quicker. And best of all? It stopped the dreaded pigmentation afterwards. In 2 days they were gone without a trace. I still use it whenever a stray breakout happens and it’s still amazing (the hormonal shindigs are sorted now, so I very, very rarely get breakouts).

    However if you still have any pigmentation from old spots, forget it, this is not the product (I applied it religiously to a large pigmentation spot on my cheek and it didn’t budge one bit).

    With that said, what worked for me might not work for you, but there are also other products in the range for different needs, so you should definitely check the full range out. :)

  29. Picked this up today from boots, i dont know whats going on but my skin has gone mental.
    This last week ive had really itchy angry spots on my cheeks which my normal alpha-h and neils yard rose balm unusually havent shifted. I never had these buggers before! Fingers crossed they go before the party season.. ps cant wait for the gift guides.. i love them xx

  30. yes, please, Ruth on the makeup tutorial! LOVE the look! : ) Thank you for all the wonderful tips.

  31. Ruth, I just love your blog! Checking in for your daily post has become part of my morning routine..tea, email, amr..lol you’re doing a great job!
    To the subject matter, I bought Effaclar duo after your newsletter mention of it and it was The thing that sorted my sudden breakout. I’m so thankful you recommended it! It can be so frustrating searching for a product to get rid of blemishes that really does work! So many potions promise more or less the same. I had lovely clear skin and then bam two months ago. I suspect it might have been a bad reaction to one anti-blemish product (with Glycolic in it actually) that I tried with prevention thoughts in mind because I broke out right after the first use. But might also be related to the stressful events around that time as well. Like you I paired down to a basic routine: double cleanse with an ultra gentle sensitive skin cleanser to remove makeup followed by a cold cream soap (!) from Melvita, then Effaclar duo (once a day only now). I really think that switching to the soap made a big difference too. My skin is left so even and clean and there is hardly any dryness. Would you say it is too drying? The french savon d’alep really helped me in my teens to get rid of breakouts (moderate ones), but I stopped using it a while ago. So I returned to the soap cleansing now.. I can suspect you’d say it is too drying, but when I get a breakout I quite welcome the feeling of very clean skin and better no pimples than pimples anyways.. Once they clear out completely though, I am going back to a gentler cleanse suited for my combination skin. But Effaclar duo, I am so afraid to stop using it now lol

  32. I bought this two days ago and it is seriously working miracles! I don’t find it to be drying at all and am using it in place of a moisturizer as well. Have you ever heard of the line Alyria Ruth? It is LOVELY, I wish I could get my hands on it here now that I live in Germany!

  33. Dear Ruth,
    thank you very much for this update. Have little fear that the Efaclar Duo cream could be dehydration – i have very dry skin at the moment (actually combination skin) and think maybe the Nuxe Aroma-Perfection emulsion Soin Anti Imperfection try. Do you know this? Best wishes, Mara

  34. I have the US version – Effaclar Duo is pretty amazing. I have really really dry skin though, and it makes my skin flake like crazy. I use Effaclar K all over problem areas and then use the Duo for targeting spots. I have been using the new Cicaplast Baume to try and heal my skin while it’s being dried out. My skin is so annoying…dry and acne-prone :(

  35. I’ve used the US effaclar duo and it really dried out my skin. :( I’m trying to find a place to find the UK effaclar duo but I haven’t found any websites that sell the UK version. Do you have any suggestions?

  36. Bought the Effaclar duo this evening! Can’t wait to see how I get on with it. Already using Alpha H cleansers so am just going to cleanse+effaclar. Hoping it’s not going to dry me out too much. Feeling tingly on my face too right now!

  37. Hi ruth, thanks so much for this Post. I’m just back from boots after purchasing the Effaclar duo. I was just wondering, do you use this step instead of/as a moisturiser? Also should I use it instead of or as well as my evening facial oil step? Thanks, rachel

  38. Ruth, this post couldn’t come at a better timing. I had clear complexion and hardly suffer with acne or breakouts during my teen years and now I’m much older I’m at loss on what to do since I’m having a terrible breakout. My brother even commented he couldn’t look at my face and he’s not one to comment on people’s look.

    Going to try out Effaclar Duo. Thanks for the recommendation. x

  39. This post is tantalizing! Can’t wait for tomorrow. Cleared the night (wasn’t hard, lol)!

    As far as breakouts, I prefer salicylic acid to benzoyl peroxide. Less drying for me. I use Neutrogena Deep Clean cream cleanser every few washes. Clears out the pores!

    Have you tried anything from the ReVive line yet? I am in love with it right now. Especially the Moisture Renewal Creme at night. I also use the Sensitif Cellular Repair cream, followed by the tinted moisturizer for day. Perhaps they could send you some for review. I especially like that they pretty great scores on the COSDNA website.

  40. I use the US Effaclar duo as more of a spot treatment. I think it would be way too drying to use all over the face, twice a day. It rather sounds like the UK/Euro version that you’re using Ruth is more like a moisturizer? So I think that would be better to get since it is a bit gentler. Plus your version has niacinamide, which the US one does not.

  41. Would love to see a tutorial on the makeup you’re wearing!

  42. I have just purchased the effaclar duo as it sounds like something I definitely need at the moment and with someone who has sensitive skin I am hoping it will help with my skin imperfections minus the dryness that usually puts me off these type of ‘treatment’ products. My main skin concern though has to be blackheads…I literally can’t get rid of them. My skin is relatively clear of spots and I have had a religious cleansing routine since I was a young teenager (I am now 22). I never sleep in my make up even on those rare occasions that I am blind drunk I manage to take it off and regularly exfoliate my skin (gently that is…no harsh scrubs!). I have tried using a clarisonic which made no difference to my skin when using it and even microdermabrasion which just about gets rid of the most obvious blackheads but can never really clear the whole pore. Ruth could you please recommend anything as a treatment for blackheads? Or any of your readers? I would be so grateful for any advice!! P.S – Escentual have 15% off la roche posay at the moment.

    • Hi Rose, may I suggest you have a look at skincare guru Caroline Hirons’ blog Beautymouth ? you might get some tips on what to do. I suspect you are a candidate for the (brilliant) hydraluron for the dryness together with a good cleansing balm plus an exfoliating toner. good luck ! :) D.

    • this will sound crazy but it works! I get blackheads from time to time and what I do is dip a cotton bud in Apple cider vinegar, press it onto the blackhead. it may go red and sting which is normal (that will go down) it totally anhilates blackheads and you’ll find they won’t return. its the only thing that worked for me. ACV is underrated, it works for spots too. I use it once a week as a toner and my skin has changed for the better! x

  43. Yes, the Efflaclar Duo is fabulous, although I find if I use it for more than a couple of weeks at a time, my skin starts to look a bit dull and congested ( just generally a bit gunky, hard to explain ) but no spots. I have to cycle it, and only use it when my skin particularly needs it. I love the Efflaclar Astrigent Lotion, which I use as a toner, again alternating it with a gentler one – the La Roche-Posay Physiological Soothing Toner is my favourite.

  44. Just sharing: I started using the Paula’s Choice toner 2% Salicylic Acid after cleansing and was surprised to see how much dirt was still left on my skin! =(
    I like the idea of double cleansing with a gentle cleanser. Should have known earlier!

  45. This exact regimen worked for me! I’m so glad a high-visibility blogger like you has picked up on this and all your loyal followers will now know how simply they can clear up their spots. BTW, I’m a US beauty blogger and I had the same results from the US version of Effaclar duo. It also made my pores on my cheeks appear much smaller :) Just wanted to put in my two cents to completely vouch for the simple cleanser + Effaclar Duo routine!

  46. i don’t find the US version to be very helpful. i’d say it’s sometimes somewhat effective, but it always leaves my skin irritated and dry.

  47. I absolutely LOVE Effaclar Duo, it saved my skin ! I’ve been using it for almost a year and a half now and my skin looks great (aside from some monthly troubles…). I also like using Effaclar K at night, because it has creamier texture and it’s really great at evening the skin out. Oh and the Effaclar micellar water is great too (though i’ve never used Bioderma so I don’t know how they compare). As you can see, I’ve gone a bit Effaclar crazy lol !

  48. Hey Ruth, Im a 15 year old girl and I’m 5’5″ 1/2 and since being a child i’v wanted to be a model. It’s my passion but do you think I’m too short to be in the business? Or are there certain agencies that wouldn’t mind it?