Skincare Obsessions: La Roche Posay Effaclar & L’Oreal Micellar Cleansing Water.

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Imagine my surprise and delight when I walked into my favourite Walgreens and saw a ginormous display for La Roche Posay. It’s a French brand that I’d never used before but have wanted to, but I’ve been led to believe was super expensive. While some of the prices that I saw were certainly eyebrow raising for the drugstore, they weren’t out of reach. Walgreens seems to be trying to re-brand itself into an Ulta where you can can find expensive and inexpensive beauty and skin care products, what with the addition of this brand as well as Boots and Soap & Glory.

The Effaclar system is relatively new and at the time that I purchased my two items, the store was having a buy two, get the third item free on all their skin care. I picked up the Medicated Gel Cleanser for  the introductory price of $9 and the Clarifying Solution also for $9, along with a huge 13oz bottle of L’Oreal Micellar Water (for $7!). Both the La Roche Posay items are usually $14.99.

As for the Micellar Water, I’m not going to spend much time on it other that to show you pictures and say how I use it.

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I have to say that as a sensitive skinned chick, I’ve been unable to use every single Micellar water that I’ve tried. From the expensive Bioderma French brand to the Simple brand drugstore version. La Roche-Posay did have one as well, but at $19 for something that would probably irritate my skin, I passed on it. Besides it was smaller than the L’Oreal one that I eventually got.

All of the Micellar waters that I’ve used have made my skin burn and turn red. I was so confused, like why would something called water do that? I bought this on a whim because it was so cheap and I wanted one more try. But thank goodness for impulse shopping because no burning. I use this in the morning because you  really do not need to wash your face in the morning when all you’ve been doing in sleeping. It’s a really great time saver.

I don’t use it at night, for as much as the claim has been made I don’t think that Micellar Water completely removes all makeup, and I’m just not comfortable taking that chance with my skin. I have to say I’ve been very pleased so far.

The Effaclar system is meant to battle adult acne, and has twelve different items in the range that span skincare all the way to light BB cream. The two items I picked up are specific to treating acne prone skin. The Medicated Gel Cleanser has a salicylic acid concentration of 2%, with a cooling mentholated feel on the skin that’s very refreshing. When I’m done washing may face with this, it looks very bright and so clean that I’m tempted to use it daily.

Unfortunately that’s not really an option. Because I don’t have significantly oily skin outside of the summer, it can be very drying but I combat that with the rest of the items in my arsenal. I’d started using this at the end of October because the weather wasn’t cooperating and kept pinging back and forth between really cold and hot as hell. When that happens my skin becomes very congested. Within a few days of using this cleanser, my skin had decongested considerably. The addition of other products helped with bringing it back into line.

The second  item that I got is the Clarifying Solution, which regardless of how they phrase it, is a toner. I’ll tell you what though, this is not like any other toner that I’ve ever used in that it actually does what it says it will. I generally hate toners because, what is the purpose of a toner? Well they all have different uses, but the most typical contains an astringent property that is supposed to help shrink pores. Except when I use a toner, the exact opposite happens and I wind up with open pores and tired looking, dull skin. So I skip them.

I’m not sure what the heck crawled into my brain to make me get this one, oh yeah I do. This one is supposed to decongest and then close pores. Friends, it actually did that. In conjunction with the cleanser, a lot of my texture issue disappeared in a few days. And it locked my pores right the hell up immediately after applying it. So much so, that my serum, moisturiser and oil would not absorb into my skin very well. Because of that, I tend to only use it when my skin is tired and my pores are wide open.

The beauty of this system is that it doesn’t have to be used together. You can use each and every one independent of the other which is a good thing because my skin may not always be congested, but my pores may be open and vice versa.

 

Final Thoughts.

I use this when my skin is misbehaving particularly badly, and it shuts that mess right down. If you have acne prone, sensitive skin, you may want to pay your local Walgreens, and for my New Yorkers, Duane Reade (same company) a visit to see if you can lay hands on this  gem of a brand.

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