Review: Why The New La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum Is Our Go-To Solution For Acne-Prone Skin

We need to talk about acne — in particular, comedonal acne. It may sound like a fancy term, but this is one of the peskiest skin issues that still bugs us today, and is more common than we think. To put it simply, these aren’t inflamed pimples, but rather the blackheads, whiteheads, bumpy skin, or blemishes that tend to occur around our t-zone area, due to the unwelcome condition of excessively oily skin and clogged pores. Maskne, anyone? That’s exactly it too.

We’re sure most of you can also relate to the annoyance that sets in while pursuing our clear, even skin goals; the occasional blemish pops up when you least expect it, or it may be difficult to see progress on stubborn spots. Well, here’s a tried-and-tested solution we can recommend.

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum, $54.90.

La Roche-Posay, a prominent dermatologist-recommended skincare brand, is here with their first-ever serum for acne-prone skin, the Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum. It’s touted to show immediate efficacy overnight, and is specifically designed for clogged pores and uneven skin, since the formula includes both peeling acids and soothing ingredients to treat and calm the skin.


The highly-concentrated formula features a combination of three peeling acids — LHA, Salicylic Acid, and Glycolic Acid — which work together to encourage skin renewal, as well as treat acne marks, whiteheads, blackheads, and scars. At the same time, soothing active ingredients are included to calm the skin and improve the skin barrier so we can experience healthy, clear skin that’s rid of acne marks and blemishes.

The key ingredients include:

    • LHA (0.45%) — A salicylic acid derivative that gently exfoliates the skin surface and helps eliminate dead skin cells.
    • Salicylic Acid (1.5%) — This is able to go deeper into the skin to unclog pores and prevent sebum accumulation.
    • Glycolic Acid (3.5%) — Activates skin renewal, for more radiant skin and visibly clear skin, especially effective on acne marks and scarring.
    • Niacinamide (2%) — Vitamin B3; improves the skin barrier, reduces the look of pores, and brightens dark spots.
    • La Roche-Posay Thermal Water (2%) — Helps calm skin, and reduces discomfort due to its anti-redness effect.


As you can already tell, the Effaclar serum is particularly effective at treating comedonal acne, that is, the facial bumps and blemishes that pop up when our skin is clogged. Beyond just treating acne-prone skin, you’ll also notice its ability to improve the appearance of skin over time, that is, the look of clear skin with no traces of bumps, acne, marks and scarring. Clinical results show visible efficacy on skin in just 7 days, and an improvement in skin texture, with lesser marks and acne, in 28 days.

When trying the product out for ourselves, we experienced the same clear skin effect — any small bumps on the face due to mask wearing went away, blemishes disappeared, to the point where we noticed significantly clearer skin. While a regular, healthy skin routine might provide similar results over time, it felt like this serum sped up the process so we managed to observe positive changes in less than a week.


As for what’s the best way to introduce this serum to your regime, it’s recommended that you use it overnight. The fast-absorbing and non-comedogenic texture can be layered over your toner or essence, and under your moisturiser, and is a perfect complement to the existing Effaclar Duo(+) moisturiser, so you’ll wake up with the most effective results. Do remember to use an SPF product, of at least SPF 15, in the day as well since the product can be photosensitive.


Adele Chan, Editor-in-Chief

“My skin has been a bit strange lately; my cheeks have small white bumps and the occasional breakout, which I attribute to mask wearing and sweating under my Oculus. My usual skincare routine hasn’t made a difference to this condition, but rather, maintains it as it is — strange.

This bottle of serum actually changed all that! I used it every night for 5 days, and my cheeks are almost back to their 100% smooth glory! Over the years working in beauty, I do know La Roche-Posay to be experts in correcting acne conditions, and I had high hopes for this new serum — and it didn’t disappoint.

The bottle is clinical as expected, and has a dropper to dispense the product, which has a fairly thick and viscous texture. It’s a little gooey on the fingers, but ends up spreading easily on the face, absorbing very quickly. It layers well too, over and under other skincare, and it doesn’t feel thick. I can imagine this bottle making a difference to many individuals with problematic acne; based on my experience with it, I’d say it’s definitely worth a try.”

Amelia Tan, Deputy Editor

“It’s rare to come across a product that works as it claims, but I’ve been coming across some great ones this year — and La Roche-Posay’s latest Effaclar serum is one of those. Despite being past my adolescent years, I still have to deal with unwanted blemishes, or excessively oily skin and hormonal flare-ups just before my monthly period, which happens to be exactly when I started on the serum.

I used it for 5 nights, and found a significant improvement in my skin texture, which comes across both in real life and in photos — if you look closely at my before / after shots below, there are a couple of blemishes on my forehead that disappeared. My skin had cleared up, thanks to the discipline of using the Effaclar serum every evening, to the point where there are no traces of bumpy skin. Furthermore, my overall complexion also looks more balanced and brighter too, especially the area around my nose, while some of the initial redness is also soothed.

While using the serum, I realised that it had a thicker-than-expected texture, probably due to the high concentration of actives involved, so I had to work fast in order to pat it into my skin. That said, it does absorb quickly, and leaves a matte feel after about a minute.”

Before / After. With no makeup, filters, or editing, and taken under natural sunlight.

Redeem a free La Roche-Posay Effaclar trial kit!

You can receive a free Effaclar trial kit consisting of the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Serum (3ml) and Effaclar Duo (2ml). SIGN UP HERE. From now till 30 April, there’ll also be a promotion of 20% off all La Roche-Posay products, at Watsons and Guardian outlets. 


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum, $54.90 for 30ml. Available at Watsons, Guardian, Lazada and Shopee.