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Updated on December 05, 2023

Overview

Cool Features

They both contain BHA

Suited For

They're both likely to be good for fighting acne, brightening skin and scar healing

Free From

They both do not contain any common allergens, oils, parabens or sulfates

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot a product that needs an update? Let us know.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant US
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] SPF 30
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] SPF 30
Day Moisturizer
French Brand France

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and see relevant ingredients
spf rating
30

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients Side-by-side

found in both products
Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Methylpropanediol Solvent

Methylpropanediol is a synthetic solvent and humectant.

Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Polysorbate 20 Emulsifying
0 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Camellia Oleifera Leaf Masking

Camellia Oleifera Leaf is a green tea plant native to China. It is closely related to Camellia sinensis. Both plants have very similar properties.

Unknown Full details ->
Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

Tetrasodium EDTA

Tetrasodium EDTA is the salt formed from neutralizing ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid with sodium hydroxide. It is a chelating agent and used to prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This helps keep the product and ingredients stable.

Disliked Full details ->
Effaclar Duo [+] SPF 30
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Octocrylene UV Absorber, UV Filter
Chemical UV Filter IconNon-Reef-Safe IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
Chemical UV FilterChemical UV Filter Icon 2 Concerns

Octocrylene protects skin from sun damage. It absorbs UV-B with peak absorption of 304 nm. It is a common sunscreen ingredient and often paired with avobenzone, a UVA filter. This is because octocrylene stabilizes other sunscreen ingredients by protecting them from degradation when exposed to sunlight. Octocrylene is a photostable ingredient and loses about 10% of SPF in 95 minutes.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Homosalate Skin Conditioning, UV Absorber, UV Filter
Chemical UV Filter IconNon-Reef-Safe Icon
Chemical UV FilterChemical UV Filter Icon Non-Reef-SafeNon-Reef-Safe Icon

Homosalate is a chemical sunscreen filter that provides protection in the UV-B range (280nm - 320 nm), with a peak protection at 306 nm. It is internationally approved for use in sunscreens.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Ethylhexyl Salicylate UV Absorber, UV Filter
0 / 0 Chemical UV Filter IconNon-Reef-Safe IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
Chemical UV FilterChemical UV Filter Icon 2 Concerns

Ethylhexyl Salicylate is an organic compound used to block UV rays. It primarily absorbs UVB rays but offers a small amount of UVA protection as well.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Alcohol Denat. Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon 5 Concerns

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol with other additives.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane UV Absorber, UV Filter
Chemical UV Filter IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
Chemical UV FilterChemical UV Filter Icon 2 Concerns

Also known as Avobenzone, this ingredient is a chemical sunscreen filter that provides protection in the UV-A range.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Dimethicone Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
1 / 0 Silicon Icon
SiliconSilicon Icon

Dimethicone is a silicone used for making products smooth and silky. It also has the added benefit of sealing in hydration. The amount of dimethicone found in beauty products is considered safe and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Sorbitan Stearate Emulsifying
0 / 1 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sorbitan Stearate comes from sorbitol and stearic acid. Sorbitol is a type of sugar and stearic acid is a fatty acid.

0 Com. / 1 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Silica Abrasive, Absorbent
Exfoliant IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
ExfoliantExfoliant Icon 2 Concerns

Silica is a mineral naturally found in our skin. It helps to thicken and smooth the texture of a product. It also acts as an agent for other ingredients by increasing the absorption of other ingredients into the skin.

Disliked Full details ->
Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate.

Unknown Full details ->
Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer

We don't have a description for Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer.

Unknown Full details ->
Propylene Glycol Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
0 / 0 May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Potassium Cetyl Phosphate Emulsifying

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate is the potassium salt of a mixture. This mixture consists of the esters from phosphoricacid and cetyl alcohol.

Diisopropyl Sebacate Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Solvent

We don't have a description for Diisopropyl Sebacate.

Unknown Full details ->
Peg-20 Humectant, Solvent

We don't have a description for Peg-20.

Unknown Full details ->
Peg-8 Laurate Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-8 Laurate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
Zinc PCA Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Good for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne Icon
2 Benefits

Zinc PCA (or "zinc salt") differs slightly from zinc itself. PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid. However, Zinc PCA comes from zinc.

Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer Skin Conditioning

Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer is a silicone used to improve the texture of products and absorb oil. It does not get absorbed into the skin.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Oleamide

We don't have a description for Oleamide.

Unknown Full details ->
Ceramide 1 A Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
3 Benefits

Ceramide 1 A is a type of Ceramide.

Inulin Lauryl Carbamate Emulsion Stabilising

We don't have a description for Inulin Lauryl Carbamate.

Unknown Full details ->
Carnosine Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Carnosine.

Poloxamer 338 Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Poloxamer 338.

Unknown Full details ->
Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate Emulsion Stabilising

Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate is a polymer made from ammonium salts. It helps add stability and texture to a product.

Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
Sucrose Cocoate Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sucrose Cocoate is created from the sucrose esters of coconut acid. Coconut acid is comprised of the fatty acids of coconut oil.

Disliked Full details ->
Capryloyl Salicylic Acid Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Capryloyl Salicylic Acid.

Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
T-Butyl Alcohol Perfuming, Solvent
Alcohol IconFragrance Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon FragranceFragrance Icon

T-Butyl Alcohol it is most commonly used as a solvent.

Very Disliked Full details ->
BHA Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

This BHA stands for butylated hydroxyanisole. If you are looking for the beta-hydroxy acid, aka as Salicylic Acid, click here.

Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Parfum Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

Very Disliked Full details ->

Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

Ingredients higher up in an ingredient list are typically present in a larger amount.

Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid

Ingredient Ratings

Here's what our community thinks of the ingredients in these two products.

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
2
3
2
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated
Effaclar Duo [+] SPF 30
10
15
8
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

When to use

3,223 Routines
27% use in am
73% use in pm
69% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->
162 Routines
75% use in am
25% use in pm
94% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->

Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 8 ingredients

4.4 /5
from 35 ratings
Works Well (7) Expensive (5) No Scent (2)
skinogre's avatar

skinogre

2 months ago · Oily Skin
Review

The first night I used Paula’s choice exfoliant just once, it cleaned up my skin scraping it whole, I was left GLOWING but it felt kind of tight...

The first night I used Paula’s choice exfoliant just once, it cleaned up my skin scraping it whole, I was left GLOWING but it felt kind of tight like I had been using corsx salicylic acid for 3 days straight, it takes some getting used to, to the extent that the instructions literally say to start off once a week and slowly build your usage up overtime, it’s really strong but does the job well. I’ve noticed that if I overuse it, I get extremely coarse skin and whiteheads slowly appear in the places I use it most (my nose). This is why I highly advise to purchase the small sample bottle first and to build your way up, at MOST every other day. I’ve used it 3-4 times a week since and on the few days I don’t I use a daily-friendly exfoliant toner pad so my skin barrier isn’t destroyed but bacteria doesn’t also build. It dries up all the forehead gunk, removes residue on the sides of my nose and dried up the pimples I had been trying to rid of for so long, my skin is left gleaming, exfoliated as ever, and I know my skin wouldn’t be as flawless without it. 30ml sample version Lasted 2 months from Dec-Feb used every other day. I now use the 118ml version since Feb and there’s plenty left, will most likely last for about 7 months and 3 weeks in total (based on how long i went through the sample size). As much as I love this I deeply suggest researching and sampling because there are mixed reviews of people claiming that it ruined their skin which doesn’t surprise me -since it is pretty harsh exfoliant and skin is diverse. I tend to be wary of western products but one thing western products do well is harsh exfoliants. If you have a lot of bacterial residue, sebaceous filaments and the feeling of gunk on your face even after your exfoliant, this is a good one to consider. This combined with my Needley daily Toner pad is the only reason why my forehead looks like a glazed doughnut

MichelleR's avatar

MichelleR

7 months ago · Dry Skin
Review

Viral for a REASON
This product is popular for a reason. Back in the day [showing my age] we used to use Noxzema and Stridex for our acne. But...

Viral for a REASON
This product is popular for a reason. Back in the day [showing my age] we used to use Noxzema and Stridex for our acne. But those products were so harsh, burned, and didn't produce any results. This product not only clears pores but is also nourishing [suspect it is the green tea]. After I apply, my skin doesn't feel raw or sensitive. The formulation of this product is FANTASTIC. Truly viral for a reason. It will forever be in my skincare collection.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] SPF 30 33 ingredients

3.0 /5
from 2 ratings
Anti's avatar

Anti

3 years ago · Dry Skin
Review

Great product but not great moisturizer
I used this product for a month. It has done great job for my acne prone skin and caused no break outs....

Great product but not great moisturizer
I used this product for a month. It has done great job for my acne prone skin and caused no break outs. However, it is not a great moisturizer itself. I mostly used it before my actuall moisturizer. Plus, it has spf.