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La Roche-Posay Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum Ingredients Explained

Serum
4.3   (7 ratings)
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Updated on July 18, 2023 Submitted by Joy

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Overview

What it is

Serum with 19 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA and niacinamide

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any common allergens, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

La Roche-Posay is from France. This product is used in 283 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

Serum with 19 ingredients that contains AHA, BHA and niacinamide

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 19

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.

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 ->
Propanediol Solvent

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Glycolic Acid Buffering
AHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 7 Benefits 2 Concerns

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with a ton of research to back up its benefits.

Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Dimethyl Isosorbide Solvent

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent and helps deliver actives into your skin. It is created from sorbitol.

Pentylene Glycol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

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.

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.

Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Emulsifying
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil comes from hydrogenated castor oil. It is a solubilizer and emulsifier.

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Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid Buffering

We don't have a description for Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid.

Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

Disliked Full details ->
Peg-30 Glyceryl Cocoate Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-30 Glyceryl Cocoate isn't fungal acne safe.

Unknown Full details ->
Capryloyl Salicylic Acid Skin Conditioning

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

Biosaccharide Gum-1 Skin Conditioning

Biosaccharide Gum-1 is a sugar created from fermented sorbitol. Most sorbitol is made from potato starch.

Maltodextrin Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. It is derived from starch such as rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch.

Phytic Acid
AHA IconHelps brighten skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon May worsen RosaceaMay worsen Rosacea Icon

Phytic Acid is a gentle AHA and antioxidant. The chemical makeup makes it classified as an AHA, such as lactic acid.

Polyquaternium-10

Polyquaternium-10 is an ammonium salt of hydroxyethylcellulose. It is a white and granular powder used as a film-former and anti-static agent.

Disliked Full details ->
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 ->

Ingredient Ratings

Based on the number of likes and dislikes each ingredient has received.

10
3
5
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 19 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
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
Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Very Disliked

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

This ingredient gets a bad rep because it is irritating and drying - mostly due to its astringent property. Astringents draw out natural oils in tissue, constricting pores and leaving your skin dried out.

However, alcohol denat. is not all that bad.

Due to its low molecular weight, alcohol denat. tends to evaporate quickly. One study on pig skin found half of applied alcohol evaporated in 10 seconds and less than 3% stayed on skin.

This also helps other ingredients become better absorbed upon application.

Studies are conflicted about whether this ingredient causes skin dehydration. One study from 2005 found adding emollients to propanol-based sanitizer decreased skin dryness and irritation. Another study found irritation only occurs if your skin is already damaged.

Small amounts of alcohol are generally tolerated by oily skin or people who live in humid environments.

The rule of thumb is if this alcohol is near the end of an ingredients list, it will probably not affect your skin much.

Also...

This ingredient has antimicrobial and solvent properties.

The antimicrobial property helps preserve products and increase their shelf life. As a solvent, it helps dissolve other ingredients.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

Learn more about Alcohol Denat.
Solvent
Liked

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Propanediol is not likely to cause sensitivity and considered safe to use.

It is derived from corn or petroleum with a clear color and no scent.

Learn more about Propanediol
Buffering
Loved

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with a ton of research to back up its benefits.

Its main role is to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, allowing newer skin cells to emerge.

Specifically, AHAs work by breaking down the structural "glue" holding the old skin cells in place. Getting rid of the old skin cells allows skin to regenerate newer skin cells in its place. A build up of dead skin cells can lead to tired and dull looking skin.

Due to this, glycolic acid helps with:

Fun fact: Glycolic acid increases skin hydration by playing a role in creating molecules that create hyaluronic acid naturally.

When starting glycolic Acid, it is normal to feel slight stinging.

The pH value and concentration of glycolic acid play a role in the effectiveness of the product. Concentrations between 5-20% glycolic acid have been shown to be effective in clinical studies.

Recent studies have shown Glycolic Acid may protect the skin against UV damage. However, you should always wear SPF, especially when using exfoliants.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Glycolic Acid
Smoothing
Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
Solvent
Mixed

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent and helps deliver actives into your skin. It is created from sorbitol.

As a solvent, dimethyl isosorbide helps dissolve other ingredients. This helps ensure even distribution of an ingredient. It may also be used to decrease the thickness of a product.

Studies show dimethyl isosorbide is able to penetrate skin to deliver other ingredients into the skin, making them more effective.

Learn more about Dimethyl Isosorbide
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Mixed

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

The hydrophilic trait of Pentylene Glycol makes it a humectant. As a humectant, Pentylene Glycol helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This can help keep your skin hydrated.

This property also makes Pentylene Glycol a great texture enhancer. It can help thicken or emulsify a product. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Pentylene Glycol also acts as a mild preservative and helps to keep a product microbe-free.

Some people may experience mild eye and skin irritation from Pentylene Glycol. We always recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient in your routine.

Pentylene Glycol has a low molecular weight and is part of the 1,2-glycol family.

Learn more about Pentylene Glycol
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
Buffering
Mixed

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.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
Emulsifying
Very Disliked

Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil comes from hydrogenated castor oil. It is a solubilizer and emulsifier.

As a solubilizer, it helps dissolve ingredients into a water-based version. It is also an emulsifer. Emulsifier help prevent oils and water from separating. Both these properties help create evenly-spread and uniform products.

Basically, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil helps hold ingredients together.

Learn more about Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil

We don't have a description for Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid.

Buffering, Masking
Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and even out skin tone.

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid

Peg-30 Glyceryl Cocoate isn't fungal acne safe.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

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

Skin Conditioning
Liked

Biosaccharide Gum-1 is a sugar created from fermented sorbitol. Most sorbitol is made from potato starch.

This ingredient is a a skin conditioning ingredient and helps moisturize the skin.

It is also naturally found in fruits such as apples and pears.

Learn more about Biosaccharide Gum-1
Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. It is derived from starch such as rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch.

In food, Maltodextrin is used to improve the texture and thicken a product. Due to its structure, it can help create a gel texture. As an emulsion stabilizer, it helps keep the ingredients in a product together.

As a polysaccharide, Maltodextrin has moisturizing properties. Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate. The top layer of skin uses polysaccharides to retain water, keeping the skin hydrated.

Maltodextrin is water soluble and has a sweet taste.

Learn more about Maltodextrin
Liked

Phytic Acid is a gentle AHA and antioxidant. The chemical makeup makes it classified as an AHA, such as lactic acid.

AHAs are chemical exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells. Phytic Acid has a slight exfoliating effect. Phytic Acid has been shown to help calm irritation. In some cases, it is a chelating agent. Chelating agents help prevent metals from binding to water, helping to stabilize the ingredients in a product.

As an antioxidant, phytic acid may help with the signs of aging. Antioxidants help neutralize free-radical molecules. These molecules may damage your skin cells.

An interesting fact about phytic acid is that it is considered an antinutrient. People do not have the enzyme needed to properly breakdown and digest phytic acid. When ingested, phytic acid binds to minerals and prevents them from being absorbed.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Phytic Acid

Polyquaternium-10 is an ammonium salt of hydroxyethylcellulose. It is a white and granular powder used as a film-former and anti-static agent.

This ingredient is commonly found in hair conditioning products. According to a manufacturer, its positive charge makes it great for absorbing hair proteins. The manufacturer also states this ingredient helps with curl retention.

For haircare friends: this ingredient is not a silicone.

Learn more about Polyquaternium-10
Masking, Perfuming
Very Disliked

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.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'. The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term.

For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, it can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum

Reviews

4.3
from 7 ratings
Expensive (1)
Lapaki's avatar

Lapaki

1 year ago Β· Dry Skin
Review

Dependable anti-blemish and anti-marks serum for sensitive skin
This is a very good and gentle exfoliating serum for sensitive skin. It helped me...

Dependable anti-blemish and anti-marks serum for sensitive skin
This is a very good and gentle exfoliating serum for sensitive skin. It helped me get rid of some hormonal acne few years ago, cleared my skin and somehow made it more resistant to acids, which I had to be very carful with before. Its also good for treating backne.

GabriellaTsoukalas's avatar

GabriellaTsoukalas

10 months ago Β· Oily Skin
Review

Worth the try for ACNE skin
I used it for about 2 years and I was more than satisfied. Upon returning on my Erasmus trip, it broke me out and made...

Worth the try for ACNE skin
I used it for about 2 years and I was more than satisfied. Upon returning on my Erasmus trip, it broke me out and made my skin dry. I don't know if anything happened during the trip but right now I don't use it. It's really good if you have taken acne treatment pills and you need smt to keep the acne away (from my experience at least).

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