La Roche Posay was a brand I disliked for a long while due to some unpleasant experiences I had years ago with some of their products.
However, I decided to give them another chance when my skin was at its worst from acne and the use of tretinoin, and I’m glad I did because the two products I’m going to talk about today – Cicaplast Baume B5 and Effaclar Duo – have been absolute lifesavers.
Therefore, in this comparison review, I will talk about what each product is, what active ingredients they contain, what my experience has been with using them, and finally, which one is better for acne.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
La Roche-Posay – Cicaplast Baume B5
La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5 is a soothing cream that can be used on broken, chapped, dry, and damaged skin to help hydrate and repair the skin barrier.
It’s suitable for adults and children and can be used on all areas of the face and body.
Formulated for ultimate skin recovery, this thick balm contains many soothing, repairing, and moisturizing ingredients.
Some of the main ones include moisturizing and softening shea butter, hydrating glycerin, soothing panthenol, repairing magnesium, anti-inflammatory zinc, as well as Madecassoside, which is one of the main compounds in Centella Asiatica, a soothing and repairing agent that helps strengthen the skin barrier.
The Cicaplast Baume B5 is also non-comedogenic and suitable for breakout-prone skin.
The Cicaplast Baume B5 doesn’t have added fragrance or other fragrant components such as essential oils, and it doesn’t have any scent.
The Cicaplast Baume B5 has the consistency of a thick, creamy balm.
Therefore, before applying it to your face, you need to warm it up between your fingertips until it melts, as this is how it will absorb into the skin and provide its benefits instead of leaving a thick white layer on its surface and not doing anything.
I’ve been using the Cicaplast Baume B5 for over two years now, and the first and most important thing I have to say about it is that it definitely does what it says it does when it comes to soothing and repairing the skin.
I started using the balm when my skin was experiencing severe dehydration, dryness, flaking and purging due to starting tretinoin, and this product never failed to relieve these issues after only minutes of applying it over my face.
I’ve since stopped using tretinoin, but when I was on it, I would apply the Cicaplast Baume B5 before bed, 20-30 minutes after applying tretinoin, and I would feel immediate relief from dryness and irritation.
Cicaplast Baume B5 also helped strengthen my skin barrier and even helped smooth out rough skin texture caused by excessive dehydration.
It also helped soothe inflammation, and my purge-induced pimples always looked better in the morning after using the Cicaplast Baume B5 the previous evening.
Now that I’m no longer on tretinoin, I’ve continued using the Cicaplast Baume B5 as a moisturizer in my night routine, and it helps lock in all the moisture from my toners and serums, preventing my skin from drying out overnight.
Additionally, besides using it as a moisturizer every evening, I also like to use it as a mask by applying a thicker layer than usual and sleeping in it.
The masking method makes my skin incredibly soft, smooth, and radiant in the morning, so if you are dealing with excessive dryness and irritation, I would highly recommend you try this out.
It’s also great for dry and flaky eyelids, which is an issue that can occur due to conditions like eczema and psoriasis, and even allergic reactions to eye products like mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow.
All that said, there’s one claim I disagree with, and that is Cicaplast Baume B5 not being greasy, according to La Roche Posay’s website.
Yes, this isn’t a greasy oil or a petroleum-based product like Aquaphor or CeraVe Healing Ointment, but it does leave the skin very moisturized and glowy, which is why, as someone with oily skin, I only use it in the evenings to avoid shine during the day.
This claim isn’t necessarily incorrect; however, I know that folks with oily skin expect a velvety or a slightly matte finish when we read a product is “non-greasy,” and this one definitely leaves a glowy layer on the skin.
Other than that, I absolutely love the Cicaplast Baume B5 and would highly recommend it to anyone dealing with dryness, flakiness, sensitivity, redness, and acne.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Pros:
- Instantly calms the skin and relieves irritation.
- Helps soothe active inflammation and acne.
- Softens skin texture and helps rebuild the skin barrier.
- Excellent for those who are using tretinoin or acne medication such as Accutane.
- Free of irritating fragrance and drying alcohol.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Cons:
- Can make the skin oily throughout the day, which is why it’s best to use it at night.
Effaclar Duo Acne Spot Treatment
The Effaclar Duo is a spot treatment that reduces the severity of acne lesions and redness, as well as some types of non-inflammatory acne, such as closed comedones and blackheads.
Formulated with 5.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide and micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid, this lightweight acne spot treatment aims to provide quick results in flattening and fading acne.
The Effaclar Duo also contains glycerin to hydrate the skin, alongside other soothing ingredients like fireweed extract, an antioxidant plant with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as fatty alcohols to soften the skin and make the treatment more tolerable for those with sensitive and reactive skin.
The Effaclar Duo doesn’t have added fragrance or fragrant components, but it has a very faint medicinal scent that’s easily tolerable and fades away as soon as it’s applied to the skin.
The Effaclar Duo has the consistency of a lightweight moisturizer or a thicker, creamy serum. It spreads on the skin with ease and absorbs quickly after application, without leaving a greasy layer on the skin’s surface.
I initially used this product back when I first started experiencing acne in my early twenties. Back then, I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing, so I simply walked into a pharmacy and asked for the best acne treatment they had.
The Effaclar Duo (then under a different name) was recommended to me, and I have to say that it definitely helped clear some of the big cysts I had on my cheeks and jawline.
However, after a week or so of using it twice a day, I started experiencing some side effects.
My skin started feeling raw and irritated, and after a few days of the initial symptoms, I noticed flaking and peeling around my mouth.
Again, back then, I had no idea what benzoyl peroxide is and how it works, and that overusing it could lead to issues like these, so I definitely overused this product, which isn’t the best thing to do if you want to heal your acne without wrecking your skin barrier in the process.
So, I decided to slow down and give the Effaclar Duo a week’s break before I continued using it twice or three times a week, which ended up working much better.
The huge, purple cysts on my cheeks and jawline started subsiding slowly but surely, and after a week of using it less frequently, they were basically flat and pretty much gone, besides leaving red marks behind.
Mind you, I was still getting new breakouts during that time, but the Effaclar Duo managed to significantly reduce the size and severity of my acne lesions, which was a huge relief back then.
Now, years later, I no longer use this product because I have a steady routine and get regular treatments that help keep my skin clear, so I don’t have the need for an acne spot treatment like this one.
But I would definitely recommend it to someone who’s struggling with active acne and is looking for a quick and affordable fix.
However, keep in mind that this product contains two potent active ingredients and can very easily be overused, which can lead to issues like irritation, redness, flaking, and peeling.
Therefore, if you want to give it a go, I’d recommend using it no more than 2-3 times a week without adding extra exfoliation.
Effaclar Duo Acne Spot Treatment Pros:
- Instantly flattens a pimple.
- Gentle and non-irritating.
- Contains a high percentage of benzoyl peroxide to destroy bacteria.
- Lipo-hydroxy acid provides gentle exfoliation and unclogs pores.
Effaclar Duo Acne Spot Treatment Cons:
- Can cause peeling and flaking if overused.
Which One is Better for Acne?
Both the Cicaplast Baume B5 and Effaclar Duo are great for acne as each product helps reduce inflamed lesions in its own way.
Cicaplast Baume B5 relieves pimples by instantly soothing and flattening a raised, angry spot, and it repairs the skin barrier long-term, preventing future breakouts.
Effaclar Duo, on the other hand, contains active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and lipo-hydroxy acid that inhibit the issue underneath the skin’s surface by infusing the pore with oxygen and destroying the overgrowth of bacteria and dissolving the debris bacteria use as food to grow.
Therefore, both products are excellent for acne and can be used together to target pimples at every stage.
However, some may prefer Cicaplast for its skin-calming abilities and long-term effects, while others may find Effaclar Duo’s active ingredients more effective in clearing up blemishes quickly.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which product works better for your unique situation.
However, I definitely recommend using them both, as this skin-soothing, barrier-repairing, and acne-busting duo is sure to leave your skin looking and feeling amazing!
My name is Simone and I am a certified skin specialist. I created this website to teach my readers how to take great care of their skin and I also like to occasionally share my honest opinions on skincare products I’ve tried. You can learn more about me here.
The Acne Solution: Your Ultimate Guide To Flawless Complexion
An extensive, no-nonsense course showing you how to never have acne again, from a licensed Esthetician specializing in oily/acne-prone skin.