Tag Archives: la roche-posay


Well, if you had asked me not too long ago what I had been using for skincare, the list would have been super long. Continue reading MY SKINCARE // SPRING 2015


Everyone’s favourite acne product from LRP, Effaclar Duo, has undergone a reformulation to make it even better than ever.

Effaclar Duo+ now contains a new ingredient, Procerad, which helps to prevent acne scarring from developping.

Not to worry, Duo+ still contains the ingredients from the beloved original, it’s just been suped up to fight what acne leaves behind.

Ingredients from the original:

  • Niacinamide aka Vitamin B3 (fights inflammation and stops breakouts)
  • Piroctone Olamine (anti-bacterial and anti-fungal)
  • Salicylic Acid & LHA (a precise, gentle exfoliating ingredient)
  • Lineolic Acid (Salicylic acid’s sister)
  • Zinc PCA (regulates sebum)

Did you know that acne scarring can take 3 years to fade away?

Acne scarring and hyperpigmentation affects everyone from fair (red marks) complexions to dark (brown marks). Procerad contains contains cermaides and anti-inflammatory ingredients that prevent melanin from being triggered into developping hyperpigmentation on any skin tone.

Duo+ works to fight inflammation (redness), prevent blemishes and provides hydration to oilier skin. I, myself, have dry combination skin, so if you are like me, I would still recommend a moisturizer over top. It is ever so slightly heavier than the original (Duo+ is like a lightweight moisturizer, the original is more of a gel) and contains a really nice, fresh scent.

Duo+ is suitable for even the most sensitive of skin.

Some other tidbits I learned from the excellent session:

  • There is a different Effaclar product for everyone:
    • Effaclar H for those on Accutane (doesn’t contain exfoliating ingredients)
    • Effaclar K for retentional acne, contains retinol (under the skin bumps, blackheads, whiteheads–you would not be getting any surface pimples any more)
    • Effaclar A.I. for those who get 1 or 2 pimples a month and only need spot treatment
    • Effaclar Mat for dilated pores–this one mattifies and slows down oil production
    • Also in the range: a gel cleanser and toner (which contains LHA!)
  • Effaclar Duo+ can be used as:
    • a spot treatment
    • nightly as a full-face treatment
    • as a preventative treatment on only breakout zones
  • Those suffering from acne-prone skin should be using an SPF every single day to prevent acne scarring, especially if they are taking an oral prescription
  • For those on Accutane, LRP recommends cleansing with their Toleriane cream cleanser and following up with Effaclar H.
    • Did you know: Accutane only gets properly absorbed into your body when taken with a fat (i.e. a tbsp of peanut butter, or a piece of avocado). When combined, you will receive longer-term and better results.

Efflaclar Duo+ will be available in stores August 6th.


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo: Using it day and night to help abolish bumps, gently.

Kate Somerville Exfolikate: This is growing on me. At first I was a bit nervous about using a scrub, but it really, really works.

Ren Clarifying Clay Cleanser: Gentle, non-stripping. I use this when I feel a breakout coming on, and even leave it to work for about 2 minutes before rinsing off. It also has a nice, slightly sweet almond-y smell that is unexpected for a clay cleanser.

Eminence Probiotic Mask + Willow Bark Serum: You already know this is my favourite for helping fight breakouts.

Verso Products: Loving the retinol-infused products so far, and their minimalist design.

Kate Somerville Goat Cream: This is a really great replenishing moisturizer, I’m impressed with it so far. Hoping the lactic acid in the goat milk will help to keep breakouts at bay!

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine: Loving this in the shade Boy. Nude, yet gives some oomph to lips. Shiny without being sticky. It’s almost the same as my favourite lipstick, Mademoiselle, but is more sheer and foolproof (I can easily apply this in a flash without a mirror).

Nuxe Reve de Miel: Has been saving my lips from the polar vortex. Thick and protective and last forever. Unfortunately, it was just dropped on the floor last night and the lid cracked 😦

Alpha H Liquid Gold: Resurfaces the skin overnight. I use it alone a few nights a week. Review to come!

IPL: I’ve gotten two facials with the IPL laser, which has really helped to get down to the bottom of my breakouts and dry them out. These treatments have really made a difference (bonus: they stimulate collagen growth).


As most of you know, I suffer from adult hormonal acne. So in case you aren’t clear on what that is, I experience breakouts on my chin when “my time of the month” is coming, and sometimes throughout the month as well.

I still haven’t found a way to completely eradicate these breakouts, but I’ve found a few ways to minimize them throughout the month and help speed up the healing process. I’ll enlighten you with my newest discoveries so that if you suffer from this type of acne as I do, you might be able to find a kernel of information that could be helpful/useful to you.

New developments on my face

About a month ago, I had probably what I will classify as the worst breakout of my life (not counting my wedding stress-induced acne). I had about 4 big, throbbing (ew) cystic pimples appear on my face in a matter of hours, plus my usual hormonal breakouts, plus a bunch of under the skin bumps around my jaw that were already there. My whole face hurt. I didn’t like it.

This was on a Friday afternoon, and luckily, I had booked a facial for that evening earlier in the week. The facialist kept asking me ‘what happened to you this week?’ Well,

1)I didn’t sleep well all week
2)I had an exam Wednesday night
3)Plus I think my body was thinking it was my time of the month

All in all, a really bad combo for my already acne-prone skin.

New products I am using

So, she stuck some needles in my face to extract the pimples (v painful btw) and then did her Jet Peel business on my face. I looked rough that night, but wayyy better than I had earlier that afternoon. She recommended I purchase Yon-Ka’s Emulsion Pure, a natural, pearlescent fluid made of essential oils that you apply to your face via a compress for about 10 mins a few times a day. This product really helps ease the pain of the pimples, bring down the size and redness, and help them disappear, without burning and drying out the skin.

Over the weekend, things started to clear up, but my usual pimples and under the skin bumps persisted in making me obsess over my skin.

So, after reading some more blog posts about people raving over La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo, I decided I would use up some Optimum points and go for it. What did I have to lose? I was basically getting the product for free anyways.

And my oh my, am I glad I impulse purchased this product. I bought this product on Thursday and it is now Monday and my pimples are pretty much totally gone, as are the under the skin bumps (and believe me, this wasn’t because of my diet–I ate homemade chocolate chip cookies and marshmallows all weekend).

It doesn’t ravage the skin like other spot treatments. It’s not really “drying out the pimple” aka drying out your face and making big crusty spots. It just makes them disappear.

Then, to put the cherry on top, I received Vichy’s new LiftActiv Advanced Concentrate last week (not out yet), which is essentially a retinol cream containing their new LR2412 + LHA formula. If you remember, Dr. Sapra told us the benefits that retinol can have on aging skin, and even how it can help acne-prone skin. When my time of the month was coming again, and my skin was starting to flare up, I started using this in the morning. It really makes pimples disappear. N.B. If you start using a retinol product, you MUST use a sunscreen. More updates on this product in another post.

New things I am doing

Since sleep really affects hormones and my breakouts, I have decided as a sort of New Years’ resolution (even though I hate doing those) that I will try to get to bed on time during the work week so that I can regulate my breakouts. More sleep=less pimples.

I have also started changing my pillowcase up a few times a week. I mean, it kind of makes sense. Any sweat, dead skin flakes, leftover makeup (though there shouldn’t be any of this), whatever gets on that thing every night and then you smush your face on it for like (optimistically) 8 hours. No wonder you might get a few breakouts if that’s on your face every night.

After getting a bit freaked out about using the Clarisonic, I now use it a few times a week. I have also incorporated a scrub a few nights a week as per a facialist’s suggestion to decongest the skin. I was super wary about using a scrub, but I think that if you find a good one that has circular beads, not jagged apricot kernels, it can be safe. So that’s that.

New treatments I have tried

This week I had my first Photofacial at the Oakville Beauty Institute, which was a combo of a 25% glycolic peel and IPL (laser). IPL can be used for anti-aging, hair removal and acne. The laser has a heated pulse that works down into the deeper layers of skin to kill the bacteria. I absolutely loved this facial and found it to be really effective at killing off my remaining acne. I will definitely be doing this treatment again to eliminate all of the acne.

What I have continued doing

1)I am still double-cleansing at night
-Essential for getting in there and removing sunscreen and dirt of the day.

2)I am still taking a probiotic
-I think that these are really helping with my digestion, plus, whatever is going on in your gut shows up on your face

3)I am still using a sunscreen
-Though some might think it can clog the pores, if you invest in a good one, you will be fine as long as you double cleanse at night. Also, if you are using acne products or retinol, you really need to be using one to properly protect the skin.


Sources: 1/2

What do you do on Sunday nights? Nothing, probably other than sit at home depressed because tomorrow is Monday. What better way to get ready for the week than to deep clean your skin? I do this faithfully every single Sunday night to keep my face in ship shape and prevent breakouts.

Get your robe on, tie your hair back, and get ready.

Step 1: First cleanse
Start by using a balm cleanser (or coconut oil) to cleanse your face, neck and chest. I really like Ren’s balm cleanser, it is gentle and has a rose scent. Eve Lom‘s is also great (if you’re not opposed to mineral oil), as well as Darphin‘s. Massage the product in to your dry face for a minute or so, even getting the eye area to remove all makeup. (Darphin’s balm recommends avoiding the eye area, but I did it by accident, and it was fine for me and I have really sensitive eyes. Use your own judgement.

Now, grab a muslin cloth or facecloth. Soak it in the hottest water you can stand, wring it out, and apply to face. Take 3 deep breaths. Repeat this 3 times. Rinse the cloth, wring it out and rub your face with it to exfoliate.

Step 2: Extraction (optional)
You maybe have noticed that the hot water has brought some white heads to the surface. If you feel comfortable doing this, you can gently extract some of the whiteheads/blackheads at this time using some toilet paper and your fingers (stay away from the extraction tools!). I usually concentrate on the chin, nose and cheeks.

Step 3: Second cleanse
Using a gentler cleanser (I like Ren’s Mayblossom and Lancome’s Galatée Confort), apply the product to your dry face and massage for 1 minute. Repeat the washcloth method from Step 1.

Step 4: Exfoliate
Apply an exofiliating mask, such as Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask to the face. Take a breather and watch some TV for the required time.

Step 5: Tone
Since you have already exfoliate, do not apply your exfoliating toner and jump ahead to the hydrating toner. I use Nars’ Multi-Action or La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc.

Sources 1/2

Step 6: Purify
Apply a clay mask (I use one from Kiehl’s) to your face, or if your skin is dry like mine, to your problem areas (nose, chin, forehead, whatever). Wait the required time, and watch some more TV.

Step 7: Hydrate
Apply a good overnight hydrating mask to your face, neck, and even around your eyes. Some masks say that you can remove the extra lotion from your face but I just leave it on all night.

Go to sleep and get your beauty rest.


Yesterday, after visiting the Catacombes, we headed over to City Pharmacie, the drugstore legendary for their amazing deals and selection of French pharmacy brands.

I was excited the whole duration of our stay in Paris to visit this place. We left the shopping to our last day in the city (also loaded up on tea from Mariage Frères), and every night before bed I would tell Jordan how excited I was the visit the holy grail of beauty and skincare.
I was not let down. Jordan waited patiently outside for me in the scorching sun ( this place was PACKED) as the aisles were too narrow and crammed full of shoppers for his liking (he once got hit by a girl in Aritzia and he now avoids women’s boutiques like the plague and waits outside for me while I shop).
I would suggest going here right when it opens in the morning at eight to avoid the crowds of women. Don’t be put off by what I’m saying–it is so worth it to stock up here on French brands.
I bought the biggest bottle of Vichy sunscreen I’ve ever seen for €10, three toners from La Roche-Posay for €3 each (!!!–you cannot buy these in Canada, they are only sold in France), two Avene lip balms for €5, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse for €13 (normally $50 at home), Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm for €6, the cult favourite Homeoplasmine for €3.50 and Retinol from Roc for €22.
I could have spent even more time and more money in there had the people not been so annoying and had Jordan not been waiting for me.
Some other great French brands not to be missed at the Pharmacies:
Caudalie (so incredibly cheap in France)
Klorane (my favorite dry shampoo)
Biafine (intensely hydrating lotions)
Embryolisse (for the cult favourite moisturizer)
Bioderma (for their famous Crealine)