REVIEW: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution

Warm, humid weather means that the skin will likely be more oily and congested. While my skin can be relatively normal most of the year, the summer months can make my t-zone unbearable. Lately, I’ve had some issues with blocked and congested pores, blackheads, and general oiliness on my chin, nose, and forehead. Ulta has recently expanded their La Roche-Posay range and I noticed the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution. I’m so happy with my purchase and I recommend it if you’ve been having symptoms like me.

This is a “gentle exfoliating acne toner that penetrates deep to unclog pores and smooth skin texture. Using an optimal combination of ingredients, the Clarifying Solution exfoliates without causing unnecessary irritation and drying, leaving skin soft and smooth.” This product is oil-free, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, dermatologist tested, and suitable for sensitive skin.


A great way to try this product and the rest of the acne line, the Effaclar Dermatological Acne System can be a worthwhile investment for $29.99 USD. For me, I opted for the toner only since I already owned the Dual Action Acne Treatment separately. The toner smells very chemical-y, but it saturates a cotton pad well and applies soothingly onto the skin. For me, I’ve been concentrating the toner directly on my nose and chin area for the last two weeks. I have applied it every night along with the Dual Action Acne Treatment, and so far, I’ve seen great results. My pores are smoother and more clear, which has allowed it to look less congested and bumpy. The blackheads are diminishing slowly, but aren’t completely at bay. Small bumps I had on my chin are gone and have stayed away.

I’ve also been using this on my upper shoulder where I’ve noticed some unattractive “bacne.” The area has smoothed out greatly with minimal raised bumps. I’m left with some hyperpigmentation, but it certainly looks and feels better than before. I think in general it’s best to use the toner in conjunction with the Dual Action Acne Treatment, and results aren’t immediate but gradual. I’ve noticed great improvement in overall skin condition; and, I suspect after a few more weeks I’ll be happy with the results. I would recommend this toner and the Dual Action Acne Treatment; however, even the toner alone seems to do a great job as a preventative measure. The ingredients sound strong but are surprisingly gentle on the skin. I didn’t experience any redness, peeling, or burning when I applied this product.

Active: Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid. Inactive: Water, Alcohol Denat., Propanediol, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Capryloyl Glycine, Phenoyxethanol, Benzyl Alochol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Menthol, Tremella Fuciformis, Polysaccharide, Butylene Glycol, Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract.

Retails for $15.00 USD.
Contains 3.4 fl. oz./100 mL


Olay Fresh Effects Dew Over Hydrating Gel Moisturizer

I’ve been casually on the hunt for a good summer time moisturizer. I say “casually” because I’m currently trying to use up my current one. As a drugstore option, I decided to try the Olay Fresh Effects Dew Over Hydrating Gel Moisturizer after reading about it in Lenallure’s post here. It’s been awhile since I used any Oil of Olay products, but I remembered being satisfied with the various moisturizers I tried when I was younger.

Designed as an “oil-free, breathably lightweight, and non pore-clogging” moisturizer, this “24-hour moisturizing gel instantly cools and is infused with the essence of honeysuckle and white tea. Formulated with a powder, the unique gel moisturizer makes skin look less oily.” Based on reviews and the description, I purchased this and I’m very pleased with it. I don’t think I’ve ever given a drugstore moisturizer such credit, but I’m so happy with it I think I’ll stick with it officially as my summer moisturizer.

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This moisturizer is super easy to use because it absorbs quickly. It’s cooling and disappears like water onto the skin quickly. You’re left with soft, supple skin that feels comfortable and hydrated without the oiliness and greasiness of regular moisturizer. This sheer moisturizing gel eaves skin feeling hydrated and energized because it’s oil-free, lightweight, and won’t clog pores. The refreshing essence of honeysuckle and white tea soothe the skin and doesn’t interfere with sunscreen and makeup application. While my skin does produce its regular amount of oil throughout the day, I feel that starting with a gel moisturizer in the mornings keep my skin looking less shiny for longer.

There is a light fragrance that’s clean-smelling and it doesn’t bother me. The scent lingers but not in a bad way. It’s so soothing I like to apply it on my neck sometimes. I think I’ll end up going through my first jar fairly quickly, but I like it so much, I don’t mind re-purchasing in the future. To conclude, this is by far the most noteworthy drugstore find yet.

Retails for $12.99 at Target.
Item contains 1.7 fl. oz.

REVIEW: La Roche Posay Effaclar M Daily Mattifying Moisturizer

My daytime moisturizer of choice is the La Roche Posay Effaclar M Daily Mattifying Moisturizer. I recently switched over to this moisturizer now that we’re transitioning into somewhat warmer temperatures. Even though we’re roughly halfway through February, it seems that my t-zone has decided to get extra oily early this year; and, the humidity in Texas doesn’t help either.


The Effaclar M Daily Mattifying Moisturizer “is a daily mattifying moisturizer to help clear sebum-clogged pores at the source with absorbing micro-spheres.” I purchased mine at Ulta and I’ve been thoroughly pleased with its performance.

Because this moisturizer helps transform oily skin, I was instantly drawn to it. If you’ve noticed, I’ve been really happy with integrating La Roche Posay products into my skincare routine. For now, I’m sticking with the Effaclar range since it’s geared towards oily-oily combination/acne-prone skins. I feel that it’s a great preventative measure to take during the day when I want to minimize oil and pores without adding a bunch of steps in before my makeup routine.

What’s great is that this product performs immediately. It absorbs quickly and gets to work: it “normalizes pores to help prevent shine” and mattifies pretty much on contact. There’s no slippery or sticky feeling afterwards — it just feels like skin. I almost feel bad going over it with my daily sunscreen, lol.


Much like the rest of the product within the Effaclar range, this moisturizer contains micro-exfoliating LHA. “Day after day skin texture is refined and your skin has a lasting matte appearance while remaining hydrated. Light, oil-free formula.” It’s still gentle and moisturizing, without feeling oily and greasy — and, best of all, it actually controls the oil production.

The texture of the moisturizer is nice and fluffy. There’s a primer-like quality to the overall feeling of the skin after application, which I like. I like that it works and doesn’t interfere with my makeup application process. I still have to blot about halfway through the day, but at least my skin looks pretty good until I do need to blot. There’s been times — with a bad moisturizer — I look super greasy, like, it’s almost about to drip off my face. Ew, I know.

If you have oily skin and you’re worried about the summer months putting your oil glands into overdrive, I suggest you give this moisturizer a try.

Key Ingredients:
Pore Targeting Technology: Minimizes pores.
Micro-Exfoliating LHA: Unclogs pores and refines skin texture.
Zinc: Neutralizes shine.
Neurosensine: Neutralizes inflammation in the skin.
Pure Vitamin C: Reinforces skin support.
Hylauronic Acid: Immediately smoothes surface wrinkles.
Madecassoside: Fills in deep wrinkles.

Made in France.
Retails for $30.95 USD.

REVIEW: Sibu Buckthorn Cleanse & Detox

The Sibu Buckthorn Cleanse & Detox facial soap is something to think about if you have oil to oily-combination skin. I first heard about this brand/soap from Michele1218 on YouTube, but never purchased it online until I stumbled across it at Whole Foods. Recently, Sandra, from 15 Steps, Then a Beauty Blog, also known as ttsandra on YouTube mentioned it in her skincare routine post.

Commonly, it is known to avoid using a bar soap to wash your face because soap tends to be drying. However, it seems that various brands have continued to embrace the “facial bar soap” concept – such as Cetaphil, Neutrogena, and even Dove. For me, I tried the Sibu Buckthorn Cleanse & Detox facial soap cautiously because of these initial speculations; but, I’d have to say that I’m quite surprised with the results.


The Sibu Buckthorn Cleanse & Detox facial soap contains the brand’s signature ingredient: sea buckthorn oil. According to the website, sea buckthorn oil is “a rich source of the elusive essential fatty acid, Omega-7, an essential fatty acid vital to collagen production and healthy skin, hair and nails.” The “sea buckthorn berry fortifies itself against the elements by producing an array of powerful nutrients. With over 190 bioactive compounds, sea buckthorn is an unsurpassed source of Omegas 3, 6, and 9.”

It seems that sea buckthorn oil, much like Moroccan oil, is another popular oil that “is a natural product with 1300 years of traditional uses with the modern scientific research to back it up.” The recent trend of using natural oils to help skin and hair is one that I’m liking, because I know that it’s going to be gentle and calming – since chemicals and man-made elements won’t be present.


This facial soap claims to “awaken your skin and wash away a day of stress and pollutants with pure, simple and effective Sibu Beauty Sea Buckthorn.” It “lathers thick and rich to cleanse, detox, moisturize, repair, and protect skin from cell damaging free radicals.” Not only does it cleanse and condition, but the soap’s ingredients acts as a “natural astringent,” which helps all skin types feel toned and revitalized. “Sea buckthorn is known as nature’s most balanced fruit,” and is also known as the “Holy Fruit of the Himalayas.” It “has been cherished by native Tibetans for centuries for its incredible nutritive qualities.”

For me, this soap is awesome but it can be drying. I tried using it every morning, but needed to switch it to every other morning. Oil-controlling abilities is amazing; and, it keeps my skin in check during the day wonderfully. It’s so wonderful that even the next day, my skin is still balanced and behaving (hence, the every other day use of the soap). I can’t say that my skin has drastically improved, but my skin is calmed and soothed; and, in conjunction with this soap and other skincare products previously mentioned, they all seem to work well together for now. I think this soap will be super during the summer here in Texas.

Detailed Product Description:
*It is paraben-free and cruelty-free, and contains NO dairy, wheat, gluten, sodium, yeast or preservatives.
*3.5 ounce bars
*100% natural

Coconut oil, palm oil, safflower oil, glycerin, purified water, oatmeal, sodium hydroxide, sea buckthorn puree, sorbitol, sorbitan oleate, fragrance orange/lemon, soybean protein, sea buckthorn leaves, titanium dioxide.

** Sibu’s sea buckthorn is sourced through fair trade agreements with local harvesters in Tibet.

** All quotes were extracted from Sibu’s website: