Confused by La Roche-Posay? We’ve demystified it: here’s what to use for your skin type

By Emma | February 17 2012 | 28 Comments

la roche posay

I’m a big fan of French skincare brand La Roche-Posay. Introduced to Ireland 10 years ago this year, its effective, no-frills approach has, over the past few years, made it easily my most-recommended brand.

A case in point: my sister needed a waterproof mascara for sensitive eyes. Last year, La Roche-Posay was first to market with Respectissime Volumising Mascara, €17 (2), which has never irritated her eyes or caused a reaction.

And when my uncle developed patches of dry skin on his forehead, he got them under control with La Roche-Posay’s thermal water spray, €9.50 (1). The brand takes its named from a French village which is the source of this antioxidant-rich spring water that forms the basis of all their products.

I also scored brownie points when my boss’s watch started to irritate his wrist. The brand’s Lipikar Xerand hand cream, €5 (4) – designed to protect the skin against daily aggressions – cleared it up nicely.

And La Roche-Posay came to the rescue again when a reader, Roisin, moved to Oz and had fierce trouble finding a daily suncream to suit. The answer? Yup, you guessed it: La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios range (3), which has had several clinical trials to prove its efficacy – the new melt in cream, €17.50, contains SPF50+.

So after this little string of successes it was no surprise to me to learn that La Roche- Posay is the No.1 skincare brand recommended by dermatologists, with over 30 years’ experience in dermatological research. But hands up if you’ve ever excitedly dashed over to their stand in your local chemist, only to be defeated by the rows and rows of identical, clinical boxes bearing dermatological jargon and unfathomable names?

Yup, me too. The sheer size of the range can be confusing, and as all of the product lines are tailored to specific skin concerns, it’s important to know which one is right for you.


LRP Effaclar

Oily or blemish prone skin should get on well with the Effaclar line, with no less than seven specialist products to purify and combat breakouts, clogged pores and imperfections.



If you suffer from eczema, the Lipikar range – so called because it restores the lipids in the skin – can protect and soothe. It comprises six products that benefit from the brand’s 20 years’ experience in treating this and similar skin conditions.



Dry skin? Lipikar again, or Nutritic – a three-strong product line to tackle issues like skin tightness, fragility, and roughness. And for dehydrated skin – that’s lacking water, not oil – choose Hydraphase, or Hydraphase Intense.


 la roche posay

Sensitive types should try Hydreane, a line of moisturisers (including a tinted product) to help reduce skin sensitivity. There are also six cleansers to choose from in the Physiological line for sensitive skin, and an ultra-fine scrub.


derm aox

If aging skin is your biggest worry, then the Derm AOX or Redermic + lines target wrinkles, loss of radiance and skin firmness. That’s the box I’d usually tick but a six month bout of clogged pores and breakouts round my chin (oh, the glamour!) means I’m just about to put the Effaclar range through its paces. If glycolic peels, IPL laser treatments and fancy facials couldn’t shift the little buggers for good, I’ll be seriously impressed if this is up to the challenge. I’ll keep you posted!

La Roche-Posay products range between €4 (lip care) and €35 (anti-aging serums), with most around the €20 mark. They’re available from pharmacies nationwide – check the website for your nearest stockist.

Skin, Tutorials ,

28 Replies to "Confused by La Roche-Posay? We’ve demystified it: here’s what to use for your skin type"

  • Babs says:

    I totally heart LRP products and they have saved my oily face, dry skin on body and general insanely sensitive skin. One thing I would recommend to anyone who wants to try these but is not wanting to spend upwards of €20 on a moisturiser that may not suit is to ask for a sample from the pharmacy you are buying it from, they usually throw a heap of them my way anytime I am buying anything LRP or Vichy (same manufacturer I think??) anyway, the samples are totally brilliant in helping you pick the right product for you and are also mega handy for throwing into the handbag overnight bag for holiday products that are well under the carry on baggage limit. Lipikar is amazing and saved my hands and my boyfriends awful cracked and bleeding hands for the last three winters. Well worth the few extra quid and doesn’t sting when put onto broken skin like everything else did.

  • ZsaZsa says:

    I love the Effaclar gel cleanser – really worked on my skin when it went through a very sensitive and oily phase last year! I would buy again (in fact I don’t know why I haven’t).

  • Fantastic post Em, LRP are one of my go tos and go to recommendations for probably every skin care woe.

    You’re 100% right, they do what they do expertly and always know you can trust them to work.

  • Lisa says:

    I can’t recommend La Roche-Posay enough! The Effaclar micro-exfoliant is the best thing I’ve ever used to clear blackheads and remove any remaining bits of foundation. Brilliant.

  • rosey says:

    Hydraphase is hands down the best day moisturiser I’ve ever used. I love it to bits.

    But! Do not on any account try their Lipikar Oil (Huile) as it smells like fish and will not rinse off your skin! Bleugh!

  • rosey says:

    Oh second the effaclar exfoliant, it’s the business!

  • Love everything from La Roche Posay! Everything does exactly what it says it will. Cicaplast and Nuitritic Lip Care have been life savers this winter. x

    ps. We did a review of Cicaplast

  • Great post Emma.

    I love La Roche-Posay so much people are probably sick of me recommending it at this stage. I’m really loving the moisturiser and intensive treatment from their new Rosaliac range, working great at keeping my Rosacea in check.

  • avicakes says:

    My local pharmacy gave me about 13 samples of Cicaplast for me to try (healed up my chapped nose after having a cold). Then she gave me a full tester of Vichy Dermablend, which I don’t even need to buy now, cos there’s loads in it & you only need small amounts. I used LRP years ago to treat sensitive skin & acne, but changed to ‘fancier’ looking products. I’m turning back to it more lately, it’s budget friendly for face friendly products. Kerium DS smells lovely, I use it even when I don’t need it!

  • Bridget says:

    I bought a La Roche Posay Lipkar wash for my DD as she gets bouts of eczema onher body and face. This stuff cleared it up better than any cream ever did. Within a week it was gone and has been fine since.
    I use it to take off my make up too and my skin is feeling great! But I didn’t know they did a range for oily skin, thats great Im gonna have to get that for me :D


  • Baglady says:

    Brilliant post, I’ve often thought you’d need a Science degree to understand LRP, I think it’s because the bottles are so similiar.

  • Frannerb says:

    You had recommended their Rosaliac AR Intense for Rosea a while back, but local chemist told me its not available in Ireland yet. Any idea when?

  • Banjaxed says:

    I’m one of those that’s confused by LRP, I haven’t found anything that works for me apart from Cicaplast – thanks to a tip on! I thought the Anthelios sunblock would be great but it broke me out something terrible :-( so I’m still looking for a good sunblock. In saying that though, my 15 year old son is using the Effaclar cleanser for his acne and it’s very good so maybe it’s just my skin that’s a bit too iffy for LRP.

  • Great post Emma, whenever I’m in a chemist looking at the LRP display, I literally stare blindly because the packaging is so similar, then my eyes scan to the writing, landing on the French first, so takes me aaaaaages to figure out what I’m looking at!

  • Aisling says:

    Thanks Emma! The packaging is what puts people off this brand – it’s all the same. But once you get past that what’s inside is excellent

  • Dobby says:

    Great post! I have yet to try LRP for that very reason!

  • LuLuBabe says:

    Started using Lipikar surgras shower cream two years ago having read about it in the first book as it sounded just the ticket for my dry and corned beefy arms and legs. It is perfect and I’ve used it ever since. Gorgeous scent too. Wouldn’t be without it.

  • laura says:

    Great post Emma.rosey- ill second that,hydraphase is brilliant,best day moisturiser I’ve used,keeps my skin nice and hydrated during the day,without causing any congestion,and love that it contains spf.absorbs really quickly& works great over serums.must try more from this range!

  • Cheers guys, hope you find it helpful – Effaclar is working really well for me so far so hopefully I can get this problem chin under control!

  • boredmum says:

    Fantastic post Emma, i love LRP, i had severe excema on my feet and feet which went on for about 9 months, every week i was at the doctor getting steroid creams that got more and more expensive every week,

    Finally the girl in the chemist gave me a sample of LRP Lipikar Balm AP, and OMG within one week it had completely healed up, i was delighted, now it did sting the crap out of me initially for a few minutes after putting it on, but who cares, i think anyone who had feet like mine that used to split right across and were so painful, wouldn’t give a crap once it clears it up….. Much love for this brand

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