'If you're experiencing adult acne, here's the $60 serum that's dermatologist-recommended.'

La Roche Posay
Thanks to our brand partner, La Roche Posay

We're told from a young age that acne is something that happens during puberty. What we're not told is that acne can continue to rear its rather ugly head well into adulthood and is the world's most common skincare concern.  

A hefty 29 per cent of women in Australia (that's almost 1 in 3 women, for those who suck at percentages like me) suffer from adult acne and I've been part of the adult acne club from the moment I turned 18.

I was fortunate to dodge the awkward teenage breakout years only to find dodging that bullet meant dealing with acne at a more inconvenient stage of life: think dating and entering the workforce.

NSW dermatologist Dr Jo-Ann See puts it perfectly:

“It doesn't seem fair that women in their late 20s, 30s, and 40s are experiencing breakouts and dealing with the plight of acne-prone skin. Meeting new people, relationships and work situations can be threatening for women with adult acne, as it can impact negatively on their self-esteem and confidence."

Like Dr Jo-Ann See says, I found it difficult the navigate at the time. I spent my 20s covering up my acne with mountains of make-up, and I can still see the scars left behind from impulsive picking.  

But now as I enter my 30s, and now a member of the motherhood club, I'm ready to dial back the make-up and correct the skin beneath.


I've tried countless combinations of peels, masks and exfoliating products (which isn't ideal for a time-poor mum; I simply don't have the time to be slathering my face with 50 products each day); in comes La Roche Posay's Effaclar Serum which ticks all my boxes.

Image: Supplied.

Its combination of glycolic and salicylic acid helps to unclog and refine pores, while the LHA in it (a derivative of salicylic acid, beta-lipohydroxy acid) offers a non-irritating mode of exfoliation, by lifting dead skin cells from the surface of the skin for a smoother complexion. If that wasn't enough, this serum contains niacinamide too, which helps to combat moisture loss. So basically tick, tick, tick.

Let's delve a little further to see exactly what each ingredient does to help combat adult acne plus refining fine lines (of which many have suddenly appeared now I'm almost 30).

Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid works by penetrating into the pores to exfoliate by removing damaged and dead skin cells, and promoting skin renewal. This aids the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and most importantly, helps clear congested pores which means less acne.

Salicylic acid

Similar to glycolic acid, salicylic acid's main job is to keep the pores clear which means less blackheads and breakouts. Glycolic acid works to exfoliate the top layer and encourage skin renewal while salicylic goes deeper to help prevent future breakouts. Together glycolic and salicylic acid are the perfect combination to tackle adult acne.


For those who have been afflicted with adult acne you would be familiar with AHAs and BHAs, LHA is a gentler cousin of these and a derivative of salicylic acid. LHA is an exfoliant and works by lifting dead skin cells creating a smoother complexion. As it's less acidic than its counterpart chemical exfoliants it's perfect for sensitive skin.



After all that heavy lifting by the glycolic and salicylic acid plus the LHA your skin is bound to be feeling a little parched. The niacinamide works to retain moisture (which in turn minimises pore size and regulates oil production), and visibly reduces redness.

Dermatologist Dr Jo-Ann See is a big fan of this ingredient combination in La Roche Posay's Effaclar Serum.

"It's exciting to see a trio of proven hydroxy acids with niacinamide formulated in an efficacious anti-acne serum. We all know that effective acne management leads to an increased quality of life.”

I love that this Effaclar Serum absorbs so quickly (no need to fan your face in fury so you can move onto the next step), and that it left my face feeling smooth but not oily or sticky (an absolute pet peeve of mine). 

Although it calls itself a daily peel and is packed full of ingredients aimed to exfoliate, it's very gentle on my acne prone skin and doesn't sting like other peels have on my skin in the past (thanks LHA!). 

It's also lightly scented which gets me excited each evening to pop it on before bed. (It's the little things).

In the 10 days I've been using this serum in my daily routine, my skin feels incredibly smoother. The before and after show just how much smoother my skin already is. 

It's already said farewell to the appearance of some of my fine lines around my mouth, and refined my pores on my cheeks adn around my nose.

Before (left) and after (right). Image: Supplied.


As for helping my adult acne, the giant blocked pore I had in the middle of my forehead went away without erupting like Mount Vesuvius which is a win for me! (Ain't nobody got time for a popped pimple RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR FACE).

My Mount Vesuvius looking much better on the left there, compared to the right. Image: Supplied.

I cannot wait to see the results of continued use, as I can definitely speak to its positive results so far.

This serum has definitely worked to refine my skin, and promoted more of a healthy-looking complexion, which I couldn't be happier about.

La Roche Posay even put it to the test in a Cosmeto-clinical study with 51 people testing with 4 weeks of trialling. They found that 50 per cent of users had fewer blackheads after 44 days, 45 per cent had fewer pimples after 28 days, and 49 per cent had fewer acne marks after 28 days.

If you're like me and have suffered adult acne with pores who like to hold you ransom, and threaten to clog up and cause troubles, or are seeing the early signs of ageing in their skin, I'd definitely recommend La Roche Posay's Effaclar Serum as a must-have in your beauty arsenal.

It's one of the best $60 items I have in my arsenal.

Tackle imperfections head on with La Roche Posay's Effaclar Serum. Order yours here.

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