Meet My New French Friends

Introducing my new amis: Mademoiselle Bioderma, Madame La Roche-Posay & Monsieur Avene:

My acne-prone skin is acting up again – so I’m back on antibiotics (Minocyclin + Tactuo/Epiduo) BUT while I let the medicine work its magic, I thought I’d help the process along with some highly-recommended products. My skin is very sensitive to any change in products – even testing a moisturizer or switching shampoos can lead to a break out – but French pharmaceutical products are renowned for their efficacy (many dermatologists recommend them) so after much research on Makeup Alley, I decided to try these 3 products:

BIODERMA Sebium Foaming Gel – My major problem is clogged pores – both whiteheads and pimples (I hardly ever get blackheads thanks to the Clarisonic). This face wash claims to reduce the sebum secretion which causes the clogged pores. I like that it contains acne-fighting ingredients like zinc and copper – while leaving out salicylic acid (doesn’t work on my skin – plus, Tactuo already contains Benzyl Peroxide).

La Roche-Posay CICAPLAST – One of the many products recommended by Lisa Eldridge in her famous acne-covering make-up video – she uses it as a primer. This is suitable for super-sensitive skin (designed for use after chemical peels) and acts as a protective barrier while providing an even surface for your make-up to adhere to. I need it because my blemishes always flake up under concealer – this makes everything look much smoother.

 AVENE Eau Thermale – I’ve used Evian spray to set my make-up in the past – but I would get small spots if I sprayed it on my bare skin. Because of different mineral compositions, I find Avene works better for me. I chose this as I read that it can be sprayed on after applying acne medicine to counteract any stinging/dryness. I use it morning and night before I apply my moisturizer. I feel that it adds a glow to my skin and will hopefully help my blemishes heal faster.

So far, my skin has not had an adverse reaction to these products (which is quite a feat!), but it is too early to determine whether they provide any positive effects. I will continue using this trio and will update here with my results. I’m also working on a post on my quest for the best mineral make-up for my acne-prone skin (here’s a spoiler – it’s not Bare Minerals LOL!)

Have you used any French skincare products?

p.s. I’ve also purchased other products mentioned in Lisa Eldridge’s Acne video (the Vichy Dermablend Foundation, Cream Stick and Setting Powder) and am very happy with them! I use mineral make-up for everyday and save the Cicaplast + Vichy/Dermablend combination for when I need my skin to look flawless.

p.p.s. See what other French Pharmacy products Lisa Eldridge recommends here (can you tell I’m a huge fan?):

DISCLAIMER: I purchased these products myself and was not paid to review them.


  1. Beautygirl24
    June 1, 2012 / 2:31 am

    Great post Ella 🙂 I love trying new skincare as you know (the latest being ElevenSkin, which I love). I think I probably should stick with what I have before trying something else! These all sound amazing though. I recently had an acne flare last weekend, but it is going away. I think it was due to stress. I'm sure it can be hard having such sensitive skin! But at least you have products that work for you. I personally would love to get my hands on Bioderma makeup remover, but it isn't sold in the states ;(

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      June 1, 2012 / 1:09 pm

      I love trying new skincare – but I really feel like it's such a science figuring out what works and what doesn't. I LOVE the Bioderma line am so glad it's available here 🙂 I heard a lot of US ppl order huge bottles from eBay from trusted suppliers – it's definitely worth a shot!

  2. Canadian Beauty
    June 1, 2012 / 4:03 am

    I will def watch that video! I am very interested in the La Roche acne care line as I've heard nothing but rave reviews on it.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      June 1, 2012 / 1:18 pm

      I've read so many good things about the LRP Effaclar line – however not everything suits me – their AI Targeted Breakout corrector is popular but didn't do anything for my skin 🙁

  3. Monica of
    June 1, 2012 / 4:09 am

    My skin has been acting up too! But the culprit is jetlag & lack of sleep. I love La Roche Posay products in general other French brands; Bioderma, and I know I'm forgetting another major one I like but not sold in Canada so name slipped my mind.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      June 1, 2012 / 1:20 pm

      Ooh – I wonder what the other line is? I feel so lucky that we get Bioderma, Vichy, Avene and La Roche Posay here – especially since Shoppers Drug Mart often has special events (20% off or extra points etc)

  4. yamilovesemma
    June 1, 2012 / 6:43 pm

    The combination of La Roche Posay with Avene is awesome! I've tried before and I think it was what cleared my skin.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      June 1, 2012 / 9:11 pm

      That's so good to know – fingers crossed that it works for me too!

  5. amy
    June 2, 2012 / 12:23 am

    I buy the LaRoche-Posay moisturizer in the winter, when my skin's really dry. And their sunscreen too. It's hard to find those that don't make me break out! Highly recommended 🙂

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      June 2, 2012 / 12:31 am

      I'm very interested in trying the LRP sunscreen – the anthelios line is so popular! Which product in specific do you use? (I always see 3 or 4 LRP sunscreens and don't know which to choose!)

  6. Anonymous
    June 3, 2012 / 7:14 pm

    Great review and great blog, I will check her other product maybe moisturizers. Visit my blog and let me know if you want to follow via Gfc and bloglovin and I will follow back.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      June 4, 2012 / 2:26 am

      Thanks! I've visited your blog – love your style 🙂

  7. Small Town Gal
    June 7, 2012 / 11:54 pm

    I have been using the La Roche Posay products lately and I'm loving this French brand. I have their sunscreen, facial cleanser and blemish corrector(sorry can't remember their names) but they are so impressive. Definitely going to be stable items for me from now on.Just found your blog, new follower :)

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