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La Roche-Posay is a New York-based brand, but their roots are in France. The brand was founded in a French town of the same name in 1975, and it still manufactures products there today.

To understand the hype of the brand, it’s important to note two key features of the town of La Roche-Posay, France.

The first is the town’s thermal spring. The brand sources water from it for all of their products. They claim the water is full of minerals and antioxidants (namely selenium), which La Roche-Posay says helps promote smoother, hydrated skin.

The second is the town’s Thermal Centre, which is a spa focused on balneal — or thermal water — treatments. Balneotherapy has been used by various cultures throughout history to help soothe skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

The Centre first formed in 1869, but it was dubbed the La Roche-Posay Thermal Centre in 1905. Today, it gets 8,000 visitors per year seeking treatment for various skin conditions.

While bottling the spring’s revered water in various formulas may not be as effective as soaking in it, La Roche-Posay remains one of the most dermatologist-recommended brands out there due to their mild formulas and special attention to skin conditions such as eczema, dryness, and acne.

La Roche-Posay claims that their brand is centered on “enhancing your quality of life through skincare.” Beyond their line of products, their Thermal Centre has been dedicated to helping people recovering from skin-related side effects of cancer treatments since 2009.

La Roche Posay’s skin care line includes a wide range of face and body products, including some condition-specific formulas. Some of the most common types of La Roche-Posay products are:

  • cleansers
  • moisturizers
  • serums, like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid
  • sunscreens
  • toners
  • eye creams
  • masks

  • Recommendations. Not only did I read more than 100 reviews on multiple retail sites, I polled my friends to see who used La Roche-Posay products and got an overwhelming response. For the products I tried myself, I took recommendations from the people in my life whose goals were similar to mine. I also included a few products that folks were enthusiastic about, even if I hadn’t tried them myself.
  • Accessibility. I limited this list to products you’ll likely find at your local Target or Walgreens.

Pricing guide

Skin care can get very expensive, and while these are often pricier than the products you can find at a drugstore, La Roche-Posay isn’t as expensive as some high end brands today.

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$40
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Letter from the Editor copy.Graphic by Ruth Basagoitia I Tried It- La roshay posay Review

Best moisturizer

Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

  • Price: $
  • Active ingredients: La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal water, ceramide-3, niacinamide, glycerin
  • Best for: all skin types, but especially folks with dry skin

This is far and away one of the brand’s most popular products, and after using it regularly I can see why. Even though it’s definitely a thicker moisturizer — “double repair” is in the name after all! — it has a silky smooth texture and melts into my skin without feeling sticky or thick.

It’s fragrance-free and rather unassuming: Online reviewers and a few friends I polled all seem to agree that it’s excellent for folks with sensitive skin. Another friend called it the “fancier version of CeraVe,” and added that when she uses it before bed, her face “still feels dewy” when she wakes up. And I agree!

You can typically find this moisturizer for just under $20 at Target or Amazon, which might be more than some folks want to pay. But because it’s so thick, a dime-sized squeeze goes a long way.

Pros

  • great reviews, with a 4- or 4.5-star rating on Ulta, Target, and Amazon
  • mild, fragrance-free formula for folks with sensitive skin
  • leaves skin feeling hydrated and dewy

Cons

  • consistency might be too thick for some people
  • costs just under $20 at most retailers, so it might be more than some folks want to pay for an everyday moisturizer
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Best exfoliating cleanser

Pigmentclar Brightening Foaming Cream Cleanser

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: La Roche-Posay thermal spring water, lipohydroxy acid (LHA), glycerin
  • Best for: all skin types, but mainly folks looking for brightening, cleansing, and light exfoliation

Pigmentclar is one of those skin care products that packs a big punch. In fact, I think my skin is purging from the LHA, which promotes cell turnover. There are a few things I’m really liking about it.

First, it foams up a lot. You only need about a pea-sized drop to get a lot of lather with this formula. That’s a great feature for a product that typically costs just under $20 for a 4-ounce bottle.

Also, it doesn’t dry me out, and almost all of the reviews I read agree that it leaves skin looking clear and almost shiny.

There’s a sort of squeaky-clean feel to your skin as you wash it off, which was a con for some folks and an adjustment for me. There’s also a slight fragrance to this formula, which isn’t for everyone.

Pros

  • good for brightening and exfoliating uneven skin tones
  • lathers up, so you don’t need to use a lot

Cons

  • squeaky clean feel isn’t for everyone
  • some folks (myself included) aren’t having the easiest time transitioning to the LHA in the formula, so if you have sensitive skin you might want to ask your dermatologist before using
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Best gentle cleanser

Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser

  • Price: $
  • Active ingredients: cerimide-3, glycerin, La Roche-Posay thermal spring water, niacinamide
  • Best for: folks with sensitive, combination, or dry skin

I haven’t tried this cleanser personally, but it’s a favorite of reviewers and, apparently, a bunch of folks in my life. I mean, do you know what your friends use to wash their face?

This cleanser has a milky, creamy texture. It doesn’t lather like the Pigmentclar cleanser listed above. It’s most similar to a CeraVe or Cetaphil cleanser in consistency, which makes sense since this is another very gentle formula for all skin types.

After reading a ton of reviews, the most common feedback is that it’s a no-frills, scent-free product that does the job without stripping the skin. One friend told me, “I’m not a skin care buff, but it’s not drying and is mild, which is what I want.”

Of course, a few folks said their skin felt dry or they had a negative reaction. This just goes to show that everyone’s skin is different!

Pros

  • mild formula is intended for all skin types, especially folks with sensitive skin
  • price is on par with other dermatologist-recommended competitors
  • scent-free formula

Cons

  • a couple reviewers say the formula was more irritating than soothing
  • doesn’t lather, so you might go through a bottle quickly
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Best serum

Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: hyaluronic acid, madecassoside, vegetable glycerin, dimethicone, La Roche-Posay thermal water
  • Best for: all skin types looking for anti-aging or hydrating products

This hyaluronic acid serum is definitely my favorite thing I’ve put on my face in a while. I’m a very expressive 31-year-old and have a lot of fine lines.

My last skin care routine was making my face feel loose and lifeless, but I’m pretty sure this serum has turned that around. I put it on morning and night before my moisturizer and really do think it’s brought a lot of bounce and elasticity back to my skin.

It’s kind of slimy and goopy to the touch, but melts into skin relatively quickly. I didn’t find it to leave my face feeling sticky, although some reviewers did. A few folks recommend putting it on while your face is still damp to avoid stickiness and to lock in moisture.

Of course, there’s a negative to everything, and this serum’s main negative is the added fragrance. Personally, I don’t mind it because it’s a light, fresh scent. But as one reviewer points out, it does seem unnecessary for a serum to have a fragrance.

Pros

  • great for plumping skin and restoring skin’s hydration
  • layers well with moisturizers, meaning it doesn’t pill
  • a little goes a long way

Cons

  • some folks find it to be a little sticky
  • added fragrance might not be for you
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Best SPF

Anthelios Mineral Tinted Sunscreen for Face SPF 50

  • Price: $$
  • Active ingredients: vitamin E, titanium dioxide, dimethicone, La Roche-Posay thermal spring water, silica, iron oxides (for pigment)
  • Best for: all skin types, folks who prefer a mineral sunscreen, folks with darker skin tones

I actually tested a different version of the Anthelios line, a non-mineral version without tint, and really liked the way the silky texture melted into my skin. However, it seems like this tinted mineral version is the real fan favorite.

The mineral tinted Anthelios is 50 SPF and broad spectrum, which means it protects against both ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) rays. As the name suggests, it uses a mineral-based formula, which is often a better fit for folks with sensitive skin than chemical sunscreens.

Another standout feature is that it’s tinted, which many reviewers say helps avoid the classic white cast of sunscreen. It only comes in one shade, so it might not be suit your skin tone. A few reviewers complain that it still has a white tint, despite the added pigment.

Many reviewers and friends I polled say the consistency is silky smooth but goes on matte. Reviews were mixed about stacking with makeup, but a lot of folks say they wear this in place of foundation.

Pros

  • mineral-based formula for folks with sensitive skin
  • tinted to avoid the typical streaky white cast from sunscreens
  • goes on silky and dries matte

Cons

  • only one shade, so it might not suit your skin tone
  • may not stack well with makeup
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Ingredients in La Roche-Posay’s skin care products

The main ingredient you’ll find in almost every La Roche-Posay product is their selenium-rich thermal spring water.

In their moisturizers, they include ingredients like niacinamide, a form of vitamin B-3, and vegetable (vegan) glycerin, which is a moisturizing agent.

In their cleansers, you’ll find exfoliating LHA, which is a derivative of salicylic acid, ceramides, and glycerin.

They also have several broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreens, which are oxybenzone-free. They do include the chemicals avobenzone and octocrylene, which are still being studied, although no hard evidence has deemed those chemicals harmful. If you prefer a zinc-based sunscreen, they have a zinc formula as well.

One thing you won’t find in most of their products? Fragrances. That’s one of the reasons why dermatologists and people with sensitive skin or fragrance allergies love La Roche-Posay.

Who is La Roche-Posay best for?

While a handful of La Roche-Posay’s products are catered toward treating specific skin conditions like eczema and acne, the overall goal of the brand is to appeal to all skin types. That being said, everyone’s skin is different, so a hit for one person might be a miss for another.

In general, though, La Roche-Posay products get pretty great reviews. I wasn’t able to find any product with fewer than 4 stars on Ulta, Target, or Amazon. I also polled my Instagram friends and only had 1 out of 30 people tell me they didn’t love the products: He said he thought they were overpriced and prefers K-Beauty products.

Do La Roche-Posay products work?

Again, just because the reviews are overwhelmingly good doesn’t mean everyone will have a positive experience using La Roche-Posay products. But based on the 100-plus reviews I’ve read while writing this article, it’s safe to say a lot of people have made La Roche-Posay their go-to for face wash, moisturizer, and SPF — especially folks with sensitive skin.

My experience with La Roche-Posay

My previous routine was making my face feel dry and dull, so my two main goals when trying La Roche-Posay were to increase hydration and even my skin tone.

I’ve been exclusively using La Roche-Posay products for just over 3 weeks and am truly impressed with how bouncy and hydrated my skin looks and feels. I have a lot of smile lines, and I feel like they’re less intense than they were 3 weeks ago. And I’m generally pleased with my skin tone — dare I say, I feel glowy?!

However, I’ve experienced small, yet significant breakouts across my forehead and cheeks in the last few weeks. I don’t typically struggle with acne, so this was a noticeable change, and it appears my skin is purging.

As annoying as the acne is, I’m pleased enough with the other effects, so I’ll keep going with the routine for another week or so to see if my skin adjusts.

Where are La Roche-Posay products sold?

Beyond the brand’s website, La Roche-Posay is available at big brands like Target, Walgreens, Amazon, and Ulta Beauty. I personally found the products I purchased at Duane Reade (a Walgreens brand if you’re not a New Yorker), and they were offering a buy-two-get-one-free offer on La Roche-Posay products.

La Roche-Posay’s return policy

The return policy for La Roche-Posay products will depend on the retailer. The brand’s website allows returns or exchanges within 30 days, but you’ll need to pick up the phone (gasp!) and call their 1-800 number to do so.

Third-party retailers like Target, Amazon, and Ulta Beauty might have an easier return process and lower prices.

Customer reviews

One of the best reviews of La Roche-Posay I got was from a friend. She said, “I have dry, sensitive skin that’s prone to rosacea and acne — truly a dream. All the products I’ve used from them have been pretty hydrating without being irritating or breaking me out.”

However — not to sound like a broken record — what works for one person’s skin might not work for someone else. Just to drive that point home, here are some snippets from reviews on the same product.

Toleriane Gentle Cleanser

“I bought this cleanser in my local Ulta after seeing it there several times and waiting to see how others were reviewing and getting along with it. I was very impressed with the ingredients; it is difficult to find a gentle milk cleanser that is truly acne safe! Or really any cleanser for that matter…” — Ulta Beauty reviewer

“I have been using this product for about 2 weeks. My skin texture has looked terrible, and I have been breaking out. It has been returned.” — Ulta Beauty reviewer

Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer

“I am happy to say I absolutely LOVE it! It is perfect for me. I’m an older lady, and Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer seems to brighten and even my skintone. It absorbs beautifully, and my skin feels just right! This is my new go-to moisturizer.” — Ulta Beauty reviewer

“I love the finish it leaves on my skin and it’s very hydrating, but it gets into my hair and looks like I have flakes and it is just annoying. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone I know to be honest.” — Ulta Beauty reviewer

Brand reputation

La Roche-Posay is part of the L’Oréal Group’s family of brands, alongside big names in skin care like CeraVe, Vichy, and more.

In terms of reputation, our vetting process found La Roche-Posay to be a relatively tame brand — although they don’t have a Better Business Bureau score to reference. They’re often hailed by dermatologists as a safe-to-use brand for all skin types.

La Roche-Posay’s products have a mixed bag of Environmental Working Group (EWG) scores for the inclusion of ingredients the organization has deemed hazardous. Some of their products are well rated by the EWG, while others are flagged for more controversial ingredients like fragrances. Take those with a grain of salt, however, as they also call out the use of oxybenzone, which was discontinued in 2016.

It’s also worth noting that it’s questionable whether La Roche-Posay is an entirely cruelty-free brand. They only allow product testing on animals if the distributing country regulates it, but that unknown may be a deal-breaker for you.

Alternatives to La Roche-Posay

One of the biggest pros of La Roche-Posay is that you’re likely to find their products at your local drugstore. But they’re not always the most budget-friendly or eco-friendly brand on the shelf. Here are some alternatives to consider:

CeraVe

CeraVe is another dermatologist-recommended brand that prioritizes mild formulas for all skin types. They also have some condition-specific formulas for psoriasis, eczema, and acne. You might find some similar mild formulas at a slightly lower price, although they’re often in line with La Roche-Posay.

Cocokind

Cocokind is a brand that has some similar products but prioritizes eco-friendly packaging and sustainably sourced ingredients. You’re likely to find them at your local Target or on websites like Ulta Beauty or Amazon.

Neutrogena

A household name for decades, Neutrogena is a brand you’ll definitely find at a store near you. Their price is slightly lower than La Roche-Posay, but some of their milder formulas might be as good of a fit for you if you have sensitive skin. Folks also rave about this hydrating moisturizer.

Frequently asked questions

Is La Roche-Posay worth the money?

If you’re someone with sensitive skin and looking for a mild or condition-specific formula, you’ll likely find La Roche-Posay to be a reasonable price for the quality. Their products range from $15 for a cleanser to $50 for a retinol, which is on par with a lot of other brands.

Do you recommend LA Roche-Posay?

I can’t speak to the entire line, but the reviews on multiple retailers speak volumes for the brand as a whole.

Despite the growing pains I’ve experienced with switching to a few La Roche-Posay products, I’m pleased enough with the hydrating effects to see it through for a few more weeks. I’d recommend starting with just one new product at a time — lesson learned there! — to make sure it’s a fit for you.

Are there any products you wouldn’t recommend?

I’ve only tried four La Roche-Posay products, but out of those, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t recommend. I will suggest erring on the side of caution with the Pigmentclar cleanser, as the LHA is slightly more intense than I was expecting. But your skin might take to it more quickly than mine!

Takeaway

La Roche-Posay is a dermatologist-recommended and fan-favorite brand. They offer products for all skin types, but are especially suited for folks looking to treat conditions like dryness and eczema.

Of course, not every product will be a hit for you. The brand is widely available at drugstores and comes at a pretty mid-range price, so you can give La Roche-Posay a try for yourself.