Effaclar K  - Deep Cleaning, Preludium to Retinoid Treatments

I read a lot of confusing information about retinoid treatments. This is huge and interesting topic, but may be overwhelming for those who just start their retinoid journey and have never used retinoids before. For that reason I would like to shed a light on Effaclar K which is very good for beginners and should be considered as retinoid in its light version.  

In my other post, you can have a look at the list of ingredients of Effaclar K where I also explain why they are so good for your skin.

Why Effaclar K?

It is worthy to start your retinoids adventure with this cream to avoid potential skin irritation, which are very common for retinoid treatments. Effaclar K is very delicate and I recommend it to all of you who are afraid of strong treatments and never applied retinols so far. Moreover it is good to start with it to get the skin used to retinoids first and then progressively move to stronger cures.

How to use Effaclar K?

Retinoids are used mainly for the night, but Effaclar K is well suited also for the day under makeup. You can use it on the whole face, or only on those places where your skin is oily. Since most of us have a combination skin, we use Effaclar K on the so-called T zone or chin, nose, forehead. If you have combination skin with inclination to an oily skin, use Effaclar K on the whole face, if you have oily skin obviously on the whole face as well. If you have a rather dry skin and blackheads on nose - smear Effaclar K only on nose. Do not forget, acne or blackheads may also appear on the neck and behind the ears and or on the back - on all these areas use Effaclar K. If you have very sensitive skin, and you know it reacts badly to retinoids - first apply face moisturiser and then Effaclar K.

Important, do not expect miracles immediately. Effaclar K needs time to operate. The first results can be expected after a month. Initially, the appearance of the skin may deteriorate and even more acne may appear, this is a sign that skin starts to cleanse. After a while you can also notice that your skin will peel easily and be gently irritated, this is normal process and it will disappears after few days. In case it will be very unpleasant, try to use it less frequently such as every 2 - 3 days.

  • Combination skin:

Night - Effaclar K for t-zone, cheeks - moisturiser.

Day- light moisturiser and UV filter. If your cheeks are normal and tolerate retinoids, then you can use Effaclar on the whole face. If your skin is very sensitive, first apply a moisturiser, then Effaclar K.

  • Oily skin:

Night- Effaclar K on the whole face.

Day- light moisturiser and UV filter. Here, similarly, if the skin is very sensitive, apply moisturiser before Effaclar K.


Effaclar K can be used as a daily care cream for many years, but it can also be used curatively as recommended below:

    • Advice 1 -  you can start using Effaclar K immediately on your skin on daily basis, or gradually acclimate using for example every 2-3 days. Be aware that retinoids work delayed-effect and irritation can occur only after some time, such as after a week. If you use it every day and after a week the skin is visibly irritated, just decrease its use from every day to every 2 -3 days - within time its tolerance will become better.

I do not recommend using Effaclar K only when "something pops-up" - retinol needs a long time to operate and should be considered as regular cure rather than ad-hoc remedy,

    • Advice 2 - Temporary deterioration of the skin, which you may observe while using Effaclar K is caused by dehydration of the horny layer and the temporary blocking of sebaceous glands, it can also be the answer of sensitive oily skin to the irritant effect of retinol or acids. Therefore, you should moisturise your skin properly during treatment, you may also from time to time perform a very gentle peeling, you can apply a soothing cream which accelerates regeneration such as Cicaplast and in the end the temporary skin rash will certainly pass.

My Experience:

Every beginning of Autumn I start retinoid treatment with Effaclar K. I have combination skin and tolerate retinol rather well, however always use it to kick-off my peeling treatments.

I put Effaclar K on the entire face (since I also use it as anti-aging cure) every night. First days my skin looks like after good lifting, unfortunately after the week there appear some unwanted surprises on face and neck. Then the skin starts to peel and is very dry so I need to moisture is very well. I like Hydraphase Intense Light mostly in that period of time.

After about 3 weeks I have the skin smooth and purified, but is still slightly drawn and flaky. Definitely also less greasy to during the day and as such I continue my treatments.

And what about you? Share your experience about acne/retinoid treatments.

Maggie, beauty and nature lover, mindful of skincare rituals.

Acne treatmentMoisturizers

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