Reviewed: Top 5 La Roche Posay Cleansers



La Roche Posay is a dermatological skin care brand that formulates products with high efficacy and safety standards to address skin needs, even sensitive skin. Recommended by tens of thousands of dermatologists across the globe, La Roche Posay has become known for delivering highly effective skincare solutions that target a variety of skin concerns, from acne to aging and more. In this review, we are going to focus on the top 5 best-selling La Roche Posay cleansers. We’ll discuss the differences between them, the key ingredients, La Roche Posay cleanser reviews from real customers, and more.

What Are The Top 5 La Roche Posay Cleansers?

La Roche Posay offers a pretty extensive line of over 15 different cleansers! With so many different La Roche Posay cleansers to choose from, you may not know where to get started with this brand. That’s why we are going to review the top 5 best selling La Roche Posay cleansers below.

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2024?


Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash

The brand’s most popular cleanser is the Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash, a daily facial wash for normal to oily skin. This gel-to-foam cleanser removes face and eye makeup, dirt, excess oil, and other impurities while maintaining skin’s natural protective barrier and pH. A few of the key ingredients in this La Roche Posay cleanser include ceramide 3, niacinamide, and La Roche Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water.


Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser

The La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser is a daily facial cleanser for normal to dry skin. It is a cream formula that is said to remove face and eye makeup, dirt, and impurities. It is also said to help restore skin comfort and retains essential moisture, leaving skin feeling comfortable and hydrated. A few of the key ingredients in this La Roche Posay cleanser include ceramide 3, niacinamide, and La Roche Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water.


Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Body & Face Wash

The La Roche Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Body & Face Wash is a moisturizing body and face wash for extra dry, sensitive skin. It is a foaming wash that is said to help protect skin from the drying effects of water and leave the skin clean, soft, and instantly soothed. A few of the key ingredients in this La Roche Posay cleanser include shea butter, niacinamide, and La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water. This La Roche Posay cleanser is suitable for babies as young as two weeks, children, and adults.


Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash

The La Roche Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash is formulated with 2% salicylic acid as the active ingredient to remove excess oil and help clear acne breakouts. It cleans skin without harsh scrub particles that may irritate skin. This La Roche Posay cleanser is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.


Effaclar Gel Facial Wash for Oily Skin

This La Roche Posay cleanser for oily skin is said to cleanse and purify skin without overdrying. One of the key ingredients in the La Roche Posay Effaclar Gel Facial Wash for Oily Skin is zinc pidolate, which effectively cleanses away dirt and oil while respecting skin’s pH balance. This La Roche Posay cleanser is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.

Related: Best Face Washes

What Are The Key Ingredients in La Roche Posay Cleansers?

All La Roche Posay cleansers have one thing in common: the formulations contain surfactants as the key cleansing ingredients. Surfactant is the short term for surface active agent. Surfactants are ingredients that lower the surface tension between two substances, such as two liquids or a liquid and a solid. A surfactant molecule contains one end that is hydrophilic (attracted to water) and one end that is lipophilic (attracted to oil). This allows surfactants to attract and suspends oils, dirt, and other impurities that have accumulated on the skin and wash them away.

Examples of surfactants used in La Roche Posay Cleansers are coco-betaine, sodium cocoyl glycinate, and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Despite the name similarity, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) is not the same as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is known to cause skin irritation. Rather, SLES is a mild cleansing agent that can clean the skin without causing dryness, tightness, or irritation.

Another key ingredient that you’ll find in La Roche Posay cleansers — including Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash, Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser, and Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Body & Face Wash — is niacinamide, the amide form of vitamin B3 (niacin) that provides many benefits to the skin. For instance, a publication in Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, states that niacinamide can repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture, as well as reduce inflammation, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, acne, and wrinkling.

Niacinamide is able to help with acne because of its antimicrobial and sebostatic effects, meaning it can help protect against the bacteria that cause acne while also helping to reduce oil production. Two double-blind studies published in the International Journal of Dermatology (one in 1995, the other in 2013) found that a topical preparation of 4% niacinamide treated moderate acne just as well as 1% clindamycin (a topical antibiotic prescribed for acne) when applied twice daily for eight weeks. And a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy found that a 2% topical niacinamide formulation could reduce oil production.

The La Roche Posay cleansers in the Toleriane collection feature ceramides as a key ingredient. Ceramides are a family of waxy lipid molecules that are naturally produced by the skin and are vital in supporting the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is the outer layer of skin, which can be thought of as a “brick and mortar” system. The bricks are the corneocytes (dead skin cells) and the intercellular lipids (ceramides) represent the mortar. Without ceramides, the skin barrier is weakened, just like without mortar a brick wall would be weak and unstable. The result is skin that can easily become dry, itchy, or irritated. A properly functioning stratum corneum is essential for healthy skin as it maintains epidermal hydration and serves as a barrier that responds to environmental stressors, infections, irritants, and allergens. By using products that contain ceramides — such as the La Roche Posay Toleriane cleansers — you can help to restore your skin’s natural barrier.

The La Roche Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash features 2% salicylic acid as the key ingredient. Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid that works by softening and dissolving keratin, a protein found in the skin that acts as a “glue” to keep cells together. This allows salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and slough off dead skin cells. Salicylic acid also has the ability to penetrate deep into pores, where it helps to loosen clogs and allows oil to flow out more freely. Thus, salicylic acid is known to break down blackheads and whiteheads.

A final key aspect of the La Roche Posay cleanser collection is the brand’s Thermal Spring Water. Originating from the N°1 thermal dermatology center in Europe, La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water has scientifically demonstrated soothing and protective properties. It is rich in selenium and oligo elements, and the water also has natural prebiotic properties. Prebiotics are a type of non-digestible fiber compound that provide indirect benefits by enhancing the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms that make up the skin’s microbiome.

Where are La Roche Posay Cleansers Sold?

La Roche Posay cleansers are sold on the brand’s website, as well as third party online retailers, such as,,, and more. Consumers can also find this brand in drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS, as well as beauty supply stores like Ulta. The brand has a store locator on their website so that you can find La Roche Posay skin care products near you.

What is The La Roche Posay Return Policy?

The La Roche Posay return policy states, “If for some reason you’re not happy with your order, you can return it in its original packaging with a receipt within 30 days and receive a full refund. Simply complete the Return Form attached to the bottom of your invoice with the information requested. Pack the item(s) to be returned, along with the Return Form, in the original package if possible. Orders are limited to 1 complimentary return label per order. We cannot process exchanges at this time.”

Is La Roche Posay Cruelty Free?

La Roche Posay is not cruelty free because La Roche Posay skin care products are sold in mainland China where animal testing is required by law.

La Roche Posay Cleanser Reviews

La Roche Posay Cleanser reviews on the brand’s website are mostly positive, and the cleanser that has received the most reviews is the Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Wash. This La Roche Posay cleanser has received an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars after more than 500 customer reviews.

Positive reviews for this La Roche Posay cleanser mention that it effectively removes makeup, oil, and dirt without stripping the skin or causing dryness. For example, one review says, “I love this gel cleanser. Removes my makeup and dirt after a long day without stripping or leaving it dry. I have oily skin and this has been making wonders to my skin. I have noticed less blemishes on my face.”

While there aren’t many negative reviews for this La Roche Posay cleanser, we did read a few from customers who noticed skin dryness and irritation after using this product. For example, one review says, “I am so upset because this initially kept my oil at bay the entire day and I didn’t need to blot my face at all. However, after a couple of uses my skin started getting extremely dry, and I got a huge patch of redness on my cheek that is hard to go away. I really wanted to like this and I’m disappointed but I will be returning it as I have only used it a few days. NOT safe for sensitive skin.”

What Are Some Alternatives to La Roche Posay Cleansers?

If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin. 


1. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 Feb; 3(2): 22–41
2. Int J Dermatol 1995 Jun;34(6):434-7.
3. Int J Dermatol 2013 Aug;52(8):999-1004.



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