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It’s admittedly hard for any skincare brand to distinguish itself in a market where there are zillions of brands—and more launching daily. But La Roche-Posay is that rare unicorn, a cult classic that dermatologists love, consumers can’t get enough of, and that’s known for established hero products and innovative newbies alike. Add to the list the fact that you can get it at the drugstore and that the products are all super affordable, particularly as compared to their counterparts that boast similar types of ingredients. Oh, and it’s a must-have for anyone with sensitive skin. “La Roche-Posay products are allergy-tested, non-comedogenic, and clinically studied to demonstrate efficacy and safety, and most are well-tolerated, even by people with sensitive skin,” explains Dr. Devika Icecreamwala, a dermatologist in Berkeley, CA.
There are plenty of La Roche-Posay goodies to choose from, but here’s what you need to know about the best of the best.
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Cream
One of our favorite body moisturizers of all time, this is also a must-have for Icecreamwala, who lauds it for being extremely hydrating yet never greasy or sticky. However, if you want even more moisture, it also comes in a thicker balm variant. It's one of the only creams we'll put on and still get dressed right after. It hydrates for up to 48 hours, can be used on the face or body, and has earned the National Eczema Association's Seal of Approval, per the point of being good for sensitive skin.
La Roche-Posay Cleansing Micellar Water Ultra
“This gentle cleanser is perfect to use at night, effectively removing dirt, oil, and makeup,” says Icecreamwala. Still, despite this cleansing prowess (it even breaks down long-wearing foundation formulas), it’s crazy gentle. One of the cleansing ingredients, poloxamer, is so delicate that it can be used as a contact solution. In other words, no irritated skin here.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
One tube of this multi-tasker is sold every 15 seconds in European pharmacies. Multi-tasker is somewhat of an understatement to describe it because it truly can do it all. A combo of panthenol, shea butter, and glycerin makes it super soothing and nourishing. It is perfect to dab onto any irritation—rashes, burns, blisters, bug bites, and even diapers rash. But, it’s also the star of a viral TikTok beauty hack, doubling as a great makeup primer and highlighter thanks to the dewy sheen it imparts.
La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense Visible Redness Reducing Serum
Icecreamwala says this serum is a choice for those battling rosacea (and for the record, she’s not the first derm who’s recommended it to us for this purpose). It touts ambophenol, an ingredient that helps constrict blood vessels to visibly reduce redness, fast, along with the brand’s unique thermal spring water, full of skin-soothing minerals.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
A tried-and-true classic, this is one of those simple, no-frills moisturizers that everyone should have on hand at all times. It’s a gentle yet effective, oil-free formula that relies on ceramides, glycerin, and niacinamide to deliver moisture without ever feeling greasy. A universal crowd-pleaser, it’s great for all skin types.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF 30 Moisturizer + Hyaluronic Acid
This is the latest addition to the line-up and one we can’t get enough of. Along with plenty of offerings for sensitive skin, LRP is also well-known for its extensive portfolio of sunscreen options. Mineral sunscreens are ideal for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin but are somewhat notorious for often being drying or even chalky. That’s not the case here, thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid that ensures this formula hydrates for up to 12 hours.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Daily Face Primer with Sunscreen SPF 50
Those who prefer chemical sunscreen formulations will love this makeup-skincare hybrid. On the makeup side of things, it instantly blurs away the look of fine lines and prominent pores and helps the foundation go on smoothly and more evenly. On the skincare side, you get that oh-so-important daily dose of (non-pore-clogging) SPF.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
The ‘duo’ in the name refers to a combination of anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial benzoyl peroxide (in a 5.5% concentration) plus exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid. The former calms down red, inflamed blemishes while the latter keeps clogged pores at bay, a perfect recipe for clear skin. Plus, unlike many other benzoyl peroxide-containing products, Icecreamwala notes that this one isn’t overly drying.
La Roche-Posay Glycolic B5 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum
Another newbie, this is a must-have for anyone battling dark spots or hyperpigmentation. Along with the 10% concentration of exfoliating and brightening glycolic acid, there’s also tranexamic acid in the mix, a lesser-known though highly effective spot fading ingredient. You can use it solo or as a booster mixed into your favorite moisturizer and, in true brand fashion, can be used even on sensitive skin.
La Roche-Posay Pure Vitamin C Face Serum
The hard truth of the matter is that it’s hard to find an affordable, effective vitamin C serum at the drugstore—consider this the exception to that rule. Not only does it contain a potent dose of vitamin C (and ascorbic acid, the most effective kind, at that), it also has salicylic acid to help keep pores clear too, great for anyone who is dealing with wrinkles and pimples. Bonus points for the addition of neurosensine, a soothing ingredient.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Face Wash
If the micellar water is great for those with sensitive skin, then this cleanser is the one for anyone with normal to oily skin. It too boasts that thermal spring water, and gives a deeper clean, without stripping your skin's natural moisture and/or compromising your skin barrier, explains Icecreamwala. That’s because it’s both sulfate-free and touts skin-strengthening ceramides, a rare ingredient to find in foaming face wash formulas.
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum
This is no ordinary hyaluronic acid serum. It contains two different types of hyaluronic acid—one with a larger molecular weight and one smaller. Why does that matter? It means the two molecules can penetrate the skin at various layers, upping the hydrating power of this formula, which also contains hydrating vitamin B5 and that unique La Roche-Posay mineral spring water we mentioned before.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. As someone with extremely sensitive skin, she greatly appreciates that she knows she can use pretty much any and every La Roche-Posay product and never have an issue.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Devika Icecreamwala is a board-certified dermatologist in Berkeley, CA. She’s the founder of Icecreamwala Dermatology, a practice specializing in both medical and cosmetic dermatology.