La Roche Posay History: How It All Started?
If you’re into French skincare brands, there’s none more iconic and timeless than La Roche Posay. Formulated with science-backed innovation and clinically tested to ensure efficiency and safety, skincare products by La Roche Posay have been a favourite amongst dermatologists and estheticians for almost half a century.
Founded in 1975, the company is now the number one recommended derma cosmetic brand, with 9 out of 10 UK dermatologists recommending their products. But where did La Roche Posay originate, and why are they so popular today?
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at La Roche Posay’s history, where the brand started, and why they’re one of our top recommendations for those looking for science-backed skincare solutions for everything from skin sensitivity to eczema. Let’s take a look!
Where did La Roche Posay originate?
While the titular brand was formed in 1975, the history of La Roche Posay actually begins in the 14th century - yes, really! According to historic legend, a French nobleman named Bertrand Du Guescli stopped in La Roche-Posay to drink from its springs; at the same time, his horse, who suffered from eczema, submerged himself in the water while Du Guescli drank. According to legend, the horse’s eczema all but disappeared, and the transformative powers of La Roche Posay’s spring water were discovered.
While this is of course legend, La Roche Posay’s spring water soon developed a reputation within France, and a doctor named Pierre Milon (known for treating both Henry IV and Louis XIII) decided to inspect the water himself. His findings showed that the water in La Roche Posay was actually thermal water; it was significantly rich in selenium, giving it enhanced restorative and antioxidant properties. What was once legend turned into popular belief, and Napoleon himself even created a Thermal Hospital in La Roche Posay to treat soldiers wounded on the battlefield.
Later in 1913, the French Academy of Medicine recognised La Roche Posay as a Thermal Spa Town, and in 1975, La Roche Posay the brand was born.
La Roche Posay method
Today, the brand remains faithful to La Roche Posay’s origins in restorative skincare. To date, La Roche Posay has run over 600 clinical trials for their skincare products, and works closely in collaboration with dermatology experts when formulating their products.
La Roche Posay skincare products are even used in cancer care and palliative care, and the brand works in partnership with UK charity Macmillan to help patients navigate chemotherapy and other intensive treatments that can be tough on the skin.
Why is La Roche Posay so popular?
La Roche Posay manages to combine science-led skin solutions with affordable pricing - their skincare products are even sold in local French pharmacies! But what makes La Roche Posay so special is their key ingredient, thermal spring water, which is used in many of their formulas. With powerful antioxidant and transformative properties at the core of their formulation process, it’s hard to find a skincare brand that rivals La Roche Posay when it comes to historical legend.
Plus, their products really do work! Across both the UK and Europe, La Roche Posay is the number one skincare brand recommended by dermatologists and estheticians. This isn’t just due to their commitment to science-backed solutions; it’s also due to their famously gentle formulas, which run little risk of inflaming, damaging, or harming the skin.
Plus, if La Roche Posay is good enough for Napoleon, it’s good enough for us!
What type of skin is La Roche Posay for?
While La Roche Posay works on all skin types, the brand specialises in finding skincare solutions for skin sensitivity and other concerns, such as rosacea, acne, and dry skin. But even if you have normal skin, you can easily find La Roche Posay products that work for you. And if you do have sensitive skin, La Roche Posay is the perfect brand to look into when building a comprehensive skincare routine; their range includes cleansers, moisturisers, toners, make-up removers, and even anti-ageing retinol products designed with sensitive skin in mind.
Is La Roche Posay good for acne?
Yes! La Roche Posay have their own range of skincare products aimed at blemish-prone skin, such as their Effaclar Duo+ Blemish treatment, Effaclar Ultra Concentrate Serum, and their Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel cleanser. Their range for oily and acne-prone skin is designed to help reduce oil production while removing impurities from the skin, all without damaging the important skin pH. The range also features 5.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide in their pimple treatments, a powerful anti-acne agent that works best when blended with more gentle buffers.
Pro tip: Do note that beginning any new skincare regimen does run the risk of your skin ‘purging’, a process in which skin cell turnover increases, and pimples appear as the skin repels bacteria, dirt and grime from the pores. Skin purging is common when using any product that speeds up skin cell renewal, such as AHAs, BHAs, and retinol. La Roche Posay’s website indicates that purging after using their products should only last up to 4-6 weeks, after which your skin will be clearer, smoother, and blemish-free.
Is La Roche Posay good for sensitive skin?
La Roche Posay is actually one of the best skincare brands for those dealing with sensitive skin; the company works hand in hand with dermatologists to formulate gentle, non-irritating skincare products that reinforce the skin’s natural barrier while working to address common skin concerns. That being said, if you have highly sensitive skin and are prone to rashes or allergic reactions to skincare products, always read the label carefully and perform a patch test when trying out any new skincare product.
Is La Roche Posay good for ageing?
Yes! One of the main reasons La Roche Posay is a great choice for ageing skin is that their products all boast incredibly gentle formulas. As the skin ages and becomes more delicate, it’s not a good idea to use abrasive or harsh skincare products every day - La Roche Posay combines age-defying skin ingredients (such as retinol) with gentle formulas ideal for treating mature skin.