This is a very light sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection and includes stabilized avobenzone for reliable UVA (think anti-aging) screening. The problem arises with the ingredient they use to make this sunscreen feel so light: alcohol. The amount is potentially irritating, while the amount of antioxidants is paltry and certainly not what you would expect from a sunscreen in this price range.
Although alcohol creates a light feel, there are other ingredients capable of doing the same thing without presenting the risks to skin that alcohol does (see More Info for details). For this reason alone, Vichy's fluid sunscreen is not recommended.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Feels very light.
- Amount of alcohol puts skin at risk of irritation.
- Contains a paltry amount of antioxidants.
- On the pricey side for a basic formula.
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Ultra-light, daily sunscreen lotion with multi-layer cellular protection from UV rays and free radical damage.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), Oxybenzone (6%). Inactive: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denat., Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-8 Laurate, Methylparaben, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Isostearyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Dodecene, Poloxamer 407, Tocopherol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract.
Health is vital. That's the opening line on Vichy's catalog, followed by "Start with your skin." Perusing the opening pages of this catalog, it's easy to see how someone could get wrapped up in this L'Oreal-owned company's belief in listening to the signals skin sends us and then choosing products to address whatever problem skin is signaling you to correct. That might include acne, blackheads, eczema, discolorations, broken capillaries, and even excess oiliness. No surprises there, and it is sound advice to adapt your skin-care routine as your skin's needs (and signals) change. The problem is that Vichy's products, though well intentioned, are incapable of addressing several common problems, including most of those listed above. About all you can expect from most Vichy moisturizers is relief from dryness. That's it. Every product's claims "talk the talk," but they cannot possibly walk the walk because what's in them is, for the most part, standard, and without any research behind it to show that it makes a difference.
A big-deal ingredient for Vichy is their Thermal Spa Water. It is said to reduce irritation, strengthen skin's natural defenses, and provide free radical–quelling activity thanks to its trace minerals and salt. There is no substantiated proof to support these claims, save for a somewhat primitive chart Vichy provides to show this water helps reduce cutaneous signs of irritation (what it was compared to, if anything, is unknown). Two other L'Oreal-owned brands, Biotherm and La Roche-Posay, have similar special waters, each claiming to be mineral-rich. Yet if these are so unique and wonderfully beneficial for everyone's skin, why don't all L'Oreal-owned lines such as Lancome, L'Oreal, Kiehl’s, SkinCeuticals, and The Body Shop, use them, too?
As expected, there are some bona fide winners among Vichy's products, but using Vichy exclusively with the expectation that their products have the answer to whatever your skin needs to have fixed is like thinking green tea is the only food your body needs.
Note: Vichy is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Vichy does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.
For more information about Vichy, owned by L'Oreal, call (877) 378-4249 or visit www.vichy.com.