ProEVEN Total Dark Spot Corrector

by Vichy   
$43.50 - 1 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Retinol Products > Lighteners Without Hydroquinone
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Despite claims that promise the end of dark spots whether they’re from sun damage or acne marks, ProEVEN Total Dark Spot Corrector isn’t the total solution. First, an essential element of any discoloration-fighting routine is sunscreen, which this product lacks. We’re not saying a skin-lightening product must contain sunscreen; rather, we’re taking issue with the “total” portion of the name because it implies this is all you need to fight dark spots, when that’s not the case. Daily sunscreen application is critical to helping dark spots fade, and of course for preventing new ones related to cumulative sun damage.

This lightly fragranced, lotion-like spot corrector’s main ingredient of interest is a form of vitamin C known as ascorbyl glucoside. The amount this contains is on par with what published research has shown is effective for inhibiting excess melanin (skin pigment) production. That’s great, yet this product contains little else of interest for those fighting dark spots. It contains enough of the mineral pigment titanium dioxide for a subtle brightening effect, but that’s cosmetic, not a treatment per se.

Although this contains salicylic acid, the amount is too low and this product’s pH is well above the ideal range for efficacy. That’s a shame, because the exfoliation salicylic (or glycolic) acid provides definitely helps reduce the appearance of dark spots and red marks from acne. In the end, this is an OK option for normal to dry skin, but there are better skin-lightening products that cost less and contain a range of intriguing ingredients to help improve discolorations.

Instantly reveals a more radiant glow: Gentle micro-exfoliation to clean melanin-filled dead cells from the skin's surface, to reveal smoother, newer skin; Evens skin tone: Reduces the appearance of excess melanin on all surface layers of the skin; reduces the appearance of dark spots: Clinically proven, even on stubborn dark spots. Dark spots are visible reduced in size and color intensity, and signs of discoloration start to disappear

Water , Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Caprylic /Capric Triglyceride, Titanium Dioxide, PEG-100 Stearate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Cl77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Stearic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Mica, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean) Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Extract (Licorice Root) Extract, Dimethiconol, Silica, Sodium Citrate, Salicylic Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Palmitic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Laureth-7, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Citric Acid, Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine, Xanthan Gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, Butylene Glycol, Fragrance

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

Member Comments

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  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

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  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
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  1. Joanna R
    Reviewed on Monday, September 02, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Proven or Idealia?
    • Is this the same as Idealia Pro Dark Spot Corrector sold in Europe? I wonder whether the formula is the same as Idealia Pro. I know that sometimes cosmetic companies have different formulas for US market. I must say that Idealia Pro sold in Europe has really managed to fade away my imperfections dark spots.

    Paula's Choice Research Team Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, September 03, 2013

    Thank you for your comments! Our team only reviews US products unless otherwise specified. We cannot confirm if this product is sold under a different name abroad, however, it is not uncommon for companies to market differenty iin different markets.


About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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