Aqualia Antiox Pro-Youth 24H Hydrating Fluid SPF 12
1.4 fl. oz. for $29.95
Last Updated:04.26.2012
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Although the SPF rating on this daytime moisturizer for normal to slightly oily skin misses the benchmark of SPF 15, it does provide avobenzone for sufficient UVA protection.

As for the claim that this product protects your stem cells, it doesn’t contain anything special for that purpose. You could argue that simply protecting skin from sun damage will also protect stem cells in skin, so in that sense Vichy’s claim is hardly unique. It’s also important to point out that the base formula contains enough alcohol to potentially cause free-radical damage, which leads to collagen breakdown—so much for preserving cells of any kind in your skin!

This product is also said to contain “microspheres” that burst and give skin an immediate healthy glow. Whether the microspheres are present or not, what you need to know is that this product contains coloring agents and cosmetic pigments, including those that leave skin shiny, to produce the glow. It can be attractive, but it isn’t special or unique to this product; plus, shine and coloring agents are not skin care.


This light-weight lotion protects stem cells from oxidative attacks to optimize the regeneration of skin cells and improve the look and quality of skin in 15 days. Using the exclusive Tagra Technology, this 24 hour hydrating lotion contains microspheres that break to release color pigments for an immediate healthy glow.


Active: Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), Other: Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Alcohol Denatured, Propanediol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Shea Butter), Hexyldecanol, Hexyldecyl Laurate, Sucrose Stearate, Silica, Propylene Glycol, Poly C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate, Red 4, Titanium Dioxide, Stearic Acid, Mica, Glycolic Acid, Triethanolamine, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Copolymer, Dimethiconol, Triethyl Citrate, Neohesperidin Dihydrochalcone, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Tocopherol, Disodium Edta, Boron Nitride, Caprylyl Glycol, Synthetic Wax, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates (C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer), Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Fragrance

Brand Overview

Vichy At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some fragrance-free products; all the sunscreens but one contain either avobenzone or titanium dioxide for sufficient UVA protection; some commendable moisturizers with sunscreen; some good, inexpensive cleansers, and scrub for dry skin.

Weaknesses: Repetitive moisturizer formulas that rarely rise above the median for excellence; jar packaging is pervasive; the at-home peel/scrub kit is mostly disappointing; a couple of irritating moisturizers; no products for those with skin discolorations; limited options for oily skin.

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.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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