LiftActiv with Rhamnose 5% Night
1.7 fl. oz. for $49
Last Updated:04.06.2015
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This moisturizer for dry skin contains 5% rhamnose, a plant sugar. Vichy maintains they have research (in vitro, meaning it wasn’t done to an actual person’s skin but in a petri dish) proving that this plant sugar does all sorts of marvelous anti-aging things. Although they wouldn’t share their research details with us, it turns out there is some compelling published research on how rhamnose may help skin do what it should be doing before it was damaged.

It’s important to point out rhamnose is not the only ingredient in town for anti-aging (clearly Vichy doesn’t think so either or they wouldn’t be selling so many other anti-aging products with similar claims). It’s intriguing to note that although the carbohydrate (sugar) portion of rhamnose seems helpful for skin, the lipid portion (known as rhamnolipids) is toxic to skin cells. It seems rhamnose sugars (technically known as polysaccharides) functions as a cell-communicating ingredients. They have an affinity for cells that produce fibroblasts. Since fibroblasts are cells that create collagen, this is good news for wrinkles, because, at least in theory and in controlled lab settings, rhamnose can “tell” misbehaving fibroblast cells to begin producing normal, healthier cells (Sources: Clinics in Plastic Surgery, January 2012, pages 1–8; Amino Acids, May 2011, Epbulication; Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, December 2008, pages 1,388–1,394; and Pathologie-Biologie, September 2006, pages 420–425.).

It seems there’s reason to be excited about rhamnose, but not more so than lots of other ingredients, including vitamin C, retinol, and niacinamide. Rhamnose is but one more option, not a complete solution for aging skin. Besides, this moisturizer is packaged in a jar, which hinders the effectiveness of all plant-based ingredients and vitamin C this contains, not to mention the hygiene issue it presents when you stick your finger into the jar every day.

At best, this moisturizer will make dry skin look and feel better, just like lots of other emollient moisturizers. It cannot lift skin, not even a little bit, but in better packaging you may have seen a subtle difference in skin’s firmness.


Our breakthrough formula features Rhamnose, a naturally derived plant sugar extracted in its purest form. Rhamnose in a 5% concentration, has been clinically proven to improve skin rejuvenation at the source; improving collagen production, elastin production and cellular turnover.

LiftActiv with Rhamnose 5% also features continuous release Vitamin C, clinically proven to boost the production of collagen and elastin fibers and proliferation of fibroblasts.


Water, Glycerin, Rhamnose, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil / Apricot Kernel Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Shea Butter, Petrolatum, Glyceryl Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethicone, PEG-40 Stearate, Cera Alba / Beeswax, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Tristearate, Dimethiconol, Triethanolamine, Myristyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Poloxamer 338, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-DI-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, 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.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
Sort by:

Do not buy this cream. It is way too greasy. Terrible .. The skin not absorbed and instead generates acne. The high price from. I prefer Aveeno products. Economic and efficient.

Reviewed by
Margy l
Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

585631-IIS3 v1.0.0.431 10/6/2015 9:45:54 AM