Liftactiv Retinol HA Night
1 fl. oz. for $47
Last Updated:12.23.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview
You may be tempted to try this moisturizer based on the claims that it can “fight permanent, reversible, and programmed wrinkles,” but it just isn’t possible, so put your wallet away. Vichy’s overblown claim is insulting and completely false; it’s merely an attempt to classify different types of wrinkles (at least that’s what we think they are trying to do). According to Vichy:
  • “Permanent” wrinkles are the deep, etched lines that won’t go away no matter what you put on your face.
  • “Reversible” wrinkles are fine lines caused by dryness, irritation, or thickened skin due to sun damage.
  • “Programmed” lines, … well, we’re not sure what Vichy means by this. Our best guess is that these are the wrinkles you don’t see now, but because of cumulative sun damage or just growing older, they’re “programmed” to appear in the future (think of the sun damage you got in your 20s not showing up as wrinkles until you hit your 40s).

Of course, Vichy wants you to think this is the antiwrinkle product that can take care of all these types of wrinkles, but it just isn’t possible, so be prepared to be disappointed if you consider giving this a try. As it turns out, this is just a good but basic emollient moisturizer for dry skin. It doesn’t contain much more than thickeners and emollient plant oils yet for what this costs, it should be loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, and cell-communicating ingredients that can help your skin look and act younger. Some of those ingredients (for example, retinol) are present, but in very small amounts the company certainly shouldn’t be boasting about.


Total wrinkle plumping care with triple dose Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol + A1 to fight all 3 types of wrinkles: permanent, reversible and programmed.


Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter /Shea Butter, Elaeis Guineensis Oil /Palm Oil, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Sucrose Stearate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Stearic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Triethanolamine, Dimethiconol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinol, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, 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
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love it

I have been using VICHY LIFTACTIV RETINOL HA ADVANCED CONCENTRATE for 1-2 years. I absolutely love it and I don't have any wrinkles. So for me it's proved to also stop wrinkles and prevent them from getting worse. Today I. went to buy my third tube, they didn't have it, I hope it's not discontinued, but. I bought Night one and I'm sure it will be as excellent as all the other VICHY products.

Reviewed by
Great Product with Noticeable results

I have to disagree with the review here. This is a wonderful product, and after using it for a month, I can attest to its efficacy. It absolutely plumps my 40 yo skin, makes it softer, smoother and looks great in the morning. One need only read the 100s of reviews of this product by actual consumers to know that it is effective. It is, however, expensive- too much so for the amount given, but it's not outrageous. I use both Vichy and Paula's choice products, and I'm happy with them both!

Reviewed by
Michelle T.
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