This is a very light (sheer) sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection with stabilized avobenzone for reliable UVA (think anti-aging) screening. The problem arises with the ingredient that helps make this sunscreen feel so light: alcohol. The amount is potentially irritating, while the amount of played-up 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). From the neck down, this isn't a terrible option, but there really is no reason to choose this lightweight sunscreen over better, less expensive options, such as those from Neutrogena or Coppertone, that don't contain alcohol.
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).
Capital Soleil SPF 30 Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion provides broad-spectrum UVA + UVB protection and fights skin-aging free radicals. It contains a unique combination of effective UV filters and powerful antioxidants (Vitamin E and White Grape Polyphenol) to help protect your skin at the cellular level to keep it looking healthy and beautiful.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (5%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), Oxybenzone (6%). Inactive: Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Arachidyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Silica Behenyl Alcohol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Arachidyl Glucoside, Polyacrylamide, Xanthan Gum, C13-14 Isoparaffin, P-Anisic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Laureth-7, Tocopherol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract.
Vichy's products, though well-intentioned, are incapable of addressing several common problems. 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 Beautypedia Research Team.
For more information about Vichy, owned by L'Oreal, visit www.vichy.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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