Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mineral Balm Rehydrating and Repairing Care
1.7 fl. oz. for $35
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Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

This thick, emollient moisturizer is said to have a “bandage” effect on your skin. To some extent it does, but the ingredients Vichy chose aren’t the best for repairing skin’s barrier function so that it can become less dry.

What’s truly disappointing is the lack of state-of-the-art ingredients and the inclusion of potentially problematic alcohol. The amount of alcohol is likely too low to be cause for concern, but a moisturizer for dry, damaged skin is always better off without any of this drying and irritating ingredient.

In the end, this is merely a thick-textured moisturizer that lacks truly exciting, innovative ingredients to help your dry skin look and feel its healthy best. By the way, the minerals, which appear in many Vichy products, do not have any special benefit for anyone’s skin.

Last Updated:02.13.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

“Bandage” effect: Skin is soothed and comforted. Cutaneous barrier is reinforced.


Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Shea Butter), Alcohol Denatured, Zea Mays Starch (Corn Starch), Cetyl/Peg/Ppg 10/1 Dimethicone, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil (Apricot Kernel Oil), Citric Acid, Triethanolamine, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Edta, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine, Tristearin, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra Di T Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Polyglyceryl 4, Isostearate, Acrylates Copolymer

Brand Overview

Vichy At-A-Glance

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.

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