Although this doesn't contain a dry finish as claimed, it does contain stabilized avobenzone for reliable UVA (think anti-aging) protection and its silky lotion texture feels light rather than being thick or pasty.
Instead of a dry finish, you get a slightly moist finish that leaves a noticeable sheen on skin. Those with oily skin hoping for a matte finish won't find this sunscreen's finish appealing, though again, it really does feel light, so in that sense Vichy's claim of "barely there after feel" is accurate.
This would have earned our highest rating if it nixed the fragrance. Fragrance can be a source of irritation on its own, and combining it with sunscreen actives (which also have the potential to be sensitizing) isn't the best idea, especially for those with sensitive skin. If you decide to give this a try, it's best for normal to oily skin.
Sunscreens That Lack Antioxidants: While this sunscreen goes the distance in terms of providing broad-spectrum sunscreen protection, a high SPF rating and unique aesthetics (making it one you’ll actually wear and apply liberally every day), it lacks a comprehensive array of added antioxidants. Research has demonstrated that antioxidants, when formulated into a broad-spectrum sunscreen formula, boost its effectiveness in defending your skin against UV and other environmental free radicals (Journal of Long Term Effects of Medical Implants, 2004 and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2012).
Thus, if you decide to try this sunscreen, we would strongly recommend you layer it over a well-formulated antioxidant rich serum. Serums are available in water-light textures for oily or combination skin, or hydrating formulas for normal to dry skin. Wearing one under your sunscreen every day will pay dividends in defending your skin against free-radical damage and inflammation that destroy the skin’s ability to heal, remain healthy and firm over time (Journal of Pathology, 2007 and Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012).
Don’t have a favorite serum yet? Check out list of top recommended serums to find one that suits your skin type and concerns.
The best of Vichy UVA/UVB cellular protection and anti-aging antioxidants in a breakthrough melting lotion with a “barely there” after feel.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), Oxybenzone (6%). Inactive: Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Propanediol, Silica, Isononyl Carbamate, Nylon-12, Caprylyl Methicone, Synthetic Wax, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Sucrose Tristearate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Steareth-25 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-8 Laurate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Dimethiconol, Xanthan Gum, P-Anisic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine, 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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