Vichy Idealia Life Serum Skin Idealizer Serum
1 fl. oz. for $44
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Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

Are you ready for this? Vichy claims this is their first treatment to combat "behavioral skin aging". What they mean by this is behavioral things that stress our skin, including, not surprisingly, stress, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise. Although all of those "lack ofs…" can impact how skin looks and behaves, the serum Vichy concocted to supposedly remedy these issues is too stunningly basic to do much of anything helpful for skin.

The only unique ingredient in this serum is sodium tetrahydrojasmonate, though it's only special in the sense that it's not commonly used. It is used in several other treatment products from L'Oreal brands, of which Vichy is one. For example, Lancome (another L'Oreal brand) also used this ingredient. What is it? Derived from the jasmine plant, this ingredient, in its natural state, is a lipid (fat) that helps the jasmine plant signal when repair is needed and that control the life cycle of the plant's cells (Sources: Plant Physiology, April 2010, pages 1940–1950; and PLoS Biology, September 2008, page e320). How the jasmine plant repairs environmental damage and controls cell behavior is supposed to translate to changing bad skin habits or improving wrinkles, large pores, and red marks when applied to skin is a good question, and one Vichy doesn't really explain. Unfortunately, there isn't a shred of published research to support sodium tetrahydrojasmonate can transform skin's quality—not to mention this ingredient is categorized as synthetic, which wouldn't be the case if it was truly from the jasmine plant (Source: http://online.personalcarecouncil.org/jsp/Home.jsp). How bizarre!

Beyond the jasmine-inspired ingredient, this serum contains a list of very standard ingredients that create a lightweight, silky serum texture. Disappointingly, the two most intriguing ingredients (sodium hyaluronate and cell-communicating ingredient adenosine) are listed well after the coloring agents. Can you believe that? For what this costs, you should be getting more than slip and coloring agents!

This does contain the shiny mineral pigment mica, which adds a subtle, radiant glow to skin. Don't mistake this effect as a sign skin is being transformed; it's pretty, but strictly a cosmetic effect, not some magical change in how skin behaves.

If you're still curious about this lackluster serum, it's best for normal to combination skin. The inclusion of fragrance makes it iffy for those with extra-sensitive skin.

  • Lightweight, silky texture.
  • Contains mica for a subtle, radiant glow (but LOTS of products contain this ingredient).
  • Contains more coloring agents and mineral pigments than intriguing anti-aging ingredients.
  • A very boring formula whose claims are far more fascinating than its contents.
  • Low amount of proven anti-aging ingredients.
Last Updated:12.16.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

Vichy's first treatment to combat behavioral skin aging. In just 8 days, skin quality is transformed--tone is illuminated, pores are visibly refined, skin is moisturized and complexion is more youthful-looking.


Water, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isopropyl Isostearate, Octyldodecanol, Dicaprylyl Ether, Sodium Tetrahydrojasmonate, Dimethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Red 33 (CI 17200), FD&C Yellow 6 (CI 15985), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Mica, Carbomer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Poloxamer 338, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide, Disodium EDTA, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Polysilicone-11, Parfum

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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