Vichy Liftactiv Retinol HA Night
1 fl. oz. for $47
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Brand Overview
Expert Reviews
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.

Last Updated:12.23.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

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

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.

About the Experts

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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