Name: LiftActiv Retinol HA
Size: 1.35 fl oz
From Vichy’s website:
Anti-aging moisturizer with SPF 18. Formulated with advanced Retinol + Hyaluronic Acid to deliver an immediate filling and resurfacing action.
What I liked:
– hydrates skin and makes it look plumper
– makes wrinkles appear smaller
– contains retinol, which helps fight premature ageing
– contains SPF
– although the texture is on the thick side, it spreads easily and absorbs quickly
What I didn’t like:
– not moisturizing enough for very dry skin
– not suitable for oily skin
– retinol can cause irritations in people with sensitive skin
Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA boats of being able to fight the appearance of all 3 types of wrinkles: permanent, reversible and genetically-programmed. It’s the first time that I hear someone classify wrinkles this way, so let’s see what Vichy means.
Apparently, permanent wrinkles refer to the deep, etched lines that just won’t go away, no matter what you put on your face. Reversible are those lines caused by dryness or irritations. Finally, I suppose programmed refers to the wrinkles, caused by genetic or cumulative unprotected sun exposure, we are all bound to get as we get older.
Can Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA fight them all? Yes and no. This cream can make wrinkles look smaller, and contains ingredients that can reduce or prevent lines, but it won’t completely get rid of all signs of ageing, no matter by what they are caused. No topical cream can do that.
But how does it make wrinkles look smaller? Silicones and humectants. Vichy LiftActiv contains a generous dose of dimethicone, a silicone that temporarily fill in lines and wrinkles, reducing their appearance (and no, it doesn’t suffocate skin!). Dimethicone also gives slip to the cream, so that, despite its thick texture, it glides smoothly on the skin, and makes your face silky soft to the touch.
Humectants are ingredients that draw water from the environment into the skin, thus replenishing its moisture levels. The main humectant in this cream is glycerin, but a small amount of sodium hyaluronate, a derivative of hyaluronic acid, is also included.
Sodium hylauronate is a lot more effective than glycerin because it can hold 1000 times its weight in water, and it works well both in high and low humidity conditions. As a result, skin is well-hydrated and looks plumper. So, if your wrinkles are caused by dryness, this should help a little.
If your wrinkles are caused by sun damage, or you just want to prevent new lines from forming, then retinol is your ally. Considered by dermatologist as the golden standard in wrinkle-busting, it can increase cellular turnover, boost collagen production, and firm skin. Retinol can help reduce wrinkles, not just their appearance, but it works really slowly, especially at a low concentration.
And there really isn’t much of it here. That’s surprising because, when I first used Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA, it caused a very mild burning sensation in my skin. That usually happens when you first use retinol (your skin needs time to adjust to it), but I’ve been using it for years, and never experienced anything like that.
It disappeared when my skin got used to the retinol, but if you have sensitive skin, stay away from this. Instead, you should opt for a product where retinol is time-released (meaning it is delivered a little at a time over a period of several hours rather than all at once), like Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate For Deep Wrinkles. That’s still very effective, but gentler.
The cream also contains Octisalate and Octocrylene, which protect against UVB rays, and Avobenzone, which neutralizes the damaging effects of UVA rays. Although it is impossible to reach the SPF level stated on the packaging (you’d have to apply too much), a little protection is always better than nothing and can help prevent some of the damage, including wrinkles, caused by UV rays.
Who should use this cream? Only those with normal, combination, or slightly dry skin who don’t have too many, or too deep, wrinkles yet. For older skin, a cream with a higher concentration of retinol paired with a bunch of antioxidants, like Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol, would be more effective. Those with oily skin, instead, won’t love its thick but fast-absorbing texture, while those with very dry skin won’t find it moisturizing enough for their needs.
Active: Avobenzone 3%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 7%. Other: Water, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Sucrose Stearate, Silica, Beeswax, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methylparaben, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinol, Phenoxyethanol Adenosine, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Fragrance
Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Day SPF 18 hydrates skin, temporarily fills in fine lines and wrinkles, and can help fight premature ageing. But it’s not suitable for very dry, oily, or sensitive skin.