Biotherm vs Vichy

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: May 18, 2024

As a skincare editor, I've had the opportunity to try countless serums and treatments from various brands over the years. Two brands that have consistently stood out to me are Biotherm and Vichy. While both are French skincare companies with a focus on using mineral-rich thermal spring water in their formulations, they take slightly different approaches when it comes to their product philosophies and ingredients.

I'll start with some of the key similarities between the two brands. Both Biotherm and Vichy utilize thermal spring water sourced from natural mineral springs in France as the base for many of their products. This mineral-rich water is thought to provide hydrating and soothing benefits for the skin. The brands also share a focus on combining this thermal spring water with other natural ingredients and avoiding ingredients like parabens.

However, there are also some notable differences in their ingredient choices and product aims. Biotherm leans more heavily into using ingredients from the ocean like seawater, algae, and marine minerals across their lines. Their Life Plankton line in particular includes vitaminic bio-nutrients derived from plankton. Meanwhile, Vichy takes more of a pharmaceutical approach, utilizing ingredients backed by clinical studies like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, volcanic minerals, and their Mineralizing Thermal Water.

When it comes to specific product standouts from each brand, I've been really impressed by the Biotherm Life Plankton Sensitive Emulsion as a daily moisturizer for dry, sensitive skin. It has a beautifully light yet nourishing texture and helps calm redness and irritation. The Vichy LiftActiv Supreme V-Shape Serum is another top pick - it contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and anti-oxidants to firm and brighten skin over time. Customer reviews for both of these products are overwhelmingly positive.

As for effectiveness, both brands back up their formulas with clinical studies, though Vichy may have a slight edge here given their more pharmaceutical approach. I've found the products from both lines generally live up to their claims for hydrating and soothing skin. That said, individual results can vary based on skin type, ingredients, and other factors.

Speaking of skin type, Biotherm's products tend to lean more towards normal to dry skin, with many of their best sellers aimed at providing intense hydration and nourishment. Vichy has a more extensive range for various skin types and concerns like acne, pigmentation, and anti-aging. Their Normaderm line is a cult favorite for those with oily, acne-prone skin.

In terms of texture, Biotherm's products tend to have a lighter, more silky feel while still being nourishing. Vichy's can vary more based on the specific product, but I find many have more of a rich, velvety texture. Both layers well under makeup.

Finally, when it comes to price, Vichy is the more affordable of the two brands overall. Their serums and moisturizers typically range from $30-$60, while Biotherm's products skew a bit pricier at $40-$90 for many of their mainline offerings. Both brands offer frequent promotions and value sizes for their most popular products.

Overall, if you have normal to dry skin and are looking for an indulgent spa-like experience with products that focus on intense hydration and marine-derived ingredients, Biotherm is a fantastic option. For those who prefer a more clinical, pharmaceutical-grade approach with extensive options for various skin types and concerns, Vichy may be the way to go. Regardless of which brand you choose, both offer quality, effective formulas that leverage the power of thermal spring water. Just be sure to take your individual skin goals and needs into account.

Article written by Tom Qiao
Tom is the founder and editor of where he applies his decades of personal experience with skincare problems like acne and acne scarring to provide readers with practical advice and product recommendations.

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