ISDIN vs Vichy

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: June 4, 2024

As a skincare editor, I've tried countless sunscreen formulas over the years in the never-ending quest to find the perfect balance of high protection, cosmetic elegance, and wearability. Two brands that continuously impress me are ISDIN and Vichy, both of which offer excellent sunscreen ranges that cater to a variety of skin types and concerns.

Let's start by comparing some key similarities between the two brands. Both ISDIN and Vichy are pharmaceutical companies rooted in science and innovation, utilizing advanced filter systems and proprietary technologies in their sunscreens. They place a strong emphasis on products that are highly effective yet gentle enough for sensitive skin types. You'll find a wide array of sunscreen formulations from each brand, including lightweight fluids, creams, mists, and tinted versions with skincare benefits.

However, there are also some notable differences that set these two sunscreen lines apart. ISDIN leans heavily into mineral/physical filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, whereas Vichy favors a mix of mineral and chemical UV filters. This is an important distinction for those who prefer the stability and gentleness of mineral blockers or the ultra-sheer finish often achieved with chemical filters.

One of ISDIN's standout products is the Eryfotona Actinica sunscreen, a 100% mineral formula that's incredibly elegant for such high-level protection. The lightweight fluid glides seamlessly over skin, dries down to a natural matte finish, and is packed with antioxidants like vitamin E. It provides broad spectrum SPF 50+ coverage without any heavy white cast or pilling. As someone with sensitive combination skin, I find it wonderfully gentle yet gripping enough to resist transfer.

Vichy's iconic LiftActiv Mineral sunscreens are another complexion-perfecting favorite of mine from the French brand. While the mineral UV filters form a physical shield against rays, the formula is boosted with potent anti-aging ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. It has a smooth, lightly tinted cream texture that blurs imperfections and leaves a flattering satiny glow on my normal-to-dry skin.

When it comes to price point, ISDIN tends to be slightly more affordable than Vichy. ISDIN's sunscreens generally fall in the $45-60 range, while most of Vichy's sunscreens retail around $30-40 for smaller sizes. However, both brands offer frequent value sizes and bundles that allow you to stock up on high-quality sun protection formulas without breaking the bank.

Across the board, ISDIN and Vichy sunscreens receive overwhelmingly positive reviews from consumers and beauty editors alike. Customers with all skin types rave about the non-irritating, cosmetically-elegant, and hard-working formulas. Words like "gentle," "hydrating," "invisible," and "no white cast" pop up over and over in feedback.

So which brand reigns supreme? Truthfully, it's difficult to declare an overall winner as they both formulate incredibly adept sunscreens. Those with very sensitive skin may prefer the mineral-only ISDIN filters, while Vichy's chemical/mineral hybrids could be better suited to normal-to-dry complexions craving a dewy finish. No matter which you choose, rest assured that both ISDIN and Vichy are worthy investments in safe sun protection for your skin.

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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