Neutrogena vs Vichy

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: May 28, 2024

Neutrogena vs Vichy Moisturizers: A Skincare Editor's Perspective

As someone who has tried dozens of moisturizers over the years, both affordable drugstore picks and high-end splurges, two brands that consistently stand out are Neutrogena and Vichy. While both offer impressive hydrating and skin-nourishing formulas, they also have some key differences that make each better suited for certain skin types and concerns.

Let's start with the similarities between these two respected skincare lines. Both Neutrogena and Vichy are champions of innovative ingredients and rigorous product testing. Neutrogena leans heavily into tried-and-true hydrators like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, while Vichy incorporates mineral-rich thermal spa water sourced from France. You'll also find antioxidants and other botanical extracts in many of their creams and lotions. In terms of hydration power, I've found moisturizers from both brands to be highly effective at replenishing and locking in moisture.

However, Neutrogena products generally have a lighter, more quickly-absorbed texture compared to Vichy's richer, luxurious creams. This makes Neutrogena moisturizers like the ultra-popular Hydro Boost Water Gel excellent options for oily and acne-prone skin that can't tolerate heavy, greasy formulas. At the same time, Vichy's densely nourishing creams like the Aqualia Thermal line are outstanding for very dry, mature, or dehydrated skin in need of that extra quenching power.

Another big distinction is pricing. As a classic drugstore brand, you can typically find Neutrogena moisturizers for under $20. Vichy, a higher-end French pharmacy brand, tends to be pricier with many of their face creams selling for $30-$50. But Vichy frequently goes on sale at stores like Dermstore and receives rave reviews from those who swear by its luxury formulations.

When it comes to specific skin concerns beyond dryness, both brands have targeted product lines to deliver additional benefits. Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair range utilizes a glucose complex to smooth wrinkles, while Vichy's LiftActiv lineup contains ingredients like rhamnose and volcanic water to lift and firm skin over time. For sensitivity and redness, the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle line and Vichy's Mineralizing Thermal Water provide relief. And if you're looking for lighter hydration with SPF protection, both brands offer quality daily moisturizers with mineral sunscreens.

Ultimately, both Neutrogena and Vichy have earned their dedicated followings by formulating quality, well-rounded moisturizers that deliver on their claims. Those with oilier skin, increased sensitivity, a preference for lightweight textures, and tighter budgets will likely prefer the affordability and gentle-yet-effective formulas of Neutrogena. Meanwhile, Vichy is worth the splurge for those seeking the most decadent hydration, anti-aging performance, and comforting, spa-like textures.

For me personally, I reach for different moisturizers from each brand depending on my skin's needs at the time. Neutrogena's oil-free Water Gel has been a warm weather staple for years when my combination skin is producing more shine. And on the days when dehydration and dullness are issues, nothing beats massaging a few drops of Vichy's Mineral 89 hyaluronic acid booster under my moisturizer for an instantly smoother, glowier complexion.

No matter which side you choose, know that both Neutrogena and Vichy offer excellent, dermatologist-approved hydration suitable for all different skin types. I always recommend exploring samplers and travel sizes first to discover your perfect match before investing in full sizes. At the end of the day, great skincare is about finding formulas that make your skin look and feel its absolute best!

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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