RoC vs Vichy

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: June 1, 2024

A Tale of Two Serums: RoC vs Vichy

As a skincare editor, I've tried more serums than I can count over the years. Two that have stood out to me recently are the RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules and the Vichy LiftActiv Specialist Glyco-C Vitamin C Serum. While both occupy that highly sought-after brightening and anti-aging serum category, they take slightly different approaches. After putting them through their paces, here's my take on how they compare.

Key Ingredients

The RoC serum's star ingredient is retinol, a vitamin A derivative that helps boost collagen production and cell turnover to reduce wrinkles and even out skin tone. Each capsule contains a potent concentration of pure retinol that's buffered by a soothing mineral complex.

Vichy's serum contains a powerful 15% pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid), along with vitamin E and a fruit-derived glycolic acid. This combination brightens, firms, and protects against free radical damage.

Texture & Application

One of my favorite aspects of the RoC serum is its ultra-fresh capsule packaging. You simply twist off the top and squeeze out a single dose of golden serum goodness each night before bed. The silky, dry oil texture sinks in quickly without leaving any residue.

Vichy's vitamin C serum has more of a traditional lightweight gel-cream texture. It has a subtly sweet citrusy scent and leaves more of a velvety finish on the skin after absorption compared to RoC. While not quite as travel-friendly as RoC's capsules, the bottle has a precise dosing tip.


After using RoC consistently for 8 weeks, I saw a noticeable reduction in fine lines around my eyes and mouth, as well as more even tone overall. My skin looked more radiant, but I did experience the typical retinol dryness and peeling at first before my skin adjusted.

With Vichy, I noticed brighter, more glowing skin within a couple weeks. Over time, it also helped smooth out rough texture and minimize the appearance of sun spots and acne marks. However, I didn't see as much plumping or wrinkle reduction compared to the retinol serum.

Skin Types

Since retinol can be drying and sensitizing, RoC is best for normal to oily skin that can tolerate active ingredients. The pure retinol capsules may be too potent for very sensitive types. The brand does offer a gentler encapsulated retinol option as well.

Vichy's vitamin C serum is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive. It's oil-free, non-comedogenic, and packed with antioxidants to calm inflammation. Its gentle exfoliating glycolic acid also makes it a good choice for those prone to dullness and uneven texture.

Customer Reviews

Both serums get overwhelmingly positive reviews from users. On Sephora, RoC's retinol treatment has over 53,000 "loves" and a 4.7/5 rating based on thousands of reviews praising its visible wrinkle-reducing effects.

Vichy's LiftActiv vitamin C serum is a cult-favorite on platforms like Dermstore, with a stellar 4.8/5 club rating. Fans rave about its brightening abilities and how well it layers with other anti-aging serums and treatments.


With an MSRP of $33.99 for a box of 30 capsules, RoC provides a potent retinol treatment at a very reasonable price point. One box provides about a month's supply.

Vichy's vitamin C serum is pricier at $53 for a 1 oz bottle that lasts 2-3 months with twice daily use. However, during frequent sales you can often snag it for under $40.

The Verdict

When it comes to serious anti-aging and wrinkle-fighting power, RoC's retinol serum gets my top vote - especially for the price. But if brightening and gentle exfoliation ismore of a priority, Vichy's vitamin C formula is definitely worth the investment. Of course, they can always be used together as part of a well-rounded routine.

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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