Today, I'm going to discuss a hidden gem in the vitamin C world: Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum.
However, Vichy Vitamin C Serum is my no. 2 overall pick in the entire vitamin C serum category (second only to SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX+ which is a more budget-friendly version of C E Ferulic).
Here's why I highly recommend the Vichy Vitamin C Serum:
Want to learn more about Vichy Vitamin C Serum? Let's get started. ⭐
If you're looking for a vitamin C serum that's both high-quality (which, in my opinion, means having the right ingredients at the right concentrations in a clean formulation) and relatively affordable, I highly recommend Vichy's LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid.
As we discussed earlier in my top overall recommendation, the SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX+, not all vitamin C serums are created (formulated) equally. In particular, years of research by Dr. Pinnell has shown that vitamin C only penetrates your skin under certain conditions: i) using L-Ascorbic Acid, ii) at a 10-20% concentration, and iii) formulated at a pH level below 3.5 (source: Topical L-Ascorbic Acid: Percutaneous Absorption Studies, 2001 and Duke Antioxidant Patent, 2005).
Remember, SkinCeuticals holds a global patent until 2025 that prevents competitors from creating vitamin C serums with these formulation parameters. (looking at you, Drunk Elephant!)
With this in mind, Vichy Laboratories, a luxury brand born out of the mineral waters in Vichy, France, has taken a slightly different approach with its vitamin C serum:
Overall, I do like Vichy's formulation (especially at the current price point which is $28.50 per 0.34 oz or roughly $84.00 per 1.0 oz). Obviously, the company cannot copy everything from C E Ferulic as that would be patent infringement. In particular, I couldn't find any info on the pH level of this product (which plays a significant role in how well the vitamin C will actually penetrate your skin).
I also like the mini-bottle size (0.34 oz) which means you'll have an easier time finishing this product before L-ascorbic acid oxidizes (as shown by changes in color from clear amber to dark yellow). It's also smart marketing as the price tag drops to under $30 compared to $80+ per 1.0 oz.
Now, if you have the budget and can commit to using a vitamin C serum on a daily basis, I'd still recommend SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX+ (currently $70 per 1.0 oz) over the Vichy Vitamin C Serum. You'll get a best-in-class formulation and better value for your money on a per oz basis.
In terms of results, here's what most users had to say about the Vichy Vitamin C Serum:
In addition, I noticed that many reviews on Vichy and Ulta Beauty were from those who received free samples or submitted their review to enter a sweepstakes contest (take it for what it's worth). Many people also did not use the product long enough before posting their review.
My Verdict: The Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum offers a rare combination of effective formulation (featuring 15% L-Ascorbic Acid) at an entry-level price ($28.50 for 0.34 oz). It's the perfect way to get started with pure vitamin C serums on a budget before upgrading to SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic or SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX+ in the future.