Vichy vs Clinique

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: May 23, 2024

Vichy vs Clinique Moisturizers: Which Line is Right for You?

As a skincare editor, I've had the chance to try out countless moisturizers over the years from all kinds of brands. Two lines that have consistently stood out to me are Vichy and Clinique. Both are dermatologist-developed, widely available at places like Sephora and department stores, and offer a variety of formulas to suit different skincare needs and concerns. However, there are also some key distinctions between the two in terms of ingredients, product feel, and overall marketing approach.

If you're trying to decide between investing in moisturizers from Vichy or Clinique, here's a deeper dive into how they stack up across several important factors:


Both Vichy and Clinique take a science-backed approach to their formulations, but with some differing philosophies. Vichy leans heavily on mineral ingredients like Volcanic Water sourced from the French territories, along with thermal spring water. Many of their most popular moisturizers contain this Vichy Volcanic Water as a key hydrating component.

Clinique is likely better known for avoiding common irritants entirely. Their moisturizers are 100% fragrance-free and feature no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates - an approach that targets those with sensitive skin. Ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and squalane are frequently used across their different moisturizing products.


Vichy moisturizers tend to have a very soft, smooth, almost velvety consistency that spreads easily and soaks in quickly without feeling heavy or greasy. The finish is hydrating yet breathable.

Many of Clinique's top-selling moisturizers have more of a cool, gel-like texture that gives a refreshing burst of moisture when first applied. The brand emphasizes formulas that "drink" quickly into the skin for fast absorption.

Suitability for Skin Types

Because Vichy features mineral-rich thermal spring water in so many of its moisturizers, the line can be an excellent option for all skin types - even sensitive. The water works to restore the skin's natural balance and protective barrier.

With no irritating ingredients, Clinique is the ideal choice for those with very reactive, allergy-prone complexions. Their dedicated Redness Solutions line is a cult favorite for calming inflamed skin as well.

However, both brands cater to different concerns like dryness, aging, and acne with targeted treatments. So there's an option no matter your specific needs.

Customer Feedback

Looking at reviews across major retailers, it's clear that both Vichy and Clinique enjoy loyal, devoted followings. Vichy's Aqualia Thermal line continually gets top marks for deeply hydrating without heaviness or residue. Fans also praise how gentle and soothing the formulas are.

For Clinique, their cult-classic Moisture Surge line tends to be a standout, with users raving about the ultra-hydrating yet oil-free texture that leaves skin plump and dewy. The brand's mineral sunscreens are another hit.

Where there's some occasional gripes about Clinique is value - while reasonably priced for the quality, some find the product sizes to be on the smaller side.


Both Vichy and Clinique fall into the "affordable luxe" category in terms of pricing. You'll definitely pay more than for a basic drugstore moisturizer, but not at the premium level of high-end brands.

Generally speaking, Clinique's product sizes will be a bit smaller, so the price per ounce leans slightly higher versus Vichy. For example, Clinique's popular Moisture Surge 100H Auto Replenishing Hydrator is $29.50 for a 1.7 oz jar, while Vichy's Aqualia Thermal line offers larger cream and gel formulas in the $30 range for 1.7-1.69 oz jars.

So which is right for you - Vichy or Clinique? If you have sensitive yet dehydrated skin, I'd point you more towards Vichy's soothing mineral water-infused options. But if irritation and reactions are your top concern, Clinique's fragrance-free formulas are hard to beat. Hopefully, these insights give you a helpful overview to determine the best fit for your skin's unique needs.

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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