Vichy vs The Ordinary

written by: Tom Qiao
last update: June 3, 2024

Two of the most popular and widely discussed skincare serum brands today are Vichy and The Ordinary. As a skincare editor who has tried numerous products from both lines, I'm often asked how these brands stack up against each other. While they take vastly different approaches, both Vichy and The Ordinary have developed cult-like followings among skincare enthusiasts. Let's take a closer look at the key similarities and differences between these brands when it comes to ingredients, effectiveness, texture, suitability for various skin types, customer feedback, and pricing.


Vichy takes a more traditional approach, relying heavily on mineral-rich volcanic water sourced from the French territory of Vichy as the base for many of its products. Its serums contain classic skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and retinol. The Ordinary, on the other hand, has an obsession with pure, clinical formulations packed with proven active ingredients at high concentrations like vitamin C derivatives, direct acids, and peptide complexes.


Both brands have passionate fans who swear by their products' effectiveness, but for different reasons. Vichy's mineral-rich thermal water is promoted as helping to fortify and strengthen the skin barrier. Many believe the brand's pre-mixed formulas provide good overall nourishment. The Ordinary's serums are extremely potent, formulated with maximum concentrations of active ingredients to target specific concerns like wrinkles, dark spots, and dullness.


In general, Vichy's serums have a more traditional, lightweight serum texture that absorbs quickly into the skin without feeling heavy or greasy. The Ordinary's serums run the gamut from weightless liquid and gel textures to more viscous, silky, or gritty consistencies depending on the active ingredients. Some can leave a slightly sticky or tacky feel on the skin.

Skin Types

With its focus on gentle, mineral-rich formulas, Vichy markets itself as a good line for all skin types, including sensitive skin. The Ordinary's potent actives make their products better suited for experienced users with non-sensitive skin. However, the brand does offer several affordable products for sensitive types as well.

Customer Reviews

Both brands inspire fierce customer loyalty, but for different reasons. Vichy fans appreciate the consistent, high-quality formulas that don't irritate their skin. The Ordinary fans rave about the incredible value and visible results from the high-concentration active ingredients despite some minor textural or application quirks.


When it comes to pricing, this is where we see the biggest difference between Vichy and The Ordinary. Vichy is a premium brand, so their serums tend to fall in the $30-$60 range for 1-1.7 oz bottles. The Ordinary keeps prices incredibly affordable, with most serums costing between $5-$20 for 1 oz. So if you're looking for maximum bang for your buck, The Ordinary is the way to go. But if you prefer Vichy's approach and don't mind paying more, their serums are still very reasonable compared to super high-end brands.

Overall, I don't think there's necessarily a "better" brand between Vichy and The Ordinary - it really comes down to your specific skincare needs, concerns, experience level, and budget. Vichy offers a foolproof, crowd-pleasing take on serums with gentle yet hardworking formulas for all ages and skin types. The Ordinary is ideal for skincare junkies who want to curate a targeted routine with maximum concentrations of actives at an affordable cost. Whichever route you go, both brands prove that great skincare doesn't have to be wildly expensive or complicated.

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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