Birchbox Bonus: Vichy

Despite the disappointment I had with my first Birchbox delivery, they have totally redeemed themselves to me with this wonderful bonus box I received last week, featuring skin care items from French company, Vichy Labratoires.

Exploring this box was made all the more exciting by the fact that I was completely unfamiliar with this brand.  Love discovering new brands!

According to the info sent along with my box, Vichy takes its name from the French town of Vichy, famous for its mineral spring waters. Full of 15 rare minerals with antioxidant properties, this water is the foundation of Vichy skincare products. All its formulas feature potent ingredients that are tested to ensure they meet dermatologist standards and are paraben-free.

Here’s what they included in the box, along with the descriptions they provided:

Aqualia Thermal Cream: 24-hour Hydrating care. Infused with a high concentration of mineral-rich antioxidant water, this moisturizer keeps skin hydrated around the clock. Use it every morning on a clean face, alone or under makeup. Full size $29.95

Lifactiv Rhamnose Night: Anti-wrinkle + firming care. This lush night cream works its magic with Rhamnose, a plant-derived ingredient (concentrated at 5%) that helps skin renew itself. Apply a thin layer after washing your face, and don’t forget your neck and décolletage. Full size $ 49.00

Purete Thermal 3-in-1 One Step Cleanser: A real triple threat, this unique formula works as a cleansing milk, toning lotion and a makeup remover all at once. Dab it on with a cotton plad, or smooth it directly onto your skin and rinse with water. Full size $19.50

Purete Thermal Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes: Laced with cornflower water and vitamin B, this uber-gentle formula thoroughly cleanses your delicate eye area. Pour a small amount onto a cotton pad and pat into skin. Full size $16.50

Celludestock: Intensive treatment for the appearance of cellulite. Vichy’s own Lipocidine (TM) complex teams up with caffeine to tone the skin on your thighs, hips and derriere. Massage into your skin to zap cellulite. Full size $39.50

My take:

I’ve had the chance to try out all the products, and I have to say, I am very impressed. The Purete Thermal 3-in-1 Cleanser is very much a “cleansing milk” as they described. It does not foam and has no fragrance. I applied it with my fingers and massaged it all over my skin before rinsing. As I was rinsing, it felt like it was going to leave a strange film on my face. But after I patted it dry, my face felt smooth and clean, but not stripped, as it does with so many products.

The Aqualia Thermal Cream is very light, non-greasy and is fragrance-free. I doubted it would be rich enough for my extremely dry skin, but to my surprise, it has kept my face hydrated all day. But the best thing about it? I think this may be the least red my skin has ever looked. I am constantly fighting redness in my face. My dermatologist has never been exactly sure what’s causing it to begin with, but this moisturizer really calmed it down. The only downside is that now the many broken capillaries on my cheeks are more visible, lol, but hey, I’ll take it!

The Lifactiv Rhamnose Night cream feels equally calming. It is extremely rich and you really need very little to cover your entire face.  I’m looking forward to continuing my use of this sample to see if it really does help diminish my fine lines and wrinkles.

For all of these products, I’m very happy with the results so far, and even more impressed with the price tags. $20 to $50 seems very reasonable to me and like a good value for what the products deliver.

The Purete Thermal Eye Makeup Remover is very gentle and does a thorough job of taking off all my mascara. For the price though, I’ll probably continue with my usual drug-store brand. Because the Celludestock sample only provided enough for one application, I certainly can’t testify to its cellulite-reducing effectiveness. But I can say I liked the feel of it. It’s a gel formula, as opposed to the lotion/cream formulas I’ve usually seen for this type of product. The gel aspect kept it feeling light and refreshing.

Overall, I’m very impressed and could see myself purchasing the cleanser and moisturizers again.

A couple of other notes:

Vichy is currently running a contest to win a trip to Paris. I absolutely entered!

Their website also has a wonderful Skin Analysis for Aging Skin tool. Bring a hand mirror to the computer before you do the analysis.  The tool presents you with photos of typical concerns such as crow’s feet, under eye wrinkles, sagging neck and frown lines and asks you to select the image closest to your own. Based on your responses, the analyzer tells you the “apparent age of your skin.”

My skin’s apparent age turned out to be the same as my real age.  Not bad, but certainly room for improvement! For my particular needs, it recommended products with high doses of vitamin C to tighten and lift my skin and reduce wrinkles.

In addition to recommendations on which products to use, the analyzer also provides some general advice. It reminded me that I need to maintain a healthy body weight and drink more water, as my particular skin issues are aggravated by both those factors. This was not, unfortunately, the first time I’ve heard either of those, so again, more room for improvement.

If you try out the skin analyzer, I’d love to hear how it rated your skin’s apparent age versus your real age!

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