We're positive you've seen La Roche Posay and Vichy on the shelves at your local drugstore before. But which one should you choose?
Previously, we took a look at two luxury skincare titans: Lancome and Estee Lauder; today, we will be comparing La Roche Posay vs Vichy to help you figure out which brand better suits you!
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate we earn commission from qualifying purchases.
La Roche Posay vs Vichy Thermal Spring Water
It wouldn't be a La Roche Posay vs Vichy review without first comparing the skin-quenching thermal spring water that forms the foundation of almost all of their cult-favourite products.
La Roche-Posay sources the selenium-rich water they use in all of their products from the town they named themselves after (La Roche-Posay in Western France). Selenium, by the way, is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation and improves the elasticity and firmness of the skin.
Vichy's Mineralizing Thermal Water is born in the French volcanoes and travels to depths of up to 4000 meters before it is heated to 140°C and thrust up to the surface. Throughout its thousand-year journey, it absorbs 15 minerals which gives the water its powers. It helps soothe skin exposed to daily external aggressors and leaves it looking healthy, glowing, and beautiful.
Now it may or may not be obvious from those brief descriptions, but we've just unveiled the primary distinction in priorities between the two brands. La Roche Posay is very much focused on healing and resolving skin concerns, whereas Vichy as a brand prioritises perfecting and beautifying. Further to that point, the La Roche Posay spring water is often hailed as 'the healing water' whereas the Vichy spring water is generally referred to as 'the beautifying water'.
Deciding between the two, then, ultimately comes down to what you're most looking to get out of your skincare routine. If, for example, you are struggling with redness, acne, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, or other conditions of that ilk, you will most certainly prefer La Roche Posay's "healing water". If, on the other hand, you're just looking to improve your skin's overall quality and appearance, Vichy's "beautifying water" is the one for you.
Thermal Spring Water by La Roche Posay
Our rating: ★★★★★
A gentle, hydrating water mist.
What makes it special? This thermal spring water by La Roche Posay is naturally rich in antioxidants and contains a unique combination of mineral salts and trace elements with soothing properties for the skin. Having undergone rigorous dermatological testing, it can be safely used even on the most delicate skin.
Which skin types? All skin types, especially sensitive. Suitable for infants and babies.
Mineralizing Thermal Spa Water by Vichy
Our rating: ★★★★★
A skin-beautifying mineral water mist.
What makes it special? Vichy's Mineralizing Thermal Water has been clinically proven to strengthen the skin's barrier function and help accelerate surface skin cell renewal. Enriched with 15 minerals, as well as shea butter and rose extract, this hidden gem of a water spray leaves skin looking radiant and glowing.
Which skin types? All skin types.
La Roche Posay vs Vichy Cleanser
When it comes to cleansers, Vichy and La Roche Posay pretty much only have two main types to choose from: ones for normal to sensitive skin, and ones specifically to combat acne. For the purposes of a balanced article, we're just going to focus on the top picks for a regular daily cleanser here, but, as we'll discuss further in the conclusion, the best acne-combatting cleanser is the Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser from La Roche Posay's Effaclar range.
Keep scrolling to see our 'best daily cleanser' picks and comparisons.
When picking a daily face wash, you should be looking out for formulations that remove makeup and impurities with ease without disrupting your skin's natural moisture barrier function. Both the Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel by Vichy and Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser by La Roche Posay more than tick these boxes, but there are a couple of critical differences to consider.
First and foremost, the main difference is that La Roche Posay's is in the form of a cream, whereas Vichy's is in the form of a foaming gel. Strictly speaking, this should imply that La Roche Posay's is less drying and stripping than Vichy's but at the cost of cleansing power, and Vichy's should be better at cleansing but at the expense of being more drying/damaging. In practice, though, we saw no adverse effects of either form of cleanser (since both are paraben-free, alcohol-free, soap-free, and oil-free), so ultimately, this factor just comes down to your preference.
Returning to our previously stated deductions, though, La Roche Posay's cleanser is clearly intended for the purposes of healing and repairing (with the inclusion of ceramides, niacinamide, and glycerin—3 powerful skin-nourishing ingredients—in the formula), whereas Vichy's is for the active pursuit of improving your skin's overall quality and appearance. On balance, we prefer Vichy's Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel, but there's a fair and strong argument for La Roche Posay's to claim the top spot depending on your skin type (i.e. dry/combination skin types).
Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel by Vichy
Our rating: ★★★★★
A rich, lathering gel cleanser.
What makes it special? Luxuriously dense, it leaves your complexion feeling extraordinarily refreshed and softened after rinsing - your skin feels velvety and smooth to the touch, without any stickiness or tightness. You would have a hard time convincing me that this isn't a miracle, as even from the first use, it reveals healthier, brighter-looking skin.
Which skin type? More than suitable for sensitive skin, and an absolute delight for normal to combination skin.
Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser by La Roche Posay
Our rating: ★★★★★
A gentle daily face wash.
What makes it special? This gentle creamy face wash cleanses skin of impurities, respecting your skin's natural moisture barrier and pH, helping to restore skin comfort and retain essential moisture. Formulated with the skin nourishing trio of prebiotic thermal spring water, niacinamide, and ceramide, it ensures your skin looks healthy and radiant day after day.
Which skin types? Normal to dry, sensitive skin.
La Roche Posay vs Vichy Moisturizer
La Roche Posay and Vichy each boast incredible collections of face creams that assist you in unveiling your natural, healthy radiance. In fact, so much so that it is almost daunting to try to figure out which collection to choose from to even begin comparing, let alone from which brand. This is a good problem to have, though; allow us to guide you through the best of the best.
Daily moisturizer comparison
A daily moisturizer should excel at two things: mitigating the effects of TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) and making your skin feel supple, velvety soft, and hydrated all day long. Girl, do we have two absolute gems of moisturizers for you...
The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Face Cream and the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer are two holy grail face products fulfilling these two exact requirements, but deciding between the two can be tricky.
The crucial distinction between the two is the difference in active ingredients. Vichy's formula is inspired by isotonic rehydration (a solution athletes use to keep themselves fully hydrated), utilising hyaluronic acid and their cult-favourite volcanic spring water to do the heavy lifting. I'd have to say that I think this is probably the most 'targeted' product in Vichy's lineup, and it's a very strong one at that. The Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer contains a combination of ceramides and niacinamide, focussing more on the water retention and reparation side of things.
All in all, La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer is by far the most popular of the two, and we tend to agree.
Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer by La Roche Posay
Our rating: ★★★★★
A prebiotic-infused moisturizing cream.
What makes it special? Formulated with a high concentration of La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal water and a trio of delightful moisture barrier replenishing ingredients, this dermatologist-tested moisturizer immediately comforts and hydrates your skin from the very first application.
Which skin types? All skin types, including the most sensitive.
Aqualia Thermal Rich Face Cream by Vichy
Our rating: ★★★★★
A velvety-soft, rich face cream moisturizer that evenly distributes moisture.
What makes it special? The skin loses around 500ml of moisture each day which can leave the skin feeling dry and uncomfortable. This face cream targets moisture loss by rehydrating dry and very dry skin with an intense and long-lasting daily formula inspired by isotonic rehydration. A solution used by athletes consisting of water, minerals and sugar designed to replenish a dehydrated body’s natural fluids.
Which skin types? Dry to very dry skin.
La Roche Posay vs Vichy Eye Cream
High-quality eye cream is the *ultimate* solution to dark circles, puffiness and visible signs of aging around the eyes. We have already touched on two such eye creams from Vichy and La Roche Posay in our Best French Eye Cream article; here, though, we will dive more in-depth, and directly compare them.
Eye cream comparison
As continuations of a couple of their flagship ranges (Pigmentclar vs Aqualia), La Roche Posay and Vichy boast contenders for the best eye creams available on the market. They are, of course, on the higher end of the price scale, but they are oh so worth it. Allow us to introduce the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm and the La Roche Posay Pigmentclar Eye Cream.
Both products contain caffeine at the core of their formulas, and both help to visibly reduce dark circles and under-eye bags, counteracting fatigue by replenishing the skin with natural goodness. The main difference is that La Roche Posay's eye cream also provides anti-ageing benefits (diminishing fine lines and wrinkles) thanks to the inclusion of pure retinol. We love it, but the price disparity makes Vichy's Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm our clear favourite.
Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm by Vichy
Our rating: ★★★★★
The #1 eye treatment for tired eyes.
What makes it special? The premier caffeine-containing French eye cream is the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm. It smoothes and moisturizes, and visibly reduces dark circles and under-eye bags by infusing the eye with intense hydration and pure caffeine. We are *obsessed* with this French eye cream; if there was a rank above #1, we would award it to this.
Which skin types? Sensitive to normal/dry skin types.
Pigmentclar Eye Cream by La Roche Posay
Our rating: ★★★★★
A brightening eye cream with caffeine.
What makes it special? Specifically formulated for tired-looking eyes, this melt-in cream is enriched with light-reflecting pigments that illuminate the eye area. The eye contour looks smoother, suppler and feels more comfortable with just one application.
Which skin types? Suitable for all skin types.
La Roche Posay vs Vichy Conclusion
The consensus with regards to the two brands as a whole follows neatly from the inferences we drew from the spring water comparison. To reiterate, you will probably prefer the La Roche Posay brand as a whole if you are looking to resolve specific skin concerns such as acne or dryness, whereas you will definitely prefer Vichy if you are simply looking to improve your skin's overall quality and appearance.
So as not to compare apples to oranges, this article comprised comparisons of similar, popular, best-selling products from the two brands. To round off our review, though, here are our recommendations for the alternative skincare lines that Vichy and La Roche Posay offer.
Best La Roche-Posay Ranges
Best Vichy Ranges
Frequently Asked Questions
Vichy vs La Roche Posay sunscreen?
La Roche Posay's Anthelios Range.
La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 vs Vichy Mineral 89?
The Vichy Mineral 89.
Vichy vs La Roche Posay for Acne?
La Roche Posay's Effaclar Range.
Work in progress
You have been reading a post that we are constantly updating. Be sure to bookmark this page, subscribe, and come back later to see additions to the definitive La Roche Posay vs Vichy guide!