When I find something that works my ultra-sensitive skin, I hang on to it for dear life. The Vichy Aqualia Thermal line has been a staple in my skincare collection for over three years now, because it’s relatively affordable, widely available, and it hydrates my skin without irritating it. It’s quite basic, in the sense that it focuses solely on hydration and doesn’t claim to do a million and one things as other skincare products tend to, but that’s what I love the most about the Aqualia Thermal range. It does one thing, and it does it well. And it means that I can experiment with oils and serums to my heart’s content, which is never a bad thing.
I was more than a little worried when an email dropped in my inbox informing me that the Vichy Aqualia Thermal products that have seen me through three summers of sun, AC, and city living had been repackaged and reformulated. After all, why change a winning formula?
After trying out the new and improved Vichy Aqualia Thermal line (and especially the serum), I have an answer to this question. Skincare is ever-changing, and that means that a beloved product can rise from the ashes of its past packaging and formula better than ever, like a post-meltdown Britney Spears landing a five-year Vegas residency.
The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum is back in my stash, and I could not be happier. As for the rest? Read on.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal, Reformulated — What’s Different?
It’s been a while since I restocked my Aqualia Thermal stash, but the new formulation feels and works much like the old one — only with a better list of ingredients. Aside from the brand new and slightly more eco-friendly packaging, the Vichy Aqualia Thermal range got a major ingredients makeover.
The serum and the moisturizers are now formulated without silicone, packed with hyaluronic acid, and feature a higher percentage of mineralizing thermal water than the previous formulas. The new formulas are also made from 97% of natural-origin ingredients, though I have a sneaking suspicion that it does not mean it’s ‘green’ in any way. Vichy Aqualia Thermal products now provide a very generous 48 hours of intense hydration, according to the brand, though you still need to reapply frequently (as you would with any other product).
It’s worth noting that, like before, the Vichy Aqualia Thermal products do not contain parabens or mineral oil.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum Review
You can never go wrong with a Vichy serum, and the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum* ($42.95) is one of my top picks for hydration. It’s lightweight, with the thin and fluid consistency of a slightly viscous water. It’s cooling and refreshing, it absorbs right away and dries down to a smooth matte finish, and it’s only very slightly scented (though I still wish it was fragrance-free).
Bonus: it’s suitable for all skin types.
I apply it by pressing it into my skin with my fingertips, and I can feel the boost of hydration soothe and heal my skin right away. It makes my skin glow and I immediately look healthier.
I love the reformulated version just as much as I loved the old one. The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum is a skincare staple worth the (relatively minimal) investment.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Gel Cream Review
Vichy offers three different moisturizers in their Aqualia Thermal line, and each has been reformulated in 2018 — the light cream (best for normal to dry skin), the rich cream (best for dry skin and harsh climates), and the gel cream (best for normal to combination skin and summer).
I was sent a sample of the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Gel Cream* ($39.95) to try, and it could not have come at a better time since the weather in Toronto has been unbearably hot and humid lately. However, it turned out to be a slightly disappointing moisturizer. Not because of the new formula itself, but because of the texture.
The Aqualia Thermal Gel Cream moisturizer is lightweight, though a little bit thicker and more viscous in texture than the serum. It’s also more scented than the serum, and I don’t love scented products, especially when they’re geared towards the sensitive skin market. The moisturizer feels hydrating and cooling (great for summer!), but this variation of the moisturizer is a pass from me. The gel leaves a slightly tacky feel on the skin, a problem I suspect is due to the gel texture rather than the recent reformulation.
Full disclose: I stopped using it before seeing any real results. I didn’t feel like it made a great base for makeup. It might work well as a night treatment, but if I’m going to use a night treatment, I’d rather use something like the LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask.
I used and loved the Aqualia Thermal Light Cream for years and never experienced anything like this, so next time I would pick up the Light Cream and play it safe. I haven’t tried the new reformulated version of the Light Cream, but Vichy nailed the serum’s new formula, so I have high hopes.
The Vichy Aqualia Thermal line is all about hydration. It offers a refreshingly basic and newly silicone-free formula, with options for all skin types. If there’s one product to pick up from the Vichy Aqualia Thermal range on your next Shoppers Drug Mart run, it’s the serum. It’s light, refreshing, and a great base for whatever moisturizer tickles your fancy. It’s a reliable, relatively affordable option that I would absolutely spend my own money on. I would pass on the Aqualia Thermal Gel Cream due to the texture, and recommend opting for the Light Cream instead (though I have to admit I haven’t tried to newly reformulated version).
I’m a little disappointed that Vichy, a brand that I love dearly because they take great care of sensitive skin, didn’t make the reformulated products fragrance-free. It stills works for my skin, but it would make the products even more attractive. Fingers crossed for next time!
This post features products that were provided for editorial consideration.