Tag Archives: vichy


Here we are, the last of the June giveaways! Again, the prize is perfect for the cottage or the beach.

Vichy Eau Thermale 

Lierac Hydra-Body Lait 

Vichy ProEven Brightening Cleansing Foam 

Live Clean Exotic Vitality Monoi Oil

Vichy Captial Soleil SPF 50

Contest closes Monday, June 30th at noon. Only open to Canadian residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Summer is here! Finally! And this weekend will be nice and long thanks to Canada Day. So to prep for all those days spent outdoors at the cottage or in the city on a patio, I’ve asked Dr. Sarah Gora, PhD, Scientific and Medical Relations Leader of Vichy Canada to answer all of my burning (ha) questions on sunscreen–from wearing it indoors, to the mysterious UVA rays, and how else we can protect ourselves against the sun.

Remember: Sunscreen is proven to fight skin aging–so unless you want to look like an old leather handbag by the age of 40, lather up and wear a hat!

Thanks again to Vichy and Dr. Gora for taking the time to respond to my questions.


What is the difference between chemical and physical sunscreen? Which ones should we use?

Sunscreen ingredients can be classified in two categories: organic (chemical) or physical. Organic filters have the ability to absorb the different UV rays, whereas physical filters, like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, work by reflecting the UV rays, with a less extend on UVA compared to some organic filters. So it is not necessary to choose one of the two but you can use a combination of both filter types that ensures a protection against UVA & UVB and adapted to sensitive skin, if you need so.

How often do we really need to reapply?
One should apply sunscreen 20 minutes prior to going outside to ensure the sunscreen has sufficient time to absorb into the skin and offer 100% protection. As a general rule, you should re-apply every 2 hours and of course, after being in the water or heavy heat/sweating.
Some people don’t think sunscreen is necessary on rainy or overcast days or in the colder months. Can you bust this myth?
Temperature is definitely not a good indicator about potential damage of UV rays exposure. Even if they are partly filtered, UV rays are not absorbed by clouds and neither rain (high cloud cover only stops the penetration of 5-10% of UV). Furthermore they are reflected by water and snow and that increases your exposure. It is good to remember that UVA (95% of UV rays), are present throughout the year contrary to UVB which is stronger in summer.

How much sunscreen should we be using per application?
You should apply a quantity enough to cover the uncovered area. The recommended quantity is about 30 ml for an adult’s body so the equivalent of a golf ball. For the new Capital Soleil InvisibleMist we recommend spraying the arms for 3 seconds, the legs for 4 seconds and the front and back for 4 seconds, then rub in with circular motions.
What is the minimum SPF everyone should be wearing?
The choice of the SPF should be oriented by the phototype (the skin tolerance to UV radiation and its ability to synthesis melanin) and sun condition. It is recommended to wear a borad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA & UVB protection) with a minimum SPF of 30, even for dark skin tone. For example people with very fair skin should use SPF 50 and more.
Why should we avoid alcohol in spray sunscreens?
A high content of alcohol in a sunscreen can leave the skin feeling dry (or even cause a stinging sensation) which can irritate people with sensitive skin.  It is also a personal preference, many people choose to only use products that are alcohol-free. And not to mention that accidents have happened in the past when an alcohol based sunscreen was applied too close to an open flame!
What is the importance of using a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays?
UVAs are the more abundant rays received and penetrate deeply through the skin. They are responsible for immediate pigmentation, skin ageing and skin cancer. Whereas UVBs cause sunburn, epidermal thickening and skin cancers.

I’ve read that sunscreen is just one way of protecting ourselves. What else can we do?
Sunscreen is a good way to be protected from UV rays but it is not enough and should be completed with other protection like clothing, wear factor 3 sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. We recommend to avoid exposure during the peak hours, i.e. between 11 am and 4 pm, when UV radiation–particularly UVB–is at its highest.

Do we need to wear sunscreen in the shade or in a car?
You don’t need to wear a sunscreen when indoors but shade made by an umbrella is not good enough to block UV rays. But you should be protected if you are exposed through a window like in your car. As contrary to UVB which produces an immediate reaction (sunburn), UVA pass through glass and penetrate into the skin deeply to cause silent and invisible damage day after day.
What are the long-term effects of sunburns?
Sunburns are the visible sign of over-exposure, they are mainly causes by UVB rays. But even before sun burn, unprotected exposure to UV ray affect skin’s support fibres and rise the synthesis of oxidising substances. The erythema or sun burn manifests an inflammatory reaction and may also cause DNA damage. These damages build up and can cause in long-term photo-aging and skin cancer in epidermal and dermal cells.
How often should we replace our sunscreen? Can I still use my bottle from last year?
Sun protection products generally have a 3 year shelf-life, unopened! A product that you open this year should never be used next year, since the temperature variations to which it is subjected after opening can affect the stability of the filters it contains.
Does a higher SPF sunscreen always protect your skin better?
A high SPF index represents a higher level of protection but it shouldn’t be the reason to expose longer! And it is important to remember that SPF is only an UVB factor and do not represent the UVA protection. It is therefore important to choose a SPF (min 30) accordingly to the photype/sun condition AND to have a UVA protection.
Those who don’t have fairer complexions often argue that they don’t burn, so they have no need for sunscreen. Is that true?
Dark skin tone has a natural sun protection related to their high concentration in melanin but this is not sufficient. Sun exposure can cause skin lesions of varying severity, ranging from premature aging of the skin, sunburn, or melanoma (skin cancer). Dark skin has a lower risk to develop a melanoma than a fair skin but excessive exposure to the sun damages all skin phototype. 



Remember that picture?

Right now, the beginning of summer, is the perfect time to go and scare yourself into wearing sunscreen forever and always.

The Vichy Skin Health Centre is back at the Eaton’s Centre this week up until Sunday, June 15th. Located just outside of Forever XXI are some friendly consultants, ready and waiting to provide you will a skin health analysis on your skin type, give you and up close and personal look at your epidermis, hydration levels and take a lovely picture of your UV damage (take notes as to where you are forgetting to apply ‘screen).

With Melanoma higher than ever right now in Canada, it is so important to be thinking about incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine.

So go and get analyzed, pick up some samples and buy yourself a bottle or two of Vichy’s amazing sunscreens.


Pretty explanatory, today I’m going to give you the lowdown on my everyday makeup look, which inherently means sharing my favourite products and how I like to use ’em.

I start off doing my liner with a Korean pen-liner which is INCREDIBLE–Clio’s Liner in Kill Black. No, it’s not quite ‘waterproof’, but I’ve had this for nearly six months, and it’s still inky and has a super precise tip. I typically do a little cat eye and clean up with some Bioderma-soaked Q-tips (which is why I do this first).

Then, I work on my skin. I do a thin layer of Armani’s Maestro in Shade 3 all over– this stuff is almost water thin and looks super natural, it’s seriously next-level makeup. I go under the eyes with Shade 3.5 of the matching Armani Maestro concealer, which has dark orange tones that correct. I set it with Vichy Dermablend Translucent Powder and I’m set until lunchtime when I more often then not need to blot.
t any purple circles. If I’ve got any blemishes to cover up (which I 100% do have 95% of the time), I go in with Vichy Dermablend Foundation Stick in the first shade OR, if I need some serious help, Amazing Cosmetics.

For a little definition, I apply some of Nars Laguna right under my cheekbones using a tapered paint brush I found at the art store (it really gets into the hollows of my cheeks and it was like $20). Continuing with Laguna, I grab a fluffier brush and give the contours of my face a little bronzer. I’ve been loving a dusting of Giorgio Armani’s Eccentrico on my cheeks for a natural flush and highlight.

I finish off my eyes with a few coats of Maybelline’s Mega Plush, which is ah-mazing. As for brows, I get them died nearly black so I just brush them out with a spoolie.

I always, always, always apply some Rosebud Salve to my lips before heading out, and if I remember, a coat of Rimmel’s 104 lipstick.

And people say I’m high maintenance!

–Anna Raponi


Using retinol is kind of a double-edged sword: it clears your breakouts while slowly revealing younger-looking skin and reducing fine lines, but it can be quite drying, making your skin flake a bit. It is also not recommended that you apply any heavy creams, oils or serums over top of the retinol because it can make it less effective. So what’s a girl to do when her face is feeling thirsty?

Luckily for me, I received Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Night Spa–it’s a super lightweight lotion infused with the mineral-rich Vichy water that can either be applied thinly as a night cream or in a thicker layer as a hydrating mask. It has a satiny-soft texture but isn’t thick in the slightest. I like to apply it a few nights a week after my moisturizer for an extra cushion of moisture before bed. I wake up to softer, plumper skin that has more radiance.

I am seriously obsessed with this stuff right now–I’ve been using it like 4 or 5 times a week instead of the recommended 1 to 3.

If you do go for the mask application, do know that if you don’t wipe off the excess after about 20 minutes, then you will wake up to little blue balls of the mask on your face. It’s no biggie for me since I wash my face in the morning anyways. A drugstore win!


Photogenic Face
Photogenic Face

Photographs can bring out the worst in your makeup–you might think you aren’t that shiny, or that you applied your makeup pretty well–but through the camera’s lense any unblended makeup looks obvious and blotchiness comes through.

Whenever I know that I am going to be photographed–whether at a club, a birthday, a wedding, whatever–I always follow the same rules.

1)Primer: First use Benefit’s Porefessional to hide any obvious pores around my nose, chin, forehead and cheeks, then apply Smashbox’s Photofinish primer all over my face to ensure a smooth surface. Primer will also help to adhere your makeup to your skin, making it last longer. Lancôme also makes a really great primer, and if you’re looking for something lighter, Dior CC Airflash Primer is weightless.

2)Complexion: You’re going to want to use something with a more matte finish–cameras are not kind to any kind of dewy look–but don’t cake on the foundation either, because this will show up. I used Nars’ Sheer Matte foundation (I also really love Dior’s Airflash Foundation, as you know) in a shade that is actually slightly darker than my super fair complexion. I tried this out a few years ago in attempt to look less ghostly on camera, and it does help a bit. If you’re going to do this, make sure to blend into the neck. I concealed my dark circles with Lancome Effacernes and Clé de Peau‘s concealer. I also covered up some redness with the CDP. Be sure to really blend everything and blur any leftover brush strokes with fingers.

3)Powder: This is key for not looking like there is an oil slick on your face. I generously apply Vichy’s Dermablend Setting Powder, wait a few minutes, then brush off the excess. I touch up with Cover FX‘s matte powder.

4)Eyebrows: These are key for making your face pop on camera. Eyebrows are the architecture of the face, so be sure to fill them in. I love Lancome’s Le Crayon Poudre.

5)Blush: Apply more than you think. It actually takes a lot for it to show up on camera. A peachy pink shade always looks nice and fresh. On my wedding day I applied tons of Nars’ Orgasm to have a pretty bridal flush. I used Make Up For Ever’s HD Cream Blush which is really easy to use and super buildable. A little bit of slight contouring with bronzer also helps to warm up the face and add definition.

6)Lips: Hydrated lips always look best. Apply a satin-sheen lipstick or lipgloss. Matte textures can look severe, especially on more mature skin.

Remember: good lighting will always help, hold your camera slightly above you and know which side is your good side! (It’s the left for most people)


Did all you Torontonians go to the Vichy Skin Health Centre this weekend? If you didn’t have your world shaken with your own UV damage photo, then I am here to help.

One look at my photo tells you all you need to know about places you are forgetting to apply sunscreen. Since this is the first (relatively) warm, sunny day we’ve had in months, this is the perfect time to start thinking about sunscreen again (though you really should be wearing it all year round, anyways).

So, anyone who takes a look at my photo can see that the parts that have darker freckles are obviously the places I am missing when I’m slathering on my sunscreen.

1. Edges of the face: Especially near my temps and my jawline.
2. Eyelids: Suncreen bottles will always tell you not to apply near the eye area, so be sure to pick up on of those sticks
3. Ears: Nobody remembers the ears, I swear. At least I never do.
4. Lips: Mine don’t look too bad, but I definitely don’t think about it. Usually the eye sticks will work for the lip area as well.
5. Neck: I really need to up my game on this one if I don’t want a turkey neck by age 30.

Other bonus areas not shown in photo:

Top of Feet
Top of Hands (they say your hands show your true age!)
Armpits (kinda gross, I know)

Since I already apply SPF 50 every morning, this year my sunscreen resolution is to try and remember these forgotten areas and force myself to reapply every time I go for a walk outside at lunch and to reapply again when I walk to the train. I’m definitely going to look into those sunscreen powders, cause I’m not sure I’m going to want to apply that much cream to my face when it’s that hot.

Also: fun fact! When you’re purchasing your ‘screen this year, be sure to check that the formula is “broad spectrum” (it should protect against both UVA & UVB rays). If you’re missing one, there is still a whole bunch of sun damage hitting your skin.

There are some really great sunscreens out there now that don’t leave a greasy finish and are super lightweight (my personal fave is Kiehl’s). I’ve included some favourites below.



If you’re in the Toronto area, you should make it a priority to drop by Vichy’s pop-up Skin Health Centre. For your skin’s good.

Regardless of whether or not you think you know what your skin type is, prepare to be a bit shocked. A Vichy expert will conduct four tests on your skin: they’ll do a patch test for skin type, measure hydration levels, look at your skin through a microscope and the most shocking one of all, the photo damage test.

My skin type was sort of what I assumed it would be: dry combination. Except, since I moisturize frequently, I thought for sure my skin wouldn’t still be dehydrated. Well, it was pretty darn low at 23.5. That surprised me. Looking through a microscope at my skin even grossed me out a bit–you can see every hair, freckle, and patches of yellow (oil). Yuck.

But nothing could have prepared me for the photo damage test. This quick photo shows all of the years of sun damage underneath your skin that hasn’t come to the surface yet. Now–I am someone who has always been pretty good about sunscreen. I’ve been wearing SPF 50 everyday for a few years now and before that I would usually get around SPF 25 in my moisturizer.

The photo on the right shows mostly my freckles and apparently my skin wasn’t bad at all. But it still really shocked me. Look at the dark spots on my neck and around my eyes! Sunscreen is important, people!

After your analysis, your Vichy expert will send your skin prescription to you and provide you with samples of the products recommended. Make sure there is a sunscreen in there (Vichy makes really great sunscreens, FYI).

The Vichy Skin Health Centre will be at the Toronto Eaton Centre until Sunday, March 30th. It is located on the lower level right outside of Forever XXI. 5 lucky winners will win their prescribed skin care routine!


In tune with my acne awareness theme for this week, I come to you with the best acne concealer in the game. Vichy’s Dermablend range is known for their heavy duty results, and while I wouldn’t necessaryily recommend this as a foundation, per say, it makes for the perfect concealer for pimples.

Lisa Eldridge, as usual, discovered and acclaimed this product for it’s high coverage and ability to cover hyper pigmentation and redness. For too long, I was using my under eye concealer as my overall concealer, which resulted in almost highlighted imperfections. Moral of the story; your concealer you use to cover zits, and really anything that isn’t under your eyes should match your foundation.

The combination of this stick‘s coverage, thick texture and easy to apply formula is my best bet when my face just isn’t cooperating. Lisa’s “pinpoint concealing” technique, using a small lip brush and dabbing to blend out edges, gives the best results, but for the sake of how long women actually allot to put their face on in the morning, I prefer the “school-started-five-minutes-ago-and-my-face-is-a-mess” approach and dive right in, lightly dabbing to cover each spot. Set with some powder, you can’t go wrong with this product.

–Anna Raponi


Great for retinol newbies

Let’s think of Vichy’s Lift Activ Advanced Concentrate as my retinol training wheels.

I received this lovely tube just before Christmas, and I was pretty excited about it. I had been thinking about working some retinol into my routine, since I’m in my mid-20’s (gasp). I know. So old.

Anyways, I wanted to add it, but I was little bit scared and unsure as I heard that skin can really react to retinol–making it red, flaky, sensitive and everything unfortunate before it gets better. Luckily, thanks to Vichy, I experienced none of these side effects. They’ve created a moisturizer (formulated with their LR2412) with what is supposed to be the highest concentration of retinol available in a non-perscription product (at 0.2%). You can either use this product on it’s own (but always with a sunscreen), or underneath a moisturizer. It is also supposed to be the first of it’s kind in that you can use it in the daytime (normally retinol products are used at bedtime because skin becomes more photosensitive). However, I’ve seen other brands claim to have this sort of stable retinol as well.

As I said, I wanted to work in some retinol not only for it’s anti-aging benefits, but also because retinol is proven to be a solution for acne-prone skin (which Dr. Sapra already explained to us). It resurfaces the face. You can experience breakouts for up to 8 weeks after you start using it because that is how long a pimple takes to fully form and come to the surface (fun fact, right? I learned that from my doctor). So be patient while retinol unclogs your pores for you–you can thank it later.

So, I started applying this non-greasy, serum-like cream to my skin every morning, on it’s own, and you know what? My skin started to get really clear! But, I was stupid, and my skin started to get dehydrated because I needed more hydration than it was providing. Plus, being a beauty blogger, I got distracted and started trying out other products, yada yada. Classic product junkie stuff. But, you should know, you CAN layer over another moisturizer if it’s the Vichy is not hydrating enough on it’s own. I would just let it sink in first.

So, it moved to the wayside for a little while. But then I came back to it, and used it in tandem with my Verso products (more on that to come), and my skin started to clear up again. Lines started to fill in.

However, since I suffer from hormonal acne, I was recently prescribed Differin at 0.1% retinol. I was super scared that my face was going to peel off, but because it was already used to the Vichy, I didn’t experience any side effects at all (no redness, flakiness, etc.), except for the purging. My face is definitely purging. But the pimples are clearing up quicker and not coming back or sticking around for weeks. And my under the skin bumps are quickly disappearing, and this is like, two weeks in.

So! Moral of the story. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced way to venture into the retinol game, but don’t want to have a peeling face, Lift Activ Advanced Concentrate is your product. Even if you’re like me, fairly young, no deep lines yet, this is an excellent way to prevent skin aging (also, it’s safe to use with any glycolic products, FYI). Retinol and sunscreen are really the only proven anti-aging ingredients that actually WORK, so this is something you should get behind if you don’t want to have a wrinkly face before you’re 50. It’s science.