Beauty / Partnership

How Vichy’s new holistic approach has earned the brand a permanent spot on our beauty editor’s bathroom shelf

By Josefin Forsberg

Glucose Goddess-approved gut health, a scalp scan and collagen-fueled cocktails were on the agenda when beauty editor Josefin Forsberg was whisked away to Paris by Vichy. Below, she shares how a visit to the derm-approved brand’s ‘Health Hub’ changed her routine

We all know Vichy Laboratories. Having been around for 93 years and currently recommended by 70,000 dermatologists worldwide, the brand has a reputation of being reliable – known for its dependable, if a tad bit dowdy, mineral-infused products. These are the French pharmacy products my mother and grandmother reach for. But Vichy is a brand ready to redefine itself, as I would come to quickly discover on a recent trip to Paris.

Hosting its first ever V.I.C (Vichy Integrative Center) – a pop-up “health hub” in central Paris – the premium French dermo-cosmetic brand invited press, dermatologists and “skinfluencers” to witness its latest innovations in skin, scalp and hair care first hand. Setting the scene in an art gallery-turned-show space, guests enjoyed collagen-infused scarlet snacks and non-alcoholic crimson cocktails. Red light therapy masks were in high rotation.

There was a palpable anticipation in the air leading up to the first round of starstudded guest speakers, including Vichy Global President Vincent Chauvière, an impressive group of dermatologists debunking skincare myths and biochemist and bestselling author Jessie Inchauspé, better known as Glucose Goddess online. Watching the passion both brand representatives and industry experts shared for the ‘new Vichy’, reignited my own interest in the brand. It made me do a double take, like when you see your ex after their breakup glow up. Sitting under the anti-ageing red rays, I couldn’t help but wonder, is Vichy was the French Pharmacy brand that got away? The proverbial Aidan to this beauty editor’s Carrie Bradshaw, if you will.

The V.I.C branded Vichy show space. Photo: Stephane Balmy

Jessie Inchauspé, better known as Glucose Goddess online, spoke about the impact of the skin-brain-gut axis.

Crimson collagen-infused mocktails. Photo: Stephane Balmy

Vichy Laboratories has always boasted an arsenal of cult-status-worthy beauty staples; the Capital Soleil sunscreens nestled in straw beach bags on vacation, glycerin-boosted micellar water that will make the most stubborn mascara budge, and the iconic (and aptly named) mineral-infused serum Mineral 89. So why has it not had a bigger impact, and more shelfspace in my bathroom, as of late? In an oversaturated beauty landscape spinning out of control, where it-products experience 15 minutes of social media fame, shouldn’t a steadfast actor like Vichy stand out?

In an oversaturated beauty landscape spinning out of control, where it-products experience 15 minutes of social media fame, shouldn’t a steadfast actor like Vichy stand out?

Josefin Forsberg, beauty and fashion news editor at Vogue Scandinavia

Perhaps, it is simply that the modest French pharmacy-favourite just hasn’t made enough noise? If so, Vichy is about to make its mark on the modern beauty map with its new holistic approach to health and first ever brand cause: empowering women by addressing the impact of hormonal changes. After highlighting how the lower skin tissue’s accumulation of A.G.E.S. are linked with skin ageing and the importance of the skin-brain-gut axis, the talks portion ended with the introduction of Vichy’s upcoming philanthropic program Hormonall. Created in partnership with the NGO Wellbeing of Women, Hormonall is an awareness and education program on hormonal wellbeing that helps women thrive at every stage of life. Crucial, considering how vastly unexplored women’s health is.

As if dedication to a good cause and an utterly modern understanding of integrative skincare and health wasn’t a strong enough reason to start paying more attention to Vichy, the brand proceeded to present the jaw-dropping beauty breakthroughs fueled by technological advances.

Red light masks were a hot commodity among attendees . Photo: Stephane Balmy

Vichy's Liftactiv Collagen Specialist series reactivates the skin’s own mechanisms to boost collagen production by 200 percent.

An event highlight were the engaging speakers, highlighting the importance of holistic health. Photo: Stephane Balmy

A pioneer in collagen science, Vichy’s now iconic skincare range Liftactiv Collagen Specialist was next on the agenda. In short, collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It forms a scaffold that provides strength and structure, helping to maintain the skin’s firmness and elasticity, but over time collagen production decreases – a process demonstrated by two cushy pillows where one had broken “collagen bonds” and felt deflated while the other had its “collagen bonds” intact and retained its shape. The Liftactiv series combats this process by reactivating the skin’s own mechanisms to boost collagen production by 200 percent.

Next, I am faced with what could have been a rude awakening. “Your skin is around 28,” shares the French woman in a white lab coat operating the cutting-edge skin scanner causing me to breathe a sigh of relief. “That’s good, it’s spot on with your actual age.” She continues to talk me through the various images; my patches of discoloration on the upper lip from sweating away sunscreen on hot days and not bothering to reapply it, the fine lines around my eyes “from dryness” and the faint freckles on my cheek bones that is “no cause for concern”.

Haircare innovations from Vichy will help deter dandruff . Photo: Stephane Balmy

A demonstration of how the ingredient in the Dercos anti-dandruff products repel oil and dry skin.

Vichy's Dercos DS range is the number 1 dermatologist-recommended, anti-dandruff, dermo-cosmetic brand worldwide. Photo: Stephane Balmy

Beyond a high-tech skin-check prompting me to up my daily SPF from 30 to 50, Vichy also showcased the upcoming ScalpConsult Pro, an AI-powered diagnostic tool with 50x zoom and three different light modes bringing you up-close and personal with your follicles. The tool is meant to help pharmacists and dermatologists analyse eight different hair and scalp concerns, diagnose them, and recommend the most beneficial products.

The day ended with a red-themed party at iconic venue Les Bains. In what used to be a spa for Proust and a nightclub for Bowie and Jagger, friends of the Brand celebrated Vichy’s new era of integrative health. Having danced until my feet hurt, I returned to my quiet hotel room. Getting ready for bed, hair scraped back by a Vichy-red hair band, I found myself faced with a choice. And wouldn’t you believe it: rather than reaching for old favourites and TikTok-trending products, my routine that night consisted exclusively of Vichy products. From the micellar water I’ve come to love to the skin-plumping eye cream I’m convinced is laced with wrinkle-banishing magic.

And ever since, there’s always been space for Vichy on my bathroom shelf.