The best Vitamin C + Glycolic Acid treatment I've ever tried | Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules Review

Thursday 11 June 2020

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

When I was a child, French pharmacies were leading in the dermo-cosmetics field. Right now it seems like French pharmacies are going through renaissance phase because brands like Vichy, La Roche-Posay and Bioderma are releasing many new products. Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules & Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-C Ampoules are only a few of the latest releases from Vichy, but they are skincare game-changers, and today I want to show you why you shouldn't sleep on Vichy.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

About Vichy

Vichy is a french dermo-cosmetics brand which I guess everyone knows about. Vichy was created in 1931 by Dr Prosper Haller. The name of the brand originates from the name of the city - Vichy in France. The main ingredient of Vichy products is water. It's not your regular water, but thermal water enriched in minerals. Vichy is focusing on creating products based on research - Vichy tries its best to create hypoallergic products. Lately, Vichy is trying to make formulas and products more environment-friendly.

Peptides vs Glycolic Acid - which one should I try?

Both formulas created by Vichy are unique. Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-C Ampoules is based on phyto peptides. I'm not 100% sure about their effectivity, but regular, synthetic peptides can change your skincare game a lot. You can check my old Swanicoco 99% FGF Ampoule - it's a peptide serum and for me, it's still one of the best treatments for post-acne skin changes like PIE, scars, etc. Peptides will work better during the summer, while Glycolic Acid shouldn't be used in the summer.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

When should you use Glycolic Acid?

Not during the summer, I do not believe that people remember about applying sunscreen every 2-3 hours and when you have glycolic acid it's easy to burn your skin and get worse pigmentation problems than regular.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules - Packaging

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules comes in a paper box, each packaging has 10 or 30 ampoules - depends on which option you choose. Ampoules are made out of glass, the colour of the glass is brown to keep the ampoules stable since Vitamin C formulas love to oxidize.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules - Texture & Scent

Glyco-C Ampoules doesn't have a scent, at least I can't smell it, the texture is like water - even the colour is transparent like water.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules - Ingredients

Aqua/​Water, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Glucoside

Aqua or Water is an ingredient which you can find in almost every product, it's purpose in products is easy - it's a solvent. Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid aka HEPES is a buffering substance, L'oreal which is an owner of Vichy, mix it with glycolic acid as an acid buffer. Glycolic Acid is probably the strongest acid from AHA group because it's a lightweight acid. What does that mean? It can penetrate your skin more easily than other AHA acids. It can be derived from sugar cane, sugar beets or cantaloupe. It's a water-soluble acid, but alcohol is fine too. Depends on concentration, Glycolic Acid can be a weak peel and a good moisturizer or a heavy peel. It increases the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans aka they keep your skin hydrated. Glycolic Acid removes the dead cells from your skin to keep it fresh, bright and soft. It removes dark spots and helps with wrinkles because it can boost collagen production. It can even make your skin thicker and improve blood circulation in the skin. It works better in a low pH, and not every skin will like it. Sensitive skin might have problems with Glycolic Acid - usually Glycolic Acid hurts my skin even in low concentrations. It's an active ingredient that might cause purging - it's like a breakout after using a new product, after a few days of using Glycolic Acid - purging should be gone. Sensitive skin might prefer AHA cousin - PHA. We shouldn't use Glycolic Acid during the summer and if you do Glycolic Acid treatments - sunscreen is a must! Unless you want to see more dark spots on your skin since your skin after a chemical peel doesn't contain a layer of the dead skin so it's more vulnerable to damage from the environment like UVB & UVA. Vichy gave us 10% of an acid complex which I guess it's not pure Glycolic Acid. Glycerin is one of the most popular humectants in skincare. There's a large number of myths around glycerin like it can clog your skin. It doesn't clog your pores, but too much glycerin can make a sticky layer on the skin and even make your skin dryer than before due to TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss). Still, it's an ingredient which we want to see in formulas.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

Usually, when people see Alcohol in skincare, they treat it as the worst thing that exists. The fact is that Alcohol has a positive and negative meaning for our skin. It all depends on the amount of Alcohol. One of the main reasons why companies use this ingredient in their products is better penetration of the skin, thanks to Alcohol substance gets deeper than when it's used on its own. We can't deny that Alcohol kills microorganism and bacteria. It's a long topic, but if you ever search for alcohol to sanitize your hands or makeup brushes - search of Isopropyl Alcohol in 40-70% solutions, they are more effective than 90% versions. Alcohol Denat gives me mixed feelings, but I guess Vichy decided to use Alcohol Denat no to enhance absorption, but because Glycolic Acid is soluble in water and alcohols. Propanediol is a solvent with moisturizing properties. Similar to Cyclohexasiloxane, Propylene Glycol is an ingredient that people are scared of. That's why in organic skin care you're most likely to see Propanediol instead of Propylene Glycol since this ingredient is recommended by Ecocert. Pentylene Glycol is a solvent. Sodium Hydroxide is sometimes called... LYE! But it's not a lie that Sodium Hydroxide helps to keep the right pH of the formula.

Citric Acid is an AHA treatment, and the name gives us a clue - it was derived from citrus like lemon, orange, etc. I barely ever see Citric Acid is used as an exfoliant. We know that Glycolic Acid is the best AHA, Citric Acid is not as effective as other AHA peels, but it's still a good ingredient. Sodium Hyaluronate might sounds familiar. It's a cousin of Hyaluronic Acid, a popular Natural Moisturizing Factor, but this one comes in a salt form. Ascorbyl Glucoside is synthetic, but a more stable cousin of Ascorbyl Acid - Vitamin C. Brands like Vichy calls it Vitamin CG, some people call it "AG". So what's so good about this form of Vitamin C? It's an antioxidant so it fights with free radicals, makes your blood vessels stronger, boosts collagen production and it fights with pigmentation issues. Usually, you can find it in up to 20% concentration in a product.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

How does Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules work?

I was scared that Glyco-C is not a version for me, because previously I had a bad experience with Alpha-H or even professional treatments - it's either burned skin or huge breakout. Both reactions are quite normal because active ingredients like AHA can cause purging, but the amount of purging I had to stand was not normal. Liftsactive Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules comes in two different forms - 10 ampoules (that should be enough for 20 uses) or 30 ampoules (enough for 60 uses). I bought 10 ampoules first and then repurchase them once again. The idea of making tiny ampoules instead of one big ampoule is clever - Vitamin C usually is not a stable so Vichy decided not only to pack the product in smaller containers but also make the glass container brown to protect the product. Although, Ascorbyl Glucoside used in Vichy Glyco-C is a stable form of Vitamin C and Vichy promotes it as Vitamin CG. I've tried Pixi Vitamin C line before, and when I wrote the post, I had no problems with stability, but after 3 months - I had to remove serum and toner and transfer them to the trash. It's normal, there's nothing weird in the oxidation of vitamin C.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

The packaging is made out of glass, so you need few tissues to grab the top part and break it. The set of Glyco-C (and Peptide-C) ampoules contains tiny plastic funnel with a plug. Let's be honest, you'll lose the plug anyway because it's a tiny part. The first set I had - plastic funnel got broken and the plastic plug got lost. Ampoules are made out of glass, the corners of the opened ampoules are rough that's why you might have sometimes problems with destroying the funnel if you try too hard.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

The application itself is easy - half of the ampoule is enough for one use, then we lock the funnel with tiny plug and we can use it once more. I always apply Glyco-C during the evening routine straight after cleansing - there's no need to use the toner since we would have to wait for toner to fully dry. It's the same technique I use with professional acid peel treatments. What I do differently - I do not neutralize the acid with water or neutralizer - Vichy didn't develop a neutralizer for Glyco-C series. I just follow with the next routine step - serum. In my case, I didn't have to deal with any itching, but I got through the purging phase (about 2 days) and then after the mask restriction came - I had to stop using the treatment for few days because my skin started to get dry patches on my cheeks - the area covered with a mask.

According to Vichy, Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C fights with different types of pigmentation - hyperpigmentation, post-acne pigmentation, age spots or pigmentation related to UVA & UVB radiation. In four weeks we should see 21% less dark spots and 37% less post-acne pigmentation which I would prefer to call PIE - post irritation erythema. After 8 weeks, 36% of pigmentation should be reduced. The efficiency of this treatment according to Vichy is 90%-100%, depends on what you need. After only a few days my friends saw a change - they saw it coming before I did, my skin looked brighter than normal, even if my acne was pretty heavy. Glyco-C won't fight fully with acne but it will make your acne less heavy, but you have to go through the purging stage. After the whole treatment (two packages, 10 ampoules each), I can say - I see the difference in pigmentation of the skin - PIE is less visible, the skin feels soft and moist, even if I still have to deal with blackheads, my skin is getting better. It's not a summer treatment so my timing in posting this review is quite bad, but I wanted to take a bit longer and use at least 20 ampoules before I share the result with you. Vichy didn't disappoint me and I feel like Vichy started to recoup the prestige. It's no longer this expensive French brand with not so good formulas, now it's another strong player in skincare game.

The treatment was painless unless you put it on fresh wound then don't expect a miracle while applying it on wounds. My skincare when using Glyco-C is easy - 1st cleanser, 2nd cleanser, Glyco-C, serum, eye cream and moisturizer. I do apply Glyco-C near the eye area, but few things you should remember when applying it near eyes - be extra careful with acid near eyes. Glycolic Acid can help you with eye wrinkles. When you decide to use Glyco-C - remember to use it during the colder months and that you still need sun protection while using it.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-C Ampoules

Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-C Ampoules are ampoules created for all skin types. It's a formula based on 10% Ascorbic Acid aka pure Vitamin C. Vichy recommend to use it after cleansing and according to the brand, you should see elasticity changes almost right after application and after 28 days you can see the difference in wrinkles. According to Vichy, it has 79-87% efficiency.

Aqua/​Water, Ascorbic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein, Pentylene Glycol

Ascorbic Acid is a basic Vitamin C form. It's an antioxidant with amazing brightening skills, but it has one problem - it's a least stable form. We got here 10% Ascorbic Acid form, it's a great idea for acne-prone and sensitive skin since many people do not tolerate higher amounts of Vitamin C. Other advantages of Ascorbic Acid is collagen production and blood circulation boost - I love to use it on broken blood vessels and PIE (Post Irritation Erythema). It fights with damages caused by UV radiation well. Butylene Glycol is a moisturizer and solvent, but it's also alcohol. You see, not every alcohol in skincare is bad. Some of them have positive effects on your skin - just like Butylene Glycol which is a popular substance even in eco/green cosmetic products. Dipropylene Glycol is a solvent.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

I guess three next ingredients are supposed to be these so-called "phyto peptides". Hydrolyzed Rice Protein is a humectant, but it also does a great job with hair. Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid is another family member of Hyaluronic Acid. It has a low molecular weight which makes it better since it can penetrate your skin easily. It hydrates your skin. Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein is not my favourite ingredient - I'm allergic to lupine, that's why I'm not sure if I should use this version of Liftactive ampoules, but it's a source of peptides with positive meaning for hair condition and scalp. Pentylene Glycol is a solvent with antimicrobial properties. It can help with skin hydration.

How does Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-C Ampoules work?

I bought Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-C Ampoules for my cousin since she wanted to get Glyco-C version after she saw my skin, but she doesn't use sunscreen - and as her cousin who's an esthetician I can't force her to use SPF, she's one of many people who thinks SPF in a fluid is enough. Honestly, I have no idea how to fight with such people - SPF is a must and it should be a separate step. Peptide version seemed right for her and so far she likes it! Her skin got brighter after the first use - she has a dull skin because during the quarantine she didn't focus as much on skincare. I'm not sure if I'll try Peptide-C myself due to lupin protein. Both Glyco-C and Peptide-C are very similar, but I think that Glyco-C is more effective since phyto peptides combined with Vitamin C seem to be weaker than Glycolic Acid with a more stable version of Vitamin C.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

How much does it cost?

I guess Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules is not available everywhere since I couldn't see it in the UK and the US. In Poland, Glyco-C costs about 99 PLN for 10 ampoules and around 199 PLN for 30 ampoules. In Poland, you can get it from MyDermaCenter or at Super-Pharm. In France, Glyco-C costs €27,80 for 10 ampoules and €54,30 for 30 ampoules and you can find it at Vichy's website.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-C Ampoules are more available all around the world. Peptide-C costs $29.50 for 10 ampoules and $59 for 30 ampoules in the US on Vichy's website. In the UK 10 ampoules costs £30 and 30 ampoules - £59 also on the official website. In France, Peptide-C costs €27,80 for 10 ampoules and €54,30 for 30 ampoules - you can buy if from the official website.

I couldn't find a price of Glyco-C and Peptide-C in Germany, but both version are available in Germany, the same with Belgium - both are available, but I couldn't check the price. In the Czech Republic, both versions are available and price ranges are about 500 - 2200 CZK on Notino. Denmark has only Peptide-C version, 10 ampoules cost 250 DKK and 30 ampoules - 500 DKK. The Middle East has only Glyco-C version available. In Bulgaria, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Hong Kong - you'll only get Peptide-C. Ukraine, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Greece, Austria, Russia, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, Singapore have both versions.

Vichy Liftactiv Specialist Glyco-C Ampoules

The ampoules are not available yet in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and Israel.

After all, I think that Glyco-C is my favourite product from Vichy. I have Vitamin C serum from Vichy in my stash and you can expect the review of it soon.

Have you ever tried this treatment?


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