Vichy Aqualia Thermal

Our bodies lose 500 ml of water daily (via transepidermal water loss) yet most of us aren’t even aware of it. 20 minutes of exercise and we’ve already lost 400 ml.

We need to reclaim that loss in order to function properly. Did you know that sweating drains us of seven essential minerals?

Iron, calcium, sodium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, chlorine, plus zinc, copper, nitrate and chromium are all vital, making it a challenge to top up our daily mineral needs as we try to stay hydrated.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal

Minerals are involved in the metabolism of enzymes and hormones, they support the structure of bones and teeth, ensure the acid-base balance of the body and are necessary for muscle contraction and the conduction of nerve impulses.

Skin hydration has become the holy grail for women who want to achieve plump, soft and luminous skin with a dewy complexion. Hydration is key to skin balance and health at any age, but the environment makes achieving it difficult.

Added to this are environmental factors: cold or wind increases water loss by 12%; with the presence of UV, that number rises by 25%.

Summer is especially harsh on the skin — it takes no more than 14 minutes for it to dehydrate with sudden changes in temperature. Whether or not you’re a believer in global warming, this adds up to even more stress on our skin.

The Vicious Dehydration Cycle

Proper cell hydration depends on the quality of the barrier function, which translates as good cohesion between the cells. It insulates the skin against the outside world and “filters” natural water evaporation. When altered, whether by environment or lifestyle, this water loss increases.

As minerals are also lost from the skin, this imbalance increases dehydration. Some minerals are essential for the synthesis of NMF (natural moisturizing factors) — molecules that trap water inside cells.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal

Without them, the skin can no longer hold the water that rises from the dermis to the surface. Dehydrated skin doesn’t feel supple and becomes dull, leaving flaky patches. While dry skin is more likely to become dehydrated, combination to oily skin may also be affected by a lack of water and minerals.

How can this valuable barrier function be strengthened? By using emollient products and hygroscopic active ingredients, including glycerin, mannose and Hyaluronic acid.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal

That’s where Vichy comes in. Their new Aqualia Thermal collection promises long-lasting hydration using only 20 ingredients.

Each ingredient has been precisely measured by Vichy Laboratories to achieve complete harmony and to provide skin cells with effective and lasting hydration.

Various measurements were tried and tested before the ideal balance of water, minerals and plant sugars was obtained. The key was a solution in osmosis with the skin cells to guarantee perfect hydration.

Shea butter and vegetable glycerine enhance the rehydration process, while plant mannose (derived from beech, birch or maple pulp following a green chemistry process) harnesses water on the skin’s surface, carrying it to the cells.

Vichy Aqualia-2

Added to this is Vichy’s own mineralizing thermal water — 100% pure spring water sourced from French volcanoes.

Other essential ingredients include Sodium PCA to help lock water inside the skin’s cells and Hyaluronic acid, a type of sugar that swells inside the upper layers of your skin to create a plump effect on the surface and prevent water loss.

The collection includes a rehydrating serum for all skin types, a rehydrating gel cream for plumper skin and tightened pores, plus rehydrating cream in two formulas (rich and light). Out of all four products, the light formula seemed like the right amount of moisture for my skin.

Vichy Aqualia

This light cream is suitable for normal to dry skin and has been proven to provide 48 hours of soft-feeling skin and smoother fine lines. Upon application, my skin feels smooth and soft, especially during the recent heatwave we’ve been having. I find its clean scent very mild and not overly fragrant.

The Aqualia Thermal line contains 97% natural-origin ingredients with no added silicone, mineral oil or paraben.

Vichy’s packaging has also taken the environment into account: a 44% reduction in plastic and 10% recycled glass usage. Even the box is FSC-Certified cardboard.

Aqualia’s Thermal Rehydrating Creams and Gel (all 50 ml) retail for CAD $39.95; Rehydrating Serum (30 ml) retails for CAD $42.95. All products are available in drugstores and via Vichy Canada online (the collection is not yet available in the US).

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