Does the Vichy Ideal White Meta Whitening Emulsion actually work? Our babygirl, Shafinah, takes a break from travel to test it out!


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Forgive me for being presumptuous, but I’d like to think that if you’re choosing to read this review right now, you probably:

  • Discovered this wonderful product a little late – just as I did;
  • Heard about its magical whitening and pigmentation-erasing properties; and are interested to find out more;
  • Grew increasingly exasperated with the copious amounts of scientific jargon involved in deconstructing this product, and really only want one question answered: Does this really work?

I understand your frustration and the need to tear someone’s hair out.

But you see, that is the thing about all things Vichy. If you haven’t already Googled this brand to death, it’s probably wise to fill you in here that Vichy is actually a doctor-developed skincare range from France, with a history that hails all the way back to the 1930s.  This means you may now rest assured that nothing about this brand is driven by fad or hype, and none of its products are created on a whim based on insipid market research. It is a cosmeceutical brand, which essentially means that it works much more competently than a cosmetic, but doesn’t quite fall under the medicine category yet. Which, basically, also means that Vichy is probably one of the most groundbreaking high-intensity skincare ranges that you can buy over the counters today.

I guess you can say it is both a blessing and a curse, to understand something so very deeply. No wonder Vichy has one of the most loyal followings I have ever across. It is understated, elegant and not too in-your-face showy (somewhat like the French people themselves); and there is something almost mellifluous about it. To quote and unquote the skincare maestros themselves, “radiant, healthy skin comes from within”, and no, we’re not even referring to the magical, intangible world of ‘inner beauty’ here. We’re talking about the critical need to understand our body from inside out, in order to achieve great skin. We’re talking about expert chemists, top physicians, dermatologists, and even women’s health specialists. Our skin is impacted at every stage of our lives by many different factors – from our eating and sleeping patterns to the environment which surrounds us to even our emotional and mental well-being. True that skin care isn’t Rocket Science, but it is Science; and it definitely requires more than just a skin-deep understanding (excuse the pun) of dermatology. Think holistic. Think integration. Excellent skincare isn’t made from just picking out good ingredients and mixing them all up in a pot. It requires an intensive consideration of how our bodies function and respond; and that, my friends, is how Vichy operates.  Beauty from within.

But let’s not digress. I am not here to drown you with an endless ramble about how Vichy’s vision. I am here to drown you with the goodness of Vichy’s Meta Whitening Emulsion, from their Ideal White Series.


VICHY Ideal White Review - The Real DealOkay, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page before I go on (and judging by the length of this post, I really am going to go on for quite a while), I am reviewing only the Meta Whitening Emulsion out of the full Ideal White Series – although I am very sure the rest work just as excellently too, considering how they all share the same game-changing formula.

Primarily a whitening product (if the name hasn’t given you a hint already), this exclusive patented technology is actually the result of 12 lengthy years of research and formulation; and features a unique blend of active ingredients that zones in particularly on pigmentation concerns. The crux of this series revolves around the Meta Whitening Essence, which has been proven to tackle melanin at all three stages of its life cycle. Made paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and dermatologically tested on sensitive skin, this fresh but fluid emulsion creates an even, rosy glow and immediate brightening effect, helping to illuminate your skin from within.

The full range of Vichy’s Ideal White Series contains everything from basic facial cleansers to sleeping masks to cosmetic water and even sunscreen; and can be used either individually or as a holistic range for greater results. Personally, I only tested the Meta-Whitening Emulsion, and may I just say, it is the most wonderful thing I have ever used in all my dull-skinned life.




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Here’s a testament to how legitimate Vichy is, even amongst the skin experts themselves. There is a whole bevy of ingredients which goes into the making of this product that creates the excellent potion that it is, but I fear a lengthy insight into each and every single one of them may bore you to wrinkles. Therefore, I have helpfully highlighted only 4 today to tickle your yawns – and you’d want to pay attention to this if you’ve already gotten yourself to read this far, because these are the 4 that have been driving both clinical and aesthetic doctors wild.

Ellagic Acid

If you’ve ever had an elder tell you to eat more grapes and berries because it helps prevent cancer, this thing right here is the reason why. But halt – Ellagic Acid isn’t just great for killing cancer cells (Disclaimer: I feel strangely responsible to highlight here that Ellagic Acid is not a cancer treatment per se, but a complement to it), it’s also your one-stop anti-ageing promise. Ellagic Acid contains something called the Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP), an enzyme which signals collagen breakdown; and it helps encourage the maintenance and improvement of skin elasticity, resulting in the diminishing of fine lines and wrinkles. In fact, Ellagic Acid also inhibits another wonderful enzyme– Tyrosinase– that brightens the skin effectively and safely , which is more than we can say for *ahem*hydroquinone*ahem*.

Meanwhile, remember when I briefly mentioned earlier that the environment is a direct catalyst to our skin condition? Ellagic acid is, incidentally, also the thing that helps prevent skin deterioration caused by environmental pollutants, as well as the formation of sun spots because of the dreadful UV rays.

The way I see it, we can either laud this product to death already solely based on the presence of Ellagic Acid alone, or refuse to be convinced and gorge ourselves on berries instead.

Phenylethyl Resorcinol

Compared to proven skin-lightening agents such as hydroquinone and various forms of vitamin C, I’m afraid that Phenylethyl Resorcinol has scant research behind it and isn’t your hallmark lightening ingredient in the market as yet. Which, if you look at it from another perspective, makes Vichy the market groundbreakers in choosing to utilize this fabulous antioxidant despite the lack of celebrated track record success.  In a study held over twelve weeks, Phenylethyl Resorcinol was known to significantly decrease brown patches (more accurately called Lentigines) by up to 43%, when combined with sunscreen.


Here’s another Star Ingredient. Adenosine doesn’t just deliver some truly spectacular results for the skin, it is also beneficial for our central nervous system and combating viruses. But we’re all here today because of our skin and not of our fear of developing Parkinsons’; and hence, I shan’t be talking much about the orders of our neurology.

Now, Adenosine isn’t just perfect for supporting healthy cell function (this must be good news for the sisters who aren’t particularly enjoying great skin cell regeneration), it has also been proven to significantly improve skin smoothness in the eye and mouth areas. (Crow’s feet and laugh lines, anyone?) Studies have even shown that Adenosine expedites wound healing, which makes me want to experiment with dabbing this all over my old scars and new scabs.

Adenosine can be an expensive ingredient especially when used in higher concentrations – so don’t expect the best of both worlds when it comes to quality vs price with Adenosine on the bandwagon.

Capryloyl Salicyclic Acid

This ingredient is notably present in Vichy’s Normaderm range too, so rest assured that it is nothing new to them. A skin conditioning agent that enhances the appearance of dry and damaged skin, reduces dry patches and flaking, as well as restores suppleness to the skin, Capryloyl Salicyclic Acid is held on a pedestal in the skincare community, and is considered an invaluable ingredient due to its multi-functional and versatile nature. The list of benefits from this miraculous agent is endless, so I’ll cut to the chase and present the most important points (or at least, the things I find most important). Specifically, Capryloyl Salicyclic Acid:

  • Exfoliates the skin by causing the cells of the epidermis (upper layer of skin) to shed more easily, hence making room for new cell growth;
  • Is water soluble, meaning that the exfoliation mentioned above actually goes way past just the upper layer of skin and penetrates deeper to dead skin cells and even excess oil built up in the pores;
  • Improves skin thickness, collagen production, wrinkling, roughness and hyperpigmentation over a time period of just 6 months;
  • Helps in the substantial lightening of hyperpigmentation; and
  • Can even be used to prevent blackheads, whiteheads and acne.

I could go on, but I don’t want you to think I am lying.


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Apply every morning and/or evening within your whitening skin care routine, ideally with an SPF15 or more. Avoid your eye areas. I personally use an SPF50 from Kiehl’s, but only because I am obsessive that way. (Also, I have bad hyperpigmentation issues on my neck.)


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I love it!

I absolutely love it!

And because I am neither a beauty blogger nor an endorsed celebrity, you know that I can’t possibly be lying because there is no logical reason for me to do so. (Very Important Disclaimer: I am not saying that the aforementioned groups of people are liars. I’m just saying that, well, I’m just, I – gahhhhhwqlxkvsakcp. Oh, you know what I mean.)

Back to what’s really important around here, this thing flies me to places of celestial proportions. It brings to mind Ed Sheeran’s lilting song Tenerife Sea, because there is a part where he repeatedly croons the word ‘Lumiere’, and that is the exact word that pops up every time I slather this thing all over my face. It makes you glow. Personally, I’ve always disliked products which claim ‘Instant Whitening’ or ‘Instant Brightening’ effects because it all sounds neither realistically possible nor long-lasting, but wow. This thing is freakishly astonishing. It really does give your skin a glossy, rosy finish without being overly sticky or heavy. It isn’t plastic surgery (something which I feel I must strongly emphasize as a parting caveat), but it does stick by its promise: Vichy’s Ideal White Emulsion will illuminate your face – and I really hate to use this word– instantly.

Especially if you have skin like mine and are cursed with permanent dark eye circles, this is perfect for downplaying that overall dreary dullness which we seem to be such naturals at maintaining. Apparently, it works wonders for melasma too, but I feel ill-disposed to comment about those aspects because they aren’t really my problem areas (yet). What I do have though, is frightfully dull skin, and this has been quite the godsend for it. I feel like a sunkissed goddess immediately after application (whether I actually look like one is another question); and following up after about six weeks, I find my skin noticeably smoother, more translucent, and somewhat plumper (I’m talking about the skin, not my face width). And this is from using it only once a day in the morning – I am quite terrible with keeping up a regime at night.

As a parting note, all I can really say is, this thing is perfect for you if you’ve always wanted that radiant glow on your face, but couldn’t really be bothered getting pregnant just for it.

Use it, ladies.